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Richard Colbey

Richard works mainly in London and the South East in several areas of legal work. He is willing to accept solicitor, foreign lawyer and direct access instructions. Approachable, Richard is happy to personally take or return calls from prospective clients. He prides himself on providing cost-effective advice and representation as quickly and informally as possible.

Called to the bar in 1984, Richard is also admitted as a Californian attorney and has qualified as a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  


TBG House (1)


Richard Colbey

Richard's Experience

Called in 1984

Public Access Accredited


Barristers in England and Wales are regulated by the Bar Standards Board

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Commercial Law

Richard undertakes all types and most levels of commercial disputes from those involving several million pounds down to consumer disputes.

  • Acted for a Yemini government agency in a £5m dispute over the price of a cargo of oil
  • Acted for an Ecuadorian lawyer in protracted High Court committal proceedings, in which case he defeated most of the allegations, and his costs were less than 10% of the other side’s
  • Appeared in several reported cases concerning the construction of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Act 1977
Professional Negligence

Richard undertakes all aspects of professional negligence work and is willing to take on cases against solicitors and barristers.

  • Current cases include representing a woman who alleges a barrister discontinued her case at a preliminary hearing without instructions after having charged over £20,000 in fees
  • He also appears for professionals before disciplinary tribunals and on appeals to the courts
Intellectual Property

He regularly acts in IP disputes particularly relating to the music industry.

  • Current cases include a claim over the rights to use the name of a well-known 1970s ‘teeny bopper’ band
Personal Injury

Richard specialises in cases involving personal injury or illness that are not straightforward, particularly those where the claim is against the client’s own insurer, or where ME/CFS or food poisoning is involved. 

  • Current claims include acting for the estate of a man who died of covid very shortly after his employment, which included a substantial death in service benefit, was terminated

Acting on various types of land and trust disputes, Richard recently appeared in a High Court matter which was a family dispute over ownership of valuable development land on the North Circular Road Intermedia v Ashia Centre and others [2020] EWHC 473 (Ch).


He advises on all types of construction disputes on large and small developments.

  • Currently acting on a direct access basis in a million-pound claim arising out of the building of a luxury hotel in rural England
  • Recently advised in respect of a restaurant development in Bethnal Green, as well as several domestic building cases
Family Law

About a quarter of Richard's practice involves acting and advising upon financial remedy claims. He also undertakes private law children cases.

Memberships & Advisory
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Richard has written in many legal journals including The New Law Journal, The Solicitors Journal, The Journal of Personal Injury Litigation, Rent Review & Lease Renewal and Litigation.

He is the author of Residential Tenancies now in its fifth edition.

He has written several hundred columns for The Guardian on personal finance law.

He has written occasionally for The Guardian and other newspapers on football and travel.

A full length article in Wisden 1998 on cricket and the law “Court on the Boundary”.

Case Profile


Commercial Disputes

  • ARC v Gunvor [2019] EWHC 3555 (Comm)
  • Schwartz v VGV and others  [2020] EWHC 2227 (Ch)
  • Hodges v Aegis [2014] EWCA Civ 1449

Professional Negligence

  • Dowling v Bennett Griffiths [2014] EWCA Civ 1545

Intellectual Property

  • Caspian Pizza v Malvern Hills Estates [2015] EWHC 3567 (IPEC) (ownership of Trade Mark of Worcester pizza restaurant)

  • FBT v LTEV [2019] EWHC 829 (IPEC) (ownership of rights to an early Eminem album)

Personal Injury

  • Sargent v GRE (UK) Ltd [1997] EWCA Civ 1414 in which he appeared for the successful appellant remains leading guidance in interpreting injury insurance policies

Property, Landlord & Tenant and Trusts

  • Winter v TCC [2006] EWCA Civ 1740 in which he appeared in the High Court and Court of Appeal for the successful developer was important in establishing the extent to which restrictive covenants can be varied
  • Laskar v Laskar which has become the leading case on the joint acquisition of property by family members
Privacy Policy

1. This is a privacy notice that describes how, why and for how long I will process or keep your personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’).
2. The GDPR governs how an individual’s personal data is used, and your rights in relation to that data.
3.  I, Richard Colbey, have been instructed by you or your litigation friend (usually a parent), through your solicitor or agent, or via the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
4.  It is necessary for me to process your personal data in order for me to provide you with legal services, for example:

  • Advise on the prospects of litigation;
  • Advise on the value of your claim;
  • Representation at a court hearing;
  • Representation at trial;
  • Advise, review or comment on legal issues or evidence.

