Robert Blackett is a barrister who acts as advocate in arbitrations and court proceedings. He primarily represents clients in the oil and gas, energy, engineering and construction industries and has extensive experience of the major institutional rules and contract forms.
Robert has been recognised in the international arbitration and contentious construction categories in some or all the 2020, 2021 and 2022 UK editions of The Legal 500, with clients interviewed by that publication most recently having described him as “‘Extremely quick, skilled and easy to work with in relation to complex multi-jurisdictional legal matters”, “…outstandingly able”, “… at the cutting edge of both subject matter expertise and advocacy skills”, “Extremely bright, immensely experienced, very hard working, highly dedicated and acutely commercial – and, on top of that, a pleasure to work with” and reported that “Robert Blackett [is] highly competent and knowledgeable … and I would have no hesitation recommending [him] to potential clients for this type of work”, “Rob Blackett is an extremely able lawyer: very clever, immensely hardworking and dedicated” and that “Counsel Robert Blackett is an excellent lawyer, who is very clever, extremely hardworking and very easy to work with”.
Robert completed his pupillage at a leading London set and was formerly Judicial Assistant to Lord Clarke and a lecturer on the University of London’s external programme.
Professional and Community Activities
- Commercial Bar Association
- LCIA Young International Arbitration Group
Selected Publications and Speeches
- “The Special Relationship: Why English Law is Still One of Your Best Friends in International Disputes,” presenter, Houston, TX, January 27, 2015.
Energy, Oil, Gas and Chemicals
- Joint Operating Agreement (2014) – ICC arbitration and related litigation concerning $130m+ overspend on offshore exploration well in West Africa.
- Meteorological mast for offshore windfarm (2013) – Acting for employer in dispute concerning ground risk.
- Exploration licence (2013) – Advised licence-holder in dispute with government of a central African country about minimum payment / investment obligations.
- International sale of LNG (2012) – Acted for purchaser in dispute under $400m+ contract subject to ICC arbitration.
- Joint Operating Agreement (2012) – Dispute amongst consortium operating a major field in Latin America.
- Offshore drilling (2011) – Advised in dispute arising from termination of concessions in the Balkans.
- International Gas Sales (2011-2012) – Dispute under 15yr multi-billion dollar agreement for international sale of gas from major field in Central Asia.
- Oil refinery (2011-2012) – Acted for management contractor in $53m ICC arbitration.
- Oil trading (2010-2011) – Settled pleadings for $6m+ commercial court action between partners in Russian oil trading business.
- Power plant (2011) – Advised operator in dispute arising from late supply of replacement turbine for Greek plant.
- Gas to liquid project (2011) – Advised supplier in $2.1m dispute.
- Pollution liability (2009) – Advised and assisted in drafting pleadings for $140m+ arbitration claim by oil company against insurer.
- Fuel spill at drinking water plant (2008-2009) – Represented consulting engineers in £1.5m High Court claim.
- Petrochemical plant (2006-2007) – ICC arbitration final account claim by Japanese EPC contractor.
- Process platform (2005)* – $25m LCIA arbitration between Korean yard and Canadian buyer.
- Waste to energy plant (2005)* – Final account dispute.
- Hydro project (2004)* – Dispute arising out of construction of a dam in Lesotho.
Technology and Construction
- Medical assay technology (2011) – Advised in highly technical dispute.
- Luxury private residence (2011-2012) – High Court claim concerning a £10m private residence.
- Concrete manufacturing (2011) – LCIA arbitration between US licensor and UAE licensee.
- Mine process plant (2010) – Advised US contractor in respect of project in Spain.
- Football stadium (2010) – Advised Turkish contractor in arbitration subject to Russian law.
- Airline ticketing data (2008-2009) – Defended $40m ICC arbitration.
- Piling defects (2006-2009) – £3m+ CIMAR arbitration. Resisted novel stay application (J Jarvis & Sons Limited v Blue Circle Dartford Estates Limited  EWHC 1262 (TCC)).
- Rail infrastructure (2006) – Advised train manufacturer in dispute with JV partner over £11m cost of providing train depots.
- Rail infrastructure (2005) – Adjudication regarding installation of CCTV across underground rail network.
- Rail infrastructure (2005) – Adjudication regarding renovation of rail station for high speed rail line.
- Tunnelling (2005)* – Adjudication and arbitration regarding construction of tunnel for high speed rail line.
- Wastewater treatment (2005)* – £100m+ High Court claim against designer/process licensor.
- Longwall coal mining machinery (2004)* – $70m+ ICC arbitration, Russian buyer against UK supplier.
- Hotel management (2008-Present) – Acted for global hotel chain in a number of ICC arbitrations concerning hotels in a variety of jurisdictions.
- Secret trust (2012) – Advised wealthy individual regarding claim to over >$500m interest in a global business.
- Purchase/financing of Ukrainian bank (2011-2012) Represented BVI fund in complex LCIA arbitration claiming >$37m from wealthy Ukrainian individual.
- Medical products (2011) – Advised Italian multinational in €20m dispute on currency risk.
- Purchase of Ukrainian bank (2011-2012) – Represented purchaser in LCIA arbitration seeking >$7m for breach of warranty.
- Consumer goods (2010-2011) – Advised FTSE 100 company regarding challenges under investment treaties and/or the WTO regime to various regulations imposed on its products in Australia, Canada, Brazil and Indonesia.
- Aircrash (2010) – Advised on Montreal Convention and issues of English law and procedure arising out of January 2008 BA038 crash at Heathrow.
- ISDA swap agreements (2010) – Advised Latin American central bank on English law issues in claims under ISDA swap agreements arising out of Lehman Brothers’ insolvency.
- Medical biologicals (2009) – Disputes arising out of high value, long-term contract for development, human trials and commercialisation of post-surgical treatments.
*Denotes experience as a pupil
- UK edition of The Legal 500, 2020-2022
- Lincoln's Inn Levitt Scholarship, 2004
- Lincoln's Inn Thomas More Scholarship, 2003
- Lincoln's Inn Hardwicke Scholarship, 2002
- Assistant Editor, UCL Jurisprudence Review, 2002
- UCL Dean's List Prize for Academic Excellence, 2002
LL.B. (Hons.), University College London, 2002
Judicial Assistant to Lord Clarke, 2006
England and Wales
General Counsel of the Bar of England and Wales
The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Arthur C. Clarke I am presently reading J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books to my son. Disappointingly, they say nothing about how civil litigation works in the world of Harry Potter. Perhaps Rowling thought it an ins [...]