Robert Armour Senior Counsel Chair of UK Nuclear Practice


Speaks:  English

Notary Public: 1986 - UK

Notary Public: 1986 - UK

Year of Call: 1983 - Scotland

Year of Call: 1983 - Scotland


Primary office:  London



Robert Armour

Robert Armour is senior counsel with Gowling WLG in London and chair of the firm's UK nuclear practice. He has extensive experience in the power sector, particularly nuclear, coal, renewables, and electricity distribution networks and smart grids.

Prior to joining the firm, Robert served as general counsel and company secretary for British Energy Group plc from its formation in 1995 until its sale to EDF in 2009 for £12.5 billion. During that time, he played a central role in British Energy's restructuring and flotation in 1996, its groundbreaking AmerGen venture to acquire and operate U.S. nuclear power stations, its acquisition of the Bruce nuclear generating stations in Ontario, its acquisition and later divestment of SWALEC, an electricity retail business, and its purchase of Eggborough Power, a large coal-fired generator.

Robert led the company team in the government-backed solvent restructuring of British Energy from 2002 to 2005, culminating in the refloatation of the company in 2005 after a tortuous two years of creditor negotiations and divestment. As corporate affairs director, Robert led the successful judicial review of Ofgem's proposals for increased powers in 2000 and the response to the FSA investigation in 2003, which cleared British Energy's directors. He led the company's communications and government relations function in the decade up to the sale of British Energy in 2009, and was part of the small executive team leading the turnaround of British Energy's operational performance between 2004 and 2009.   

Robert began his career at Haldanes McLaren & Scott WS in Edinburgh before it merged with Wright Johnston & Mackenzie, where he became a partner in 1986. He advised independent renewable generators before becoming company secretary and legal adviser at Scottish Nuclear, a government-owned electricity generator, from its creation in the industry restructuring in 1990.

Following the sale of British Energy Group in 2009, Robert managed the disposal of EDF Energy's electricity network businesses to CKI in 2010 for £5.8 billion. 

Robert joined the firm in 2010 as senior counsel, advising on energy, and primarily nuclear, matters in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. He is also a non-executive director of several companies investing in renewable generation or engaged in active network management, and is a trustee of the Nuclear Trust, a public trust holding funds to meet the nuclear decommissioning liabilities of EDF Energy's nuclear stations.

In 2013-14, he chaired the Energy Regulation Expert Commission for the Scottish government and he currently sits on the board of the UK's Oil and Gas Authority which regulates the licensing, exploration, operation and decommissioning of the UK oil and gas sector. In June 2015, Robert was appointed Deputy Chairman of NuGen, the UK new nuclear build developer owned by Toshiba and ENGiE, which is taking forward three AP1000 nuclear reactors in Cumbria, England.

Robert served as chair of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry from 2009 to 2013. SCDI is Scotland's leading economic development organization aimed at influencing and inspiring government and key stakeholders to create sustainable economic prosperity for Scotland.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2014

    • Career
      2014
      Fellow, Institute of Energy
    • Career
      2014
      Fellow, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
    • Career
      2014
      Fellow, Institute of Energy
    • Career
      2014
      Fellow, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
  • 2007

    • Rankings & Awards
      2007
      Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the electricity industry
    • Education
      2007
      Emory University, Nuclear NEDs Course
    • Education
      2007
      Emory University, Nuclear NEDs Course
    • Rankings & Awards
      2007
      Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the electricity industry
  • 2005

    • Rankings & Awards
      2005
      In-house Lawyer of the Year, The Lawyer Magazine
    • Rankings & Awards
      2005
      In-house Lawyer of the Year, The Lawyer Magazine
  • 1995

    • Career
      1995
      General Counsel and Company Secretary, British Energy Group plc
    • Career
      1995
      General Counsel and Company Secretary, British Energy Group plc
  • 1991

    • Education
      1991
      INSEAD, AMP
    • Education
      1991
      INSEAD, AMP
  • 1988

    • Education
      1988
      Edinburgh University, MBA
    • Education
      1988
      Edinburgh University, MBA
  • 1986

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      1986
      Notary Public, UK
    • Career
      1986
      Society of Writers to H.M.Signet
    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      1986
      Notary Public, UK
    • Career
      1986
      Society of Writers to H.M.Signet
  • 1983

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      1983
      Year of Call, Scotland
    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      1983
      Year of Call, Scotland
  • 1981

    • Education
      1981
      Edinburgh University, LLB (Hons)
    • Education
      1981
      Edinburgh University, LLB (Hons)

Insights & Resources