EXPERTISE

Robert has over 12 years’ experience supporting employers with their people issues.  He provides incisive, practical advice on all employment law matters from responding to complaints and grievances, allegations of discrimination and discipline issues, reorganisations, restructuring and redundancies, TUPE, threats of industrial action and large-scale changes to terms and conditions.

Robert has developed a depth of expertise in complex, contentious employment litigation defending complaints in tribunal by alleged whistleblowers.  Based in Aberdeen for the past nine years, Robert has been working mainly with energy clients active in the North Sea.  He has an in-depth knowledge of that sector and its people issues in the UK.  Robert has also been involved in international employment issues, including FCPA and Bribery Act consequences.  Having appeared in employment tribunals throughout the UK, Robert has extensive experience of tribunal advocacy and resolution of workplace disputes by negotiation or mediation.  

Robert has appeared in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Edinburgh.  Robert has also appeared in Aberdeen Sheriff Court in employment cases involving interdicts (or injunctions), arrestments (or freezing orders) and defending bonus claims.

Robert appeared in the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) for an international employer defending a complaint that it failed to disclose information to a recognised trade union which materially impeded collective bargaining and pay negotiations.  Robert has also been involved in advising on the lawfulness of ballots for industrial action by a consortium of unions representing the offshore workers and has advised on an employer who resisted a voluntary recognition process initiated by a trade union.

Most recently, Robert has been advising business on preparing for and implementing changes as a result of reforms to the taxation of off-payroll working (commonly known as IR35).  Robert also supports businesses with any business immigration advice, including applications for Tier 2 Sponsor Licences.

Robert also delivers training to clients and regularly presents at public employment law conferences, most recently sharing a platform with Caspar Glynn QC.  As Senior Tutor for the University of Aberdeen, Robert has lectured on Employment Tribunal Practice & Procedure in Scotland to postgraduate students. 

  • Successfully appearing in the CAC for an employer and successfully opposing a complaint that it failed to disclose information which materially impeded collective bargaining. 
  • Successfully representing an Oil Service company in the Employment Tribunal in its defence of a whistleblowing dismissal claim, valued at £2.3M, by securing a strike out of the Claimant’s claim on day four of an 11 day hearing.
  • Successfully acting for another Oil Service company in the Employment Tribunal in its defence of unfair dismissal proceedings.
  • Successfully bringing a counterclaim against an ex-employee because of the ex-employee’s breach of his employment contract.  The employer client secured both an award of damages and an award of expenses or costs in the Employment Tribunal.
  • Successfully securing the strike out of an unfair dismissal claim on jurisdiction grounds of time bar.
  • Advising an international power transmission company its defence of whistleblowing complaints in the Glasgow Employment Tribunal, valued at about £400,000.
  • Defending a high value discrimination claim arising from voluntary redundancy situation, which involved jurisdictional arguments.
  • Acting for an employer defending a disability discrimination claim in the Employment Tribunal in Dundee.
  • Advising an international helicopter company on TUPE following a tender award, while convincing its competitor that 10 pilot employment contracts did not transfer. 
  • Assisting in Court of Session interdict proceedings relating to use of helicopter cockpit cameras brought by a pilot union.
  • Representing a client in the Employment Tribunal involving complaints of sexual harassment pursued against an employer and individuals who were contractors of the employer and were the alleged discriminators.
  • Negotiating an agreed exit for the managing director of an Energy Operator. 
  • Acting for an outgoing contractor in proceedings raised by 11 former employees who transferred by TUPE to an incoming contractor but who were dismissed by the incoming contractor.
Education
  • University of Dundee – First Class LLB (Hons) in English Law with French Language (2004)
  • University of Dundee – Qualified in Scots Law (2005)
  • University of Dundee – Diploma in Legal Practice (2006)
  • Signet Accredited in Employment
  • Accredited as a specialist in Employment Law by the Law Society of Scotland
  • Registered as a Notary Public with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Memberships
  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • The Society of Writers to HM Signet