Robert Hickmott is a consultant in our London office and General Counsel for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan UK LLP. He has been active in financial, banking, insolvency and fraud based litigation for 25 years and has, over that period, represented the full range of stakeholders in defending and pursuing claims and resisting/enforcing judgments.
Robert has particular experience of representing clients in high value financial litigation, and has run litigation in the major jurisdictions. He has acted for Funds in restructuring and distressed debt disputes; insolvency officeholders in bringing claims and adjudicating on proofs; and for numerous high net worth individuals in bringing and resisting claims.
Legal 500 2022 says that Robert is “absolutely exceptional … nothing is too much work for [him]. [Robert is] aggressive and innovative and just superb.” Clients say that “Robert Hickmott is very strong on the law, and has a great feel for tactics. Also, he’s an absolute delight to work with.”
Earlier legal directories describe Robert as:
"Indefatigable, unflustered and unafraid of litigating"
"He gets results."
"A proper litigator who gets into the detail and understands it well" and who "gives a good strategic overview and is a good team builder".
"Incredibly capable and efficient" and has "good judgement"
"He's very measured, very clever and very good at running big cases."
"Brilliant", "smart and extremely commercial".
He was recognized by the Legal 500 as a Leading Individual in Insolvency and as a 2014 London Super Lawyer for Insolvency and Bankruptcy.
Robert is a regular commentator on current legal stories, from litigation funding to the LIBOR scandal in publications such as The Lawyer and Legal Week. He has also appeared on the Jeff Randall Show for Sky News.
- Acting for the Liquidators of a Fund in a significant claim against its Investment Manager and Valuation Agent in relation to the fraudulent overvaluations of certain instruments in the Fund’s portfolio. This has involved an LCIA arbitration and proceedings against other targets in the US Bankruptcy Courts.
- Acting for an overseas bank in resisting enforcement of repo transactions through an LCIA arbitration on the basis that the repo transactions were a disguised money laundering transaction.
- Acting for parties holding Greek government bonds.
- Advising a high profile energy conglomerate in connection with the proposed refinancing and reorganisation of its debt liabilities. Contentious issues arose around the question of whether the necessary consents had to be unanimous or that of a simple majority.
- Acting for investors in a Fund in relation to a claim against its Investment Manager.
- Acting for the Liquidator of a company in a fraud claim surrounding the sale of a well known English football club. This involved proceedings in the English courts and Dubai.
- Acted in the Klockner Pentaplast restructuring, where the clients (the junior lenders, led by SVP) were able to dislodge the equity holder and take control of the company.
- Advising Funds on disputes arising out of distressed debt transactions.
- Acting for a high net worth individual in bringing a successful claim against his private wealth managers for breach of duty.
- Acting for a high net worth CEO of a listed company in resisting enforcement proceedings (including a Freezing Order) against him personally.
- Acting for a high net worth individual in resisting an enforcement threat against a high value property asset and subsequent refinancing.
- Acting for an F1 team in relation to the administration of another F1 team and claims against a guarantor.
- Acting for a Fund in connection with a significant contractual claim against an investment bank.
- Acting for the Liquidators of a property company in bringing a preference claim against a bank.
- Representing the Public Prosecutor of an Italian municipality in connection with criminal claims against four investment banks, involving letters of request to the UK government for production of documents by the banks via an SFO, s. 2 notice.
- Representing the Liquidators of Stanford International Bank in UK litigation relating to the priority of insolvency officeholders and entitlement to control of the insolvent estate. This included dealing with proceedings commenced by the SFO and SEC relating to the characterisation of the bank's assets in the UK as proceeds of crime (and the restraint and freezing orders which this entailed). Robert had conduct of an application to vary or discharge a Restraint Order made under the Proceeds of Crime Act and a subsequent appeal before the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal against the first instance judgment for refusing to vary or discharge. The Court of Appeal was persuaded to discharge the original order on the basis that the SFO had made misrepresentations and was guilty of material non-disclosure in obtaining the original order.
- Acting for HM Government in making an emergency application to Court in order to put the owner/operator of the UK rail infrastructure, Railtrack, into Special Railway Administration, and advising HM Government on issues arising in the Administration.
- Representing the German officeholder of Hans Brochier in the successful application to the English Court for a reversal of a determination that the company’s COMI was in England.
- Representing a large corporate in litigation against a spread betting company arising out of the theft of monies from the corporate by an employee, which were subsequently gambled and lost with the spread betting company.
- Acting for the TXU conflict administrator on disputes between corrected companies in the TXU group relating to a significant transaction effected shortly before the administration.
- Representing the administrators of an Enron company in relation to litigation arising out of gas trading and involving complex netting off issues.
- Representing the receivers of an arms dealer in substantial litigation relating to unpaid commission.
- Acting for a syndicate of insurers in relation to a broker's insolvency, in a dispute relating to the status of premium monies held by the broker at the time of the insolvency.
- Advising an investment bank in relation to a significant European telecoms insolvency, and advising on issues surrounding the trading of debt and claims.
- Advising creditors in relation to potential challenges to pre-pack administrations (various companies).
- Acting for various hedge funds in relation to trading and other disputes with counterparties and stakeholders, including advising on prime broker claims, close out and valuation issues and assessing the value of litigation rights in insolvent estates.
- Acting for various classes of creditors in relation to numerous high profile restructurings and disputes under inter-creditor deeds.
- Representing a UK clearing bank in relation to set-off issues arising out of Chapter 11 of Regus plc, including instigating and overseeing a successful court action in New York.
- Acting for the administrators of Polly Peck, including conducting litigation in various jurisdictions, and successfully defending criminal proceedings brought in Turkey against the administrators.
- Bankruptcy & Restructuring
- Southampton University
- Guildford Law School
- Solicitor, England and Wales.
- CMS Cameron McKenna LLP:
- Partner, 1999-2010
- Robert is a member of the R3 Conference and Education Committee and regularly chairs and speaks at conferences relating to insolvency litigation.
- Robert has also recently presented on investor claims against financial institutions and trends in 'credit crunch' litigation.
- Robert is a frequent contributor to industry magazines and periodicals on issues ranging from COMI; to claims against directors of insolvent companies; to the court's approach to the formation of a contract in distressed debt trades.