Rob was born in Somerset, England. He was educated at King’s College, Taunton, and from Year 10 at Devonport High School in Tasmania.

Graduating from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Laws in 1972, Rob was articled to Crisp, Wright & Brown – the formidable Sir Reg Wright QC, clerking for him in such jurisdictions as the High Court, and being tutored by his sons Christopher (later a judge of the Supreme Court of Tasmania) and Philip (later a magistrate).

Rob was admitted as a legal practitioner in 1974 and, including a year in a London law firm, practised in Hobart as a barrister and sole practitioner in general practice until the late 90s when he moved to Queensland as a career change.

Although he regularly appeared as counsel (and self-instructing solicitor) in the Family Court, Rob’s career highlight was actually as counsel in his 20s before the Court of Criminal Appeal where his identification of a misdirection by a trial judge turned a prison visit to advise on an appeal against a seven-year sentence (several months out of time) into a successful appeal against conviction: Richardson v R [1978] TasSR 178.

As well as his non-contentious practice in Hobart, Rob was counsel in a range of civil, criminal and family law matters such as for the husband in Gyselman (1991), a trial on child and property issues that also led to the well-known Full Court appeal on child support.

In 1996, he was appointed to Tasmania Legal Aid’s panel of private lawyers to represent children.

Accredited in 1997 as a family law specialist by the Queensland Law Society (for which His Honour Wood SJ was a referee), Rob took a position as family lawyer with the large Gold Coast law firm Attwood Marshall.

By 2001, he was appointed head of their family law department, where he worked with distinction both appearing and briefing senior counsel in the Family Court in Brisbane.

In 2005 and 2006, Rob wrote a weekend feature on family law for the Gold Coast Bulletin and in 2006 left practice to pursue a more creative line of work.

After obtaining a Diploma of Professional Editing & Proofreading from the Australian College of Journalism he began work in 2007 on The Family Law Book.

Launched in 2009, Rob (and Craig Nicol as co-editor) saw the Book into its second decade. In 2021 Craig took over the reins as editor and Keleigh Robinson became co-editor.