Our People


Helen Swaffield

Helen Swaffield is a practising Barrister with over 25 years experience in Commercial and Public Law including commercial contracts and regulation, EU Law, international outsourcing and procurement, competition, franchising, supply and distribution and IPR. Helen appears in the High Court, Commercial Court and Technology and Construction Court as well as commercial arbitrations and adjudications. Helen has a French Law accreditation and has a diploma in EU Law from the University of Strasbourg. Having worked at both the EU Commission and the EU Court, She speaks French and reads Spanish.

Helen has drafted commercial, public and health sector contracts and has developed precedents and templates for industry use. She is regularly consulted to mitigate business risks and resolve claims and other disputes before litigation. Publications: Helen is the editor of and contributor to the Commercial Litigation Journal and the Procurement and Outsourcing Journal.

Recent court appearances include: application for a search and seisure order, a High Court dispute over rights to a football club, a government based outsourcing and procurement dispute and a professional negligence group litigation.

Helen has been instructed as an expert witness in a commercial contract dispute.

Richard Gray

Year of Call 1986

When instructed Richard Grays’ criminal practise has been centred upon cases where a company/tax background (two areas of his specialist areas) was a major consideration given the basis of the prosecution case brought against the clients upon whose behalf he was instructed.

An ability to quickly identify and deal incisively with the issues to be considered, met and counteracted is one that company/commercial clients have recognised. This ability has been effectively used at the investigative stage of a potential prosecutions preventing them from progressing, a feature that is a major concern for a business. Richards background recognises the opportunity cost and reputational damage to a business and its Directors that such investigations and prosecution through the courts brings, even in the event of an acquittal. Richards ethos is to work with you on an anytime anywhere basis, encouraging openness, building confidence and a realism that involves ‘grasping the nettle’ is a quality that his considerable experience brings.

Strategic planning is often necessary either to dispose of for example, a Police/HMRC enquiry in the early stages or, should a case be brought, to build a solid foundation upon which his clients defence is based. Richard will assist you and is on hand literally 24 hours a day; a necessity that high networth business clients need, demand and are entitled to.

In areas of disclosure, a recognised specialism of Richard is in the area of Public Interest Immunity (PII) where more than anything, his instinctive ‘feel’ for the existence of undisclosed sensitive material has allowed him to identify its importance and allow him to make successful ex parte application for its disclosure, which as a consequence, has prevented a number of serious cases from continuing against his clients.

In court, Richards cross-examination skills are widely recognised. A fearless advocate in his clients’ defence, Richards skill is to identify the unspoken word of an individual witness or tactically the underlying weakness of the prosecution case as a wole and open it up to scrutiny by the jury. This he does very effectively indeed. He has an ability to communicate the ‘hidden issues’ to his clients and in conference test the defence robustly. As one client said “When you see him in conference, Richard Gray gets you ‘match fit’ for what’s going to happen and stops you being left as a hostage to fortune. If there’s a chink’ in your armour he finds it but when you’re finished you have the confidence to deal with what’s ahead.”

A former member of the Parachute Regiment, Richard freefalls when the weather and work commitments allow, and he keeps fit enabling him to deal with the stresses his large practice brings.

Richard does not undertake publicly funded work.

Martin Langston

Martin is a specialist Chancery & Commercial practitioner with experience in complex and high value claims. Martin is a door tenant at CLC but has St Ives as a main practice address.

He has developed a busy and varied litigation practice routinely appearing at the Business & Property Courts throughout England and Wales.

Martin acts for individuals, businesses, lenders, insurers and local authorities at interlocutory applications, injunctions, trials, appeal and ADR.

Areas of expertise:

  • Property litigation
  • Contractual and commercial litigation
  • Partnership and business disputes
  • Technology and Construction
  • Company law and insolvency

Martin enjoyed a diverse career prior to the Bar including working as an expert software engineer and managing director of several companies including a housing management firm. He is often instructed in cases pre-issue and always looks to provide a cost-effective, pragmatic solution for the client.