Robert Howe joined Blackstone Chambers in 1990. He is recognised by both of the leading independent legal directories as a leading silk in a number of practice areas, including commercial litigation, civil fraud and asset recovery, intellectual property, sport, and employment law.

Robert has extensive experience across a broad range of commercial litigation, both advisory and at trial. He has appeared frequently in all divisions of the High Court, in commercial arbitrations, and at appellate level in large and complex disputes.   For the past few years he has been instructed for the claimants in the long-running Kazakhstan Kagazy fraud litigation, which successfully concluded in February 2018 with a $300 million judgment for the claimants, after a lengthy Commercial Court trial.

Robert is a leader in the field of media & entertainment and intellectual property.  He is regularly instructed by major publishers and record companies, well-known artists and entertainers, and the collecting societies.  He has appeared in a number of the leading cases in this area, including Pink Floyd v EMI (exploitation of digital singles), Copyright Licensing Agency v Meltwater News (digital rights in an online news service), and English Cricket Board v Tixdax Ltd (the fair dealing defence).

 "He gets to the heart of the matter, has the attention of the court, and can devastate opponents with his advocacy."  (Chambers UK 2018)

 “A really good advocate. An exceedingly able, quick worker who gets to the heart of any matter. He is tremendous.”  (Chambers UK 2018)

“He has frightening intelligence.”  (Chambers UK 2018)

"An exceptionally bright and incisive mind. He is a reassuring presence on big-ticket cases and a skilful advocate."  (Chambers UK 2018)

"A fantastic advocate" (Legal 500 2018)

"He is the first choice for any complex rights-related claims and is utterly dedicated to the client's cause" (Legal 500 2018)

"Fearsomely bright and brilliant on his feet in Court" (Chambers UK, 2017)

"Absolutely first class from start to finish" (Legal 500, 2016)

"His advocacy and cross-examination are a master-class" (Legal 500, 2016)

"Excellent on his feet, unflappable, and someone who always knows every detail of the case"  (Chambers UK, 2016)

Experience

Shortlist

Commercial

Robert appears regularly in all divisions of the High Court in complex commercial disputes, and in commercial arbitrations.  He has extensive advocacy and trial experience, including in lengthy witness actions.  He is also frequently instructed in the appellate courts.

He has particular expertise in civil fraud and asset recovery, and complex issues of private international law and jurisdiction, having appeared in a number of the leading cases in this field, such as Kuwait Oil Tanker Corporation v Al Bader  [2000] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 271 (CA), Memory v Sidhu (No 1) [2000] 1 W.L.R. 1443 (CA), Donohue v Armco. [2001] 1 Ll Rep 425 (Comm) (HL) and In the Matter of Bloomsbury International (in Administration) [2010] EWHC 1150 (Ch).

Cases

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Civil Fraud, Asset Recovery & Injunctive Relief

Robert appears regularly in all divisions of the High Court in complex commercial disputes, and in commercial arbitrations.  He has extensive advocacy and trial experience, including in lengthy witness actions.  He is also frequently instructed in the appellate courts.

He has particular expertise in civil fraud and asset recovery, and complex issues of private international law and jurisdiction, having appeared in a number of the leading cases in this field, such as Kuwait Oil Tanker Corporation v Al Bader  [2000] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 271 (CA), Memory v Sidhu (No 1) [2000] 1 W.L.R. 1443 (CA), Donohue v Armco. [2001] 1 Ll Rep 425 (Comm) (HL) and In the Matter of Bloomsbury International (in Administration) [2010] EWHC 1150 (Ch).

Cases

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Arbitration

Robert is frequently instructed in a wide range of commercial arbitrations, including applications for ancillary relief in the Commercial Court. He is also on the PPL Panel of Arbitrators.

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Media & Entertainment

Robert is recognised as a leading silk in this field.  He has acted in many matters in this area (involving both contract and intellectual property issues).  Has acted for all the major record companies, a number of collecting societies (MCPS, PRS, PPL, NLA, CLA), many major media organisations (including e.g. Times Newspapers, News Group Newspapers and Really Useful Group), and many well-known groups and artists (such as  Pink Floyd, U2, Phil Collins, Paul Weller, Morrissey, Johnny Marr and the Spice Girls).

He is also frequently instructed, for applicants and collecting societies, in a number of Copyright Tribunal references, including the recent landmark Online Tribunal reference (which set terms for the digital and mobile exploitation of musical works).

Cases

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Banking

Robert has acted and advised in a number of financial services/regulatory disputes, including those below.

Cases

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Financial Services

Robert has acted and advised in a number of financial services/regulatory disputes, including those below.

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Employment

Robert Howe is frequently instructed in High Court employment proceedings, including actions to enforce restrictive covenants, and large claims for wrongful dismissal.

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Sport

Robert has advised, and acted for, sporting bodies, clubs and players in disciplinary, arbitration and court proceedings, especially concerning sporting and media rights.

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EU & Competition

Robert has a strong background in economics and mathematics, and studied Competition Law at postgraduate level at Oxford.  He is regularly instructed in references to the Copyright Tribunal, which is the body concerned with competition issues arising from the activities of music licensing bodies, including the recent Online Licensing dispute and the PPL Shops, Restaurants & Pubs etc tariffs Reference (see above).

Achievements

Publications

Robert is a contributor to “Employee Competition: Covenants, Confidentiality and Garden Leave” (OUP 2007).  He is co-author of the chapter on Confidentiality and Database Rights.

Appointments

  • Member of the standing panel of arbitrators for the Phonographic Performance Ltd arbitration scheme.
  • Member of Harbour Litigation Fund Advisory Committee.

