Robert is a barrister and an experienced litigator. His work involves a wide range of commercial and corporate disputes. He has particular expertise in complex fraud cases (frequently working alongside specialist criminal lawyers), contractual disputes, asset tracing, claims against directors, and shareholder disputes.
Robert is regularly instructed to act against leading firms, acting for individuals, entrepreneurs, companies and their shareholders, with an approximately equal amount of claimant and defendant work. He has been consistently ranked in the leading directories for a number of years.
Much of Robert’s work involves an international element; he frequently works with lawyers from other jurisdictions, he has acted for and advised national governments on asset recovery strategies, 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 appeals.
Robert was previously a committee member of the Fraud Lawyers’ Association and an elected member of the Bar Council.
He defends his clients’ interests in a commercial and practical way.
Chambers UK 2021
Robert is very sound and knowledgeable. He is also very good with clients and takes the time to look after them.
Chambers UK 2021
He is fantastic.
Chambers UK 2021
Robert Lawrie is a formidable opponent in civil fraud. His negotiation skills are excellent and he has very good judgment.
The Legal 500 2021
- Commercial litigation
- Fraud and regulatory investigations and litigation
- Freezing injunctions and interim remedies
- Shareholder disputes
- Claims against directors
- Insolvency litigation
- International/multi-jurisdictional litigation
- Privy Council appeals
- Acting for FCA-regulated entities
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Funding and management of litigation
- Acted for shareholders in a Lebanese bank pursuing a multimillion-dollar claim against Big Four auditors. The claim is pursued in the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts and has led to a series of ground-breaking decisions.
- Applications for disclosure and freezing orders in support of foreign proceedings, including successfully setting aside a freezing order obtained in support of arbitration proceedings in the recent case of Petrochemical Logistics Limited, Mr Axel Krueger v PSB Alpha AG, Mr Konstantinos Ghertsos  EWHC 975 (Comm) and successful variation of a freezing order to permit payment of legal fees in Revenue & Customs Commissioners v Noorasa Begum (Rep. Of The Estate Of Mohammed Uddin) (No 1)  EWHC 2186 (Ch).
- Applications for summary judgment, including a successful application for summary judgment based on a binding contract set out in an exchange of emails in Athena Brands Ltd v Superdrug Stores Plc  EWHC 3503 (Comm).
- Applications for security for costs including Vald Nielsen Holding A/S and Another v Baldorino and Others .
- Acted in two cases involving the defence to claims brought by the liquidators of Bernard Madoff’s US and UK companies.
- Acted for the defendant in a £95m civil fraud claim pursued by HMRC, arising out of a failed criminal prosecution.
- Acted for shareholder claimants in a successful £38m fraud claim relating to the sale of a company at an undervalue.
- Successfully concluded the settlement of insolvency claims of £20m pursued by a liquidator, arising out of VAT assessments, with negotiations lasting over 18 months.
- Successfully concluded the settlement of multimillion-pound fraud claims, involving three jurisdictions, brought by a company against its former CEO.
- Successfully concluded the complex multi-jurisdictional settlement of a multimillion-pound fraud claim brought by a major international company against a former employee.
- Acted for the ex-wife of a multi-millionaire businessman in her £3m claim against him, arising out of investment in a Ponzi scheme.
- Advised a national government in relation to the assignment of rights to pursue litigation.
- Acted as agent in three separate successful appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
- Acted for a Russian TV channel in a multimillion-pound arbitration arising out of a licensing dispute.
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
Recognised by The Legal 500 2022 for Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market
“Robert Lawrie, who I found easy to discuss our case with, managed my expectations extremely well to ensure that I not only won the case but that I came out with a good settlement without over-claiming, which could have caused contentious issues with the court.” The Legal 500 2022
Recognised as a Leading Individual by The Legal 500 2022 for Fraud: Civil
“Rob Lawrie 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”. The Legal 500 2022
“Robert Lawrie is a man to have on your side in a heavy duty fraud litigation – a redoubtable opponent”. The Legal 500 2022
“Rob Lawrie is a charming practitioner who really knows his stuff. He is a first class negotiator with a very good tactical brain. He can identify the important points in any case and make it look effortless”. The Legal 500 2022
“I have known Rob Lawrie for many years, he is always an absolute pleasure to deal with. The instructions he produces are always well put together, he is very fair when it comes to agreeing fees and never any problem with paying them either!” The Legal 500 2022
Recognised in Chambers UK 2021 for Fraud: Civil
“He defends his clients’ interests in a commercial and practical way.” Chambers UK 2021
“Robert is very sound and knowledgeable. He is also very good with clients and takes the time to look after them.” Chambers UK 2021
“He is fantastic.” Chambers UK 2021
Recognised in The Legal 500 2021 for Commercial Litigation and Fraud: Civil
“Robert Lawrie has almost unrivalled experience for someone of his seniority, and has been involved in numerous high-profile and ground-breaking cases. He is one of the best lawyers I have worked with and his litigation management skills, in particular, are top-notch.” The Legal 500 2021
“Robert Lawrie is a formidable opponent in civil fraud. His negotiation skills are excellent and he has very good judgment.” The Legal 500 2021
“Rob Lawrie is standout” The Legal 500 2021
“Barrister Robert Lawrie leads the fraud team at Keystone Law and has notable expertise representing claimants and defendants in cross-border disputes and asset recovery. Sources describe him as an ‘excellent, seasoned civil fraud practitioner’ who is ‘tactically insightful and commercially aware’, as well as being ‘very attentive and hugely client-friendly.’” Chambers UK 2020
Recognised in The Legal 500 2020 for Commercial Litigation and Fraud: Civil
“Robert Lawrie is an absolutely stand-out litigator; highly able, organised, brilliant with clients – everything that you could possibly want from a lawyer.” The Legal 500 2020
“Robert Lawrie has almost unrivalled experience for someone of his seniority, and has been involved in numerous high-profile and ground-breaking cases.” The Legal 500 2020
“The ‘very commercial’ Robert Lawrie is a barrister at Keystone Law with notable expertise in commercial litigation and fraud cases. A source notes: ‘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.’” Chambers UK 2019
Recognised in The Legal 500 2018 for Fraud: Civil and Commercial Litigation
“A tenacious and talented litigator” The Legal 500 2018
“Has good tactical awareness and efficient management of clients in cases” The Legal 500 2018
“Robert Lawrie of Keystone Law handles civil fraud and commercial litigation. Clients say ‘He 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’. Market commentators add that he ‘has an engaging, can-do attitude laced with good humour and charm’.” Chambers UK 2018
Recognised in The Legal 500 2017 for Fraud
“A very experienced individual” The Legal 500 2017
“Has razor-sharp legal skills and is extremely user friendly” The Legal 500 2017
“Keystone Law’s civil fraud practice is new to the scene and is led by the ‘bright and pragmatic’ Robert Lawrie, who joined the firm from Howard Kennedy LLP in 2015. Lawrie regularly represents banks and financial institutions.” The Legal 500 2016
Robert qualified as a barrister in 2003. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2015, he worked at the following firms:
- Farrar’s Building
- BCL Burton Copeland
- Howard Kennedy