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Richard Palmer


Richard is head of Watson Burton's Professions and Insurance Group. He is recognised for his expertise having been highlighted as a leader in this field and “highly recommended” by Legal 500 for several years. A Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and an accredited mediator for the last 13 years, Richard is a skilled negotiator who uses a wide range of dispute resolution tactics to achieve the best results for his clients in complex and high value disputes.

He is viewed in The Legal 500 as standing out for his "straightforward professional advice that is always well researched". In Chambers UK 2010 Richard is described as "an extremely good communicator with an excellent ability to analyse problems and get to the heart of the issue".

Richard has chaired several Professional Indemnity Seminars in the City of London, hosted by the Professions & Insurance Group, as well as speaking to insurers and brokers on a wide range of professional indemnity related subjects. Richard was also a guest speaker for the Institute of Money Laundering Prevention Officers (IMPLO) at one of their annual conferences and has appeared in a DVD produced by the North East Fraud Forum on the subject of money laundering.

"He is excellent and really stands out" - Chambers 2016

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

The practice is led by Richard Palmer, a ‘great negotiator’ who is ‘very good technically, has unmatched pragmatism and is always on top of the details’

Legal 500, 2017

recent experience

  • Successfully defending a multi-party, multi-million pound claim against a consulting engineer arising out of a boiler failure at a French Power Station in the Court of Appeal in Paris. At the first instance trial, Richard’s client was absolved of any responsibility for the failure and this judgment was upheld on appeal
  • Successful resolution of a policy coverage dispute on behalf of professional indemnity insurers arising out of a complex building dispute. He is currently involved in several other policy coverage disputes
  • Negotiating settlement on favourable terms of a lender’s claim against a solicitor following an earlier claim by the lender against the valuer. He has defended many similar claims by lenders, against both solicitors and valuers
  • Defending three large scale claims against architects, one involving the complex interplay between the design of a building and tax legislation; the others arising out of the obtaining of relevant local authority consents

Richard is a keen musician. He plays, watches and coaches football, leading his team to the cup final last year and he recently completed the Great North Run half marathon raising money for Fairbridge, a North East charity.

Richard enjoys cooking and eating out and is putting his cooking skills to the ultimate test when he opens a "pop up" restaurant in his local village for one night only in aid of a local charity. In preparation for the role, Richard has worked in the kitchen of a popular City Centre restaurant and hopes to put that knowledge into practice for the benefit of the local community. Richard's favourite chefs include Heston Blumenthal, Marcus Wareing, Gordon Ramsay and Jason Atherton.