Phillip Howell-Richardson

Phillip is one of the UK’s top mediators who also has an enviable reputation in mediating international disputes. He has extensive experience of mediating all types of commercial disagreement

Mediation experience

The whole range of commercial disputes have been mediated successfully. This has included more recently many mediations conducted online. Claims mediated include: commercial contracts, international disputes involving governments, companies or individuals, finance and banking disputes, fraud, insurance disputes at all levels between insurers and with insured, professional negligence claims, insolvency, engineering, oil and gas, property, intellectual property, sport, employment, environment claims, and group actions involving large or small numbers of claimants.

Mediation style

(As seen through the eyes of those who have mediated with him) Phillip is quick to gain parties’ confidence and enjoys the rare distinction of combining dogged perseverance with insightful intervention and creative flair. Phillip is someone you can work with and he is also a hugely experienced, hands on mediator who is supremely effective across a range of disputes. Phillip gets us to the root of the problem and creates the mediation process that is needed. Phillip has the ability to handle a complex case with ease and combines smoothness and charm with a first class mind.


Phillip features in the top bands of both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. The current editions of the directories state:

Legal 500 2024

Phillip ‘has great empathy with the parties. He is able to convey to them that he is invested in the outcome of their dispute, building trust and confidence‘. A full-time independent mediator since 2005, Howell-Richardson’s recent experience includes the mediation of commercial contract claims, and international disputes involving governments, companies and individuals, as well as finance, banking and insurance disputes. Additional areas of strength include professional negligence claims, and mediations concerning insolvency, engineering, oil and gas, IP, and property. Of the cases that Howell-Richardson mediated during 2022/23, claim values ranged from tens of thousands of pounds, to tens of millions of pounds, along with a mega-value claim for between $3bn and $4bn.

Chambers & Partners 2024

Phillip Howell-Richardson operates a leading commercial mediation practice and has a formidable track record of handling banking and finance, insurance and professional negligence claims. He also possesses expertise in construction and energy cases. “A very experienced mediator with very good follow-up and aftercare if the dispute doesn’t settle on the mediation day.” He’s particularly good on cases where there’s different people involved; he’s an expert at navigating those. He’s really good at talking parties through the process and the nitty-gritty and is very good with clients. He has the right balance of seriousness and being polite and friendly that’s appropriate for a mediator.” “He always has a very good grasp on the facts and is very good at homing in on the key issues of the case. He’s very good at dealing with clients and parties who are very emotionally invested in the case.

Who’s Who Legal: Mediation 2023

Listed as one of the World’s top mediators in this International Directory. Phillip Howell-Richardson gains widespread praise for his mediation practice. Phillip is praised for his “ability to get straight to the point in a commercial manner and assist all sides in the dispute”. Phillip has an impressive profile in commercial disputes. He “is a highly impressive mediator,” “a top choice for commercial disputes” and “he always has the confidence of the parties.” Phillip has been listed in this directory since the first edition in 2011.

Who’s Who Legal: Global Elite Thought Leaders – Mediation 2023

Phillip features on the list of only a select few from around the World. Who’s Who Legal explain this new feature as ‘bringing together for the first time the insight, expertise and wisdom of some of the world’s foremost practitioners. They report that these practitioners obtained ‘the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources in their most recent research cycle.’  “Phillip is an outstanding choice of mediator.” “He is wise and highly regarded within the community.”

Client comments

A brief overview of feedback received

“Phillip’s handling of the Porton Down mediation was undoubtedly key to resolving this litigation going back for a decade against the MoD. His handling was a “master class” in mediation in resolving issues between the Porton Down veterans and the MoD. Without his experience and devotion to the task I sincerely doubt that a resolution would have been achieved.”

“Phillip, I haven’t managed to get through to you this morning to thank you personally for your stalwart efforts yesterday so I am resorting to the email. As I said, I do not think I have ever met a more patient, a more professional or a more effective practitioner of the dark art of mediation. Many, many thanks. We most certainly could not have done it without you! What a difficult bunch!”

“I was extremely impressed by your professionalism, which clearly justifies the ranking you’ve achieved in the legal directories. I thought you showed real skill and experience in knowing when to deploy the various strategies available. Insofar as there were face to face meetings, they occurred at precisely the right moments and involved the right people. Your authority on the relevant commercial and business matters was useful when needed in order to inject some realism, and your assistance in keeping the drafting simple was also invaluable.”

“It was indeed a pleasure to work with you and I hope we have the opportunity to do so again in the future.”

“Phillip is very good; our professional client was very impressed by him. He had much more energy and drive than your average mediator.”

