Ranked in Tier 1 for Business and Regulatory Crime (including Health and Safety). Ranked in Tier 2 for Inquests and Inquiries. The Legal 500 (2024)
Ranked Band 2 for Health & Safety – Chambers & Partners (2024)
“A very good advocate in health and safety prosecutions. He’s always fully prepared and on top of the case.” Chambers & Partners (2024)
‘A calm personality with a friendly disposition, Robert deals sensitively with witnesses whilst delivering insightful questioning where necessary.’ Legal 500 (2024)
‘His legal knowledge is very thorough.’ Legal 500 (2024)
‘A true specialist in business and regulatory crime. He has breadth and depth of experience matched with unrivalled tenacity in promoting the client’s interests.’ Legal 500 (2023)
“Robert has extensive experience in health and safety prosecutions and this shines through in the quality service provided. Robert’s preparation is always meticulous and gets straight to the crux of the case.” Legal 500 (2022)
“He is friendly and approachable but tough when he needs to be”” a key name to note” Legal 500 (2021)
‘ Canny and adept at identifying the really important issues. ’ – Legal 500 (2020)
“Practical and very well organised.” – The Legal 500 (2019)
“Charismatic, astute and approachable” – The Legal 500 (2019)
Robert is an A-list Specialist Regulatory Advocate and acts for the prosecution and defence in many areas of regulatory & disciplinary law. He is an approved advocate on the list of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health & Safety and Environmental Law.
Robert acts for the prosecution and defence in many areas of regulatory & disciplinary law. He is an approved advocate on the list of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health & Safety and Environmental Law.
His regulatory practice includes Health & Safety, Sports Law, Trading Standards, Environmental, Road Traffic, Licensing, Food Safety cases and many more.
Robert has extensive experience of Health and Safety cases, often involving fatalities or serious injury. He is also regularly instructed to appear before the Coroner’s Court in relation to inquests into death on behalf of HSE or other interested parties.
He has conducted many environmental cases, including allegations involving the operation of regulated facilities without an environmental permit; keeping/treating controlled waste without a waste management licence; and other waste management offences.
He has also conducted a number of water pollution cases, including the disposal of diesel and other noxious substances into the waterways.
Robert has conducted numerous appeals against both conviction and sentence in the Court of Appeal and has also appeared in the High Court in a case stated appeals.
As a former semi-professional footballer, Robert has an excellent understanding of all rules and regulations issued by FIFA and the Football Association. He has a keen interest in many sports which makes him the perfect choice for all types of sporting disciplinary cases.
Robert also conducts appeals, and provides advice upon appeals, against Licensing Committee decisions.
Robert has sound judgment and is known for his honest and straightforward advice. He is a robust and effective advocate with a calm and pleasant manner.
- Inquest into the death of Simon Hogg (2019): Instructed by HSE to appear at this 4 day Inquest into the death of a worker at Stonegrave Aggregates Ltd. The accident occurred at Aycliffe Quarry waste recycling site in 2015 when an attempt was made to free a blockage from a 2trommell machine.
- NYTS -v- B & M Retail Limited (2018): instructed on behalf of the defence for this company with a multi-million pound turnover charged with manufacturing and importing defective glideboards, contrary to the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008. The glideboards were manufactured in China and contained defective parts which led to some examples of overheating and even fires, which attracted significant media attention. The case involved consideration of EU standards/directives and documentation from China, Germany and other countries where companies had been involved in the initial testing/approval of the product.
- HSE -v- RK Civil Engineers and RK District Heating (2018) – instructed on behalf of the prosecution in relation to two companies charged with failing to ensure the safety of an employee who died at E.On’s Renewable Energy Plant in Sheffield after suffering devastating crush injuries from an 840kg pipe which fell on him. The companies were each convicted after trial and fined £1million each.
- HSE -v- Treanor Pujol Ltd / Inquest into the death of Matthew Fulleylove (2018): instructed by HSE to appear at this five-day inquest into the death of Mr Fulleylove who died from head injuries suffered whilst at work.
- HSE -v- Caldery’s Limited (2018): this case was heard at Leeds Crown Court, involving charges under the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. Employees were exposed to risks associated with vibration tools (Hand-Arm-Vibration Syndrome) and Respirable Crystalline Silica.
