Robert Dougans practices in the Dispute Resolution department of the firm’s London office.
Mr. Dougans joined the firm in 2007 after training and qualifying as a solicitor in 2003 with a leading London firm. Since then he has practiced a wide range of litigation and arbitration, usually involving the resolution of international disputes in the English courts and before English-law arbitral tribunals. He became a partner at the firm on 1 January 2014. He has been described as "a brilliant young lawyer" by the journalist Nick Cohen.
He has unusually thorough experience of heavily-contested High Court litigation, including Freezing Injunctions and other interim remedies as well as trials and appeals, usually involving high-value commercial disputes and/or allegations of serious fraud. He is also regularly called upon to advise upon the thornier aspects of the Civil Procedure Rules. Recently, he lead the Bryan Cave team which was successful in a 3-week trial on behalf of our client Caldero Trading Limited in a dispute arising out of the breakdown of a joint venture to acquire, renovate and run a hotel business in Montenegro. Dougans also has extensive experience of conflicts of law and other aspects of modern cross-border litigation, and was heavily involved in the case of BNP Paribas v. Russian Machines & Ingosstrakh-Investments - an important authority on the grounds upon which the English Courts will allow service upon non-EU defendants.
In addition, he is a qualified Solicitor Advocate and regularly appears as an advocate. The decision of Mr. Justice Stadlen in Kaschke v. Gray & Hilton is cited as an authority in The White Book, the authoritative guide to civil procedure in the English courts.
He also has sizeable experience in arbitration, having acted in an LCIA arbitration concerning the termination of a Joint Venture Agreement between investment funds located in Bermuda, and an $11 million claim arising out of the delivery of commodities to the Middle East. He has also worked in a large-scale dispute which proceeded to an LCIA arbitration concerning the termination of a large-scale public sector IT project. He also successfully represented an Asian textile and clothing company in an LCIA arbitration against its UK-based joint venture partner in respect of an investment in a US-based company, in which the Tribunal held that the consultancy agreement between the parties could be rescinded because of fraud.
Mr Dougans has extensive experience in defamation and privacy work. He has acted in jury trials, as well as the leading case on the calculation of compensation under the Offer of Amends procedure introduced by the Defamation Act 1996. Most notably, he acted for the writer and broadcaster Dr. Simon Singh in the case brought against him by the British Chiropractic Association. This case was listed as one of the top ten cases of 2010 to watch by The Lawyer. The Court of Appeal's judgment in favour of Dr. Singh declaring that he may rely on a defence of fair comment was widely report in the national and international media. In 2010, Mr. Dougans received the award for Assistant Solicitor of the Year at the Lawyer Awards in recognition of his work in this area. The Times also has named Mr. Dougans Lawyer of the Week (April 2010).
Mr. Dougans was heavily involved in advising the Libel Reform Campaign with regard to the drafting and passage of what became the Defamation Act 2013, and continues to be involved in defending free expression, including his successful defence of a claim brought against the well-known academic Professor Richard Dawkins, and in striking out a claim brought against The Independent newspaper.