Oliver White (Barrister) is a London-based barrister who works from the 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square chambers. He is frequently instructed to act in large corporate cases and is currently working with some very high-profile global clients.
Q: Can you tell us more about Oliver White (Barrister) and your services?
A: I am a London-based barrister specializing in banking litigation and civil fraud. For more information about me you can see my specialities and services on my personal blog www.oliverwhitebarrister.com.
Q: How did you get started in this industry as barrister in London?
A: My father spent his whole career in the practice of the law, albeit as a partner in a provincial but well regarded solicitor’s firm, in which he developed a specialism in commercial planning law. I remember attending a planning inquiry with him, only to discover that my father had instructed Counsel to represent his client at the hearing.
Prior to this, I was unaware of the distinction in the profession between solicitor and counsel. I was fascinated about this division of labour, and by nature drawn towards the theatrical calling that is so often associated with a career at the Bar. From that day I cannot recall ever wanting to pursue a different career.
Q: What are the top 3 most common types of cases that you deal with in your profession?
A: The range of commercial disputes I have acted in or currently act in is unsurprisingly wide ranging, both in the legal problems and complexities each case discloses and also in terms of facts.
However, as a general observation, many if not all commercial disputes contain certain underlying common themes, which in my experience are very human and flawed by nature in ways you might expect., They include being motivated by greed, a hidden agenda which is driven by a belief in a need on some level to restore pride and exact revenge. Sadly embarking on costly litigation is I’m afraid to say one of the least effective ways achieve any or all of the above.
Q: What are the biggest challenges for Oliver White Barrister?
A: Every case presents its own unique set of challenges, Perhaps the most challenging is structuring the clients’s expectations of the likely outcome in a litigated dispute. Many clients only want to hear what they want to hear from their advisor and I sometimes struggle to get through to an expectant and over confident client the realistic strengths and weaknesses of their case. As time goes on I am improving my communication skills in relation to outcome prognosis and hopefully this is increasingly helping my clients to be armed with a full and dispassionate overview of the merits of their case.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years time?
A: At my age (37) I suppose it is just about realistic (albeit a trifle presumptuous) to be thinking of taking silk in five years time. It is certainly a target I would wish to set myself and even if not achieved it will hopefully provide a valuable motivational platform to increase the size and quality of my practice over the next five years.
Q: If able to reverse time, and knowing what you now know, now, would you choose a different career instead of that of a barrister?
A: There are a wide range of pursuits I have always been attracted to and remain so now. They include teaching, or a life spent in academia, but perhaps most of all, if I possessed the talent, which I do not, to make a living out of composing music then above all others I would have elected that career.
A very close second would however always have been be the career at the bar, which, though at times can be financially perilous, and at other tines quite lonely as a self-employed practitioner. However these occupational hazards are a small price to pay for a career that is constantly making the very highest of intellectual demands on oneself, with commensurate financial rewards for all the demands met and hard work invested.