Overview: Oliver Assersohn – “a truly excellent barrister” (Legal 500) – specialises in commercial matters and particularly in financial services, including regulation, for which he has been ranked by the foremost independent legal directories for many years.
Commercial/ Chancery litigation: A “financial services and banking specialist who has a wealth of expertise in the area” with “… a broad chancery and commercial practice…He is incredibly diligent and hard-working, and continues to impress with his technical knowledge.” (Chambers & Partners). Also ranked by Legal 500 in commercial litigation, financial services and in the separate category of banking and finance and described as ‘Highly personable and a dream to work with – slots into the team very well and a tremendous team player.’
Recent work includes:
- Acting on behalf of purchasers of an IFA business suing the sellers for breach of warranty (ongoing). Successfully argued at a trial of a preliminary issue that various breaches of warranty were wilfully concealed and so the claim could proceed (Liberty Partnership Ltd v Tancred &Anr  EWHC 2707 (Comm);
- Successfully argued on behalf of a liquidator of a money-lending business that the assignment of the loan book should be set aside (Barons Finance Ltd v Barons Bridging Finance 1 Ltd & Ors  EWHC 496 (Ch) (appeal dismissed by the Court of Appeal  EWCA Civ 2074);
- Acted for a number of years for the second largest organisation in Ethiopia which successfully defeated a US$30m claim on grounds of forum non conveniens (Court of Appeal judgment, Mengiste v EFFORT & Ors  EWCA Civ 1326).
Financial services regulation: Previous accolades in the directories include: a “highly regarded junior”; “an effective advocate”; and, someone who provides “excellent” written work and “clear and practical advice”.
- Oliver was seconded to the Regulatory Decisions Committee of the FSA (now FCA) therefore providing him with a valuable insight into how contested enforcement actions are approached;
- He has acted in a number of the leading cases including, acting for a brokerage in the first ever case to challenge the FCA’s assessment of penalty following a focused resolution agreement (FCA v Linear Investments  UKUT 0115 (TCC)) and advising in a number of high-profile investigations against both individuals and firms (example matters are set in the “areas of experience” section);
- He is the editor of the Decision Procedure and Penalties Manual Commentary in Butterworths Financial Regulation Service.
Arbitration and international law: Oliver is a member of the Swiss Arbitration Association and Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and his recent work includes:
- Acting on behalf of an African State defending a US$300,000,000 claim for alleged breaches of a bilateral investment treaty concerning a construction project. Case involved cross-examination of a number of witnesses as to fact and liability including in respect of the claimant’s DCF analysis;
- Numerous cases for states in respect of a number of litigation issues including claims involving questions of state immunity (e.g. instructed at first instance and for the first appeal in the leading case of Jana v Libya);
- An alleged breach of a commercial arbitration agreement by solicitors acting for one party reporting the matter to their regulator.
Further information: Please see sections below for examples of Oliver’s work. If any further information is required please do not hesitate to contact one of Oliver’s clerks (email@example.com) or, if an existing client, to telephone Oliver direct in Chambers or on his mobile.
Areas of experience
“He is easy to get along with and thorough in his advocacy, and pitches his arguments in a respectful way to the tribunal.” Oliver is “very accessible, very user-friendly and works really well as part of the team.” Financial Services, Chambers & Partners 2020
“A highly regarded junior who is an expert at handling complex issues relating to mis-sold investments and breaches of the perimeter. Having been on secondment to the FCA, he has highly valuable insight into the workings of the regulator….”Approachable, helpful and diligent.” “A credible and hard-working advocate.” Financial Services, Chambers & Partners 2019
“Very responsive and hardworking, his input is always measured and valuable”. Banking and Finance, Legal 500 2020
“Bright, well informed and has good judgement”.Financial Services, Legal 500 2020
“Very good for fraud and financial regulatory investigations.” Financial Services, Legal 500
“Highly rated for banking and financial services disputes.” Banking and Finance, Legal 500
“His written work is always excellent, he provides clear and practical advice and he deals with clients in a very empathetic manner.” Financial Services, Chambers & Partners 2017
“Technically bright, hardworking, a team player and approachable.” Business and Regulatory Crime, Legal 500 2016
“A truly excellent barrister, who knows the ins and outs of FCA regulations.” Banking and Finance, Legal 500 2016
“A financial services and banking specialist who has a wealth of expertise in the area. He has a broad chancery and commercial practice…He is incredibly diligent and hard-working, and continues to impress with his technical knowledge.” Chambers & Partners 2016
“He has a very innate feel for the regulators’ expectations and is very good at the detail. He understands the issues and is very diligent and analytical.” Chambers & Partners 2016
“Very bright, exceptionally hardworking, personable and very practical. He really understands the FCA’s enforcement process.” Chambers & Partners 2015
“He is calm, knowledgeable, diligent and keen to assist. A pleasure to work with.” Chambers & Partners 2015
“Extremely well regarded for financial services and FCA regulatory issues.” Legal 500 2015 “The barrister to go to with challenging issues.” Legal 500 2015
“An absolute delight to work with.” Chambers & Partners 2014
“Highly experienced in regulatory and FCA related matters.” Legal 500 2014
“A financial services specialist.” Legal 500 2014
“First rate.” Chambers & Partners 2013
“An enviable reputation as a leading junior in financial services law.” Chambers & Partners 2012
“The ‘knowledgeable, calm and authoritative’ Oliver Assersohn is recommended for contentious financial services work, where ‘his experience is almost unique’.” Legal 500 2012
“Highly diligent.” Chambers & Partners 2011 “Invaluable knowledge of the FSA disciplinary process.”
Legal 500 2011 “Understands how the regulator lives and breathes.” Chambers & Partners 2010
- Articles in numerous publications on financial services and banking matters (e.g. JIBFL November 2015 (the proposed EU Banking Union), JIBFL July/ August 2017 (Financial services law as a sword: cutting down contracts).
- Co-author the chapter of COMBAR’s paper on Brexit (January 2017) entitled “MiFID, MiFID II and MiFIR: (1) Passporting and Equivalence Regimes; (2) Brexit effect on UK financial services dispute resolution” (December 2016).
- Editor of the Decision Procedure and Penalties Manual Commentary in Butterworths Financial Regulation Service (c. 40,000 words) (published March 2015).
Lectures and seminars
Oliver is regularly invited to give talks to solicitors firm and take part in panel discussions (for further details please contact Oliver’s practice management team by email to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Appointments & Memberships
- Member of FSLA (founding member)
- Associate member of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
- Advocacy trainer for Middle Temple.
- Queen Mother Fund Scholarship (2002)
- Blackstone Entrance Exhibition (2002)
- Queen Mother Fund Scholarship (2001)