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Robert served Articles of Clerkship in 1972-1974 at Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst) under Donald Magarey. After graduating from the University of Sydney Law School in 1994 with first-class honours, Robert taught at the University of NSW Law School until he was awarded a scholarship to study for a Master of Laws at Yale Law School.

Following award of the LLM in 1975, Robert worked for the law firm Arnold & Porter in Washington DC, gaining experience in administrative and aviation law. Three years in Panama followed, where he taught US law at Florida State University and worked as a lawyer for the Panama Canal Company and the Canal Zone Government.

Robert was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in 1979 and returned to Arnold & Porter. He moved to the Federal Energy Regulatory Authority’s Enforcement Division in 1980, where he gained extensive experience in the regulation of natural gas, electricity and hydro. Robert drafted the legal justification for the FERC’s first experimental order deregulating wholesale electricity pricing, Southwest Bulk Power Experiment, Opinion 203, 25 F.E.R.C. 1161,469 (1983), the precursor to deregulation of wholesale electricity prices in the US.

Robert returned to Australia in 1985 and joined the litigation department of Allen Allen & Hemsley (now Allens + Linklaters). He became a Senior Associate in 1987, gaining broad experience in commercial litigation. He also worked on major natural gas arbitrations involving Cooper Basin gas.




Robert went to the NSW Bar in 1989 where he built a commercial, equity and mediation practice. He helped establish the first Settlement Week in NSW in 1991 and mediated in Settlement Weeks in 1991, 1992 and 1993-1994. He took Silk in 2004.


Bachelor of Arts (University of Sydney, 1971)

Bachelor of Laws (first-class honours; University of Sydney, 1974)

Master of Laws (Yale Law School, 1975)


Admitted as a barrister in NSW – 1974

Admitted as a solicitor in NSW – 1985

Re-admitted as a barrister in NSW – 1989

Appointed Senior Counsel – 2004

Admitted in ACT, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria and qualified to appear in all States and Territories

Admitted in Washington DC (USA), District of Columbia Court of Appeals and US Supreme Court – 1979

Nationally-accredited as mediator by NSW Bar Association under the National Mediator Accreditation Standards

BarADR approved arbitrator, NSW Bar Association


Select Cases

Misleading and deceptive conduct:  Capogreco v Rogerson [2015] NSWSC 1371

Succession:  Belfield v Belfield [2012] NSWCA 416, 83 NSWLR 189, 16 BPR 31,177 application for special leave refused [2013] HCATrans 138

Banking: Morgan v BNP Paribas Equities (Aust) Ltd – [2006] NSWCA 197

Contracts, equity, confidential information, copyright: Redwood Anti-Ageing Pty Ltd & anor v Knowles & ors – [2013] NSWSC 508; 101 IPR 358

Confidential information and injunctions: J W Mailing Services Pty Ltd v Fulton – [2008] NSWSC 1421

Family provision: Belfield v Belfield – [2012] NSWCA 416; 83 NSWLR 189,16 BPR 31177

Insolvency: In the matter of Sales Express Pty Ltd (Adminstrators Appointed) – [2014] NSWSC 460

Misleading and deceptive conduct: Bullabidgee Pty Ltd & ors v McCleary & ors – [2011] NSWCA 259, 15 BPR 29,421

Misleading and deceptive conduct by silence: E K Nominees Pty Ltd v Woolworths Ltd – [2006] NSWSC 1172

Hardy v Your Tabs Pty Limited – [2000] NSWCA 150

Real property: Ruthol Pty Ltd v Tricon (Australia) Pty Ltd – [2005] NSWCA 443, 12 BPR 23,923

Restraining mortgagee’s power of sale: Bayblu Holdings Pty Ltd & ano v Capital Finance Australia Ltd – [2011] NSWCA 39; 15 BPR 29,055

Conveyancing and specific performance: K & K Real Estate Pty Ltd v Adellos Pty Ltd (in liq) – [2010] NSWSC 1212; appeal dismissed [2010] NSWCA 302, 15 BPR 28,679; application for special leave to appeal dismissed [2010] HCATrans 309

Areas of Practice

Alternative Dispute Resolution


Contract Disputes


Common Law & Personal Injury


Family Provision

Farm Debt

Intellectual Property



Real Property


Member of the Arbitration Panel constituted under Mining Act 1992 and Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 to conciliate and arbitrate disputes about access to land between land owners and holders of mineral or petroleum exploration licences or assessment leases, appointed by NSW Minister for Resources and Energy, December 2014

Member of NSW Bar Association’s mediator panel for Supreme Court of NSW under s. 26 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005

Member of NSW Bar Association’s mediator panel for District Court of NSW under s. 26 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005

Member of Retail Tenancy Unit’s panel of mediators under the Retail Leases Act 1994

Member of Rural Assistance Authority’s panel of mediators under the Farm Debt Mediation Act 1994

Member of Australian Commercial Dispute Centre’s panel of mediators

Foundation member of Law Society of NSW’s Dispute Resolution Committee and member 1987-1995

Foundation member of NSW Bar Association’s Mediation Committee; member 1991-2007 and 2011-present; and Chair of the Committee 2000-2007

Director of LEADR (Lawyers Engaged in Alternative Dispute Resolution) 1991-1998


Mediation Blog

Statutory Warfare, Round 2: Has the High Court confused the law of illegality? (2016) 90 ALJ 12

A common leasing problem gives rise to a difficult legal issue (2015) 89 Australian Law Journal 523

Can a notice that never arrived be properly served? (2015) 89 Australian Law Journal 439

So you want an effective mediator?  What qualities should you demand? #6:  Expertise in mediating, not in the subject matter of the dispute (series of six posts on LinkedIn)

Equitable Estoppel: What must the party asserting an estoppel have been induced to believe by the defendant? (2015) 89 Australian Law Journal 220

Statutory Warfare? What happens when Retail Lease Legislation Collides with Liquor Licensing Laws (2015) 89 Australian Law Journal 11 

Derogation from the Grant: Continuing Life for an Old Doctrine (2014) 88 Australian Law Journal 691

The Complete Guide to Notice to Complete or Eight Paradoxes in Search of a Principle (2011) 85 Australian Law Journal 788

In preparation: Advocacy in Mediation: The Lawyer’s Guide to Effective Representation – book for LawBook Company/Thomson Reuters

Advocacy at Mediation: An Oxymoron or an Essential Skill for the Modern Lawyer – Chapter 14 in The Future of Dispute Resolution (edited by M. Legg) Lexis Nexis Butterworths 2013

When will the Court end an administration for abuse of process? 16 Butterworths Corporation Law Bulletin [374] at p. 7 (2 September 2014)

Quantifying damages for economic loss: Is this the hardest thing commercial lawyers do? LegalWise Seminars’ newsletter (9 October 2014)