Robert (Rob) John Blissenden
Accredited Mediator and Arbitrator
Rob specialises in Family Law matters including parenting disputes and financial matters, both in marital and de facto disputes. He regularly appears in both the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia including appearing as Counsel in trials and in appeals to the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia. He has also since 2012 regularly chaired private Mediation Style Conferences.
BA/LLB (Hons). Graduated in 1978 from ANU
Admitted to Practice
25 February 1980
- In 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 in Doyle’s Guide Directory rated as a preeminent Family Law Practitioner
- In 2020 (the first year recorded for Tasmania) in Doyle's Guide Directory rated as the leading Family and Divorce Law Mediator
- Inaugural Chairman of Law Society of Tasmania Family Law Committee
Rob has practiced in Hobart’s northern suburbs since June 1985 when he joined Lowrie Longbottom and Blissenden which was founded by the former Mayor of Glenorchy and MLC, Ken Lowrie.
In 1989 the firm became known as Lowrie Blissenden and Howarth and in 1996 after merging with Arthur Tauber’s practice at Glenorchy became Lowrie Blissenden Howarth and Tauber. The firm later merged with Avery Keal in 2001 under the name Avery Partners and that firm became known as Blissenden Lawyers in May 2006.
Rob has practiced in most areas of law but since 2001 has specialised in Family Law.
Educated at St Patricks College in Sutherland, New South Wales, Rob graduated from the Australian National University with a BA/LLB (Honours in Law) with his honours paper in Administrative Law.
In 1978, Rob undertook the Legal Practice Course in Tasmania and in 1980 was admitted as a Practitioner of the Supreme Court of Tasmania.
Notable cases that he has been involved in have included:-
- Obtaining an order from the Supreme Court quashing an order of a Magistrate imprisoning leading anti-battery hen campaigner, Pam Clark, and subsequently prosecuting a successful claim for Ms Clark for damages for wrongful imprisonment by a Magistrate;
- Establishing on a lower court of appeal that an honest and reasonable mistake can be a defence in breathalyser matters;
- Representing weightlifter Ron Laycock, in what is believed to be the first drug doping case to be heard by an ASDA Tribunal;
- Being junior counsel in a murder trial where the verdict was manslaughter;
- Extensive appearances in child welfare matters including appeals which led to extensive changes in the practice of the then Department of Child Welfare;
- Counsel for successful appellant in Maluka and Maulka  FAM CAFC 72.
- Rob regularly chairs Mediation Style Conferences for other lawyers, which involves him assisting couples who are in dispute, to negotiate a mutually satisfactory resolution to their dispute. It is referred to as “assisted” or “facilitated” negotiation.
Mediation Style Conferencing offers parties and the lawyers, a safe and secure environment in which to take the negotiations to the next level by introducing a third neutral person (the chair). The chair facilitates discussions to explore the issues and concerns of the parties and help them to identify and explore options to resolve their dispute.
Confidentially and the objectivity of the chair are important components of Mediation Style Conferencing and essentially to the prospects of success.
Married to Irena a retired journalist, Rob has two daughters, both graduates of the University of Tasmania. One is a teacher and the other a Pharmacist. He has three grandsons.
Offering considerable time to the local community and mostly on a voluntary basis, Rob has been:-
- Honorary Solicitor for the Tassie Devils Basketball Club for 9 years;
- Director of the Tassie Devils Basketball Club for 1 year;
- Director and the last Chairman of the Board of NBL Pty Ltd;
- A member of the Boards at Mt Carmel College and Guildford Young College;
- Solicitor and Board member of Langford Support Services and Caroline House;
- Solicitor for the Tasmanian Pacing Club;
- Solicitor for the Tasmanian School Bus Association;
- Member of Moonah and Glenorchy Business Association; and
- Member of the Professional Standards Committee (Archdiocese of Hobart).