Memberships

  • COMBAR, COMBAR Executive Committee member 2009-2013, and Secretary of COMBAR 2010-2013
  • CFLA
  • FSLA
  • ELA
  • LCIA
  • BASL

Selected earlier reported cases

Commercial

  • Gordon Ramsay Holdings v Hutcheson [2011] Ch. (December 2011)
  • Connolley v Turks & Caicos Unit Trust Company (Supreme Court, Turks & Caicos Islands) (2011)
  • Pink Floyd Music v EMI [2010] EWCA Civ 1429; [2011] 1 W.L.R. 770; Times, December 21, 2010 (Court of Appeal)
  • RGI International Ltd v Synergy Classic Ltd [2011] EWHC 3166 (Comm)
  • Meat Corp of Namibia Ltd v Dawn Meats (UK) Ltd [2011] EWHC 474 (Ch)
  • Goldenfry Foods Ltd v Austin et al [2011] EWHC 137 (QB)
  • Aspect Capital Ltd v Christensen [2010] EWHC 744 (Ch)
  • CDV Software Entertainment AG v Gamecock Media Ltd et al. [2009] EWHC 2965 (Ch); [2010] EWHC 159 (Ch)
  • Belair LLC v Basel LLC Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court), [2009] EWHC 725 (Comm)
  • Novus Aviation Ltd v Onur Air Tasimacilik AS Court of Appeal, (Civil Division) [2009] EWCA Civ 122; [2009] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 576
  • Galliford Try Infrastructure Ltd (formerly (A) Morrison Construction Ltd & (B) Morrison Construction Services Ltd) v Mott MacDonald Ltd [2008] EWHC 1570 (TCC); [2008] C.I.L.L. 2612
  • C v D [2007] EWHC 1541 (Comm); [2007] 2 All E.R. 557 (Comm); [2007] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 367
  • Cambridge Gas Transport Corporation v Navigator Holdings Ltd [2006] UKPC 26 (Privy Council), [2007] 1 AC 508
  • Walanpatrias v AMP [2006] EWHC 3034 (Comm)
  • Vertex Data Science Ltd v Powergen Retail Ltd [2006] EWHC 1340
  • Rachmaninoff v Sotheby’s EWHC [2005] 258
  • DSM Anti-infectives v GlaxoSmithKline Plc & Others [2004] EWCA Civ 1199 (CA)
  • Travelers Casualty & Surety Co Of Europe Ltd & 6 Ors V (1) Sun Life Assurance Co Of Canada (Uk) Ltd (2) Sun Life Financial Services Of Canada Inc [2004] EWHC 1704 (Comm) (jurisdiction ruling); [2006] EWHC 2716 (Comm) (final judgment)

Arbitration

  • Arbitration between global consumer products company and large Ukrainian consumer group (LCIA Arbitration, 2011).
  • Arbitration between Georgian companies concerning the former Presidential palace in Tblisi, Georgia (UNCITRAL arbitration, and related proceedings in the Commercial Court, 2009-10).
  • PRS v Bermuda Cablevision (Bermuda arbitration, 2007)  
  • Distributor Co v Sportwear Co (LCIA Arbitration, 2007) 
  • A satellite services company v A State (ICC Arbitration, 2006-7) 

Media & Entertainment

  • Pink Floyd Music v EMI [2010] EWCA Civ 1429; [2011] 1 W.L.R. 770; Times, December 21, 2010 (Court of Appeal)
  • Allen v Bloomsbury Publishing et al [2010] EWHC 2560 (Ch)
  • New PPL Schemes for Pubs, Restaurants, Bars and Offices (Copyright Tribunal, 18 September 2009), PPL v British Hospitality Association et al [2010] EWHC 209 (Ch).
  • JML Direct Ltd v Freesat UK Ltd Chancery Division, 26 March 2009, [2009] EWHC 616 (Ch), [2010] EWCA Civ 34 (CA)
  • British Phonographic Institute v MCPS and PRS (Copyright Tribunal (2007) 30(9) I.P.D. 30059) 
  • PRS v Bermuda Cablevision (Bermuda arbitration, 2007)

Financial Services & Banking

  • Mulhall v Yorkshire Bank [2008] EWCA Civ 1156; [2008] 43 E.G. 195 (CA)
  • ING (UK) Limited v Harwood [2008] EWCA Civ 786 (CA)
  • C v D [2007] EWHC 1541 (Comm); [2007] 2 All E.R. 557 (Comm); [2007] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 367 
  • Rumsey v European Credit Management Ltd et al [2006] Ch. D. 
  • Travelers Casualty & Surety Co Of Europe Ltd & 6 Ors V (1) Sun Life Assurance Co Of Canada (UK) Ltd (2) Sun Life Financial Services Of Canada Inc [2004] EWHC 1704 (Comm) (jurisdiction ruling); [2006] EWHC 2716 (Comm) (final judgment)

Employment

  • London Borough of Southwark v Brixton Tipping Ltd [2011] EWHC 685 (QB)
  • Tradition Financial Services Ltd v GFI, Queen’s Bench, 2010-2011 
  • Goldenfry Foods Ltd v Austin et al [2011] EWHC 137 (QB)
  • Aspect Capital Ltd v Christensen [2010] EWHC 744 (Ch)
  • Acted for the technical director of a Formula One team in a restrictive covenant/garden leave dispute with former employer.
  • Instructed for FTSE company in claim against former employees to obtain springboard relief and enforce restrictive covenants.
  • Instructed for food products company in claim for breaches of confidence and covenants, and theft/misuse of trade secrets.

VAT registration number: 524278348

Clerks

Staff