Robert Bourne is a highly experienced barrister whose practice covers all aspects of chancery commercial disputes and civil fraud. Robert has a particular specialisation in professional negligence claims against lawyers and other advisers.

Robert’s professional negligence practice has involved cases of all types arising from defective advice by lawyers about such diverse topics as valuation, tax, company formation and flotation, partnerships, sale and purchase of land and fishing rights and medical negligence. He has also acted in many cases concerning the negligent conduct and settlement of litigation both in Court and in Arbitrations and in the UK and overseas.

Robert also acts in disputes between auctioneers and vendors and purchasers of fine art, and other items concerning proper conduct of sale, safe custody of goods, valuation, attribution and payment of price.

Robert accepts Direct Public Access work.

Robert is a member of the Bar Pro Bono panel.

Cases of interest

  • 2017-2019
    Acting in £60m accountants’ negligence claim.
  • Lord Chancellor v Blavo & Co Solicitors Ltd
    [2018] EWHC 3556
    Acting for defendant in multi-million fraud claim by the Lord Chancellor.
  • SSS v XPlc
    Acting in 3 international arbitrations and one High Court action to recover commission relating to aircraft engines.
  • LBI h.f. v Karen Millen
    Acting with John McDonnell QC and Adam Chichester-Clark for Ms Millen in her defence of a claim brought by an Icelandic Bank for sums exceeding £50million, following her successful application for a statutory demand served by the Icelandic Bank to be set aside.
  • Gresport Finance Limited v Battaglia
    [2016] EWHC 964 (Ch)
    Robert acted for a company which recovered judgment against its agent who had removed money from the company’s account without authority. The case considered the operation of sections 21 and 32 of the Limitation Act 1980. The appeal against this judgement was dismissed in 2018
  • Gresport Finance Limited v Battaglia
    [2015] EWHC 2709 (Ch)
    Refusal to attend a mediation may amount to a reason for refusing security for costs.
  • BCI Action Group v HSBC
    Claims by 800 claimants under Financial Ombudsman Scheme.
  • Claims by commercial agents
    2013 – 2015
    Claims between commercial agents and manufacturers to recover commission on sale of naval material.
  • Solicitors’ and barristers’ negligence
    Confidential compromises at mediations of disputes brought by clients against solicitors and barristers in relation to (a) conduct of litigation in the Commercial Court, (b) planning applications, (c) advice on tax planning, (d) advice on matrimonial settlement, (e) costs (f) medical negligence.
  • LBI Hf (In winding up proceedings) v Stanford
    [2014] EWHC 3921 (Ch)
    (with John McDonnell Q.C.) Mortgagee’s possession claim involving issues of Luxembourg and Icelandic law of insolvency, and the interaction between section 6 of the Statute of Frauds Amendment Act 1828 and the Misrepresentation Act 1967.
  • Acute Property Developments Limited v Apostolou & Others
    [2013] EWHC 200 (Ch)
    Scope of apparent authority of company directors.
  • Lapthorn & Anor v Charterhouse (Accountants) LLP
    (2013) (Bristol District Registry)
    Negligence claim against accountants and barrister for advice concerning FURBS struck out.
  • Oakhurst Property Developments (Lowndes Square No. 2) Limited v Blackstar Isle of Man Limited
    [2012] EWHC 1131 (Ch)
    Extent of former trustee’s right of indemnity.
  • Hurndell v Hozier
    [2011] EWHC 321 (Ch) [2011]
    2 Costs LO 194, Rate of interest to be awarded on Costs.
  • Hurndell v Hozier
    [2010] EWHC 3340 (Ch)
    Acting for successful Defendant in action for transfer of shares in which all evidence was given orally without any recourse to witness statements.
  • Attorney General of the Republic of Zambia v Meer Care Desai & Others
    [2007] EWHC 952 (Ch)
    Representing the former Zambian Ambassador to the United States in 6 month trial of fraud claim brought by Government of Zambia against former President of Zambia, the former head of the Zambian Secret Service. London firms of solicitors and others. Two of the three claims against Robert’s client were dismissed and the third was compromised on the client’s appeal.
  • Attorney General of Zambia v Meer Care & Desai & Others No 2
    [2007] EWHC 1540 (Ch)
    The court determined a number of consequential matters, including credit for recoveries against liabilities, claims for compound interest, the impact of a failure to mediate on orders for costs, contribution, permission to appeal and stay of enforcement, identified in an earlier judgment where it held that there had been a conspiracy fraudulently to misappropriate Zambian Government money. The successful Claimant failed to recover all its costs because of a refusal to engage in mediation.

Qualifications & appointments

  • M.A. (Oxon)


  • Gray’s Inn
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Bar Pro Bono Panel
  • Reform Club
  • Hellenic Society
  • Antiquarian Horological Society
  • Worshipful Company of Clockmakers


Robert was born and went to school in Cheshire. He read Modern History at St Peter’s College, Oxford and came to Bar after completing both parts of the Bar Exams at the Inns of Court School of Law.


Assistant Editor of the County Court Practice between 1992 and 1999 and a member of the Editorial Board of the Civil Court Practice responsible for the titles Access to Neighbouring Land, Admiralty, Consumer Credit and Sale of Goods.

How secure is security?” (2013) 19 Trusts & Trustees (5) 475-480

“CIVIL PROCEDURE RULES: Payment on account of costs – what is the right percentage?”