Rob is a leading practitioner in commercial law. He advises and appears in a variety of disputes and across a wide range of industry sectors. He has particular expertise in cases involving allegations of fraud and is often called upon for his considerable experience as a trial advocate. He regularly appears in the High Court, as well as in various arbitral tribunals and the Court of Appeal.

Rob has a substantial offshore practice and has acted in various actions before the courts of the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. He was called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, BVI more than a decade ago. He now regularly appears in the BVI Commercial Court and in the ECSC Court of Appeal. 

Rob is also a Recorder of the Crown Court and sits on the Western Circuit.

The independent legal directories, Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, have for many years commended Rob as a leading advocate in the fields of commercial litigation, arbitration and civil fraud and have noted that he is "clearly going to be a total star, as he has immense gravitas in court" (Chambers and Partners 2019).

Rob is also ranked in Litigation as a “Future Leader” by Who’s Who Legal.

Although Rob’s practice is commercial in focus, throughout his career he has acted in leading cases in a number of other specialist areas, including sport, media and entertainment, employment and public inquiries: He appeared as junior counsel for the Ritz Hotel and the Paul Family in the Inquests into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed; acted for Sheffield United in the Carlos Tevez litigation; appears in arbitrations before the British Boxing Board of Control; and has acted in a number of disputes relating to fine art, involving collectors, dealers and auction houses.


Experience

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Commercial

Rob has an extensive commercial practice both in England and offshore. He has substantial advocacy and trial experience. He appeared in two of the most substantial Commercial Court fraud trials in the past three years: the PCP v. Barclays case (for the claimants, PCP) and Vale SA v. Steinmetz (leading for the second defendant).

He has significant expertise in civil fraud and asset recovery and the full range of injunctive relief associated with such cases.

He advises and acts across a range of industry sectors.  He is often instructed in disputes with a significant technical element,  in particular in the IT and pharmaceutical fields. He has also a niche interest in art litigation and has acted in various disputes relating to collectors, dealers and auction house over the years.

Rob has long been recommended by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading advocate in the field of commercial litigation and by Chambers Global in commercial dispute resolution.


Cases

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Civil Fraud, Asset Recovery & Injunctive Relief

Rob has acted in several of the most significant and high-profile fraud cases of recent years. These include the Madoff fraud (for the trustee of the estate of Bernard Madoff and BLMIS, as well as the liquidator of his English company); the AHAB -v- Maan Al-Sanea litigation in the Cayman Islands (for the principal defendant, Maan Al-Sanea); the Otkritie -v- Urumov claim (for the principal defendant, George Urumov as well as his wife, Yulia Balk); the PCP -v- Barclays action (for the claimants, PCP); and Vale S.A. -v- Steinmetz (leading for the second defendant).

Rob has extensive trial experience in fraud cases. He also has considerable experience seeking (and resisting) interlocutory relief in such cases: from freezing and search orders, to asset disclosure orders, Norwich Pharmacal orders, debarring orders and committal proceedings.

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Arbitration

Rob is an experienced advocate in arbitration, having acted over the years in arbitrations under the LCIA rules, ICC, LME and SIAC rules, as well as various ad hoc arbitrations. His experience includes appearing in what was said to be India’s largest ever domestic arbitration (with its seat in Mumbai) and the substantive hearing lasting for more than 70 days, and also appearing in  one of the highest profile and most important LCIA arbitration of recent years, if not the decade, in which the Government was ordered to pay £224m to Raytheon, a fact which was reported on the front pages of many national newspapers.

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Offshore

For several years, a significant part of Rob’s practice has been offshore. Having been called in the BVI for more than a decade, he  appears regularly in the Commercial Court and in the ECSC Court of Appeal. For the past five years, he has acted in the Emmerson litigation in the BVI Commercial Court, which is arguably the most substantial and complex case ever to have been brought in the jurisdiction. He has appeared in the ECSC Court of Appeal as well as the Privy Council in respect of that case, in addition to many hearings at first instance. In previous years, Rob has also acted in very substantial proceedings in Cayman and in Nassau.

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Sport

Rob has advised and acted in commercial and regulatory disputes arising out of a number of different sports, including football, Formula 1, boxing and MMA.

