Photo of Richard Selwyn Sharpe

Richard Selwyn Sharpe

Year of call 1985  

Areas of Expertise
Business and Property Group

Commercial, Banking, Insolvency and Chancery Law: Leading Junior Band 2
Confident and decisive

Legal 500 2020

Commercial, Banking, Insolvency and Chancery Law – ranked Tier 1
“Noted for his experience in rights of way matters.”

Legal 500 2019

'Known for acting in Rights of Way cases.'

Legal 500, 2017

'Recommended for insolvency matters.'

Legal 500, 2017

"He immediately 'gets' the issue at hand."

Legal 500, 2016

‘He immediately gets to the issue and his pleadings are very concise.’

Legal 500, 2016

"Cuts through the detail and sees the main issues very quickly... Inspires confidence because of his significant experience and ability."

Legal 500, 2015

"Generates confidence in his advice... he explores all lines of argument."

Legal 500 2014

"Knowledgeable and assured"

Legal 500 2014


Richard joined Nine St John Street in June 2014 from St. James's Chambers, Manchester. With over thirty-five years practice he has a wealth of experience in Property, Commercial and Chancery Law. He is able to get straight to the point in a matter and can cut through the extraneous to unearth the relevant.

He works as a team with the instructing solicitor and strives to do the very best for his clients. He prides himself on being approachable and once instructed makes himself available to his clients whenever required.

Richard lectures regularly to solicitors on Insolvency Law, Rights of Way, Wills, Probate and Proprietary Estoppel.

Outside his busy practice he enjoys the relative peace of life in North Yorkshire.


Richard practises in general Chancery and Commercial law with an emphasis on property, wills, trusts, company and insolvency law. He is recognised for his work in Rights of Way disputes.

His property expertise includes: Landlord and Tenant (commercial and residential), boundaries and easements, rivers/riparian rights, restrictive covenants, land options, development contracts, mortgages, agricultural holdings, nuisance claims, public access to the countryside (including applications to modify the definitive map), highways and planning. Commons and Manorial Rights.

Richard is regularly instructed in cases before the Upper Chamber (Lands Tribunal). Richard has been recently instructed in two landmark cases involving Rights of Way in the Court of Appeal (Bee v Thompson and Oliver v Symons), four of his cases being cited in the current edition of Gale on Easements

He has vast experience in Company law including director’s breaches of duty, director’s disqualification and voidable transactions. He also has been instructed numerous times in Sale and Carriage of Goods, Consumer Credit, Insurance and Agency law. In addition to this Richard has also worked in Restraint of Trade and business secrets, Intellectual Property and Partnership Law.

Richard has undertaken work in Professional Negligence, for a variety of clients including Solicitors, Accountants, Insolvency practitioners, Architects, Surveyors and Insurance Brokers. His work in this area is extensive. He often acts for claimants against solicitors, architects and surveyors in claims involving property.

Richard recently acted for claimant in a ”loss of chance” claim against former solicitors in relation to conduct of a claim against former architect. The claim settled at mediation.

Richards Wills and Trusts experience covers a broad range of issues
including : contentious and non-contentious, Inheritance Act claims and Removal of Trustees, and is often instructed in family partnership disputes, including those concerning agricultural property, residential property portfolios and family businesses.


Ord v Upton [2000] Ch 352 CA

(Insolvency: rights of bankrupt to damages for personal injury): and see article: 2001 Insolvency Lawyer

Stephenson v Johnson 2000 EGCS

(Boundary dispute: implied boundary agreement)

Dodsworth v Hulme [2003] EWHC 22 (Ch) Lawtel 30.1.03

(Boundary dispute: construction of conveyance and plan)

Zyxel Communications COPR, Bluebell Overseas Limited v Fairbridge Communications Limited [2004] D Foskett KC

(Construction of Compromise agreement) Lawtel AC0103710

Halpern v Halpern [2006] EWHC 1728 Comm [2006] 3 AER 113

(a party could not avoid a contract procured by duress in circumstances where he could not offer the other party restitutio in intergrum or counter restitution)

Halpern v Halpern [2007] EWCA 603 (Comm) The Times 14th May 2006

On appeal from the decision of Christopher Clarke J (2006) EWHC 603 [2006] 2 All ER (Comm) 251 ("Halpern No 1") the Court of Appeal held that under Art 4(2) of the Rome Convention English Law was the applicable law to the compromise agreement but that Jewish law might be relevant to interpretation.

On appeal from the decision of Nigel Teare KC (2006) EWHC 172 [2006] 3 WLR 946 the Court held that rescission for duress should be no different in principle from rescission for other vitiating factors. However, the practical effect of counter-restitution would depend on the circumstances of each case. If the defendants were able to establish at trial that the compromise was procured by duress then it would be suprising if the law could not provide a suitable remedy but that would be a matter for the trial judge to decide. It was not necessarily the case that the party wishing to obtain rescission for duress had to be able to provide counter-restitution. Richard acted for the Appellants/Defendants.

Crowe & Heaton v Massey & Massey Land Tribunal (Nigel Rose) (2008) LP/34/2006

Application to discharge restrictive covenant.

