Robert is a senior partner at Beckett and leads the Sexual Abuse Department. He is also the firm’s Managing Partner.
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, including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Nunavut and the Yukon. He is presently Called to the Bar in Ontario, New Brunswick and British Columbia and has had partial licencing in both Nunavut and the Yukon. If you were injured or victimized anywhere in Canada (Quebec excluded), Robert can represent you.
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 child 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. The TVO documentary on that case, entitled PREY, can be viewed at https://www.tvo.org/video/documentaries/prey-featu.... He has also successfully represented victims within Sport, including the Hockey Canada scandal involving members of the 2018 World Junior Hockey Team.
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, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Ontario Legislature’s Standing Committee on Social Policy and the Manitoba Law Reform Commission. Robert has guest lectured at the Canadian Institute’s Summit on Institutional Liability for Sexual Assault and Abuse, at the University of Western 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, CBC The Fifth Estate and the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Robert has served as a Canadian Forces Reservist since 1988 and deployed on the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Bosnia during the mid 1990’s. His military service has been recognized with induction into the Order of Military Merit. 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.