To contact or appoint Robert Sear, call CEDR on +44 (0)207 536 6060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Good rapport and good sense of perspective on the case and parties and on tactics.” - Client Feedback
Robert Sear has been an active CEDR mediator for over ten years working predominantly on business and commercial matters primarily relating to SMEs and owner managed businesses including director, shareholder partnership disputes often involving insolvency related issues. He has also mediated sale of goods & services and other contract matters ranging from international disputes running into millions of £s to relatively low value but complicated claims.
Robert has been a partner at the London Office of the law firm Thrings LLP (where he is Head of Office) for many years where he acts for individuals and companies in connection with a wide variety of business related matters. His clients include not only UK companies but also credit insurers, US and French clients often involving multi-jurisdictional disputes. He has also been actively involved in a number of trust related issues over the past few years acting for trustees and beneficiaries as the lead partner in a number of high profile and reported cases.
Robert is the UK contributor to a French legal textbook on EU member country legal systems “Prevention et Gestion du Contentieux en Europe”.
(Non-Neutral work in italics)
Banking & Finance
- A claim for accelerated finance payments (£350,000) against a guarantor in which settlement was achieved in one day.
- Claim in an Administration regarding monies advanced under a syndicated loan agreement, issues of fiduciary duty and interpretation of the loan documentation.
- Claim for monies due for goods supplied under a distribution agreement, issues relating to the terms of a written agreement and subsequent oral variations made by the parties.
- Claim for warehousing costs relating to storage of perishable goods. Dispute related to interpretation of terms and conditions of storage following contamination of goods.
- Commercial and contractual disputes: Acting for banks, companies and entrepreneurs. This includes acting for US and EU corporations and individuals and advising on multi-jurisdictional claims and forum shopping.
Insolvency: Advising and acting on behalf of Insolvency Practitioners acting as administrators, receivers and liquidators. Also advising and acting on behalf of creditors, directors and shareholders. Investigation of wrongful and fraudulent trading by directors, including criminal proceedings; pursuit of creditors’ claims including retention of title – mixed goods and tracing actions.Dispute between a Liquidator and a director of insolvent company about the identity and validity of certain payments made immediately prior to liquidation by the company to third parties.
Partnership & Shareholder
- A claim for shares in a start-up business (claim valued in excess of £250,000).
- Dispute between the directors and shareholders of a manufacturing company.
- Family farming partnership dispute between two generations of farmers.
- Acting for a partner of a Central London law firm regarding the enforceability of restraint of trade covenants following his departure from that firm.
- Acting for two directors of a company in connection with claims for breach of fiduciary duty and secret profit.Dispute between former directors and partners concerning a partnership for the development of residential property.
- Dispute between directors and shareholders over the valuation of a company and its shares.
- Dispute between a Liquidator and a director of insolvent company about the identity and validity of certain payments made immediately prior to liquidation by the company to third parties.
- Shareholders and directors’ disputes:including minority actions, fiduciary duties of directors and directors’ rights and obligations.
- Partnership disputes: acting for both individual partners and firms including matters of partner conduct such as issues of good faith and confidentiality.
Sale of Goods & Services
- Dispute concerning business to business supply of goods, issues of late delivery and conformity to contract.
- Claim for unpaid fees for accountancy services and issues of professional negligence.
- Farm production business: sale for goods dispute between two companies.
- Acting for various EU credit insurers and recovery agents concerning sale of goods claims in the UK.
Trusts, Wills & Probate
- Acting for trustees in relation to their duties and obligations in connection with high profile beneficiaries.
- Acting for trustees relating to a claim over land by an individual holding ancient Manorial titles.
- Advising trustees in connection with their duties, obligations and powers.
Robert has an open, straightforward style with a commercial approach to resolving matters. He is able to build trust with the parties and their advisors so that pragmatic solutions to problems can be achieved during the mediation process. He has an ability to think laterally so that parties are able to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement of their differences.
- “Good rapport and good sense of perspective on the case and parties and on tactics.”
- “Well prepared, … confident, familiar and at ease with the process…”
- “…most refreshing and straightforward, it was both business like and unpretentious and combined with good humour.”
- “…a good understanding of the process and the role of the mediator. Very good.”
- “He had obviously prepared well and was fully acquainted with the details.”
- “He was very calm and collected. He did a good job.”
- “I thought he handled it very professionally.”
- “He has a very pragmatic approach and we would be happy to use him again.”
- Head of London Office – Thrings LLP.
- Managing Partner – Lee & Pembertons (merged with Thrings LLP in 2007).
Publications and Seminars
Author of a number of legal articles on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Insolvency and Civil Procedure in client and firm publications. Also, author of the English section of Prévention et Gestion du Contentieux en Europe (Prevention and Management of Claims in Europe), a textbook for French legal professionals and law students dealing with commercial law, the court system, and civil procedure in five European countries.
Also, prepared and presented legal seminars to clients and fee earners on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Insolvency.
As a result of acting for a number of French clients, Robert has acquired an understanding of the French legal system and the cultural approach to law and commerce. He speaks conversational French.
Robert has experience of acting for US law firms and corporations and Japanese companies operating in the UK.
Updated: December 2015