Robert Amsterdam is the founding partner of the law firm Amsterdam & Peroff, specializing in international business law and politically complex cases, with offices in Toronto, Washington, and London. Founded in 1980, Amsterdam’s firm and network of affiliates have been at the forefront of many landmark cases involving the overlap between public and private sectors, working across the globe from Russia to Venezuela to Nigeria and beyond.
Amsterdam is a member of the Canadian and International Bar Associations, and the Law Society of Upper Canada. He is licensed as a solicitor in the United Kingdom. He earned his BA from Carleton University in Ottawa and studied law at Queens University in Ontario (LLB).
Past clients have included PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Four Seasons Resort & Hotels Group, shareholders of Research in Motion, and the Gutierrez-Strauss family of Guatemala. In 2003, Amsterdam was retained as international defense counsel for the head of the Yukos oil company in Russia, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In 2008, he was retained by the Venezuelan banker and political prisoner Eligio Cedeño, who was just recently released into freedom this past December. Amsterdam also represents the leader of the democratic opposition in Singapore, Dr. Chee Soon Juan, and the former Minister of Abuja, Nigeria, Nasir El-Rufai. He is active in a major constitutional case in the Czech Republic on behalf of RPG Industries, among other active files.
As an active author, blogger, and opinion maker, Amsterdam has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Financial Times, and has been featured on CNN, Fox News, and the Charlie Rose Show.
The British legal publication The Lawyer has named Robert Amsterdam one of the Hot 100 Attorneys in the UK for 2005, and the Times of London named him “Lawyer of the Week” in 2006. In a profile published by Canadian Lawyer, he is described as “one of the few lawyers in the world good at taking on the state when the state starts acting like a criminal.”