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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

  • Robert Glassford: an experienced and tactical litigator. Sound strategic approach backed up with robust legal analysis

    Legal 500
  • Robert Glassford – very clever but also practical, always unflappable, good with clients, a first rate team leader who excels at framing both longer term strategy and short term tactics.

    Legal 500
  • Robert Glassford and Lucy Cleghorn have been very personable and professional at all times.

    Legal 500
  • Rob Glassford, I have always found to be a direct, straightforward and logical thinker who is an excellent source of advice. He is cool and clear minded. I believe the team is extremely capable in the highly pressurised arena of commercial litigation

    Legal 500
  • 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

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