- HSE -v- Fishgate Limited (2017): trial at Lincoln Crown Court in relation to charges of failing to ensure the safety of an employee who was carrying out work at height and who suffered a potentially fatal fall from height, receiving significant injuries as a result of the defendant’s negligence. The defendant was convicted, fined £100k and ordered to pay the prosecution costs.
- HSE -v- Redhall Engineering Services (2018): instructed on behalf of this company who faced allegations of failing to ensure the safety of two employees who received significant injuries whilst carrying out the decommissioning of gas cylinders.
- HSE -v- Premier Hank Dyers (2018):
- HSE training: Robert assists in training HSE Inspectors for their presentation of cases before the Magistrates’ Court and the giving of evidence in other cases.
- DVLA and WYTS -v- Harrison and Harrison (2018): instructed on behalf of both defendants who were prosecuted by DVLA and WYTS for the defendants’ alleged significant breaches of s.17, 24 and 25 of the Vehicle Crime Act 2001 and numerous trademark offences, said to have been committed during the course running two businesses, one of which supplied registration plates in a shop and the other which supplied custom number plates online. Robert secured absolute discharges for each defendant, following their acquittal of nearly all charges.
- EA -v- JJCE Ltd (2018): defendant charged with disposing waste in ponds causing a risk to the welfare of wildlife.
- EA -v- JR (2017): defendant charged with operating a regulated facility without a permit, acquiring end of life vehicles and storing or disposing of tyres/waste in an unsafe manner, including disposal by burning.
- EA -v- W (2017): defendant charged with running a waste management facility without a permit acquiring a large volume of scrap vehicles and dismantling them in an unsafe and illegal manner.
- NYTS -v- Kerr (2018): defendant charged with a large amount of offences to do with the sale of counterfeit clothing and jewellery being sold in his shop.
- NYTS -v- Morgan (2017): defendant charged with a large amount of offences to do with the sale of counterfeit clothing and footwear being sold mainly over the internet.
- WYTS -v- Briggs and Briggs (2018): Proceeds of Crime Act application made against two defendants convicted of supplying counterfeit handbags being sold on their market stall, involving an application for the confiscation of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
- HSE -v- Sonocco Cores & Paper Ltd (2017): defendant with a turnover in excess of £35million, employing over 19,000 employees in over 300 sites across the world, alleged to have failed to safeguard its employees one of whom suffered severe crush injuries to his hand resulting in the loss of three fingers.
- HSE –v– Allen & Hunt Engineers Ltd (2016): defendant charged with breaching health and safety requirements by failing to put in place any proper safety precautions resulting in an employee falling over six metres from a barn roof and suffering life-changing injuries in the process.
Contact Robert’s clerks
Ranked Chambers and Partners (2024) and Tier 1 for Crime – The Legal 500 (2024)
Robert is a very busy and well-respected criminal practitioner who prosecutes and defends in equal measure, dealing with serious and complex cases.
“Robert goes above and beyond.” – Chambers and Partners (2024)
‘He is able to identify and focus on the important issues in a case so that his legal and jury submissions are precise and persuasive. A definite future silk. ’ – The Legal 500 (2023)
“He is friendly and approachable but tough when he needs to be.” – The Legal 500 (2021)
“An outstanding advocate with fantastic cross-examination skills.” – The Legal 500 (2020)
“Charismatic, astute and approachable” – The Legal 500 (2019)
“Quick-witted, methodical and conscientious.” – The Legal 500 (2017)
“Not easily fazed, and able to deal with the most complex and sensitive cases in a calm and considered manner.” – The Legal 500 (2016)
He is an experienced and accomplished advocate, regularly instructed in cases of serious violence and organised crime including firearms, drugs, money laundering and people trafficking.
He is an approved Fraud and RASSO prosecutor whose caseload includes large-scale financial crime, rape and other serious sexual offences.
He is regularly instructed in multi-handed cases and is known for his calm, sensible and thorough approach.
Robert regularly deals with sensitive issues of disclosure and public-interest immunity, including surveillance, informants, and intercept material.
Robert recently received a commendation from the Home Office for ‘Excellent investigative work, demonstrating tenacity under extreme pressure to find the evidence to convict those found to have abused the immigration system’.
He has prosecuted and defended in cases which have included evidence obtained from abroad and has argued jurisdictional issues, including the admissibility of such evidence and whether the case was properly prosecutable in the UK.
Robert has sound judgment and is known for his honest and straightforward advice. He is a robust and effective advocate with a pleasant manner.
