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Robert is a senior and experienced litigator having over 20 years of expertise handling a wide range of disputes for private, commercial, and public sector clients, and is recognised in Legal 500 as a leading individual.

Robert acts for a range of Ward Hadaway’s national and international clients handling a wide variety of disputes. These include complex contractual disputes, insurance claims, professional negligence claims, company, shareholder and joint venture disputes, and intellectual property litigation.

He also has a strong reputation providing advice in relation to public law disputes (judicial review), both to public bodies and commercial organisations.

Robert has represented clients in a number of high profile disputes at a variety of levels within the judicial system, including the Supreme Court. He also regularly advises clients about how to avoid or resolve disputes, including mediation and other ADR.


Commercial / Insurance

  • Advising public sector bodies in a range of contractual disputes, including (for example) a mental health Trust in a multi-million pound dispute arising out of an outsourcing agreement for IT services.
  • Acting for a major supermarket in a substantial dispute relating to the repudiation of an insurance policy.
  • Advising a large landowning client in relation to insurance related claims arising as a result of damage caused to third parties by flooding on its land.

Professional negligence

  • Acting for a property development company in relation to the negligent drafting of a development agreement.
  • Acting in a claim multi-million pound claim against solicitors in relation to advice provided on the sale of a substantial hotel business.

Judicial Review / Public Law

  • Representing a national housebuilder in a judicial review relating to the law of village greens to the Supreme Court.
  • Representing a Housing Association in a judicial review challenging a Regulatory decision.
  • NHS Trusts – acting in various matters relating to proposed developments, alterations to services, and other decision-making processes. For example, advising an NHS Trust in judicial review proceedings arising out of a decision to close a mental health hospital in York.
  • Regularly representing land owners and house-builders usually as interested parties in judicial review litigation relating to planning decisions.
  • Advising NHS bodies (CCGs and NHS Trusts) in relation to “Continuing Healthcare”.

Healthcare / PFI

Robert has considerable experience advising NHS Trusts in disputes with PFI companies and construction sub-contractors, including in adjudications and High Court proceedings.

Intellectual Property and Confidential Information

  • Acting for a US client in a dispute relating to the ownership of an EUTM.
  • Oil industry client – in multi-jurisdictional dispute involving misuse of confidential information, patent infringement and patent rectification claims.
  • Representing a North East engineering company in patent infringement proceedings.

What people say

  • Joe Kelley and Robert Glassford are both very thoughtful and responsive. They are great with clients but also have great tactical nous. For high-value commercial litigation, particularly in the North East, I wouldn’t recommend anyone else.

    Legal 500, Client quote
  • Robert Glassford is a very good lawyer, experienced, strong analytically, balanced and measured. Joe Kelley is hardworking, practical and calm. Tim Toomey and Russell Ward have a sound judgment and maintain good relationships with clients. Lucy Cleghorn is practical.

    Legal 500, Client quote
  • Robert Glassford is strong analytically and also very practical and sensible.

    Chambers & Partners
  • He is noted for going the extra mile for his clients.

    Chambers & Partners
  • Very on the ball, calm and charming.

    Client quote, Chambers & Partners
  • Robert Glassford is praised by sources for his 'tenacious, highly inspiring and results-driven' approach.

    Chambers & Partners
  • Robert Glassford is highlighted for his 'speedy, pragmatic and unambiguous advice'

    Chambers & Partners
  • Robert Glassford is a highly rated commercial litigator who is particularly noted for his handling of judicial reviews, professional negligence matters and insurance disputes. He is also active in a range of healthcare disputes.

    Chambers & Partners
  • When my husband and I sold our business we were misadvised resulting in multi-million pound losses. Robert took on a professional negligence case against the firm of solicitors who had acted for us on the sale. The claim was not straightforward but Robert handled it expertly, guiding me through the process. The claim ultimately settled at a mediation. I was very pleased by the outcome and would without question recommend the services of Robert and his excellent team.

    Client quote

My insights