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Gowling WLG

Work 0370 903 1000
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Birmingham, Brussels, Calgary, Dubai, Guangzhou, Hamilton and 13 more

Richard Smith

Work +44 (0)121 393 0638
Gowling WLG




Before retraining as a lawyer, Richard Smith worked as a management consultant with PwC's Management Consultancy Services division, specialising in the project management of complex IT and business change projects, including IT services and business process outsourcing and ERP solutions, such as Oracle and SAP. During his time at PwC, Richard completed PwC's SAP training academy for the Materials Management (MM) and Sales & Distribution (SD) modules.

Richard has insider knowledge of managing and delivering large IT projects and combines his legal and management consultancy expertise for the benefit of his clients, helping them to "spot the traps", identify and understand the key legal and technical issues and develop appropriate solutions to resolve them.

To complement his legal and IT skills and experience, Richard brings real depth and understanding of the aviation, financial services, retail and technology sectors.

In terms of aviation, Richard has advised a number of international airlines, including Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle and a number of other Asian airlines on the complex multi-jurisdictional projects for outsourcing of their passenger services system (PSS) solutions to the likes of Amadeus, HP, Sabre and SITA. Our well-established aviation practice provides great opportunities to work. Richard and his team recently advised on a major international carrier on one of industry's largest outsourcing projects for the provision of PSS solutions and related services and a leading Chinese carrier on a similar project. Richard regularly speaks at T2RL's and Flightglobal's annual PSS conference.

Richard works closely with Chris Hunt and leads our retail work, advising retailers such as Argos on their strategic collaboration with eBay for the provision of the ground-breaking fulfilment marketplace network.

A professional highlight is being appointed to the role of director in 2013.


  • Airlines, including Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle
  • International financial institutions, including Citigroup
  • UK and global retailers, including Home Retail Group


Richard has extensive knowledge and experience of outsourcing and complex commercial and technology transactions. He advises both customers and vendors on a wide range of business critical projects, including software development and licensing agreements (such as enterprise-wide resource planning (ERP) applications with the likes of Oracle and SAP), systems implementation and integration agreements using a resourcing models, IT and business process outsourcing agreements and Cloud computing (including IaaS, SaaS and PaaS).

  • Advising Chalhoub Group on systems integrator agreement with Accenture for the international implementation and roll-out of Oracle ERP software and subsequent support and maintenance agreement.
  • Working with Argos on its strategically important pilot agreement with eBay for the establishment and delivery of a new "fulfilment marketplace" network, giving customers the option to buy goods from a selection of eBay retailers and opting to have them delivered to one of Argos's nominated stores.
  • Advising A.S. Watson on the contractual arrangements with a number of suppliers engaged in the introduction and on-going administration of their successful Superdrug and Perfume Shop loyalty card schemes.
  • Helping a major international carrier based in Asia to develop and negotiate its contract for one of industry's largest outsourcing projects for the provision of passenger services solutions. The c...


    English, Spanish, German

    West Midlands


    Within: Transport

    Under the leadership of Giles Clifford and Clark Sargent, Gowling WLG’s transport team services client such as Transport for London, CRRC and Goodman. Sargent leads the aviation sub-team. Other key transport figures include senior associate James Barr. Recent highlights include advising Barnet Council on the closure of existing rail freight facilities and the delivery of new facilities as part of the Brent Cross Cricklewood rejuvenation project, and on the aviation side, a team led by Sally Mewies and supported by director Richard Smith acted for an international airline in connection with the outsourcing of its passenger services system requirements to a global provider. Dispute resolution expert Helen Davenport was also part of the team handling this matter, and acted alongside Anna Fletcher for a railway manufacturing client on key pension and employment issues. Also recommended are Richard Lee, who heads the firm’s HR solutions team, and construction specialist Richard Green, who has experience in the development of new stations.

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    West Midlands: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

    IT and telecoms

    Within: Next generation lawyers

    Richard Smith - Gowling WLG

    Within: IT and telecoms

    The ‘extremely astute, very commercial and hardworkingSally Mewies heads Gowling WLG’s IT and telecoms practice in Birmingham and ‘runs a very tight ship’. She is supported by commercial litigation partner Patrick Charles Arben and Sarah Sasse, who specialises in public-sector IT work, including integration and service outsourcing agreements. Recent highlights included advising a major high-street retailer on the regulatory landscape and commercial aspects of the client’s plan to offer deferred interest-free payment terms to customers purchasing products online; and assisted the University of Leeds with procurement matters. Sasse and director Richard Smith acted on that deal, while Mewies assisted a corporate consultancy client with regards to a cloud agreement with a leading healthcare provider, which involved complex issues of security and data protection. Other key names include dispute resolution specialist Helen Davenport, who specialises in representing technology purchasers and suppliers in conflicts arising from contracts for the design, build and implementation of IT systems and services. Peter Hall recently retired from the practice and director Kirsten Whitfield joined Fieldfisher in London. Other clients include M&S, Capgemini and Hiscox.

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