Richard Willis

Arthur Cox Portrait of Ricahrd Willis
Photo Karl Hussey / Fennell Photography Copyright 2017

Expertise

Richard advises domestic and international clients in contentious matters in a variety of sectors including banking and financial services, technology, hospitality, sports and entertainment. His work often involves shareholder and boardroom disputes and investigations, including regulatory and financial crime investigations, as well as seeking all kinds of injunctive relief, including Anton Piller, Springboard and Norwich Pharmacal orders. He has extensive experience in matters involving expedited case management in the Commercial Court as well as large-scale and complex discovery, data and information governance processes and related forensic reviews. Richard also leads large-scale projects associated with all legal aspects of public inquiries.

Richard established and co-chairs the firm’s Projects and Data Management Unit, which encompasses the firm’s eDiscovery practice. He is a member of the Commercial Litigation Association of Ireland (CLAI) subcommittee charged with drafting the Good Practice Discovery Guide and also with preparing recommendations in respect of the proposed amendments to the Irish Superior Court Rules for the purposes of attempting to reduce costs in discovery exercises. Richard also co-authored the Ireland chapter of the E-Discovery & Disclosure Guide 2018 for Chambers and Partners.

Richard also leads the firm’s Sports Law Group which coordinates a team of experts from a multitude of disciplines across the firm in sports related matters.

Richard was selected as the International Client Choice Awards winner for Litigation in Ireland for 2016. Established in 2005, Client Choice recognises those law firms and partners around the world that stand apart for the excellent client care they provide and the quality of their service. Nominations can only be made by corporate counsel.

Richard is a CEDR accredited mediator.

Experience

  • Leading a cross firm multi-disciplinary team in the delivery of a public inquiry for the Central Bank of Ireland.
  • Advising the Olympic Council of Ireland in relation to ticketing matters arising out of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, to include advising the Executive Committee in relation to the Moran Inquiry, appearing before the Oireachtas Committee and general governance issues.
  • Advising on the investigation by the Financial Regulator into foreign exchange issues at a major Irish bank.
  • Acting for Depfa Bank in relation to the investigation of Hypo Bank by the special investigator appointed by the German Parliament.
  • Advising an Irish bank in the design and implementation of its witness engagement, information governance and documentary management project to support its role in the Statutory Banking Inquiry.
  • Advising the Joint liquidators of a Cayman based fund in securing the return of €14 million from an Irish based bank account in Commercial Court interpleader proceedings where the party competing was the US Trustee in Bankruptcy of the Bernard Madoff Estate arising from the fraudulent activities of Bernard Madoff.
  • Advising ABJ Vermögensverwaltung GmbH & Co KG in its claim against the Thema Fund and HSBC arising from the fraud perpetrated by Bernard Madoff.
  • Advising the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) in relation to civil and criminal offences in terms of breaches of the NAMA Act and Official Secrets Act (illegal taking of data from former employer) to include coordinating the reporting of matters to An Garda Síochána (the Irish police) and securing Anton Piller and related court orders.
  • Advising a telecoms provider in relation to fraud by a former business unit director leading to injunctive proceedings and follow-on proceedings for sale of property to recover losses.
  • Acting for a client in relation to a data breach by a former employee, including the assessment of the activity for the purposes of reports to An Garda Siochana (the Irish police) pursuant to section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act 2011 and anti-bribery and corruption issues.
  • Advising JSC BTA Bank in obtaining a declaration of enforceability of a discovery and gagging order made by the UK Commercial Court against Yahoo! Ireland.  This was the first case of its kind in Ireland.  The substantive case, JST BTA Bank v. Ablyazov & Ors, is one of the largest fraud cases to be heard by the UK Commercial Court, concerning funds in excess of $2.5 billion.
  • Acting for an international financial services client in relation to a data breach and confidential information disclosure by a former employee to include the crisis management of all facets of the data recall as well as coordinating the notifications to the Central Bank of Ireland, the Data Protection Commissioner and An Garda Síochána (the Irish police).
  • Acting for a client in relation to the securing of ex-parte interim reliefs against the former Chief Technology Officer of the company in order to protect the company’s intellectual capital.
  • Acting for Allied Irish Banks plc (AIB) and various other AIB entities in Commercial Court injunction and plenary proceedings arising from the sale of AIB’s global financial services division (AIBIFS).   The case is one of the first in Ireland in which a springboard injunction was granted.
  • Acting for a client in securing a Norwich Pharmacal Order against a telecoms provider to ascertain the source of abusive and defamatory electronic communications.
  • Acting for IBRC and NAMA in all proceedings (Commercial Court) to enforce its security against the Fordmount Group and its shareholders, and in the defence of related litigation resulting in judgments of in excess of €180 million and dealing with follow on actions in relation to the recovery of assets.
  • Acting for First Active plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group in defending multiple linked proceedings brought by The Cunningham Group (Moorview Developments Limited & Ors v First Active plc & Ors) involving claims in excess of €150 million pursuant to First Active’s appointment of a receiver to various companies within the group as well as recovery actions against the borrowers. The proceedings included successful applications on behalf of First Active for non-suit at the end of The Cunningham Group’s evidence after which judgments in excess of €60 million were secured against various parties, as well as fixing a third party (director of The Cunningham Group) with the costs of the proceedings – the first time that such a finding has been made by an Irish Court.
  • Acting for Bank of Scotland plc in securing summary judgment (Commercial Court) against James Mansfield in the amount of €280 million.
  • Acting for a top four accountancy firm in the defence of a professional negligence claim brought by a Cayman Island insurer in which damages of in excess of $60 million were sought.
  • Advising the Olympic Council of Ireland in relation to agreements for future Olympic Games to include a successful resolution of a dispute through mediation.
  • Advising the Olympic Council of Ireland in relation to numerous insurance matters and their rights and obligations under “Team Kit” sponsorship agreements.
Education
  • BBLS, 1995, University College, Dublin
Professional
  • Admitted as a solicitor in Ireland, 2000
Memberships
  • Commercial Litigation Association of Ireland
  • Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists
Authorship

 

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