Robert specialises in commercial and chancery matters, ranging from complex international litigation (often involving conflicts of laws and claims in numerous jurisdictions) to more general commercial disputes such as those arising from commercial contracts, joint ventures, share sale agreements and Insolvency. A good deal of his work relates to directors’ duties, and he is an acknowledged expert on the British Virgin Islands law concerning the duties of a company director, his evidence in that regard having been accepted both at first instance and in the Court of Appeal in Re Emerald Bay Worldwide. From 2003, the overwhelming majority of his practice has concerned high-value, complex, commercial litigation in the courts of the Caribbean and appeals therefrom. He has been involved in numerous appeals to the Privy Council from around 2005 onwards in very substantial litigation such as IPOC v LVFG and the Cukurova litigation.
Robert acted as leading counsel in the Privy Council in Cap Juluca, on a final appeal from the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Anguilla). The case concerned the auction of hotel land in Anguilla.
Robert is currently instructed on an appeal to the Privy Council from the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal in the first appeal in a case under s238 of the Cayman Islands Companies Law. The appeal concerns whether a minority discount is applicable upon the cancellation of shares following a merger and also the appropriate rate of interest following the Court’s determination of the fair value of shares.
For the last three years Robert has been very heavily involved in a series of cases in the Cayman Islands under s238. He has been instructed in approximately 15 of the 21 or so such cases. Which has necessitated regular attendance in those islands for court hearings, trials and appeals. These include:
Shanda Games – only the second trial under s238, currently on appeal to the PC. Robert acted for a group of dissenters, and achieved an uplift on merger price of 235% (reduced to 180% on appeal due to the minority discount).
Re Homeinns, Qihoo, Qunar, Trina Solar. Nord Anglia, Bona Films, JA Solar, KongZhong, Zhaoping – again, Robert acts/acted for dissenting shareholders. These cases have involved numerous interlocutory hearings, in the course of many of which Robert was successful in establishing, at first instance and on appeal, the availability of interim payments, the ability of the Court to appoint forensic experts to test the Petitioner’s discovery (which orders have been obtained on two occasions, in which the Court considered the cases to be “exceptional”), and the ability of the Court to debar Petitioners to adduce evidence. A number of these cases are continuing.
Robert has enjoyed a very close connection with the BVI since 2003, and has acted in some of the largest cases in that jurisdiction, such as IPOC v LVFG and Cukurova, which cases involved many interim applications, a first instance trial, and several appeals including to the PC.
His other cases have included, re Ocean Sino where he acted for a BVI company in a just and equitable winding up application following the collapse of a relationship between two wealthy shipping investors; re Akolyn, Bascunan v Elsacam, Re M1nt and numerous others.
Prior to developing an offshore practice, his property practice resulted in a number of reported cases that twice took him to the House of Lords.