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 or, if an existing client, to telephone Oliver direct in Chambers or on his mobile.