Richard Whittam KC appointed as Rugby Football Union’s new Independent Head of Judiciary


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Richard Whittam KC has been appointed as the Rugby Football Union’s new Independent Head of Judiciary.  He will assume the role vacated by Philip Evans KC, who is stepping down at the end at the end of his second term after six years in the role.

This post was created in 2013 to ensure independence of the judicial function. Richard will be responsible for leading the independent judiciary which decides the outcome of on- and off-field disciplinary cases throughout the game in England.

Richard has been a member of the RFU’s independent judiciary since 2014, and has chaired panels in numerous high profile rugby matters, and acts as Judicial Officer for World Rugby and EPCR.

He has been appointed for an initial term of three years until the end of the 2025/26 season. He will continue to practice from Matrix Chambers during that time.

Angus Bujalski, Executive Director of Legal and Governance said:

“We look forward to welcoming Richard to this role and continuing his work within the rugby judiciary.  The RFU’s disciplinary system has set standards in sport, and the game benefits from a large number of exceptional people who give up their time to hear cases from the very top of the professional game down to the grass roots.  The breadth of Richard’s experience will be very important in building on the foundations laid by Philip Evans and Sir James Dingemans as the previous Independent Heads of Judiciary.  It is important that we do not stand still and ensure that the process is fit for the future, and Richard will play a vital role in continuing to develop and improve the disciplinary system in England.”

Richard Whittam KC said:

“I am delighted to have been appointed as the next Head of the Independent Rugby Judiciary at the RFU. Discipline is an essential element in the regulation of all sports.  In rugby it helps to protect players’ physical and mental well-being from physical injury and verbal insult, and to maintain rugby’s core values.  It is important that the process is transparent and the decisions reached are well understood. I look forward to working even more closely with the dedicated RFU discipline team to further those objectives.”