Project Description


Richard Martin

I head up our mental health work as well as leading on our advisory and dispute resolution work.

Before byrne·dean I spent 20 years as an employment lawyer in the city.  I trained and became a partner at London firm Gouldens before that firmed merged with Jones Day where I stayed for a few years post-merger.  Wanting to get into management, I joined London firm Speechly Bircham where I led the employment law team and served on the firm’s management committee.  Then things changed a bit!

In 2011 I experienced a pretty serious mental breakdown, which resulted in time in hospital and a lengthy recovery process.  While life shattering on pretty much every level, the experience forced me to think more about me and how I react and respond to the world, a greater curiosity perhaps.  That led me to look at other people in a different way, with that same curiosity, wanting to understand why people do what they do, and to help them to that understanding, both to support them in their work and wider lives, avoid and resolve conflict, but also to promote mental health and help people avoid the experiences I had.

I co-chair the steering committee of the Lord Mayor of London’s This is Me campaign which is all about using personal story telling to reduce the stigma around mental illness.  This was the catalyst for my publishing my first book, This too will pass – Anxiety in a Professional World, which came out in November 2018.

Joining byrne·dean in 2013 was a no brainer – it provided the platform for me to bring my various interests and passions together.  It also provided a safe space in which I could continue my recovery.

Outside of work, when not taxiing kids about, or watching them perform on stage or field, I am most likely to be cycling, cooking, or spending time in my haven in the Charente countryside in rural France.

Summary CV

  • St Catharine’s College, Cambridge (BA)
  • College of Law, York
  • Regent’s University London (SPCP) Foundation in Psychotherapy and Counselling.
  • Mental Health First Aid instructor
  • Meyler Cambell Mastered qualified coach
Career History
  • 1993 – 1995: Trainee, Gouldens
  • 1995 – 2002: Assistant solicitor, Gouldens
  • 2002 – 2006: Partner, Gouldens and then Jones Day
  • 2006 – 2013: Partner, Speechly Bircham
  • 2013: Joined byrne·dean