I studied law for a bus pass (as there were two Sixth Form Colleges where I lived, and I only got to travel to the better one for free if it had a course that the other didn’t. That course was AS Level Law). However, having started studying it, I couldn’t stop and I qualified as a Solicitor in September 2008.
My practice includes banking and finance litigation, IT and Technology disputes and breach of contract/debt recovery work. I also have experience of on-site investigation and enquiry work, including a multibillion-dollar fraud investigation in the Middle East. However, no matter what the case’s subject matter or size, my job is to fix problems quickly, pragmatically and commercially in my client’s best interests.
My area of expertise is in Commercial Litigation. I’ve dealt with business-critical issues for FTSE 100 companies, SME’s and private individuals alike. As well as litigating, I have an in-depth understanding of alternative dispute resolution and I always provide clients with early pro-active advice on how to quickly resolve disputes in a pragmatic and commercial way. I’ve also spent time working in the financial services industry, providing me with a unique perspective and insight into this area. In addition, I have developed substantial knowledge of the practicalities of undertaking E-Disclosure exercises as well as vital experience of how to undertake this complicated and costly exercise effectively.
I trained in the City at what was (at the time) the world’s largest law firm. During that training I was seconded to the Court of Appeal as Lady Justice Arden’s Judicial Assistant. This gave me a real insight into what good client service looked like and what actually happens in court. I subsequently moved to a regional firm in Leeds and, after a spell in financial services, set up the Commercial Litigation function at a Tier 1 Legal 500 boutique practice in Yorkshire before moving to Legal Studio.
I’ve always thought that there was a better way to deliver legal services. For me, that meant doing things fundamentally differently; focussing not on targets, spreadsheets or ‘pleasing’ the equity partners but on creating a better and more rewarding environment for lawyers to work in to empower them to deliver the service that their clients actually want. Matt and Legal Studio were committed to doing just that and so joining, even though it was an embryonic start-up, was an easy decision. I was really lucky that Matt and I shared a vision and saw skills in each other that complemented and improved on what Legal Studio could become. Therefore, shortly after joining, I became a shareholder and director and we’ve been growing Legal Studio together ever since.
Legal Studio is the first place I’ve worked where everyone genuinely wants to be there! The people here are engaged with what they do and care about how they do it. That means we’ve got an ego and hierarchy free workplace. That, coupled with genuine autonomy over how you work and how you service your client’s needs, means we’ve got a team of focussed, self-accountable professionals who want to do their best and support their colleagues to do their best. You don’t get that at other law firms.
Between family life (my wife and I have two young children, one of whom, like me, is on the Autistic Spectrum) and running Legal Studio I don’t get much time for hobbies these days! That said, I’m a huge motorsport fan; attending modern and classic race meetings where I can, and am partial to the odd Sci-Fi boxset or Jack Reacher novel now and then.
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Giedo Van der Garde had a contract to race for the Sauber F1 team in 2015. However, Sauber signed two other drivers instead of Van der Garde; Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.
Van der Garde successfully sued the Sauber F1 team on Wednesday. Sauber appealed.
Sauber lost their appeal on Thursday.
This morning Van der Garde initiated proceedings asking for the team’s assets to be seized and the team’s principal Monisha Kaltenborn to be sent to prison for contempt of court*.
It’s all a bit of a mess.
So, what does this have to do with the Rolling Stones? Well the final track of their 1969 album Let it Bleed, neatly sums up the situation here. The track is, for those who don’t already know, "You Can't Always Get What You Want”. However, the complete lyric is "but if you try sometime, you just might find you get what you need”.
This, in my view, is exactly the point here. Did Van der Garde really expect to be out on track racing this weekend? I doubt it. However, has he put himself in the strongest possible negotiating position by taking this action? Unquestionably.
Litigation strategy is all about tactics and securing what you're actually looking for; even if that is by seemingly not getting what you 'want'. At Legal Studio we understand that and we work with our clients to listen to their needs and tailor our advice and strategy accordingly.
So, although I can’t see an F1 boss sampling Australia’s prison food just yet, Van der Garde’s tactics seem to have secured him pole position at the negotiating table.
*For those who want to know more, I’d direct you to Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog here which is following all the latest twists and turns in real time from both the court and the track.