He regularly acts for companies and individuals on a private-fee basis in both criminal and regulatory cases, in particular health & safety, road traffic and environmental cases.
- Regina v L and others: four-handed, high-profile murder case involving the execution of a police informant.
- Regina v W and others: four-handed, conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to commit arson and conspiracy to produce cannabis.
- Regina v W and others: eleven-handed violent disorder and s.18 trial.
- Regina v RH and others: six-handed conspiracy to possess explosives and firearms, conspiracy to defraud, and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
- Operation Raptor1/Howse: six-handed conspiracy to defraud trial involving elderly victims who were conned into handing over their life savings by defendants posing as police officers or bank employees. The total value of the frauds was many hundreds of thousands of pounds.
- Operation Raptor2/Solitude: nine-handed conspiracy to defraud trial involving elderly victims being conned in a similar manner to those in Operation Raptor 1 (above).
- Operation Peakgill: four-handed firearms trial involving applications to dismiss, lengthy telephone and cell-site reports and arguments of admissibility.
- Operation Apple: four-handed trial in relation to a conspiracy to defraud the UK Immigration Service. Voluminous paper and telephone records demonstrating an abuse of the immigration system on a huge scale over many years.
- Operation Raceway: three-handed drugs and money laundering conspiracy trial involving voluminous telephone reports, legal arguments, and Proceeds of Crime Applications.
- Regina -v- JS: trial involving a defendant who stole £300,000 from a 102-year-old victim for whom the defendant was supposed to be providing care. The defendant also created, and sought to rely upon, a fake Will in order to obtain the rest of the victim’s possessions after her death.
- Operation Destiny: Eight-handed drugs conspiracy trial involving complex telephone evidence linking a very large amount of drug offences in North Yorkshire.
- Regina -v- M: multi-complainant trial of a defendant accused of historic, serious sexual offences committed upon school pupils and other young people.
- Regina -v- R: defendant charged with two counts of stranger rape and trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence.
- Operation Gascony: four-handed trial involving conspiracies to supply drugs and launder hundreds of thousands of pounds. The evidence included a large amount of business documents, telephone/banking records, and expert MASSPEC evidence about cash contaminated with drugs.
- Regina -v- S: defendant charged with violent rape upon his partner. The case involved expert reports for the prosecution and defence in relation to forensic evidence obtained from the complainant and the potential date upon which it could have been transferred.
- Regina -v- E: defendant charged with rape, involving issues of drunken consent and a denial that penetration actually occurred. The case also involved an expert report to deal with the forensic findings.
- Regina -v- S: Multi-handed trial involving an allegation of violent rape of a prostitute, including issues of consent, cross-admissibility of evidence between defendants and issues of joint enterprise, not all defendants having been involved in the alleged sex act.
- Regina -v- H: defendant charged with inciting sexual activity with a girl under 13 and assault by penetration
- Regina -v- J: defendant charged with rape and assault by penetration of 14-year-old daughter, involving significant arguments of PII/Disclosure relating to school and social services records.
- NYTS v B & M Retail Limited: defendant with a multi-billion-pound turnover, charged with manufacturing and importing defective glideboards, contrary to the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008.
- Regina v C and others: large-scale building-services fraud upon homeowners in North Yorkshire.
- Regina v H and others: five-handed conspiracy to commit a £300k advance-fee fraud involving evidence obtained from Dubai, Iran, Hungary and other countries.
- Regina v M and others: Large-scale conspiracy involving the importation of Class-A drugs from Brazil.
- Regina v B and others: ten-handed, £2million MOT fraud.
- Regina v H and others: Film, music and video-game piracy; the overall fraud being worth over £4million to the media industry.
- Regina v R: Multiple-staged-accidents case with a proceeds-of-crime application to the value of £3/4m.
- R v Soar: Court of Appeal case, sentencing elderly man convicted of two counts of arson endangering life.
- R v H and others: five-handed conspiracy to commit arson in which the defendants arranged to burn down a taxi office for the purpose of a fraudulent insurance claim; their hired arsonist died in the fire.
- R v Walton: Court of Appeal, successfully arguing that the appellant’s DNA, which was found on an item taken to the scene of a burglary, was insufficient evidence to convict. His conviction was quashed.
- R v Richardson: Court of Appeal, 26 defendants in an Attorney General’s Reference involving a large drugs operation, successfully arguing that the respondent’s sentence was not unduly lenient.