Richard Swallow

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May’s disputes team has long been one of the most feared in London. Mighty, but small. Under the stewardship of practice head Richard Swallow, however, that has started to change. Last year the team grew by a staggering 50 per cent, almost unmatched by any other firm in recent years. Swallow has deliberately made the team much more central to the firm’s wider strategy, playing off its role as lawyers to the FTSE100 with the growth in mass claims. Although its partnership has remained small, the wider team has more than doubled in the past five years.

A Slaughter and May lifer, Swallow trained at the firm, also completing a seat in its Hong Kong office before returning to London. His 2023 was dominated by the Tuna Bonds litigation, one of the biggest cases of the year in which he acted for Credit Suisse, partly settling for his client on the eve of the trial and the remainder weeks later. Other highlights include work for Rolls Royce on overseas investigations, along with Shell’s former head of upstream Malcom Brinded, accused of bribery in Milan’s “trial of the century”, which ultimately saw the case against Brinded dropped. Outside his cases, Swallow is a passionate member of the firm’s mental health committee, the work of which has significantly increased mental health awareness around the firm.