Richard Jacobs studied law at Pembroke College, Cambridge, gaining a first class degree in 1978. He was called to the Bar in 1979 and practised throughout his career at Essex Court Chambers (formerly 4 Essex Court), where he was co-Head of Chambers between 2013-2017. His practice was focused on commercial litigation (particularly in the Commercial Court) and commercial arbitration, where he acted both as counsel and arbitrator in a wide variety of commercial disputes. He is the co-author of Liability Insurance in International Arbitration: the Bermuda Form. This treatise, dealing a widely-used commercial insurance policy, covers areas of legal practice in which he specialised: insurance law, conflicts of laws and international arbitration.
He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1998, and sat as a Recorder in criminal cases in the Crown Court between 2003 and 2018. He served as chair of Bar disciplinary committees between 2012 and 2018. He was appointed a deputy High Court judge in 2017 and a High Court judge in 2018.