Richard Clark

“Richard is imaginative, savvy and breathtakingly effective” 


Richard is a highly regarded commercial mediator with over thirty years’ experience as a leading dispute resolution lawyer. He has mediated across a broad spectrum of commercial disputes and has extensive experience of both online and in-person mediations, including complex multi-party and international disputes. Richard has an outstanding success rate in helping parties to settle their disputes.

Richard is ranked as a leading commercial mediator by the Legal 500 and the Spears 500.

Richard’s mediation practice includes insurance and reinsurance, banking and financial services, professional services, professional negligence, breach of contract, employment, property, land, landlord and tenant, building and construction, shareholder and company boards, inheritance, wills and trusts, media and defamation and sports disputes. Richard is also particularly renowned for his expertise in art and cultural property disputes and is well known in the art market.

Mediation Style and Approach

Richard combines his legal, business and market experience with the stature of a leading dispute resolution practitioner to create a calm and safe environment in which he works to build rapport and confidence, helping the parties to see the real issues by opening new channels and thinking openly and creatively with the objective of reaching consensus and settlement. He fuses facilitative and evaluative approaches to mediation and is intuitive and flexible in his approach. He can hold multiple perspectives and navigates complexity and road-blocks to settlement by understanding how parties feel and working with them to find a solution. Richard believes that strong interpersonal skills are the cornerstone of being a good and effective mediator, and he listens and engages with empathy and understanding and conducts his mediations in a friendly and calm but assured manner, quickly gaining the trust of all participants. Richard brings all these attributes and skills to every dispute he mediates, whether online or in-person.

Client Comments 

“Your approach and impressive ability to connect the numerous stands and bring the participants together is undoubtedly the reason a settlement was reached. It was a pleasure to work with you and no doubt we shall meet again”
(Counsel, 2022)
 “The number of parties and the complexities of the matter meant we went into the mediation uncertain about whether any resolution was really possible but your deep understanding of the issues together with your skilful navigation of the process and knowledge of the market got us over the line and all parties are very pleased this dispute is now behind them.”
(Partner, London law firm, 2022)

“My clients and I are delighted that this complex and long-running dispute settled at the mediation you so skilfully and elegantly presided over.  In addition to your endless patience, diplomacy and ability to bring the parties together, we were all incredibly impressed by your in-depth knowledge of the insurance and art markets which was such a great help to us all”

(Partner, London law firm, 2021)

“Many thanks for your brilliant achievement yesterday in bringing this bitter and acrimonious dispute to such a smooth and satisfactory conclusion. This is by far the best experience I have yet had in any mediation and I would not hesitate to recommend you and I am sure our paths will meet again soon.”

(Partner, London law firm, 2021)

“This was the first online mediation any of the parties had experienced and there was some understandable anxiety. We could not have been in better hands. Richard made the whole mediation seamless and knew his way around the technology and how best to leverage it to great effect as a mediator. My clients and I were very impressed and I would not hesitate to use Richard again.” 

(Partner, City law firm, 2020)

“Richard is a top-class mediator. He is tireless in his efforts to help everyone to come together in a constructive way. He is very focused but never loses sight of the big picture and what really matters to clients. Not only is he an excellent listener who can empathise while reframing and opening up new ways of seeing, he is also very skilled at navigating the process and has impeccable judgement. All in all, a class act.”

(Partner, London law firm, 2020)

“Richard did a superb job. To my amazement, he quickly managed to encourage the parties to engage in a way that none of us had thought possible and we made so much progress in the morning session which enabled us to achieve an amicable settlement by 6.30pm. He had a gentle authority and agility as well as a complete knowledge of the facts and legal issues.”

(Partner, City law firm, 2020)

“I would like to thank you personally for your supreme effort and patience. It was a delight to have you as a mediator and you made what could have been a gruelling online screen experience into one which was really fine.”

(Partner, London law firm 2020)

“My clients specifically asked me to say how glad they were that you were our mediator yesterday and I would have emailed you anyway to pass on my own thanks. Given the very large sums involved and the entrenched positions, we were all doubtful mediation would work but it did and that is a great compliment to you and the sheer focus and energy you showed as well as your good humour and endless patience.”

(Partner, London law firm, 2020)

“He displayed great wisdom and had all the skills and attributes of an able and effective mediator. I was impressed not only by his intellect and knowledge but also by his emotional intelligence and ability to relate to each participant. I doubt we could have reached a settlement without his mediating abilities.”

(Counsel, 2019)

“He opened the mediation in such a brilliant way. It became very clear he had read and understood all the papers and had a complete command of the facts. He was authoritative with a professional gravitas but at the same time had a friendly and informal style. Everyone in the room liked and respected him and this unquestionably set a perfect tone for what proved to be a very constructive day.”

(Partner, London law firm, 2019)

“Richard is the best mediator I have ever worked with. He has a very constructive and empowering approach and we could see that he was intellectually very able but he also had a easy-going style which made everyone feel at ease, listened to and valued.”

(Counsel, 2019)

Practice Areas and Experience

  • Advertising and marketing
  • Art and cultural property
  • Banking, investment and asset management
  • Breach of contract
  • Building and construction
  • Commercial contracts
  • Companies, boards and shareholders
  • Defamation
  • Distribution and agency
  • Education and universities
  • Employment and remuneration
  • Energy and extractive industries
  • Financial services
  • Fraud
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • International trade
  • IP, trademarks and copyright
  • Landlord and tenant
  • Luxury assets
  • M & A
  • Manufacturing
  • Media and publishing
  • Medical negligence
  • Outsourcing
  • Partnerships
  • Pensions
  • Pharma and life sciences
  • Product liability
  • Professional negligence
  • Real estate
  • Retail
  • Sport
  • Telecoms and IT
  • Theatre, screen and music
  • Trusts, wills, inheritance and estates

Career History

1991–2017: Dispute Resolution Partner, Slaughter and May, London

20082013: Head of Dispute Resolution, Slaughter and May, London

20132017: Executive Managing Partner, Slaughter and May, London

2012 to date: CEDR Accredited Mediator

Professional Memberships and Affiliations 

CEDR Accredited Mediator

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

Commercial Law Centre, University of Oxford

Honorary Fellow, Harris Manchester College, Oxford

Art Resolve

Court of Arbitration for Art Accredited Mediator

Professional Advisors to the International Art Market

Centre for Art Law

Institute of Art and Law

Non-Executive Chair of The College of Legal Practice