Brookfield v Drury & Whitehead LTL 6/3/2009 [2009]

The sale of real property, including a strip of land which the original owner had intended to keep, was not capable of legal rectification in the original owner’s favour on the basis that the transfer of the strip was a mistake. The property as sold clearly included the disputed strip, and the purchasers were entitled to rely upon their ignorance of the original owner’s uncommunicated desire to retain the strip.

Thompson v Bee [2009] EWCA Civ 1212 The Times 3rd December 2009 2010 2 WLR 1355

Right of way by will expressed to be at "all times and for all purposes". CA adopted single transaction approach to construction to ascertain rights of beneficiaries under Will. Appellant's claim that right not limited to agricultural purposes upheld. Respondent’s claim to injunction restraining use of way to access three houses upheld but court left open question whether could use way for less than three houses.

Richard was instructed on behalf of the Defendant/Appellant Mr Thompson at first instance and was led by James Thom KC on the appeal.

Re Haythornwaite deceased Richards J 24 Nov 2010.

Acted for administrators and beneficiaries of a deceased estate and successfully resisted claim that farm comprising bulk of estate had been gifted to Defendant as a "valid donatio mortis causa"

Oliver v Symons EWHC (Ch), [2011] All ER (D) 250 May.

Rights of way. Construction of reservation. Extent of way. Whether claimants abandoning right of way as a consequence of relevant transfer. Whether Defendants interfered with Claimants' right of way.

Oliver v Symons [2012] EWCA Civ 267 led by James Thom KC

In the matter of E A Scott 1991 Children’s settlement No.1 sub nom Andrew Herbert Scott v Martin Leslie Scott [2012] Ch D (Leeds) EWHC 2397 (Ch) Application to remove trustee of family trust

Sterling Investment Properties v Valli Forecourts Ltd [2013] Chancery Division Leeds : (HH Judge Behrens).

Acted for Defendant resisting claim that right of way over commercial property extinguished by abandonment. Claim settled during trial with successful outcome for Defendant.

J.J Metcalfe Ltd v James Dennison Manchester TCC : HH Judge Raynor KC 6.12.13

Acted for successful Defendant in application to strike out claim by builder for unpaid fees/in restitution on grounds that claim statute barred. Court held cause of action arose when work carried out by claimant and not 28 days days after the service of the claimant’s invoice

Lothian v Dixon [2014] Ch D, HH Judge Kaye KC.

Acted for successful Claimants in proprietary estoppel claim. Claimants awarded full estate of deceased on basis of promise to leave them her estate in equal shares if 1st Claimant left her husband (2nd Claimant) at the family home in Scotland to care for her in her last illness and to help run the deceased's hotel in Scarborough.

Taylor v Bell Leeds Co Court 2015 All ER (D) 208 HH Judge Behrens.
Application to vary consent order for periodical payments under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 by illegitimate son of deceased to fund further three years of education.

Bramwell v Robinson 2015 EWHC B26

Acted for successful Claimants in right of way dispute, involving extent and mode of user, and substantial interference with prescriptive right of way by Defendant erecting speed bumps and gates across the way.

Thavenot v Patterson CC Bristol (Judge Matthews) 25/5/17 LTL 13/6/17

Acted for successful Claimant in obtaining declaration that her property entitled to prescriptive right of way, injunction restraining interference and damages.

Deansgate 123 LLP and Carol Forester v Ian Garth Workman and Ian Grant Workman [2019] EWHC 2 (Ch)

Applications under s.423 Insolvency Act to set aside a transfer of property was not struck out for abuse of process where they had been brought subsequent to determination of issue of validity of the transfer.

Taurusbuild & others v Mcque [2019] UKUT 81

Implied easements/rule in Wheeldon v Burrows - right to park.

Score Draw Ltd v PNH International Ltd

Chancery Division [2021] EWHC 756 (Ch) 30 Mar 2021

Breach of restrictive covenant in a shareholders' agreement not to solicit or accept custom from the retailer’s customers.

Blu-Sky Solutions Ltd v Be Caring Ltd [2021] EWHC 2619 (Comm)

Onerous and unusual penalty clauses in telecoms contract. Cited in the current edition of Chitty on Contracts


Acted for successful applicant in Arbitration concerning right of way reserved as part of a development contract and obligation on respondent to construct a new road to an agreed specification. Arbitrator held respondent in breach and liable to pay applicant’s costs in full.

Acted for beneficiaries of family trust in claim for breach of trust against trustees (one of whom was an IFA). Dispute settled at Mediation.


Chancery Bar Association


Marlborough College, Bristol University (LLB)
Sir Thomas More Bursary

Prescribed Information

Mr Richard Selwyn Sharpe is a practising barrister, who is regulated by the Bar Standards Board. Details of information held by the BSB about  Mr Selwyn Sharpe can be found here.

Mr Selwyn Sharpe's clerks will happily provide no obligation quotations for all legal services that he provides. Their contact details can be found here. It is most common for Mr Selwyn Sharpe to undertake Court, Tribunal and Mediation services for a brief fee plus refresher days For any advisory work, paperwork and conferences it is most commonly charged at an hourly rate although fixed fees are available. Mr Selwyn Sharpe will typically return paperwork within 10-14 days, however professional commitments, complexity and volume of documentation can affect these approximate timescales.

Specialist Areas of Practice:

Business and Property Group

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