Richard Bell

Richard Bell

Barrister at Law
Accredited Arbitrator
Accredited Mediator

Equity and Probate and Family Provision
Matrimonial litigation
Commercial and land law claims
Admission to NSW Bar: 1981

Arbitration and Mediation

Regular mediation in diverse areas including family provision, probate and other family disputes, commercial, family partnership and defacto and building disputes. Richard has frequently acted as Counsel for parties in mediations and prepared many papers for the Bar Association and lawyers on the conduct of mediations. He is a current member of the Bar Council’s Mediation Committee and current NSW Supreme Court panel mediator.


Since 1981 Richard has appeared in a wide range of cases at trial, including jury trials, appellate hearings including the High Court of Australia, NSW Court of Appeal and Supreme Court (Equity and Common Law divisions), Full Federal Court, Federal Court, Family Court of Australia at trial and appeal, District Court, Dust Diseases Tribunal and the Court of Disputed Returns.

Amongst those cases include

High Court

Appearances in special leave applications including matrimonial matters (Su v Chang (2002) 29 Fam LR 406 covering disclosure obligations; and Mackay concerning superannuation) and common law applications.

Family court

Counsel in Su v Chang at first instance, appeal and the special leave application. Su v Chang is a leading authority concerning obligations of full disclosure and the appropriate approach to trials involving this issue.

Counsel in Webster in an appeal which concerned the appropriate treatment of trusts and other corporate entities.

Chorn v Hopkins (2004) FLC 93-204. This appeal concerned

Other family cases are not identified for privacy reasons but are available.

Court of Appeal

Townsend v Townsend [2006] NSWCA 352 concerned the appropriate approach to defacto claims in involving private corporations and tax issues.

Hayes v Jones (analysis of defacto claims).

Court of Disputed Returns

In the matter of the election of a member of the Legislative Assembly for the electoral district of Maitland at the election held on 25 May 1991Supreme Court of NSW Court of Disputed Returns, 11 December 1991. The case concerned 4 marginal electorates being more than the government’s majority at the time and the proper treatment of ballot papers.


Many Family Provision or Commercial disputes

Copyright, Strata Management

Southern Cross Hotels Group v Owners Strata Plan [2007] NSWSC 939 (strata management plan access rights)


Bankruptcy, Winding up, Preference claim matters

Conducting examinations and advising and appearing for corporate directors.


Acting for customers or banks over mortgage or security arrangements or review of contractual arrangements such as Trade Practices Act or Contracts Review Act litigation and advice.

Professional negligence

Advising or appearing in actions involving valuers, doctors, solicitors and advisors

Family Provision and Estates

Representing parties in Family Provision Act litigation or Probate cases concerning testamentary capacity, undue influence, construction of wills etc.


Issues concerning estoppel, agency, partnership


NSW Bar Association

Director of Australasian Disputes Centre for Bar Council of NSW

Member NSW Bar Association Mediation Committee

Current panel Mediator for Supreme Court of NSW

Current member and Director 16th Floor Wardell Chambers, Sydney

Former member of Bar Council Family Law Committee

Formerly District Court Arbitrator

Former Bar Council representative on the District Court Civil Users Committee

Previous occupation or roles

Litigation solicitor


Frequent CLE papers to Bar Association, College of Law, Australian Advocacy Institute and professional bodies on mediation, equity and matrimonial litigation, advocacy and cross-examination. Occasional author Bar News and NSW Law Society Journal.


Presenter 2NSBFM (FM 99.3) Community Radio program

Mock Trial coach