Robert Webb QC was a door tenant at Brick Court Chambers from 2009-2012 before he then became General Counsel of Rolls-Royce, a post from which he retired in 2015 when he rejoined Brick Court Chambers.
Called to the Bar in 1971, he took silk in 1988 and was Head of Chambers at 5 Bell Yard for ten years from 1988-1998. His practice was insurance, reinsurance and commercial aviation. He was much involved in ‘mass disasters’ and multi-forum issues, for example: the recovery for insurers of much of the value of the Kuwait Airways fleet, lost in Gulf War 1; the sinking of the ‘Herald of Free Enterprise’ at Zebrugge; the shooting down of Korean Airlines flight KAL007; the founding of Virgin Atlantic Airways and of Easyjet .
He was also Counsel to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for a decade, fighting specialist and product liability cases in Europe and in the UK. After leaving the Bar for commercial life, initially for ten years as General Counsel of British Airways and also as a director of the London Stock Exchange (from which he retired as Senior Independent Director in 2015), he left British Airways and went on to be a director or chairman of a number of public companies including: the BBC, where he was a board member, and chairman of BBC Worldwide (its commercial subsidiary); chairman of the technology company, Autonomy; senior independent director of Argent, a property company then developing King’s Cross, and some private companies, including Hakluyt. He was a Recorder of the Crown Court from 1993-1998, and has arbitrated and litigated commercial and aviation disputes both in the UK and around the world, including Tonga and Brunei, as well as many more familiar Commonwealth jurisdictions, such as Hong Kong, Australia and Canada.
Career history (Bar)
Called to the Bar, Inner Temple 1971 (also Lincoln's Inn 1996)
Queen’s Counsel 1988
Head of Chambers, 5 Bell Yard, London 1988-1998
Fellow of Royal Aeronautical Society 1992
Recorder of the Crown Court 1993-1998
Bencher, Inner Temple 1997 to date
Chairman, International Relations Committee, Bar Council 1997-1998
Career history (industry)
General Counsel, British Airways 1998-2009: (including law, government affairs, safety and security, risk management, environmental policy, corporate responsibility and BA health services).
General Counsel, Rolls-Royce 2012-2015: (including risk, government relations, export controls and communications)
Previously held Non Executive Directorships
Air Mauritius 1999-2004
Trustee of British Airways Pension Fund 2000-2002
London Stock Exchange 2001-2015 (Senior Independent Director, Chairman Remuneration Committee)
Speedbird Insurance Company (Bermuda) Ltd 2002-2004
London First 2002-2009
Senior Independent Director and Chairman of Remuneration Committee, Holdingham Group Ltd (Hakluyt) 2005-2019
Emerging Health Threats Forum CIC 2006-2012
Honorary Fellow UNICEF 2006
British Broadcasting Corporation 2007-2012 (Chairman Fair Trading Committee 2007-2009, Chairman BBC Worldwide 2009-2012)
Autonomy plc 2009-2011 (Chairman)
Argent Group 2009-2012 (Deputy Chairman)
Sciemus Ltd 2010-2011
Trustee Comic Relief 2011-2017
Chairman Dark Trace Ltd 2014-2021
Senior Advisor Brunswick Group 2017-2020
Wycliffe College, Gloucestershire 1959-1967
Exeter University 1967-1970 (LLB 1970)
Council of Legal Education (1970-1971)