Robert specialises in commercial litigation and arbitrations involving fraud, substantial contractual claims, shareholder disputes, trusts and asset tracing. He has considerable experience of applying for all types of injunctions, including worldwide freezing orders. His clients involve companies, directors, high-net-worth individuals and FCA-registered entities and individuals. He is recommended in Chambers UK for Civil Fraud and Commercial Litigation, and in Who’s Who Legal (Asset Recovery), and is listed as a Leading Individual for Civil Fraud in The Legal 500.
Robert’s clients have described him as “tough and streetwise when necessary”, “highly intelligent” and “extremely hard-working”, and have said that he “has incredible negotiating skills, takes very sensible points and is ferocious on the other side.” Over 20 years in practice, he has demonstrated his commitment to his clients and his ability to achieve successful outcomes in substantial commercial litigation.
Much of Robert’s work involves an international element: he frequently works with lawyers from other jurisdictions, he is a registered practitioner in the courts of the Dubai International Financial Centre, and he has acted as Privy Council agent in a number of successful appeals.
His recent cases involve defending very substantial claims by company liquidators, a $130m claim against a Big Four accountancy firm in the DIFC courts, fraud claims by Danish and Jersey shareholders in relation to the sale of a UK company, multimillion pound claims involving three jurisdictions brought by a company against its former CEO, and acting in UK litigation arising out the Madoff frauds.
In addition to his experience of conducting litigation, Robert regularly advises clients on strategies to avoid or mitigate the risks of litigation.
Robert studied Philosophy & Politics at the University of Edinburgh. He was called to the Bar in 2003, practised in Chambers for several years and has been a partner at City and Mayfair firms. He joined BCL in 2023.
Directory comments include:
“Robert is highly intelligent, extremely hard-working and his ability to marshal a case is superb.” “He has incredible negotiating skills, takes very sensible points and is ferocious on the other side.”
“uses his initiative and constantly moves things along to achieve results. He is very good with clients and easy to get in with but tough and streetwise when necessary.”
“Robert Lawrie is a man to have on your side in a heavy duty fraud litigation – a redoubtable opponent.”
“He defends his clients’ interests in a commercial and practical way.” “Robert is…very good with clients and takes the time to look after them.”
“He is one of the best lawyers I have worked with and his litigation management skills, in particular, are top-notch.”
“a formidable opponent in civil fraud. His negotiation skills are excellent and he has very good judgment.”
“tactically insightful and commercially aware…very attentive and hugely client-friendly.”
“an absolutely stand-out litigator; highly able, organised, brilliant with clients – everything that you could possibly want from a lawyer.”
‘Robert Lawrie… has good organisational skills and attention to detail, is dedicated and hard-working, and has a good client focus and understanding of the overall goals.” “He has an engaging, can-do attitude laced with good humour and charm.”‘
“In what was a very complex case in multiple jurisdictions, Robert managed to keep the various lawyers, expert witnesses and clients organised and focused, dealt with any issues diplomatically and provided clear advice to the clients when there was a lot of detail to cover.”