Robin Somerville

Robin has been involved in resolving over 1,000 cases spanning 15 years by mediation, arbitration as an ombudsman or by determination on various types of tribunals. He has a specialisms in shareholder and board disputes particularly in respect of family businesses, technology related disputes, professional standards and workplace. He is a trainer and consultant for CEDR.

Practical Knowledge & Experience:

  •     Contract
  •     Construction and property
  •     Insolvency & Directors Responsibilities
  •     Employment
  •     Family Business
  •     Financial Services
  •     NHS / Clinical Commissioning Groups
  •     Partnership/Shareholder
  •     Professional Negligence and Discipline
  •     Property
  •     Restitution/unjust enrichment
  •    Technology: Internet/e-Commerce/Software Development 

In the workplace, Robin has conducted mediations and investigations in respect of  complex, challenging and sensitive matters. These include allegations of:

  • sexual misconduct, sexual harassment and obscene imagery of sexual violence,
  • exposing the organisation to multimillion pound risk and reputational damage,
  • risking the loss of major contract representing 25% of business unit income,
  • bullying and harassment,
  • practising witchcraft in the workplace and putting curses on colleagues,
  • running a business from employer's premises,
  • misconduct flowing from mental health and addictions,
  • unauthorised leaks to the press,
  • bringing the employer into disrepute,
  • covert recordings of Board/CEO meetings,
  • CEO/Board grievances and counter grievances,
  • whistleblowing,
  • unfair grievance proceedings,
  • breach of trust and confidence.

Robin has substantial experience in professional conduct and regulation.  He sits as a Tribunal Chair or Member for the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Nursing and Midwifery Council and General Medical Council. He provides advisory and training services to a number of high profile regulators including the Irish Medical Council, Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland and the Construction Industry Council. For the latter Robin chaired a committee, advised and drafted a new professional code of conduct. He is a Board Member for the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board and was previously for the Institute for Physics and Engineering and Law of Property Act Receivers.  He was previously a member of the British Computer Society Professional Investigations Committee.

About me

Prior to qualifying as a barrister he set up, grew and successfully sold three technology start-ups. This required him to negotiate contracts and disputes from bluechips through to tech employees, from equity holding stakeholders through to directors.  He was also a founding equity investor in reallymoving.com, Britain's leading price comparison site for conveyancing, surveying and removals professionals. In addition to the commercial aspect of technology, Robin has an understanding of technical architecture. He designed the systems that each of his tech businesses operated which were then developed in house or by outside agencies. Robin is an Arbitrator and Mediator for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) based in Geneva.

Robin is a judge for the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition, has provided papers to the ICC International Mediation Conference and is a judge at the CEDR National Negotiation Competition.

Professional Background:

Robin is a barrister, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and holds a Masters in Law in International and Comparative Dispute Resolution from the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary University of London.

For over 15 years, Robin has been involved in resolving a wide range of disputes. He has mediated, acted as a mediation advocate or negotiated settlements in commercial contract, debt, professional negligence, directors’ guarantees, landlord and tenant, unlawful eviction, unlawful interference, shareholder, employment and breach of trust disputes.  He is an accredited workplace investigator.

Robin is currently co-authoring a book titled “Judgecraft: The Art of Judicial Decision Making”.

Robin is Chair of Governors at a high profile education establishment and is a Non-Exec Board Member and Audit Chair for an NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.

In his early career, Robin spent 4 years as a money market and derivatives trader for one of the world’s largest banks

What my clients say

"Thank you so much for yesterday, you are without doubt the best. I am so grateful that you persevered even when [party] was walking away, words can't express how I feel."
Mediation user in complex shareholder dispute.

"Thank you Robin for your sensitive and professional leadership of the mediation today, and for following up so quickly with the final documentation."
Mediation party.

"I heard today that you were great! Well done. In this instance it is great to be proven wrong."
Mediation commissioner who predicted that the mediation would be unsuccesful.

"Robin worked with me on a mediation and I found him thoughtful, observant and a positive contributor to the process. I would be very happy to work with him again."
High profile mediator.

“Having worked with Robin before he was the obvious choice for me on a second occasion when I needed his services. Robin supported me through a tough and complex situation and I would not have achieved the settlement that I did without his tenacity.”
Mediation advocacy client.

“a diligent and reliable professional who delivers assignments efficiently and with the highest standard of integrity. We are thrilled to have him”
Mediation and investigation service provider

“Robin provides a genuine spark to discussions and brings innovative ideas to fruition…. has overcome all obstacles quickly and efficiently to make things happen.”
“perceptive, thorough and inclusive, always ensuring all issues are aired and addressed appropriately”

“Robin has been a Director of reallymoving.com since its launch in 1999 and has delivered a huge amount of value to the organisation throughout that time. He has a unique blend of deep technical insight, a creative approach to growing a business, solid commercial understanding and a pragmatic common sense approach to everything he does. He's a huge asset to our business.”
CEO and controlling shareholder

“I have always found Robin to be honest and he works with partners with integrity. He has a bright, agile mind. He understands the detail and the bigger picture and can separate the two.  He listens and is prepared to work with people.”

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