Photo of Robert Cumming

Robert Cumming

Call 2010

rcumming@2tg.co.uk

+44 (0)20 7822 1200

“A very good advocate”

Chambers UK 2018

“personable and reassuring”

Chambers UK 2018

“good manner with clients and witnesses”

Chambers UK 2018

Practice Overview

Robert has a specialist practice in two core areas: commercial and employment litigation; and clinical negligence and personal injury litigation. He frequently represents clients in trials before the High Court, County Court and Employment Tribunal and has appeared in appellate courts (as sole counsel) on numerous occasions.

Robert is ranked in Chambers and Partners (2018) who recommend him as an “up and coming” junior, saying “he is a very good advocate, capable of thinking on his feet”, “he has a good manner with clients and witnesses”, and that he is “personable and reassuring”.

He combines excellent academic credentials with a rigorously practical approach. This, along with his reputation as a determined and tenacious advocate, results in him being instructed on complex and high value matters and often against opponents who are many years his senior.

Before coming to the Bar, Robert graduated from Girton College, Cambridge as the Sir Francis Goldsmid Law Scholar. He subsequently taught undergraduate law at Cambridge, before working for one of the leading offshore law firms in its Guernsey litigation team, where he was involved in a range of commercial disputes with an international flavour. His international practice has continued at the Bar and he is experienced in disputes before the Guernsey Courts, BVI Courts and the Dubai International Financial Centre.

Commercial Dispute Resolution

During pupillage Robert experienced a wide range of commercial (both general and shipping) disputes, including those involving the sale of goods and supply of services, defective products, guarantees and bailment.

He has experience in claims against utility companies involving the Water Industry Act 1991 and claims against Royal Mail involving the Postal Services Act 2000.

Commercial Fraud

Robert has had exposure to commercial fraud disputes, in particular concerning dishonest assistance and knowing receipt. He has been involved in disputes involving the law of both Guernsey and the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Employment

Robert has a busy employment law practice in the full range of employment claims. He is an impressive advocate who acts for a wide range of both claimants (usually senior level executives) and respondents from public sector bodies to large international corporations. He is specialist in discrimination and whistleblowing claims and has a busy appellate practice. Robert is acutely aware that advice is often needed at short notice; he has developed a reputation for being able to deliver pragmatic advice within short timeframes and is retained by two PLCs to provide advice in relation to complex internal disciplinary and contractual matters (when a tribunal looks likely to arise).

He has extensive experience in High Court litigation arising out of the employment relationship and issues concerning restrictive covenants, team moves, breach of confidence and breach of fiduciary duty and the obtaining of injunctive relief (given his complimentary commercial litigation practice).

 

Recent cases of note include:

 

Employment Tribunal

AW v LL Ltd (2015) – 5 day trial. Represented the successful claimant in his claims for whistleblowing detriment and dismissal and unlawful deduction from wages. Case concerned complex issues of the disclosure having been made at a former employer, TUPE considerations and the “Iago situation” (i.e. the decision-maker having been manipulated by another).

NM v (1) PIC Ltd (2) Dr S (2015) – 5 day trial. Represented the successful claimant in her claims for sex discrimination and sexual harassment as against a Consultant Plastic Surgeon.

AB v H Ltd (2014) – 6 day trial. Complex sex discrimination and sexual harassment case. Settled during trial.

RW v DES Group (2014) – 3 day trial. Represented the successful claimant in his unfair dismissal claim arising from a summary dismissal for gross misconduct.

GD v S&P NHS Trust (2014) – Represented the successful respondent NHS Trust in an unfair dismissal claim arising from a summary dismissal for gross misconduct.

Employment Appeal Tribunal

Simmonds v Milford Club [2013] ICR D14  – Represented the successful appellant in this widely reported case concerning the circumstances in which an internal warning, used to justify a subsequent dismissal, can be challenged to argue that the dismissal was unfair.

Personal Injury

Robert frequently appears in trials and disposal hearings in personal injury matters. He also has a busy paperwork practice drafting and advising on a range of road traffic (often tainted with fraud) and employer’s liability cases. His experience also extends to injuries in the marine context.

As a keen sportsman, Robert has a particular interest in sport injury claims.

Clinical Negligence

Robert is developing a busy clinical negligence practice since being seconded to the clinical negligence team at a leading City firm. He regularly appears in court on clinical negligence matters and has experience of drafting pleadings in relation to a variety of claims.

Professional Negligence

Robert’s professional negligence practice spans a wide range of professions including, solicitors, accountants, surveyors, builders, doctors and insurance brokers.

Robert is particularly involved in the new wave of lenders’ claims against solicitors and valuers. He has a busy paperwork practice, providing pleadings and advice in this area.

Robert also has expertise in cases of accountants’/auditors’ negligence. He is often instructed in cases involving allegations of failures to identify a fraud as a result of his complementary more general commercial fraud practice.

Property Damage

Robert Cumming regularly advises and appears in court on a range of property damage and product liability matters. He has particular experience of fire and flood claims. He is currently instructed in a high value claim arising out of the flooding of an Elizabethan townhouse being converted into luxury flats.