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.
Areas of experience
Legal 500 2021
Offshore – “Unstuffy and easy to work with, plus tenacious as an advocate.”
Commercial Litigation – “A real star and an absolute pleasure to deal with – he is a lethally effective cross-examiner and has an almost super-human work ethic.”
Fraud: Civil – “A natural choice for offshore fraud work – he is phenomenally hard-working, incredibly aggressive, and absolutely committed to his clients.”
Insolvency – “He really knows his stuff. He gives robust advice and is an extraordinarily effective cross-examiner.”
Chambers and Partners 2021
Chancery: Commercial – “He’s very versatile and has the correct answer to almost everything you ask him. He also has the ability to be robust without being unpleasant.” “A forceful advocate.”
Fraud: Civil – “A tenacious advocate who gets on top of the detail and is easy to work with.”
Offshore – “He is excellent and great to deal with.” “He is a very calm, efficient silk.”
Commercial Dispute Resolution – “He argues very passionately and is fantastic.” “Robert is easy to work with and gets on top of the detail.”
Legal 500 2020
Commercial litigation – “A first-class silk.”
Fraud: Civil – “Did a splendid job and really put his back into making sure our applications went in on a sound basis.”
Offshore – “Particularly strong in fraud matters, where he is a fearless and effective cross-examiner.”
Chambers and Partners 2020
Chancery: Commercial – “I’d say he is fast becoming a leading offshore silk with expertise across the full range of offshore jurisdictions, whilst maintaining a busy London practice.”
Fraud: Civil – “Very user-friendly and willing to roll his sleeves up and get involved.”
Offshore – “A highly experienced offshore practitioner who is very much at home in both court and arbitration proceedings.”
“User-friendly, responsive and something of a streetfighter in court.”
Commercial Dispute Resolution – “He’s been going from strength to strength, demonstrating particular expertise in interim remedies.”
Legal 500 2019
Commercial litigation – “Excellent technically, always makes time to speak, and very commercially aware.”
Fraud: civil – “Straightforward, clever, extremely user friendly and client focused.”
Chambers and Partners 2019
Chancery: Commercial – “Has great knowledge of multi-jurisdictional issues in the commercial disputes and fraud arenas, and is a very good cross-examiner.”
Fraud: Civil – “User-friendly and very responsive.” “Amiable, hard-working and a great advocate.”
Offshore – “A highly experienced offshore practitioner who is very much at home in both court and arbitration proceedings.” “User-friendly, responsive and something of a streetfighter in court.”
Commercial Dispute Resolution – “Hands-on and very hard-working, he provides pragmatic and commercial advice, and is particularly good at offshore disputes.” “He’s a good tactician, and his analysis is always spot-on.”
Who’s Who Legal 2018
Recognised as an expert in:
• Who’s Who Legal Asset Recovery: Lawyers
• Who’s Who Legal UK Bar – Fraud Civil – Silks
Robert is recommended in the various legal directories. Thus, previous editions of Chambers & Partners recommends Robert for commercial chancery, commercial dispute resolution, civil fraud and offshore work. Robert is said to be ‘brilliant for aggressive high-value offshore disputes‘ and ‘a lawyer with sufficient gravitas to control the courtroom’. Recommended as ‘clever and extremely quick’ as well as ‘extremely hard-working, very responsive and down-to-earth’, Robert is seen to have ‘an excellent nose for fraud and he’s fearless in pursuing those cases’. Instructing solicitors praise how he ‘explains how things work in a simple way, while at the same time building a good rapport with his clients’ and say that ‘his written submissions are a model of clarity, which is what you particularly need in offshore jurisdictions’.
Chambers Global previously also recommended Robert for offshore work: ‘He has an amazing capacity to pick things up and is a very good advocate. He’s tremendous to work with and clients love him’.
- Member of the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court – British Virgin Islands
- Member of the Bar of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Member of the Bar of Anguilla
- Member of the Bar of Dubai International Financial Centre
- Commercial Bar Association
- Chancery Bar Association
- Admitted (Ad hoc) Cayman Bar
Public access accredited