I was supposed to study economics and realised I was not a very good economist. Then I went to study law in Israel and almost from the first lecture it all made sense. It explained the rule of law means we’re all treated equally and there’s due process if you get arrested. I come from Africa where in Zimbabwe and in South Africa there was no rule of law for black people.
I was hooked early on, but wasn’t hooked as a litigator. I thought I’d be a corporate lawyer, come to England, get involved in all this big M&A and it would be a fantastic, go-go, rock ‘n’ roll thing. Continue reading “Disputes perspectives: Craig Pollack”
I wanted a professional career. My father was a doctor but very keen I didn’t do medicine. I had a scientific background and law is a very analytical process. I’d watched a few television programmes about criminal lawyers.
Law was the right career for me. The life of doctors is very tough and there’s effectively one employer, whereas in law it’s easier for you to create a career because it’s constantly changing and there’s always something that can grab your interest. New people coming onto the market and changes in the competition make a massive difference. Continue reading “Disputes perspectives: Geraldine Elliott”
Becoming a lawyer was suggested to me by other people. I was about 15, and doing a lot of debating and public speaking in school. People started saying to me: ‘You should think about becoming a lawyer.’ The school was supportive, and sent me to conferences and such.
It was also because of watching TV. A lot of people say Crown Court, but I liked the American ones. The media attraction got me thinking about the advocacy side. Continue reading “Disputes perspectives: Paula Hodges QC”
Modern history was my undergrad. History has always been my passion. I had a sense I’d be a lawyer, but I thought I’d be spending enough of life studying and practising law so I decided to do something else. The MPhil in International Relations was really a continuation of the history because my history was mostly political history.
You bring a personal perspective to the law. The law is a discipline that benefits from other academic pursuits. The ability to tell a story is central to history and also part of pleading a case in law. Being able to weave together facts in a coherent manner is part of what we do as arbitration lawyers. Continue reading “Disputes perspectives: Constantine Partasides QC”
Looking back, I spent 25% of my time at the Serious Fraud Office reacting to a campaign against the SFO orchestrated [by] the [UK government]. In order to do that I was building alliances with politicians in the Lords and the Commons, with journalists, with academic and City lawyers, with independent NGOs and with international organisations. They were all hugely supportive, and ultimately the SFO survived.
I’m not saying that there aren’t two sides to this argument, but I fought as I did because I believed very strongly in the need for an independent SFO. The reason being that if you are investigating the kind of companies at the very top of the blue-chip list, people who can literally pick up the phone and speak to the Prime Minister, it is incredibly important in terms of public confidence that the prosecutor has visible and real independence. Continue reading “Disputes perspectives: Sir David Green QC”
One of the things about being a barrister is that you’re independently-minded, which means all the big Remain campaigns find me a mixed blessing. People’s Vote are trying to draw me in, so they said if I wrote something they’ll get it in one of the broadsheets tomorrow.
I am independently-minded but I do like to play nice with others where possible. So I stayed up until about 10pm putting something together. It’s going in The Independent. Continue reading “Disputes perspectives: Jolyon Maugham QC”