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Richard Sage

Call 2006

“Very hardworking and will dedicate himself to a case. He is always available to provide a guiding hand and his advice is invaluable.”
(Legal 500, 2021)

Product Liability

Richard has a busy and successful practice in the field of product liability law, complemented by his extensive knowledge of the law relating to construction, insurance and professional negligence. Richard has regularly appeared in the High Court and the Court of Appeal, frequently acting without a leader against QCs and other leading highly-ranked juniors.

Richard was led by Alexander Antelme QC, alongside David Myhill, in the ground-breaking metal-on-metal hips litigation (Gee v DePuy International [2018] EWHC 1208), and continues to act in relation to similar disputes in other jurisdictions.

Richard is regularly instructed on cases involving complex engineering evidence, reflecting his background in construction claims and his MSc in construction law. He is highly sought after in cases where expert scientific evidence is central to the claim.

Richard’s product liability practice is complemented by his considerable experience in property damage claims. He was junior counsel in one of the leading Court of Appeal decisions on proving causation in property damage claims (Milton Keynes BC v Nulty [2012] EWCA Civ 15). In 2021, Richard was junior counsel to one of the defendants in the Clandon Park litigation. This was one of the largest TCC claims in 2021, involving a nationally important stately home that was destroyed in a fire allegedly caused by a defective lift installation.

Richard has invaluable experience working as part of a wider team on substantial cases, group actions and in multi-party litigation arising out of defective products. For example, Richard has acted for insurers of multiple defendants facing hundreds of claims for installing allegedly defective cavity wall insulation in homes across the UK, with a substantial combined value. He has had extensive involvement representing the manufacturers of metal-on-metal hips in resisting a large volume of claims.

Richard’s practice also means he is very familiar with coverage disputes relating to product liability claims. He regularly advises on the scope of indemnity provisions, exclusions, warranties, and on issues such as misrepresentation and non-disclosure.

Richard is recommended in both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 for his product liability work. According to the latest edition of Legal 500, “Richard is very thorough, and quickly on top of the detail of a case, no matter how technical and complicated. He is efficient, responsive, very approachable and good with clients and experts” (2021). According to the latest edition of Chambers and Partners, “His attention to detail is very good and he always thinks through to the end game. He is thoroughly easy to deal with, very approachable and very good with clients” (2021); and “He is thorough, prompt and punctual. He’s approachable and clearly explains complex issues” (2021).

Selected Cases

  • Acted (led by Michael Spencer QC and Alex Antelme QC) for the successful Defendant in the landmark metal-on-metal hips litigation. Gee v DePuy International Ltd [2018] EWHC 1208 (QB); [2018] Med. L.R. 347
  • Acting (led by Ben Quiney QC) for contractors in fire in large stately home alleging failure of fire compartmentation caused by negligently designed and constructed lift shaft. Damages claimed in excess of £110m (TCC) (ongoing).
  • Acted in a fire claim arising out of alleged defects in the construction of an electric fan, and allegations of negligent design (TCC).
  • Acted (led by Alexander Antelme QC) the manufacturer in the claims concerning the ASR metal-on-metal hip implant.
  • Acted in for claimants in a product liability action (c.£500,000) arising out of claims for defective hair treatment products.
  • Acting for a major retailer in a TCC claim arising out of a fire in commercial property, allegedly caused by defects in a fridge.
  • Acting for supplier of taps and other bathroom fittings, in substantial claim arising out of escape of water in a higher education college.
  • Acting on behalf of residents of a block of flats in litigation arising out of a flood caused by defects in a domestic boiler (TCC).
  • Acting for supplier of commercial milking machines alleged to have caused increased levels of mastitis in dairy herds (QBD).
  • Acted for designer of parts of go-karts which led to serious fire in go-karting facility near Tower Bridge (TCC).
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Awards


  • Arbitration Club Phillip Ranner Prize
  • Kings College Construction Law Association Prize
  • Lord Mansfield Scholar (BVC), Lincoln’s Inn
  • Lord Haldane Scholar (CPE), Lincoln’s Inn

Articles


News


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Qualifications


  • BA History (First Class), Oxford University
  • CPE (Distinction), City University
  • BVC (Very Competent), BPP University
  • MSc Construction Law & Dispute Resolution (Distinction)

Memberships


  • Technology and Construction Court Bar Association (TECBAR)
  • Society of Construction Law
  • Adjudication Society
  • Young International Arbitration Group
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association (LCLCBA)

Recommendations


“He advises his clients with great skill and sensitivity and he’s an excellent team player and a brilliant advocate.”

Chambers & Partners, 2022

“Richard is a class act and very knowledgeable. His key strengths from an international perspective are his ability to work as part of a team and his excellent tactical acumen. His advice is clear, concise, and commercially-minded.”

Legal 500, 2022

“His attention to detail is very good and he always thinks through to the end game. He is thoroughly easy to deal with, very approachable and very good with clients.”

Chambers & Partners, 2022

“Richard’s technical expertise is first rate, but his true strength is his ability to communicate complex technical legal issues in a manner which is readily understandable by the lay clients.”

Legal 500, 2021

“A very responsive and thorough purveyor of sound, measured analysis. He is also very easy to deal with.”

Chambers & Partners, 2021

“Very hardworking and will dedicate himself to a case. He is always available to provide a guiding hand and his advice is invaluable.”

Legal 500, 2021

“His quiet confidence belies a sharp, keen mind and a steady, measured determination and focus that make him an incredibly reassuring and competent advocate to work with.”

Legal 500, 2021

“He is tactically astute, responds quickly and has excellent drafting skills.”

Legal 500, 2021

“He is exceptional and very highly regarded.”

Legal 500, 2020

“He is sharp and focused and has an unassuming brilliance.”

Legal 500, 2020

“He is very collaborative in his approach.”

Legal 500, 2020

“Extremely sensible and a really good, safe pair of hands.”

Chambers & Partners, 2020


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