Robert Ishak

Principal Lawyer, Director

BCom(Acc) LLM (With Distinction) GAICD Notary Public

I am the co-founder and chairman of William Roberts Lawyers. I am a Notary Public, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a member of AmCham’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

I am a commercial adviser and litigator, and regularly act for and advise on:

  • Regulatory matters;
  • General insurance with expertise in the law of fraud and indemnity;
  • Life insurance;
  • Class actions;
  • Trade practices;
  • Corporations law;
  • Contract law; and
  • Cyber and privacy law.

In 2003, I 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.

I was also 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. I have 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.

Who I work with and what I do

I acted for:

  • Nick Kaldas, the former Deputy Commissioner of NSW Police in the Supreme Court in relation to a report, including its findings, issued publicly by the (then) Acting Ombudsman. An Application for Special Leave to Appeal to the High Court of Australia was made, on the basis that the finding of the NSW Court of Appeal was invalid on the grounds of the doctrine in Kirk v Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales [2010] HCA 1. The matter resolved prior to the hearing of special leave.
  • An investigative reporter for Fairfax Media in relation to the unauthorised access of the journalist’s information (call and text records) by Vodafone. This matter reached the attention of the United Nations special rapporteur for freedom of expression, David Kaye, who criticised Vodafone’s handling of the privacy breach and said the unauthorised access showed “no respect” for source protection and that the incident reflected ongoing concerns in Australia about privacy and protecting journalists’ sources.
  • A high end hotel chain in Western Australia. This involved providing advice in relation to a ransomware incident.

What I studied

I have a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), Bachelor of Laws (with Merit) and a Master of Laws (with Distinction).

What I like to do

I am passionate about giving back to the community and supporting those in need. I have supported, in various ways, the Sydney Starball Committee in aid of the Starlight Children’s Foundation and have 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.

I otherwise have a passion for cars.

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