An advocate and legal scholar of over 50 years’ experience, Richard Mawrey QC has been in practice at Henderson Chambers since 1965 and undertakes a very wide range of work at the highest levels. Major areas of practice include commercial law, financial services, credit and leasing, the law relating to computers and local authority law (particularly advisory and drafting). Mawrey is the author or specialist editor of several leading practitioner’s textbooks and has some 35 years judicial and arbitral experience. Rated as a leading silk in consumer law, IT law and local government by Chambers, the Legal 500 and Legal Experts.
Mawrey came to public notice in 2005 as the Commissioner presiding over the Election court which ruled that the 2004 elections in two Birmingham City Council wards, Aston and Bordesley Green, had been invalid due to extensive electoral fraud through the manipulation of postal ballots. He found six Labour councillors personally guilty of corrupt practices, although one was cleared on appeal. He also severely criticised the whole postal vote system, saying, of a Government statement that "the systems already in place to deal with the allegations of electoral fraud are clearly working", that "anybody who has sat through the case I have just tried and listened to evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic would find this statement surprising."
Other recent cases in which Mawrey has sat as Commissioner in election cases include a petition against the result for the Central ward of Slough Borough Council held on 3 May 2007. In that case he said "I have been appalled ... by the ease with which these substantial frauds were committed", and went on to say that "despite the 2006 [Electoral Administration] Act, the opportunities for easy and effective electoral fraud remain substantially as they were on 4th April 2005."
Mawrey's most recent Election Petition judgement was in Erlam & Ors v Rahman & Anor when he removed from public office, with immediate effect, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets elected mayor Lutfur Rahman and an elected serving councillor Alibor Choudhury. Both men were members of the subsequently de-registered Tower Hamlets First political party.
In addition to presiding over legal cases, he has advocated electoral law reform, but his arguments have been criticised by some academics such as Toby James.