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Richard G. Swinburn

Richard G. Swinburn



  • University of Cambridge, Robinson College
  • Sedbergh School, Cumbria

Professional Admissions / Qualifications

  • England and Wales


  • French
  • German

Richard has been specialising in international trade law since 1988. He advises energy and natural resources companies, commodity trading companies and banks in connection with all aspects of their commodities-related business, be that the financing, trading or transportation of bulk commodities. Richard regularly provides support to clients (a) when considering a new business opportunity and wanting to assess the risks associated with that opportunity (b) having assessed the risks, when structuring and documenting the transaction and; (c) once a contract or transaction is in place, but counterparty risk or market conditions are negatively impacting its execution. Frequently, Richard's input in the early stages of a transaction helps avoid a costly and time consuming dispute.

In addition to advisory work, Richard handles a large number of trade related disputes in arbitrations at the various commodity trade associations, as well as at the LCIA, the ICC and in courts both in the UK and internationally.

Richard is routinely ranked as “a leading individual” by Legal 500, and rated as “Band 1” by Chambers. Legal 500 UK describes Richard as “a sure pair of hands in a crisis”. (2016), “at the top of the league”', (2014) and as “one of the most highly regarded commodities lawyers” (2012). Chambers UK describes Richard as "an excellent technical lawyer" (2016), “an outstanding commodities lawyer"(2014) and comments that he provides “quick, sound advice and ensures client service is key”.

Employment History

  • 2007 - Reed Smith
    • Former London Office Managing Partner
  • 1986 - Richards Butler (combined with Reed Smith in 2007)