Professor Rider was born in May 1952, and educated at Bexleyheath School, Kent. He took first class honours in Law at Queen Mary (1971-1973), where he was awarded the college prize for mooting. In the next three years of studying for his PhD, he was awarded the college prize for special merit and Draper's Company prize for merit. In 1975, he was elected to the IALS board of management.
In 1976, he was elected to a teaching fellowship at Jesus College, Cambridge, taking an MA, and in 1978 was awarded a PhD by the University of Cambridge. In 1977, he was called to the bar by Inner Temple having been first in order of merit in the Bar examinations.
Professor Rider assisted in the establishment of the CCLS within Queen Mary University and was its first Senior Research Fellow, establishing the Securities Regulation LLM course.
He established the Commonwealth Commercial Crime Unit and headed it as a senior official of the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1981-1989. He was appointed in 1983 to the freedom of the City of London and has served as Master of the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers.
In 1997, Professor Rider was awarded an Honorary LLD by Penn State University (Dickinson Law School) and another LLD by the University of the Free State in 2000. He holds a number of Honorary Chairs including at the University of the Free State and Remin University, China.
Professor Rider has founded a number of journals including the Company Lawyer and continues to serve on many as general editor.
Professor Rider has served as a consultant to many governmental agencies and is currently special consultant to the Islamic Financial Services Board. He has also practised in several international law firms.
He took over as full-time director of IALS in 1995, following Professor Daintith's secondment to SAS, also being made Professor of Law. Professor Rider established new publications and journals, and created the Society for Advanced Legal Studies and its journal, Amicus Curiae.