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Achievements

Education

MA (Cantab), First Class; LLM (NYU) (Fulbright scholar); Astbury scholar (Middle Temple)

Publications

  • Author of chapter on enforcement of judgments in Ouderk & Rogers, ‘International Employment Disputes’ (Sweet & Maxwell, 2019).
  • Co-author of ‘Restrictions in Non-Employment Contracts’ and ‘Practice and Procedure’ in three editions of Employee Competition: Covenants, Confidentiality, and Garden Leave, Paul Goulding QC (ed.) (OUP, 1st ed, 2007; 2nd ed, 2011; 3rd ed, 2016).
  • Author of ‘Public Funding’ in Administrative Court: Practice and Procedure, Beverley Lang QC (ed.) (Sweet & Maxwell, 2006).
  • Focus on Article 2, ECHR [2005] J.R. 19 – 26.
  • Vicarious Liability for Violent Employees [2004] 64 C.L.J. 53 – 64.
  • Risk Analysis as an Alternative to Factual Causation in Fairchild [2003] 12 Nottingham Law Journal 18 – 33.
  • Book Review [2003] 52 I.C.L.Q. 1073 – 1074.
  • Challenging the Biotechnology Directive: A Letter from America [2003] 14 European Business Law Review 325 – 350.

Membership of professional associations

  • ALBA
  • COMBAR

Selected earlier cases

Commercial

  • Bloomsbury International v Sea Fish Industry Authority & DEFRA [2009] EWHC 1721 (QB), [2010] 1 CMLR 12; Court of Appeal [2010] EWCA Civ 263, [2010] 1 WLR 2117, [2010] 3 All ER 126; Supreme Court [2011] UKSC 25, [2011] 1 WLR 1546
  • Spring Finance Ltd v HS Real Company LLC (Commercial Court, 2011 - 2012) 
  • Izodia Plc v Vandyk & ors (Chancery Division, 2010 - 2011)
  • Credit Suisse Trust Ltd v Ansbacher & Co Ltd (Comm Court, 2009 - 2010)
  • Citco Global Custody N.V. v Y2K Finance Inc. (BVI: High Court & Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, 2008 - 2010)
  • Mulhall v Yorkshire Bank Finance (Court of Appeal, [2008] EWCA Civ 1156, [2009] 2 All ER (Comm) 164)

Civil Fraud, Asset Recovery & Injunctive Relief

  • Serious Organised Crime Agency v Gale & Ors [2009] EWHC 1015 (QB); Court of Appeal [2010] EWCA Civ 759, [2010] 1 WLR 2881; Supreme Court [2011] UKSC 49, [2011] 1 WLR 2760
  • Merlin Mineral Resources (& anor) v Kermas Ltd (BVI, 2010)
  • Aspect Capital v Christensen (Chancery, 2010) 
  • Russian Commercial Bank (Cyprus) Ltd v Khoroshilov (Commercial Court, 2009)
  • Weavering Capital (UK) Ltd.  & Ors (Chancery Division, 2009) 
  • Reid Minty  & anor  v Edwards & Prolegal Limited & Capita Group Plc. (and ors) [2008] EWHC 2722 (Ch) 
  • OTL & W v P [2006] EWHC 1226 (Ch), [2006] Ch 549, [2006] 3 WLR 273
  • Aegis Defence Services Ltd v Stoner [2006] EWHC 1515 (Ch) 
  • Central Bank of Ecuador (and ors) v Ansbacher (Bahamas) Ltd (and ors) (Bahamas, 2005 -2008)

Employment

  • Fish & Ors v Dresdner Kleinwort Ltd [2009] EWHC 2246 (QB), [2009] IRLR 1035 
  • Optaglio v Zolutukhin (QB, 2009) 

Other relevant experience

Rob has conducted exhibition debates and public speaking and advocacy seminars around the world. In 2002, he was one half of the team that won the World Debating Championship on behalf of NYU Law. 

In 2002 and 2003, Rob lectured in Public Law and Jurisprudence at Brunel University and tutored Public Law at University College London.

Between 2002 and 2004, he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (‘BIICL’). 

Rob was Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel) between 2008 and 2013.

In November 2012, Rob was recognised by Legal Week as one of its Stars of the junior Commercial and Chancery Bar.

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