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Richard Meeran


Richard is head of the firm's international department

Richard Meeran joined Leigh Day in 1990 to work on the firm’s pioneering case against the Sellafield nuclear plant.

He was made a partner in 1991 and was instrumental in developing the firm’s ethos to make multinational corporations accountable for their exploitation of workers. After a four year stint with Slater and Gordon in Australia, Richard rejoined the Leigh Day partnership in 2008.

Legal expertise

Richard pioneered claims against UK based multinationals, Cape PLC for 7,500 South African asbestos and Thor Chemicals for South African workers poisoned by mercury. This included two landmark jurisdiction victories in the House of Lords, Connelly v RTZ Corporation Plc [1997] 3 WLR 373 and Lubbe & Others v Cape Plc 2000 1 WLR 1545.

He represented 31 Peruvian torture victims in case against Monterrico Metals plc, which was settled (without admission of liability) in July 2011. The obtaining of a worldwide freezing injunction for the claimants broke new ground, Tabra & Others v Monterrico Metals Plc [2009] EWHC 2475; [2010] EWHC 3228.

Between 2004 and September 2013, Richard worked with the South African Legal Resources Centre and Legal Aid South Africa on a series of 23 silicosis test cases against Anglo American South Africa by former South African gold miners. These cases were litigated in South Africa and were the subject of a confidential settlement. He is also acting, together with South African attorney, Zanele Mbuyisa, for more than 4000 South African gold miners in silicosis litigation against Anglo American South Africa in the UK and South Africa.

Richard Meeran is "tenacious, highly experienced and has a fantastic ability to present the issues with real clarity."

Chambers and partners 2017


Richard was the winner of the  Liberty/Justice “Human Rights Lawyer of the Year” award (2002).

Richard was awarded a Certificate for Outstanding Achievement by 18 asbestos victims’ support groups worldwide which was presented at the South African High Commission in 2002.  The representatives said:

“Representatives from international Asbestos Victims’ Groups and other specialists working with asbestos issues who met in London, on 17 April, 2002, hereby declare their admiration and respect for the individuals and groups which worked so hard to achieve compensation for South Africans injured by exposure to asbestos produced by the Cape Asbestos Co. Ltd.

“They wish to single out the outstanding efforts of Richard Meeran who pioneered this case. His single-minded commitment to his clients and determination to overcome all the legal hurdles was pivotal in obtaining justice for thousands of asbestos claimants. Furthermore, the victory of the Cape plaintiffs has put all multinational companies on notice: double standards of behaviour will no longer be tolerated. The export of discredited and dangerous technologies from the developed to the developing world must be stopped; as has been shown by the Cape case, legal avenues now exist to expose and punish such corporate misconduct.

“By signing this certificate, we hereby express our respect for Richard, his team at Leigh Day and all those who worked and campaigned for this landmark victory.”

Presentations and publications on business and human rights

Richard has presented extensively over the past 20 years, including:

At Leigh Day the international claims department represents the gold standard.

Legal 500 2021

Richard has more than 60 published articles including:

  • Tort litigation against multi-national corporations City University of Hong Kong Law Review Volume 3:1 Fall 2011 pp 1–41
  • Richard Meeran, ‘Access to remedy: The United Kingdom experience of MNC tort litigation for human rights violations’ in Surya Deva and David Bilchitz (eds.), Human Rights Obligations of Business: Beyond the Corporate Responsibility to Respect? (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 378-402


Richard is a member of the Drafting Team of The Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration. He is on the advisory board of Business and Human Rights Journal.


Event / Webinar / 11 February 2021
International Field Worker
Multinational corporations International Human Rights Litigation

Richard Meeran in Conversation with Joe Fiorante QC

Richard Meeran (Partner and Head of Leigh Day’s International Department) will be in conversation with Canadian lawyer, Joe Fiorante QC, regarding multinational human rights litigation in Canada, particularly including the recent high-profile cases of Nevsun, Tahoe Resources and Hudbay Minerals.

Case Study
Silicosis Settlement
International Corporate accountability Industrial disease Silicosis

Anglo American - Silicosis

In landmark cases pursued in South Africa, Leigh Day worked with South African lawyers for 4,388 former miners against Anglo American South Africa Ltd and AngloGold Ashanti

News Article
Malawi BAT farmers
Corporate accountability Multinational corporations Human rights abuses Unicef

Preventing corporate abuse and realising child rights

The need for new laws to require UK businesses to be sure their work does not breach human rights or damage the environment will be set out at a Unicef event next week.