He has repeated been top-ranked by Legal 500. His Tier 1 rating in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017 rankings notes:
Technically very strong, with very good depth of knowledge
He is been listed as Market Leader”, “pre-eminent”, recommended” and “Leading in Doyle’s Guide 2017. The editorial for 2012 notes:
Founding Partner Robert Fenwick Elliott was described as “far and away the best construction litigator” in the South Australian market with one peer noting “clients love him”.
The 2014 edition, compiled on the back of feedback from both solicitors practising within these areas and client referees, lists him as a leading construction barrister in South Australia, and notes
Robert Fenwick Elliott moved to the bar in July 2013 and appears to have made a considerable degree of impact in that short time. Fenwick Elliott was previously ranked as a “Preeminent” individual in the area of construction when practising as a solicitor.
Internationally, and in London, he has repeatedly been recognised by The Legal 500 and Chambers as “one of the industry’s leading practitioners”, “a dominant force” and “a safe pair of hands”.
Other comments include:
His stature in construction law across the world is unquestioned
Professor Anthony Lavers, KC Construction Update Winter 2014
a genuine heavyweight
Declan Redmond, CEO & Director of Clerking Keating Chambers, Press release November 2014
And from other lawyers and clients:
A truly exceptional and inspirational lawyer
About Robert as a Speaker
He is typically evaluated highly by delegates at conferences and seminars at which he speaks. For example, at the seminar Contract Law: Key Clauses and Disputes on 13 March 2014, the feedback was:
- Very interesting and well presented.
- Fabulous as always. Excellent examples. Relevant material. Useful for application in workplace. And entertaining, too.
- Excellent and useful presentation.
- Good content and enjoyed the use of media.
- Fantastic, creative look at various contractual issues.
And more recently, at the Law Society’s 10 POINTS IN ONE DAY seminar in March 2015:
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- Good speaker, holds interest
- Interesting content
- Excellent presenter
- Spoke well, good content, full set of notes
Legalwise conference: Contract Law: Eliminating Mistakes and Managing Risks November 2017:
Presenter’s Name: Robert Fenwick Elliott
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- Good topic and well presenter. Would be useful to provide example cases.
- Gave good detail about different dispute options. Very insightful.
- Wonderful overview of ADR possibilities for contracts.
- Very good real life scenarios.
A small 2019 event:
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Kept to time and good comments
Of Robert’s Masterclass on Retrospective Delay Analysis
“A well presented and relevant session. Most enjoyable. Robert knows his stuff and in addition is a good presenter. Best training session for a long time.”
“Excellent content & presentation. A class above the rest. It challenged as well as informed. One of the best I’ve attended and look forward to the next.”
“Informative on an important & often misunderstood subject, and very interesting in the presentation.”
Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure, Government of South Australia
“Excellent. Appreciate format, explanation and relevance.”
Emmanuel KelakiosAlpine Constructions
“Useful, a lot to take in in only 3 hours.”
“Very useful for our scope of works. Thank you for your presentation.”
Coombs & Barei Constructions
“Very good; one of the best. I look forward to the Masterclass 2″
“Good speaker – case studies made it easier to understand the points”
“Excellent presentation – clearly experienced in this area”
“Very comprehensive. Introduced some terms and concepts I had never previously heard”
“Good discussion – all totally relevant”
“Very informative and thought provoking. Will be giving a lot of thought to establishing delay analysis protocol for the office”
“Very good, very enjoyable. Some good examples which is very helpful to put concepts into perspective”
Department for Environment and Heritage, Government of South Australia
About Keating Chambers
Keating Chambers is, quite simply, the most prestigious set of construction law barristers in the world. It has 57 barristers, 27 Queen’s Counsel, 30 Juniors plus six door tenants/ practising associate members.
“Keating Chambers is a pre-eminent set in the construction field. The practice is noted for having ‘talented and highly knowledgeable counsel’ who deal with the largest matters and ‘aren’t fazed when dealing with volumes of documents’. Its practitioners have a wealth of experience relating to construction law and advise a range of clients, including employers, suppliers, insurers and funders, on the full range of disputes.”
Chambers & Partners 2015 – Construction
Keating Chambers “regularly handles major domestic and international energy disputes. Its members act in arbitrations and TCC cases in connection with oil and gas, renewable energy, power and offshore disputes. Sources are impressed by chambers’ consistent quality: ‘Keating Chambers does not rest on its reputation but earns it anew every year’.”
