Rob is a barrister. He was called to the Bar of England & Wales in 1989 and was in independent practice at the Bar continually from 1990 until he joined Clyde & Co in February 2017. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2009.
Throughout his legal career, Rob has focussed upon the world of, and law relating to, aviation. He has broad experience in this sector with regards to: carrier liability; regulatory and licensing issues; product liability disputes; inquests; insurance coverage; finance and leasing disputes; contractual, treaty & statutory interpretation; and general commercial disputes. In addition to advisory work, undertaking litigation and advocacy, from time to time Rob also acts as an arbitrator and as a mediator (for which he holds CIArb accreditation).
Rob has acted and advised in relation to many of the most notable aviation related disputes governed by English law fought over the last three decades. He has also assisted with the written advocacy and provided advice in relation to cases proceeding in other jurisdictions, including: the High Court of Australia; the Common Law Division and Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria; the Court of Appeal of Singapore; the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal; the High Court of the Commonwealth of Dominica; the High Court of Malaya; the Air Transport Licensing Authority of Hong Kong; the District Court of Hong Kong; and the Supreme Court of India.
Rob has been recognised as a leading practitioner in Aviation by Chambers & Partner's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, The Legal 500 (which named him 'Transport: Individual (London) of the year' for 2020), Expert Guides to the World's Leading Aviation Lawyers, Legal Experts, Best Lawyers in United Kingdom, International Who's Who of Aviation Lawyers (which in 2014 identified him as one of the 10 most highly regarded individuals in the World for contentious aviation), Who’s Who Legal: Transport, The Lawyer and Airline International's Aviation Counsel. Whilst at the Bar he was also recognised in independent directories as a leading practitioner in Travel, International Arbitration, Product Liability and Professional Discipline.
Rob’s published works on air law include:
- Behind and Beyond the Chicago Convention: The Evolution of Aerial Sovereignty (Wolters Kluwer, 2019), Chapter 'Does an Immovable Object Meet an Irresistible Force? An EU Perspective on the Apparent Tension Between the Protection of Airspace Sovereignty and the Notion of Private Sector Transnational Carriers'.
- Research Handbook on International Aviation Law (Edward Elgar, forthcoming), chapter ‘The Asian Model Under Threat: Foreign Ownership And Control In The Wakes Of Jetstar Hong Kong’.
- The Aviation Law Review, 4th Edition (2016) - 7th Edition (2019), chapter ‘The United Kingdom’.
- ‘The Montreal Convention 1999 and the decisions of the ECJ in the case of IATA and Sturgeon - in harmony or discord?’, Air & Space Law, Vol 36 no.2 (2011) p.99.
- ‘UK Air Passenger Duty held to be consistent with the Chicago Convention’, Air & Space Law, Vol 33 no.1 (2008) p.3.
- Halsbury’s Laws of England - title ‘Aviation’, Volume 2(3), 4th Edition Reissue (2003), also published with adaptation as The Laws of Scotland: Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia - title ‘Aviation’, Reissue (2003).
Rob speaks regularly on the international air law conference circuit. He is Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and was Chairman of its Air Law Group from 2010 to 2016. He is also a fellow of the International Academy of Trial lawyers and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.