Robert is a partner at Beckett and leads the Sexual Abuse Department. He also works with the Plaintiff Injury Group.
Born and raised in the Chatham area, Robert obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario in 1994 and his Bachelor of Laws in 2000 from the University of Windsor. In his final year of study, he graduated with the highest academic standing in his class.
Robert has advocated for clients who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, farming accidents, and medical malpractice cases since he was called to the Ontario Bar in 2002. Robert started working on sexual abuse lawsuits early in his career through his work in the precedent setting trial decision of J.R.S. v. Glendinning, where three brothers were abused by a Roman Catholic priest. Since then, his services have been in high demand, and sexual abuse claims represent the majority of his work.
Robert has represented people from all over Canada — handling cases in BC, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Nunavut.
Some of his noteworthy cases include the largest Canadian settlement for a victim of sexual abuse. In K.M.M. v. The Roman Catholic Diocese of London, Robert won the largest trial award for a female victim of sexual abuse by clergy. In 2018 he achieved a $2.6 million dollar jury verdict for a victim of sexual abuse, which included $500,000 in punitive damages.
Outside of the courtroom, he has made submissions in support of victims to the Cornwall Public Inquiry, the McMurtry Victim Compensation Review, The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Robert has lectured at the Canadian Institute’s Summit on Institutional Liability for Sexual Assault and Abuse and has provided legal information to various sexual assault centres.
In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for his efforts in representing survivors of sexual abuse. Robert has also been a guest commentator on sexual abuse cases for CBC National, CTV Newsworld, and CBC The Fifth Estate.
Robert has served as a Canadian Forces Reservist since 1988 and was part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Bosnia between 1994 and 1995. He has assisted those who can no longer serve due to injury through his pro bono work with the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association’s Trial Lawyers for Veteran’s Program. Robert applies his military discipline to his legal work, making him a formidable lawyer. When he is not working as a lawyer or serving as a soldier, Robert cherishes spending time with his family and also tries to stay physically fit in this busy world.