This paper proposes an optimal control approach for a robust control design problem of the neutral type time-delay systems, taking parameter uncertainties and state delay into account. The robust control design problem can be equivalently transformed into an optimal control problem, and the amount of plant uncertainties is indirectly reflected in the performance index. By introducing algebraic manipulations and appropriate uncertainty descriptions, the uncertain dynamical system can not only achieve stability, but can also reach the guaranteed level of performance. A suitable linear state feedback control law is characterized via Lyapunov stability theory to ensure quadratic stability and performance robustness of the closed-loop system. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.