Corporate and Head of Food & Drink
Richard works within our Corporate Group, and is also Head of our Food & Drink Group. He’s widely known within the industry for his experience of successfully handling deals.
Richard enjoys the challenge of securing results for clients: “Every transaction will have unique aspects. That just reinforces my willingness and desire to get stuck in and solve them. I find those aspects the most rewarding.”
Richard believes in taking a commercial point of view and not arguing legal points for the sake of it. He focuses on achieving the results clients want with a minimum of fuss and taking a pragmatic, commercial approach rather than being solely focused on law.
This exemplifies Richard’s straight-talking style and calm, measured manner. He sees no point in excesses or frills, preferring to just get on with the job. It’s a good fit with the way Walker Morris works too. “I like the fact that we’re all together on a single site, close-knit and without layers of bureaucracy. We’re entrepreneurial: we can take decisions as a firm easily and quickly, with the flexibility to adapt to clients’ particular requests rather than being rigid or inflexible.”
Not one to fish for compliments, Richard believes that if you do your job well and clients appreciate it, that’s praise enough. Although slightly reticent when asked to list his strengths, he did say: “As a Partner, I’m willing and eager to get involved in the detail. I think careful drafting and attention to detail, making sure I’m available and providing conscientious care and service are what clients value.”
“Particularly with the food and drink part of my practice, taking a genuine interest in that industry helps me provide sound advice and gives more of a rounded nature to my interactions with clients and prospective clients. I’m happy for clients to be challenging and ask tough questions. It shows they put a value on our advice.”
While many of his clients are in food and drink, Richard is also engaged in national and international work in sectors such as software and tech, where there’s considerable interest from Europe and the US in UK-based businesses.
Why food and drink? One of the first deals Richard was involved in at Walker Morris was the disposal of four large food-related business by a publicly listed company, which piqued his interest.
“There’s a strong concentration of food and drink-related businesses along the M62 corridor. I have a close family connection with farming and unlike some sectors, you can physically experience your clients’ products and have a more intimate understanding of its production and the business challenges associated with it. People in the food and drink industry are straight-talking and straight-forward folk, which is an approach I also like to take.”
“He has a nice style: it’s very black and white, to the point and commercial. He is very good at narrowing an issue down to focus on the core bits and getting to a solution.”
“[Richard Naish] and his team are very responsive. They worked tirelessly to make sure we got things signed as quickly as possible. He’s very thorough and does a great job for us.”
“…always available, very responsive, able to advise on a number of legal areas and communicate timeframes and deliver on them.”
“He rolls his sleeves up and is highly motivated and technically competent. He’s good at bringing the commercial filter to his advice.”