Richard is Senior European Counsel with Bird and Bird LLP. He has specialised in the regulatory aspects of aviation and travel law since the Civil Aviation Authority was inaugurated in 1973. He has seen, and been involved in, the many changes which have occurred among airlines and tour operators over the last thirty years.
Richard has, throughout his career, advised on all aspects of the law relating to Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing, the Package Travel Regulations, the Trade Descriptions Act and many other aspects of Consumer Law. He acted for clients in matters arising respectively out of the collapse of the Court Line Group in 1974, the International Leisure Group in 1991 and XL Leisure Group in 2008.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Richard was the leading advocate in CAA licensing hearings in which he appeared on behalf of many British airlines, including Air UK Limited, Air Europe and Britannia Airways.
Since liberalisation occurred in 1992 with the introduction of the European Union’s Third Package, Richard has continued to advise airlines on licensing matters and is an expert on issues relating to ownership and control, financial matters affecting an airline’s fitness to hold a licence and on traffic rights.
Richard has been involved in a large number of dispute resolution matters which have arisen through the dominance of a certain airline or as a result of other anti-competitive behaviour. Following the privatisation of British Airways in the 1980s, Richard acted for Air Europe in a High Court challenge of the report by the Monopolies & Mergers Commission about the merger. More recently, Richard led a team advising Flybe on the competition law aspects of its merger with BA Connect.