Introduction

Receiving praise for his “thoughtful, measured approach and impressive advocacy style” (Chambers UK 2018), Rob specialises in commercial litigation. He appears regularly in the High Court, often against significantly more senior opponents. He is an experienced trial advocate and cross-examiner.

Rob has a varied commercial and contract law practice. Rob has particular expertise in company and boardroom disputes. Solicitors instruct him regularly in unfair prejudice petitions, and disputes about directors’ duties, restrictive covenants and confidential information.

Rob’s recent cases include high-value unfair prejudice petitions, multi-million pound misfeasance claims and a challenge to a £21m proof of debt.

Insolvency cases make up a substantial proportion of Rob’s work.

Recent Cases:

  • A high value unfair prejudice petition and defending a £35m cross-claim (led by John Randall QC).
  • A High Court claim about who owned a company. Anticipated to last 11 days, the trial settled after Rob cross-examined the claimants’ witnesses over five days. (sole counsel)
  • A £5m misfeasance claim.
  • A £2m claim under a share sale and purchase agreement. (led by Ed Pepperall QC)
  • A substantial good leaver/bad leaver dispute (sole counsel) and defending a related claim to enforce an alleged £4m share purchase agreement (led by John Randall QC)
  • An application to prevent majority shareholders amending a company’s articles to a departing executive’s detriment. (sole counsel)
  • A claim to set aside an expert determination for lack of independence (led by Lawrence Cohen QC)
  • A substantial dispute between a departing LLP member and an accountancy firm. (sole counsel)
  • A £800k cross-border restrictive covenants claim. (led by Ed Pepperall QC)
  • A £300k restrictive covenants claim. (sole counsel)
  • Numerous applications for interim relief, including freezing orders.

Commercial Fraud & Asset Tracing

Described as “ferociously intelligent” (Legal 500 2019), Rob specialises in commercial litigation. He appears regularly in the High Court, often against significantly more senior opponents. He is an experienced trial advocate and cross-examiner.

Rob has a varied commercial and company law practice. His recent cases include defending directors in a substantial deceit claim brought by an investor, several unfair prejudice petitions, a £5m misfeasance claim, a £2m claim under a sale and purchase agreement and a claim about the ownership of a company (whose trial was listed for 11 days but which settled after Rob cross-examined the claimants’ witnesses).

Due to his overlapping experience in employment and company law, Rob is particularly suited to act in cases of fraud or alleged fraud perpetrated by employees. He has acted in several claims brought by employers against employees to recover the proceeds of fraud and theft.

Recent Cases:

  • Defending the directors of a property development company from a £700k+ deceit claim brought by an investor.
  • A £1m+ claim against directors for drawing unlawful dividends.
  • Defending directors from a £1m+ breach of duty claim.
  • A High Court claim about who owned a company, involving allegations of fraud. Anticipated to last 11 days, the trial settled after Rob cross-examined the claimants’ witnesses over five days. (sole counsel)
  • A £2m claim under a share sale and purchase agreement, involving allegations of fraud. (led by Ed Pepperall QC)
  • Advising an insolvency practitioner where a company was the victim of frauds committed by many employees
  • An application to prevent majority shareholders amending a company’s articles to a departing executive’s detriment. (sole counsel)
  • A claim to set aside an expert determination for lack of independence (led by Lawrence Cohen QC)
  • A substantial dispute between a departing LLP member and an accountancy firm. (sole counsel)
  • Advising the victims of chequebook and email frauds (sole counsel)
  • Numerous applications for interim relief, including freezing orders.
  • Applications for committal.

Company & Partnership

Described as “very academically gifted company counsel” (Chambers UK 2019), Rob specialises in commercial litigation. He appears regularly in the High Court, often against significantly more senior opponents. He is an experienced trial advocate and cross-examiner.

Rob has particular expertise in company disputes. Solicitors instruct him regularly in unfair prejudice petitions and disputes about directors’ duties. His recent cases include high-value unfair prejudice petitions, misfeasance claims and claims under shareholder and share-purchase agreements.

Rob’s employment law experience is often useful in unfair prejudice petitions and disputes about whether a departing shareholding is a good or bad leaver under the company’s articles.

Recent Cases:

  • A high value unfair-prejudice petition brought by a pharmacist and defending a £35m cross-claim (led by John Randall QC).
  • A high value unfair-prejudice petition over a property-development company (led by John Randall QC).
  • Several other unfair-prejudice petitions.
  • A £1.5m dispute about an alleged oral variation to an option agreement entered by shareholders (sole counsel).
  • Acting for five directors, defending a £1m claim for breach of fiduciary duty brought by liquidators.
  • A £1.5m unlawful dividends claim against three directors of an engineering company.
  • A £3m misfeasance claim against the UK subsidiary of a US photo-printing company.
  • A £5m misfeasance claim.
  • A High Court claim about who owned a company. Anticipated to last 11 days, the trial settled after Rob cross-examined the claimants’ witnesses over five days (sole counsel).
  • A substantial good leaver/bad leaver dispute (sole counsel) and defending a related claim to enforce an alleged £4m share purchase agreement (led by John Randall QC).
  • An application to prevent majority shareholders amending a company’s articles to a departing executive’s detriment (sole counsel).
  • A claim to set aside an expert determination (which followed the settlement of an unfair prejudice petition) for lack of independence (led by Lawrence Cohen QC).
  • A substantial dispute between a departing LLP member and an accountancy firm (sole counsel).
  • Numerous applications for interim relief, including freezing orders.

