Richard qualified in England and Wales in 1993. He is the global head of liability defence and is a member of the firm’s strategy board. Richard also leads Kennedys’ innovations group.

Richard is a director of Kennedys IQ, our new technology driven company, wholly owned by Kennedys, that provides innovative solutions for insurance companies and large corporates to help them manage claims efficiently.

He is regularly instructed on clients’ most important, valuable and sensitive matters.

Richard acts for insurers, third-party administrators, and brokers and corporates with large deductibles, defending motor and casualty claims. He has particular and extensive expertise in catastrophic injury claims including complex liability matters, reputationally sensitive incidents and brain and psychiatric injury.Before specialising in catastrophic injury cases, Richard gathered in-depth experience in all liability matters including employers’, public and property liability.

He has significant experience advising clients on indemnity and policy matters and substantial experience in settling cases involving Periodical Payment Orders.

Richard leads the liability division and Kennedys’ innovations group with his vision that lawyers should empower their clients to use their lawyers less frequently. He believes that Kennedys should enhance clients’ own skills in the early stages of personal injury litigation in order to ‘de-lawyer the law’.

Richard developed Kennedys' virtual lawyer online claims tool ‘KLAiM’, which won Legal Technology Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2016. He has spearheaded the firms’ Innovation Toolkit, which is revolutionising the way in which clients respond to claims. In December 2017, KLAiM also won Insurance Day’s award for Technology Initiative of the Year.

Richard is the lead author of Kennedys’ Claims Handling Law and Practice Guide, the fourth edition of which was published in February 2021, and is a regular presenter and trainer. He is a member of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL).

As part of his active role in the firms’ lobbying agenda, Richard chaired the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meeting in Westminster, focusing on Jackson reforms and authored Kennedys’ Ministry of Justice responses for whiplash, Jackson and portals.

Richard has met with Lord Justice Jackson and Lord Justice Briggs, as well as senior members of the Government Legal Department to demonstrate Kennedys’ innovative and award winning products that embody his division’s core principle of “helping clients to use all lawyers less”.

Richard also contributed to the Claims inflation and personal injury claims: a global review report, published in June 2023.

Works really hard at trying to understand what we need.

Qualifications and admissions

  • Qualified in England and Wales in 1993

Market recognition

  • Nominated by respondents for delivering outstanding service in the last 12 months
    The Gracechurch London Market Insurance Law Monitor 2023
  • Notable practitioner for 'Personal Injury: Mainly Defendant (UK-wide)'
    Chambers UK 2023
  • Notable practitioner for 'Insurance: volume claims (UK-wide)'
    Chambers UK 2023
  • Recommended lawyer for 'Personal injury: defendant (London)'
    "Richard West is a visionary partner".
    "Richard handles very high-value catastrophic personal injury claims. The results [he and the team] achieve for their clients are regularly exceptional due to the drive and care that they bring to every claim brought before them by their wide range of insurance clients".
    The Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Recommended lawyer for 'Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant (South East)'
    The Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Notable practitioner for 'Personal Injury: Mainly Defendant (UK-wide)'
    "Richard West has a really good reputation and is very proactive. He is good at building relationships with the claimant lawyer to work together and have open conversations."
    Chambers UK 2022
  • Recommended lawyer for 'Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant (South East)'
    The Legal 500 UK 2022
  • Notable Practitioner for ‘Personal injury: mainly defendant (UK-wide)’
    "A standout performer in the area of defending catastrophic personal injury claims, with excellent interpersonal skills."
    Chambers UK 2021
  • Recommended lawyer for 'Personal injury: defendant (South East)'
    “Richard West has almost 25 years of PI defendant experience and is immensely popular with insurers. He is dynamic and innovative which is reflected in his involvement in the new Kennedys online venture.”
    The Legal 500 UK 2021
  • Notable practitioner for 'Personal Injury: Mainly Defendant (UK-wide)'
    "Richard West regularly advises insurers in connection with catastrophic injury claims and motor insurance coverage disputes. He has handled many high-value claims in this area."
    Chambers UK 2020
  • Recommended Lawyer for 'Personal injury: defendant (South East)'
    "Richard West is a fine legal mind and an incomparable team leader; these characteristics make him one of the real standout individuals in the sector for insurance clients."
    The Legal 500 UK 2019/20
  • Commended for 'Innovation in the Business of Law: Strategy and changing behaviours' (FT Innovative Lawyers Europe 2019)
  • Notable practitioner for 'Personal Injury: Mainly Defendant (UK-wide)
    "He is my solicitor of choice on complex catastrophic injury claims,"
    "He has a superb legal mind but just as importantly understands the commercial aspects of dealing with high-value claims."
    Chambers UK 2019 
  • Leading Individual and Recommended Lawyer for 'Personal injury: defendant (South East)'
    "…'approachable' practice lead Richard West, who has 'outstanding legal knowledge and an excellent reputation in the market'."
    The Legal 500 UK 2018/19
  • Included in the The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom 2019 for Personal Injury Litigation (Chelmsford) 
  • Leading Individual for Personal Injury  
    Chambers UK 2017 & 2018

Work highlights

  • Managed a £12 million claim involving a child pedestrian who was struck by a car and severely brain damaged. The claim settled at £6 million.
  • Managed a £3 million plus claim for indemnity regarding unpaid costs under aged legal expenses contract. Successfully achieved early strikeout with costs recovered.
  • Acting for a motor insurer in a £7 million claim where an infant in a buggy was struck by the defendant's car whilst on a pedestrian crossing.
  • Acting on a foreign jurisdiction claim in excess of £40 million following death of high net worth individual in a road traffic accident.
  • Managed a claim for £3 million plus against a motor insurer. The claim was struck out completely with costs recovery.
  • Advised insurer signatories to the Serious Injury Guide, prior to commencement.