5. Processing means anything done to data such as: recording, organising, adapting, altering, copying, consulting, transmitting, combining, erasing or storing it.

6.The processing for the purposes listed above will take place in accordance with either Article 6(1)(a) GDPR or Article 6(1)(b) GDPR, depending on how you instructed me.

7. If you have instructed me on a direct access basis, or engaged a solicitor (or legal agent), to assist you in bringing or defending a claim then the processing is necessary to perform a contract to which you are a party (Article 6(1)(b) GDPR). To give effect to that contract (i.e. to bring a claim) it is necessary for me to process your personal data for litigation purposes.

8. If I am assisting you on a pro bono basis, it will be necessary for me to seek your consent to be able to represent you (Article 6(1)(a) GDPR). In this scenario, you will be sent a consent form.

Recipients of your data

9.  I may also be required to share your data with others, depending on the nature of your case. This may include:

(i)  Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;

(ii) Your solicitors, or agent representing you, through whom I have been instructed;

(iii) Potential witnesses, experts and other persons involved in the case;

(iv) Solicitors, barristers, or other legal representatives;

(v) Ombudsman and regulatory authorities;

(vi) Education and examining bodies; and

(vii) Current, past or prospective employers.

Special Categories of Data

10.  In some cases I will have been given your personal data that is within the ‘special categories’ of data described in GDPR Article 9(1). For example, personal data that reveals your race, ethnicity, sexual preferences, political or religious beliefs, trade union membership or health. There are also restrictions for processing information regarding criminal convictions.

11. This type of personal data will only be processed where it is necessary in order to represent you in your legal claim, or advise on the prospects of a legal claim.


12. I will retain your personal data for no longer than is necessary, and where it is possible, I will anonymise your data.

13. How long your personal data is kept will depend on a number of factors. The retention period will be reviewed when the service I am providing you with is complete. However in general, I am obliged by the Bar Code of Conduct to retain records of my cases, and by HM Revenue and Customs to retain records for 6 years.

14. Once your case has concluded and fees have been paid, I shall retain only the personal data necessary for the following purposes:

(i) The legal and professional obligation to retain information relating to my cases;

(ii) To check for any potential conflict of interests that may arise in the future when I am instructed on other cases;

(iii) For use in the defence of potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes;

(iv) To refer back to in future cases which raise similar legal, factual, or procedural issues.

15. The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14 (ii), (iii), and (iv) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(f) GDPR. That is, for the purposes of legitimate interests that are not outweighed by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms.

16. The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14(i) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(c) GDPR. That is, the processing is necessary for me to comply with a legal obligation. 

Your Rights

17. Where processing of your personal data was based on your consent (see paragraphs 6 and 8) you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. This does not affect the lawfulness of the processing based on consent before its withdrawal.

18. Withdrawal of your consent to process such data will most likely mean that I am no longer able to provide you with the legal services you seek.

19. You may request confirmation that your personal data is being processed by me and details about the personal data, the source, the processing, the purposes of the processing, the recipients and the retention period.

20. You may request a copy of your personal data that is being processed by me. You may also request rectification (i.e. correction) where there are inaccuracies in the personal data.

21. You have the right to object, on grounds relating to your particular situation, at any time, to processing of your personal data in paragraph 14 of this privacy notice. Should you object, the processing will only continue where there are compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests. 

22. Where the processing or retention of your data is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, it will not be possible to object. 

23. You have the right to request that your personal data is erased where any of the following apply:

(i) The personal data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed;

(ii) You withdraw your consent where the basis of processing was based on consent and where there is no other ground for the processing;

(iii) Where your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests override the legitimate interests of processing in paragraph 14;

(iv) The personal data has been unlawfully processed; or

(v) The personal data have to be erased to comply with a legal obligation.

24. You have the right to request that your personal data is restricted from processing, so that it is simply stored, for the following reasons: as an alternative to deletion; so that it can be corrected; for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; to verify if a legitimate ground exists (paragraph 14).

25. Where it is necessary to correct your personal data, or you have requested the restriction or erasure of your personal data, I shall endeavour to contact the recipients of the personal data, unless this involves disproportionate effort. 


26. I take appropriate physical and technical procedures to safeguard your personal data to prevent it from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way. 

Complaints or Queries

27. If you have any questions regarding this privacy notice, or how I use your personal data please email me: mailto:, or my clerks: telephone 01823 247 247.

28. I shall aim to respond as soon as possible, and within 30 days.

29. You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) if you believe I have not handled your request in an appropriate manner. For information on contacting the ICO please go to:



Family Law Barristers (3)


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