Overview

Robert specialises in commercial and chancery matters, ranging from complex international litigation (often involving conflicts of law and multi-jurisdictional claims) to general commercial disputes such as those arising from commercial contracts, joint ventures and share sale agreements.  Many of his claims involve complex fraud and dishonesty allegations.

He is a particular expert on claims involving directors’ duties and an acknowledged expert on BVI law.  In addition to his company law expertise, he also specialises in insolvency and shareholder appraisal valuation cases.

Robert is renowned for his international work both onshore and offshore, appearing regularly in many offshore jurisdictions.

He is recommended in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for commercial litigation, fraud and offshore.  Chambers & Partners also recommends him for commercial chancery and Legal 500 for insolvency.

Shareholder actions

Robert is known for his expertise in shareholder actions, both domestically and internationally  Some of his recent work in this area includes:

  • Cayman Islands- On behalf of minority shareholders Robert has been involved in around half of the cases under s 238 of the Cayman Islands Companies Act from 2015 onwards, having acted in Perfect World, Bona Films, Homeinns, Mindray, Shanda Games, Qihoo, Qunar, Trina Solar, Nord Anglia, Sina.  He has dealt with all stages of many of these cases, establishing tailor-made directions, dealing with interlocutory applications (twice achieving “extraordinary orders” for forensic experts to handle the petitioners’ disclosure), as well as associated injunctive and insolvency applications.  At trial in Shanda Games he has achieved the highest uplift on merger price in any of the reported cases.
  • Bermuda –  Acted in Jardine Strategic, and Triton International for dissenting shareholders in claims under s 106 (6) of the Bermuda Companies Act.
  • BVI – Acted in Nettar Group in relation to claims to entitlement to dissenter rights under s 179 of the BVI Companies Act.
  • Acted in Holm v Wen  Ors  – a case concerning failure to deliver a 22% interest in a BVI bank involving, amongst other things, shareholder valuation issue.

Company & Insolvency

Robert is an acknowledged expert in company and insolvency matters.  His recent cases in this area include:

  • Cayman Islands – Acted in HQP Corporation in which he persuaded to Cayman Islands Court not to follow the House of Lords not to follow the House of Lords decision in Houldsworth.
  • Acted in Premier Assurance for the successful plaintiffs in proceedings seeking declaratory relief arising from the purported transfer of insurance contracts were in breach of the Cayman Islands Insurance Act.
  • Robert acted in the Court of Appeal in KrisEnergy.
  • Advising liquidators in substantial claw-back claims in the Cayman Islands (and other off-shore jurisdictions relating to clawback claims by a collapsed fund).
  • BVI – Robert has acted in numerous cases involving just and equitable winding-up and insolvency, such as the Jinpeng litigation (in which he appeared in the BVI and associated arbitration proceedings), Central-Shipping, Capital Worldwide, Vinogradova and Ocean Sino.

Commercial chancery work

Robert is recommended as a leading silk for commercial chancery matters.  In addition to the material in the other tabs on his profile, his recent work in this area includes:

  • Robert acted, in the Privy Council alone, in the appeal in Pleshakov v Skstream.
  • He regularly advises on financial security issues, providing security opinions in substantial listings, as well as in litigation concerning such issues, such as KSB Capital in the Cayman Islands.
  • Robert acted for the Plaintiff in Vriginia Solutions – a just and equitable winding-up of a Cayman Islands incorporated mutual insurance company.

Fraud & asset tracing

Many of Robert’s cases involve asset tracing and allegations of financial misconduct (in which he generally acts for claimants).  He has acted in some of the largest fraud cases in the BVI and elsewhere, such as the Ablyazov and Akhemdova litigation in London, the Abyzov litigation in the BVI where he spent many years involved in the notable IPOC and Cukurova proceedings.

Recent examples include:

  • Holm v Wen & Ors
  • Capital WorldWide (BVI)

Directory recommendations

Robert is recommended for in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for Commercial Litigation/CDR, Offshore and Fraud.  He is also recommended by Chambers & Partners for Commercial Chancery and Legal 500 for Insolvency, as well as for Commercial Dispute Resolution, Offshore and Commercial Chancery in Chambers Global.

Appointments

Robert was twice appointed to sit as an acting Justice of the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean  Supreme Court for the May and October 2023 BVI sittings.

He is a member of the Legal Services Panel of the BVI, appointed by the Honourable Attorney General to act as such for two years from 1 November 2023.

Memberships

  • Member of the Bar of the 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
  • INSOL
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Admitted (Ad hoc) Cayman Bar
  • Admitted (Ad hoc) Bermuda