“Many thanks Phillip for keeping the momentum going during the day and suggesting the “split” at the end which kept the claim beneath the psychologically important 7 digits.”

“You really know how to get results” and “you have a great talent for building rapport, reading personalities and issue spotting.”

Professional background

Phillip is one of the UK’s most experienced and widely respected mediators. He has over 30 years experience of mediating the most complex cases in the UK and internationally.

In 2010 he joined Independent Mediators as a full time mediator. Phillip became a full time independent mediator in 2005. At the same time he became a consultant in ADR with KWM SJ Berwin LLP a leading city law firm with a worldwide presence and he became the head of their ADR Unit which had a long standing reputation for leadership in mediation and ADR.

Previously Phillip was a Partner in Morgan Cole for 23 years and led their commercial litigation group for 12 years as well as serving as a member of Morgan Cole’s main board.

Phillip qualified as a solicitor in 1975. Phillip first became an accredited mediator with ADR Group in 1991 and subsequently became their chairman for 14 years. He is also an accredited mediator with CEDR, an accredited mediator with the Hong Kong International Mediation Centre and a Court of Appeal mediator from that scheme’s start. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Hong Kong. He was one of the first European mediators to be invited to join the International Academy of Mediators as a Fellow and is now a member of it’s Board. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.


Talks and Training Phillip has given include:

  • “The Development of Mediation in Europe and Norway” talk in Oslo to law firm and its clients.
  • “Trademark litigation and ADR” conference for business leaders and lawyers with a demonstration mediation in Brussels.
  • The Queensland Bar Association ADR Conference at Noosa, Queensland. Three talks given over the weekend conference on European Developments, Techniques and Ethics.
  • Presenting at IAM Conferences in Paris and San Francisco on advanced negotiation techniques and international developments.
  • Training members of HMRC in the process of mediation and mediation techniques.
  • “The Mediation Directive: What will it mean for us?” debate hosted by Phillip Howell-Richardson with guest speakers Sir Henry Brooke and Michel Kallipetis.
  • “Mediation – what is it and what can my business get from it?” conference for business leaders organised by the Confederation of Danish Industries at their offices in Copenhagen.
  • “The New EU Mediation Directive: What does it mean for you?” held at a University in Brussels as part of a seminar with the Association of International Arbitrators.
  • “Mediation as a method of resolving commercial disputes” mediation conference held at the Moscow District Arbitration Court by Phillip Howell-Richardson and other members of SJ Berwin.
  • The IAM held its first international conference outside the US in London in September 2009. Phillip took a leading role in the creation of the conference which brought together more than 100 of the best practicing mediators from throughout the world. During the conference Phillip conducted a live interview of Lord Woolf.
  • On the 30th Anniversary of CPR in January 2009, Phillip spoke at the main conference as part of a panel of expert international mediators.


  • Contributor to several publications including the chapter entitled “Concluding the Mediation” in the definitive work “Mediators on Mediation” published by Butterworths.
  • Author of several articles including “Europe’s Changing Mediation Landscape”, a definitive article dealing with the content and likely impact of the European Mediation Derivative, “Getting Past Impasse”, and “Representation Skills for Successful Mediation”.

Please click on the link at the top of the page to download Phillip’s CV. This provides an overview of his background but is obviously not exhaustive. If there is something you can’t find or an area in which you would like more detailed information please call on the number above or email

Download CV Contact Us

Areas of practice

A brief overview of areas of practice

  • Banking and finance
  • Commercial contracts
  • Commercial fraud
  • Company / shareholders
  • Competition
  • Construction / engineering
  • Defamation
  • Employment
  • Franchise
  • Group Actions
  • Insolvency
  • Insurance / reinsurance
  • IT
  • Intellectual Property
  • International disputes
  • Local and national government
  • Oil & Gas
  • Partnerships
  • Pensions
  • Personal Injury
  • Probate / trusts / estates
  • Product liability
  • Professional Negligence and Professional indemnity
  • Property
  • Regulatory
  • Sport
  • Transport / logistic

Professional memberships

  • Member of the International Chamber of Commerce Mediation Panel
  • Mediator member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation
  • Member of Sport Resolution (UK) panel
  • Member of the London Court of International Arbitration
  • Member of CMAP, Paris
  • Fellow of the Institute of Professional Development, London
  • Mediator member of Resolving Commercial Disputes, led by the Institute of Chartered Accountants
  • International Mediation Institute Certified Mediator
  • CMC Registered Mediator
  • Distinguished Fellow and Board member of the International Academy of Mediators
  • Fellow of the CIArb
  • Mediator member of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre