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Practice Summary

Tony de Garr Robinson's practice covers a diverse range of disciplines. Described by Chambers and Partners as ‘rapidly becoming one of the leading commercial silks of his generation’ and by the Legal 500 as ‘an outstanding advocate with impeccable judgment and a tremendous work ethic', he undertakes substantial High Court and appellate proceedings, offshore litigation, international arbitration and advisory work. He has acted as an English law expert in foreign proceedings and he sits as an arbitrator.

Educated at Oxford (where he was an Open Scholar and a Gibbs Prize winner) and Harvard (where he was a Kennedy Scholar), he is identified as a leading practitioner in many fields. He is currently recommended as a 'Leader at the Bar' in six categories in Chambers UK 2016 (Banking & Finance; Chancery/Commercial; Commercial Dispute Resolution; Company; Fraud/Civil and Restructuring/Insolvency), in four categories in Legal 500 201 (Banking and Finance; Company and Partnership; Fraud: Civil; and Insolvency), and in two categories in Chambers Global 2016 (Dispute Resolution: Commercial and Dispute Resolution: Chancery Commercial).

As can be seen from his full CV (which is very long), the range of disciplines he covers is unusually diverse. For example:

  • He undertakes all forms of banking and banking-related litigation, including LIBOR-related claims, investment advisory claims and regulatory claims. He has experience of CDO and other asset-backed security transactions, structured investments and derivatives and he is familiar with fund management and hedge fund business structures and also with private banking relationships.
  • He has acted in innumerable shareholder disputes, section 994 petitions and derivative actions. He is often involved in company claims against directors and other fiduciaries and in corporate joint venture disputes. He frequently advises on and acts in disputes relating to large and complex corporate transactions.
  • He has experience of a wide range of commercial transactions, including for example CDO transactions, commercial leasing transactions, corporate acquisitions, derivatives, financing transactions, fund management contracts, software and other IT licences (including FRAND licences), mobile virtual network operator contracts, PFI transactions and securitisations.
  • He has undertaken many cases involving the misuse of commercially valuable confidential information and personal privacy.
  • He has acted in countless fraud and conspiracy cases, and has huge experience of the forms of damages, restitutionary and proprietary claims to which such cases can give rise, including tracing claims made by way of ancillary proceedings in other countries.
  • He has long experience of all forms of insolvency proceedings.
  • He frequently acts in joint venture and partnership cases, often involving fiduciary claims.
  • He has substantial experience of multinational litigation and arbitration, including claims governed by foreign laws. He has acted in many jurisdictional disputes and forum challenges and he regularly deals with conflicts issues and cases involving expert evidence of foreign law,
  • Equally at home in the Commercial Court and the Chancery Division, he often acts in offshore cases. Over the years, he has been admitted as a member of the Bar in the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands. He is currently registered as a foreign lawyer to practise in Singapore and appear before the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) and as an advocate in the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts (DIFC).

He has been ranked in Chambers and Partners and in the Legal 500 for over 20 years and certain themes can be discerned from the comments made about him during that time. These include his determination to understand all aspects of a case rather than just the big picture, making it possible to spot solutions (and problems) which others might miss; his aptitude for thinking creatively about the law to achieve practical solutions, taking concepts from one field and applying them to others; his ability to express complex points in a simple and attractive way; his faculty for communicating with clients and understanding their concerns and objectives, and his strategic approach to dispute resolution. He enjoys working as part of a team and he likes examining witnesses (his longest ever cross examination took the best part of a month).

Some examples of recent comments about him:

"His legal expertise, eloquence and diligence stand out, and the quality of his work is simply superb." "Has a keen eye for detail, and is great at finding the pressure points." (Chambers and Partners 2018 - Commercial Dispute Resolution)

"Very hard-working and approachable, he's a deft advocate who employs just the right amount of humour and intellectual firepower." "He is very meticulous and has a real mastery of detail." (Chambers and Partners 2018 - Banking and Finance) 

"Great advocate who has an excellent bedside manner with clients." "Fantastic. Unbelievably clever and super charming." (Chambers and Partners 2018 - Fraud: Civil)

 "He combines a tremendous work ethic with immensely good client-handling skills." (Chambers and Partners 2018 - Company) 

'He has shown great skill in getting to grips with complex accounting issues and is a good team player.' 'He's extremely bright and good on his feet.' (Chambers and Partners 2017 - Commercial Dispute Resolution)

'Anthony delivers advice that is tangible and practical and is incredibly user-friendly.' 'He is very technically gifted and very hard-working.' (Chambers and Partners 2017 - Banking and Finance)

'He is a great advocate who has an excellent bedside manner with clients.' 'He's impressive and thorough.' (Chambers and Partners 2017 - Civil Fraud)

'An incisive advocate with a brilliant mind.' (Chambers and Partners 2017 - Company)

'He is incredibly bright and a master strategist' (Chambers Global 2016)

‘He's the complete package in the sense that he has tremendous gravitas with the court, fantastic analytical abilities and top-notch client-handling skills’. ‘His cross examination is phenomenal. He draws out the story persuasively but, equally, gets the evidence out of the witness' (Chambers UK 2016)

'The real deal; an outstanding advocate with impeccable judgment and a tremendous work ethic' (Legal 500 2016)

‘As good as they come’. 'He's rapidly becoming one of the leading commercial silks of his generation; he always has the ear of the court and is extremely user-friendly' (Chambers UK 2015)

'Extremely incisive and insightful' (Legal 500 2015)

'He combines formidable intelligence with unbelievable industry and endless charm to turn in brilliant performances’ (Chambers Global 2014)

'Intelligent and charismatic. He reassures clients that every angle has been covered. He's brilliant on litigation tactics and blends commercial simplicity with detailed legal analysis to form a potent approach to any case' (Chambers UK 2014)

[He] is noted for 'his fantastic ability to handle clients'. Possessed of a 'winning courtroom style', he is a man whose 'unassuming manner belies a formidable intellect', and someone who is 'amongst the most tactically astute lawyers' at the Commercial Bar' (Chambers UK 2013)

[He] stands out as an 'incredibly persuasive advocate' who demonstrates 'a great facility for finding winning points'. Sources add: 'He is able to pick a path through tricky jurisprudence to create a credible and convincing legal argument ' (Chambers UK 2012)

'[He] impresses with his 'outstanding advocacy and commercially minded approach'. One interviewee called him 'one of the cleverest people I’ve ever met' and suggested that his 'fantastic range of experience' enables him to handle a vast range of disputes' (Chambers UK 2011)

Some notable recent cases:

Novatrust Ltd v Kea Investments Ltd (2016) He acted for the claimant in an appeal from the dismissal on jurisdictional grounds of its claims regarding a £130 million joint venture. Amongst other things, the appeal raised fundamental questions regarding the nature of derivative proceedings, the jurisdiction of the English court to authorise a shareholder to bring such proceedings on behalf of a BVI company and the jurisdiction of the court to grant declarations. The defendant agreed terms for the appeal to be allowed.

RP Explorer Master Fund v Sanjay Malhotra (2015) He acted for a bank in a US$77m conspiracy claim relating to the issue of Global Depositary Receipts on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. The claimants alleged that the bank had facilitated a conspiracy to obtain US$200m from institutional investors by means of various deceits regarding what was alleged to be a fictitious project to acquire and construct an oil refinery in India.

MDNX Group Ltd v Richard Cunningham (2015) He acted in a £10m claim by the buyers of an IT company for breach of warranty by the sellers of that company. The case involved complex issues of contractual construction, accounting and valuation.

Myriad Group AG v Oracle America Inc (2014) He spent much of 2014 acting in a $120m-plus dispute about Oracle America’s open access licensing regime for Java software. The dispute had commenced with litigation in California and Delaware but ultimately resulted in an UNCITRAL arbitration in London, where he was lead counsel for Oracle.

Geoffrey Logue and Another v Project Grande (Guernsey) Ltd (2013) He acted for the Candy brothers and their associated companies in a £12m conspiracy claim relating to the One Hyde Park development. The unlawful means alleged included breach of confidence, the tort of abuse of process and unlawful interference. The defendants hotly disputed both liability and quantum.

Antonio Gramsci Shipping Corp v Recoletos Ltd [2014) 1 BCLC 581; [2013] 4 All ER 157 & [2013] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 295 (Court of Appeal) and [2012] 2 Lloyd's Rep 365 (Teare J) Acting for a defendant in a £100m shipping fraud claim, he successfully challenged the jurisdiction of the court after a 5-day hearing, on the basis that it is not possible to establish jurisdiction under the Brussels Regulation by piercing the corporate veil. The claimants appealed, effectively arguing that the corporate veil should be pierced under European law. The appeal was dismissed, as was the claimants' application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.