Chambers & Partners 2015 – Energy & Natural Resources
“A set with first-rate capabilities on the international stage when it comes to construction arbitrations. It offers a profoundly broad spectrum of services to clients and its members are regularly instructed on difficult and significant cases.”
Chambers & Partners 2015 – International Arbitration: Construction & Engineering
“Keating Chambers houses professional negligence barristers who ‘are all clever, articulate and easy to work with’. The set offers expertise at all levels from junior juniors to senior silks. Members act domestically and overseas for a range of clients, including government departments, contractors and surveyors, and are recommended for their handling of high-value and sensitive commercial disputes.”
Chambers & Partners 2015 – Professional Negligence: Technology & Construction
“Keating Chambers is a market-leading construction set that displays undisputed acumen when handling procurement cases. Its gifted team of talented silks and juniors offers early-stage strategic advice to both authorities and bidders when tenders are up for grabs, but also offers all the advocacy skills required should matters proceed to the courtroom. Members at the set are expert in tackling cases involving the health, construction and professional services, the three biggest areas of public procurement by spend.”
Chambers & Partners 2015 – Public Procurement
In October 2014, Keating Chambers was awarded ‘Construction Set of the Year 2014’ for the eighth time at the Chambers and Partners Bar Awards. Also in October 2014, Keating Chambers was awarded ‘Projects and Energy Set of the Year 2014’ at The Legal 500 UK Awards 2014.
About Fenwick Elliott LLP
Giving the firm top ranking, The Legal 500 2006 commentary says:
Niche construction firm Fenwick Elliott LLP ‘really stood out from the crowd’ for contentious work in 2005. Acting largely for suppliers, Simon Tolson‘s ‘extremely high-calibre’ team has a distinct aptitude for ‘very intelligent’ litigation both in the TCC and in adjudications, whilst it nurtures a capacity for international arbitration. Recent highlights include successfully acting for the Great Eastern Hotel in its high-profile dispute with Laing.
The other respected legal directory, Chambers & Partners, first ranked the firm top several years ago. Their 2006 commentary says this:
The Firm: “One of this firm’s greatest feats was to identify much earlier than anyone else that adjudication was here to stay.” With more than 1,500 adjudications concluded and a recent appointment to the Association of Independent Construction Adjudicators completing the picture, it has earned its place at the forefront of construction litigation. However, as commentators observe, a firm this commercially astute was unlikely to restrict itself to contentious matters. To this end, the group has made forays into the lucrative domestic education sector, advising the London School of Economics (LSE) on procurement relating to the £24 million development of a teaching block in Kingsway. It has also immersed itself in a growing portfolio of international work in the energy market, prompting a shower of praise from members of the construction Bar for its stellar performance in connection with the controversial Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.
Fenwick Elliott Grace is the firm that Robert Fenwick Elliott set up with Jeanie Elliott and Tom Grace in Adelaide. Doyle’s Guide 2012 again named it as one of just two “First Tier” construction law firms in South Australia. Doyle’s describes how the list is put together as follows:
This section provides additional information in relation to firm and individuals capabilities as well as any general market trends and influences relating to the legal services aspect of the South Australian construction market. It is compiled on the back of feedback from both solicitors practising within these areas and client referees.
The commentary notes that:
Specialist construction firm Fenwick Elliott Grace regarded principally for its capabilities on contentious matters perhaps needed no further boost in market standing however the operational commencement of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2009 (SA) in December 2011 has seen the firm “everywhere”.
The full commentary is at http://doylesguide.com/editorial-commentary-construction-south-australia-2012/ (a subscription to Doyle’s Guide is required).
About Building Contract Disputes: Practice and Precedents
See Publications page.
Identified by the UK Supreme Court as one of the two “leading textbooks” on construction law in Bresco Electrical Services Ltd v Michael J Lonsdale (Electrical) Ltd  UKSC 25 (17 June 2020).The point under consideration was the practical impact of adjudication determinations as a final point of resolution for construction disputes.
The other was Keating on Construcion Contracts, by colleagues in chambers, and also published by Sweet & Maxwell.
About Building Contract Litigation
Building Contract Litigation is the book that Robert Fenwick Elliott wrote, and which ran through 4 editions, in the 1980s (see publications).
A superbly competent guide
Highly readable … most enthusiastically recommended to every litigation practitioner