Insolvency & Restructuring

Receiving praise for his “thoughtful, measured approach and impressive advocacy style” (Chambers UK 2018), Rob specialises in commercial litigation. He appears regularly in the High Court, often against significantly more senior opponents. He is an experienced trial advocate and cross-examiner.

Insolvency cases make up a substantial proportion of Rob’s work. Rob acts both for insolvency practitioners and for companies, directors and individuals. His recent insolvency cases include multi-million pound misfeasance claims and a challenge to a £21m proof of debt.

He regularly acts in

  • cases about breaches of directors’ duties, unlawful distributions, preferences, sham transactions, transactions at an undervalue, and wrongful trading,
  • contested administration applications, bankruptcy petitions and winding-up petitions,
  • applications to set aside statutory demands and to restrain the presentation of winding-up petitions,
  • applications to annul bankruptcies.

Rob has also acted several disputes about the ownership of funds or other assets, including disputes arising from retention of title clauses or concerning Quistclose trusts.

Rob has given several seminars on insolvency law. His articles “TUPE and Mental Gymnastics” (February 2014), “Case Reporter: Wilson (as liquidator of 375 Live Ltd) v SMC Properties Ltd” (August 2015) and “Case Reporter: Walker & Williams v National Westminster Bank & The Treasury Solicitor” (June 2016) were published in Corporate Rescue and Insolvency.

Recent Cases:

  • Acting for five directors, defending a £1m claim for breach of fiduciary duty brought by liquidators
  • Acting for a former director of a pharmacy in a successful application to compel the company’s liquidators to assign to her claims against her former co-director.
  • Acting for liquidators bringing a successful £3m misfeasance claim against two directors (sole counsel)
  • Acted for a company in administration in a claim against a director for unlawful diversion of business.

Restraint of Trade & Confidentiality

Receiving praise for his “thoughtful, measured approach and impressive advocacy style” (Chambers UK 2018), Rob specialises in commercial litigation. He appears regularly in the High Court, often against significantly more senior opponents. He is an experienced trial advocate and cross-examiner.

Rob has a varied commercial and contract law practice. Rob is regularly instructed in claims to enforce restrictive covenants and protect confidential information. He is often instructed in the early stages when his clients need urgent advice or representation.

Rob is particularly suited to dealing with disputes about departing directors or senior employees, where there may be overlapping company law issues. Where there are overlapping High Court and employment tribunal proceedings, Rob is able to deal with both parts of the case.

Recent Cases:

  • Numerous applications for interim relief.
  • A £800k cross-border restrictive covenants claim. (led by Ed Pepperall QC)
  • A £300k restrictive covenants claim. (sole counsel)
  • A claim for Wrotham Park damages for the misuse of confidential information. (sole counsel)
  • Defending a restrictive-covenants claim brought against a solicitor by his former employer. (sole counsel)
  • A £2m claim under a share sale and purchase agreement. (led by Ed Pepperall QC)
  • An application to prevent majority shareholders amending a company’s articles to a departing executive’s detriment. (sole counsel)
  • A substantial dispute between a departing LLP member and an accountancy firm. (sole counsel)
  • A 12-day hearing in a whistleblowing case (sole counsel against QC)

Professional Liability

Receiving praise for his “thoughtful, measured approach and impressive advocacy style” (Chambers UK 2018), Rob specialises in commercial litigation. He appears regularly in the High Court, often against significantly more senior opponents. He is an experienced trial advocate and cross-examiner.

Rob has acts in a variety of professional liability disputes.

Recent Cases:

  • A High Court claim about who owned a company. Anticipated to last 11 days, the trial settled after Rob cross-examined the claimants’ witnesses over five days. (sole counsel)
  • A £2m claim under a share sale and purchase agreement. (led by Ed Pepperall QC)
  • An application to prevent majority shareholders amending a company’s articles to a departing executive’s detriment. (sole counsel)
  • A claim to set aside an expert determination for lack of independence (led by Lawrence Cohen QC)
  • A substantial dispute between a departing LLP member and an accountancy firm. (sole counsel)
  • A £800k cross-border restrictive covenants claim. (led by Ed Pepperall QC)

Education

MA (Cantab.), Law with European Legal Studies, Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, First Class

Appointments and Memberships

Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
Midland Chancery and Commercial Bar Association (MCCBA)

Testimonials

"Technically strong, calm and adaptable." Legal 500 2020
"His greatest strength is his intellect, but he is also extremely good with clients." Chambers UK
"He is incredibly hard-working and never misses a point." Chambers UK
"He is easy to deal with and extraordinarily bright." Chambers UK
"He is meticulous in his attention to detail and his client service is excellent. He has a very calm, intelligent and well thought out approach to matters." Chambers UK
"Very bright, very intelligent and very knowledgeable." Chambers UK
"He is thoughtful and brilliant – a man to go to for advice on complex and technical legal disputes." Chambers UK
"He is a very academically gifted company counsel, who is as at home as a sole advocate against more senior adversaries as he is as part of a team." Chambers UK
“Incredibly hardworking and very grounded.” Legal 500
“Ferociously intelligent; he punches above his weight.” Legal 500
“He has expertise in employment, company and insolvency matters and receives praise for his thoughtful, measured approach and impressive advocacy style.” Chambers UK
“He is an outstanding draftsman and offers clear, robust and commercial advice.” Chambers UK
“He has a powerful intellect and his analysis is faultless.” Chambers UK
“He has great intellect and is good on his feet.” Chambers UK