Clerking team

Chris Shaw

Senior Clerk – Civil, Commercial & Employment Clerk

Martin Craggs

Assistant Senior Clerk

Jennifer Carr

Civil Clerk

Matthew Smith

Civil Clerk

Amie Finch

Junior Civil Clerk

Robert’s main areas of practice are civil litigation (mainly focussing on personal injury and disease) and Court of Protection work (both health and welfare and property and affairs).

He also has significant experience of criminal work and continues to act in this and several other areas of practice which bring together his experience from two decades at the Bar.

He is happy to take appropriate cases on a conditional fee basis and is accredited to receive direct access instructions from members of the public.

Personal injury

Robert spends much of his time advising (both informally by telephone and formally in writing and in conference) and appearing in court in personal injury cases, acting for both claimants and defendants. He has many years’ experience at all levels, ranging from small claim to multi-track, interlocutory hearings to trials and costs arguments.

He deals regularly with all types of negligence, road traffic, employer liability and public liability claims and has knowledge and experience of many areas such as:

  • Industrial disease
  • Clinical negligence
  • Industrial accidents
  • Road traffic claims involving allegations of fraud and “low velocity impact”
  • Credit hire
  • Health and safety at work
  • Product liability
  • Claims against employers for psychological injury
  • Slips and trips
  • Historical child abuse claims
  • Fatal accidents
  • Accidents abroad
  • Holiday illness claims
  • Inquests

Crown Court & appeals

Having worked as a magistrates’ clerk before entering into private practice, and then spending several years appearing regularly in the Magistrates’ and Crown courts across the region, Robert has a strong background in prosecuting and defending in a wide range of criminal cases. More recently, he has focussed on more specific areas which he enjoys and still deals with regularly, such as:

  • Road traffic prosecutions, especially speeding and drink-driving, often acting for clients at risk of losing their driving licence
  • Benefit fraud, having acted for both sides in cases of significant complexity and value
  • Environmental and regulatory prosecutions
  • Health and safety prosecutions
  • Proceeds of crime (Robert acted for one of the defendants in the first ever case prosecuted by the Information Commissioner’s Office where a confiscation order was requested for offences contrary to data protection legislation)

He has particular experience of quasi-criminal applications and orders, having acted for both sides in cases involving:

  • Anti-social behaviour orders
  • Gang injunctions
  • Sexual offences prevention orders
  • Football banning orders
  • Cash seizure and retention

Robert has appeared for both appellants and the Authority in Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals and has an active knowledge and experience of the schemes dating back to 2001.


Robert is an expert in Disease litigation.

Court of Protection

With over two decades of experience at the Bar, Robert has expanded his practice to focus on cases before, and relating to, the Court of Protection, dealing with both health and welfare and property and affairs matters. After many years dealing with child care proceedings earlier in his practice, Robert has developed a more specific interest in matters relating to mental health, having significant experience of the Mental Health Act 1983, and especially when considering capacity and how society protects and manages the interests of those seen as unable to make their own decisions about important aspects of their lives.

With an eye to his other main area of practice, Robert also has a specific interest in cases where questions of capacity arise in relation to damages awarded in personal injury cases and has experience of obtaining court approval in claims on behalf of protected parties lacking capacity.


  • Fee-Paid Judge of the Employment Tribunals (North-West)
  • Fee-Paid Judge of the First Tier Tribunal (Mental Health)