Rob has a wide-ranging commercial practice and has particular expertise in company, insolvency and High Court employment disputes. He is often instructed in high-value and complicated litigation.
He has been consistently recommended in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500. He was described in the 2021 Legal 500 as “absolutely brilliant intellectually and academically with forensic attention to detail and a very reassuring manner,” and in the 2021 Chambers Bar Guide as possessing “the rare trinity of encyclopedic knowledge, eloquent advocacy and hard work.”
Rob is also a practising mediator.
Outside of the specialist areas below, Rob’s recent work has included:
- advising the buyer of an investment management company in an earn-out dispute (sole counsel)
- advising the seller of shares in a software company on a breach-of-warranty claim (sole counsel)
- representing a jewellery supplier in a claim and in defending a US$2m counterclaim brought by a High Street retailer (sole counsel)
- advising a public body in a high-value contractual dispute (sole counsel)
- representing a manufacturer defending a claim under the Commercial Agents Regulations
Company & Partnership
Rob has an established company law practice. In the 2021 Chambers Bar Guide, Rob is noted as being particularly well regarded for his handling of unfair prejudice petitions and disputes concerning director’s duties. A previous edition described him “as very academically gifted company counsel”.
- acting for a company that ran a pharmacy in a claim against former directors (sole counsel against QC and junior)
- acting for a 50% shareholder in a telecoms company in an unfair prejudice petition and in a dispute under an unusual shareholders’ agreement (sole counsel against QC)
- acting for a minority shareholder in a high-value unfair prejudice petition concerning a property development company (led by John Randall QC)
- acting for a minority shareholder in a high-value unfair prejudice petition concerning a food supplements manufacturer and in the defence of a £35m crossclaim (led by John Randall QC)
- representing a telecoms company in a shareholder good-leaver/bad-leaver claim in the Employment Tribunal (sole counsel) and in a linked £4m High Court claim (led by John Randall QC)
- acting for majority shareholders in a dispute about the ownership of director’s life insurance proceeds (sole counsel)
- disputes about the enforceability of expert determinations
Insolvency & Restructuring
Rob is regularly instructed by insolvency practitioners and directors in difficult insolvency-law litigation. He is described as “resourceful, clear and logical” in the 2021 Legal 500.
- defending a multi-million-pound transaction-defrauding-creditors claim (sole counsel),
- a successful challenge to a £21m proof of debt (sole counsel against QC)
- representing a liquidator in a £3m-odd claim and in subsequent enforcement proceedings in which a deed was found to be have been forged (sole counsel)
- defending five directors of a transport company in a £1m+ misfeasance claim (sole counsel)
- representing a claims funder in a £2m+ wrongful-trading and misfeasance claim arising from the avoidance of import VAT
- a successful challenge to a refusal by liquidators to assign a claim (sole counsel)
- representing a trustee in bankruptcy in an unusual claim to unwind the transfer of a business (sole counsel)
- acting (sometimes for claimant, sometimes for defendant) in several other £1m+ claims against directors
- disputes over the validity and effect of charges, retention-of-title clauses and Quistclose trusts
- acting (sometimes for the applicant, sometimes for the respondent) in many applications to restrain the advertisement of winding-up petitions or to set aside statutory demands
- Directors’ Duties During Administration and Liquidation (2021) 34(3) Insolv Int 58
- Why Statutory Declarations by Video Conference are Lawful (2020) 13(3) CRI 97
- Case Reporter: Walker & Williams v National Westminster Bank plc & The Treasury Solicitor (2016) 9(3) CRI 119
- Case Reporter: Wilson (as liquidator of 375 Live Ltd) v SMC Properties Ltd (2015) 8(4) CRI 171
- TUPE and Mental Gymnastics (2014) 7(1) CRI 31
Restraint of Trade & Confidentiality
Rob is regularly instructed in restrictive covenant, confidential information and team move cases, often at short notice. He works quickly and effectively.
Rob’s complementary company-law practice means he is well-suited to cases involving directors. He was recommended in the 2021 Chambers Bar Guide for restrictive covenant claims and in the 2021 Legal 500 for employment cases that overlap with shareholder issues.
- defending an engineering company in a c£3.5m confidentiality information claim (sole counsel)
- representing an analytics company in a team move claim against five employees and their new employer (sole counsel)
- acting for six defendants in an application for a freezing injunction (sole counsel)
- defending a £800k cross-border restrictive covenants claim (led by Ed Pepperall QC)
Rob has experience acting in claims against solicitors, accountants and financial advisers. He has a particular interest in cases relating to his other areas of expertise.
- acting for a widow in a claim against her husband’s IFA
- acting for a shareholder in a claim against solicitors for negligent tax advice
- acting for two entrepreneurs in a claim against their accountant
- claims against IT consultants
Commercial Fraud & Asset Tracing
Rob has experience of a wide variety of commercial fraud cases, particularly cases of fraud by employees or directors. He is an experienced trial advocate and cross examiner.
- acting for a company bringing a corporate-fraud and asset-tracing claim (sole counsel)
- acting for an employer in an unjust-enrichment claim to recover wages against employee accused of malingering (sole counsel)
- applying for a freezing order against a director’s wife who removed company money (sole counsel)
- defending a freezing order application in a derivative claim (led by John Randall QC)
- defending a deceit claim bought against two property developers (sole counsel)
- advising on chequebook and email frauds
- presenting and defending committal applications
Rob enjoys the variety and challenge of acting as a mediator. He appreciates that mediation is no panacea, but believes that, if approached with energy, determination and an open-mind, mediation can lead to sensible resolutions of most disputes.
Interactive Digital Systems Ltd v VST Enterprises Ltd  EWHC 887 (Ch): administration application
Gill v Thind  EWHC 2973 (Ch): derivative claims
Rendle v Panelform  EWHC 2655 (Ch): trial of a transaction-defrauding-creditors claim
Poole v Hinton  EWHC 2331 (Ch): successful challenge to £21m proof of debt
Herry v Dudley Metropolitan Council UKEAT/100/16,  ICR 610 (written submissions: see §2): costs orders and bankruptcy
Jarrett v Birmingham City Council UKEAT/0333/14/LA: amendment of grounds of appeal
Brown v Stephenson  EWHC 2531 (Ch),  WTLR 1675: undue influence
Appointments and Memberships
Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
Midland Chancery and Commercial Bar Association (MCCBA)
Employment Lawyers Association (ELA)