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Robert Ishak

Robert Ishak is co-founder and chairman of William Roberts Lawyers. He has a bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) with Merit and Master of Laws with Distinction. Robert is a Notary Public and has also completed the Australian Institute of Company Director’s course. 

Robert’s management responsibilities include corporate governance and guiding the firm’s business strategies together with developing and driving the firm’s marketing. Robert is an experienced commercial adviser and litigator. He regularly acts for and advises major corporate institutions in relation to:

  • general insurance with expertise in the law of fraud and indemnity;
  • life insurance;
  • banking and finance litigation;
  • class actions (acting for institutional interests);
  • trade practices;
  • the law of franchises;
  • corporations law;
  • contract law; and
  • employment law.

Robert adds a different perspective to most lawyers given that he is a litigator which enables him to identify potential issues and ensure that clients avoid legal pitfalls. Highly regarded for his ethical approach and personal integrity, Robert has the gravitas and commercial understanding to question the prevailing wisdom, withstand group pressure and remain objective.

In 2003, Robert was a driving force in the profession by introducing:

  • fixed-fee event based billing, giving clients cost certainty; and
  • complete transparency by giving clients on-line access to their legal files.

In 2003 and 2004, Robert served on the Litigation Law and Practice Committee of the New South Wales Law Society. He also lectured at the University of Western Sydney in two final year subjects, namely, Commercial Law and Corporations Law. Key topics included the regulation and legislation of corporations; corporate constitutions; corporate governance; duties of directors and controllers; corporate control and management; corporate shares and dividends; shareholder actions and remedies; sale of goods; consumer protection; misleading and deceptive conduct; manufacturers liability; and trade practices.

Robert was the original author of the chapter Drafting Pleadings in The Practitioner’s Guide to Civil Litigation first edition and chapter editor in the second and third editions. Robert also reviewed and edited Pro Bono Practices: A guide to the pro bono practices of NSW’s largest law firms published by New South Wales Young Lawyers and the National Pro Bono Resource Centre.

Passionate about giving back to the community and supporting those in need, Robert sits on the Sydney Starball Committee in aid of the Starlight Children’s Foundation and has participated in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout where Australian leaders in business experience homeless life for one night in winter to raise awareness and funds for Vinnies to support people experiencing homelessness as part of a larger Escape from poverty campaign.


In the Press

  • In 2013, Robert was interviewed by Westpac on Growing a law firm from two to 60 people and in a publication produced for the Commonwealth Bank on Cash flow: Expert tips to keep your business in the black.
  • In 2012 and 2013, Robert served on the Australasian Life Underwriting and Claims Association Inc. Victorian Committee and the ALUCA National Membership Working Group.
  • In 2011 and 2012, Robert was a speaker at the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators Symposium (Australian Chapter) on the law relating to motor vehicle fraud. 
  • In 2011, Robert was a speaker at the Australian Financial Review Legal Conference on The future of law: Responding to dynamics of the new reality.  At the invitation of the President of the New South Wales Law Society, Robert was part of a symposium on the Review of billing practices so as to examine the system of time billing; suggest refinements and encourage the legal profession to adopt alternative fee charging methods for suitable matters.