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Erskine Chambers has lost litigation stalwart David Oliver QC to Thirteen Old Square Chambers.
Erskine Chambers has lost litigation stalwart David Oliver (pictured) QC to Thirteen Old Square Chambers.
Oliver said the move was prompted by a desire to return “to what I love”.
He told The Lawyer: “Erskine isn’t a centre for litigation. Although it does some, it’s quite restricted in what it does. I’m going back to doing core litigation.”
Oliver left Thirteen Old Square in 1999 when it merged with 7 Stone Buildings to form Maitland Chambers.
“It wanted to grow too big and I was called to finance something I didn’t believe in,” he said. “Today it’s a different animal with 27 barristers, which I think is about the right size.”
One leading litigation lawyer said Oliver was a “natural advocate who was in the same league as Lord Goldsmith”, although the source added that Oliver had “been off the scene for a few years”.
Oliver said he had been out of the country doing expert witness work in the US and advocacy in Hong Kong, both of which he will continue with, although he aims to attract big-ticket work as litigation hots up in the UK.
Oliver rose to prominence when he was selected to represent PricewaterhouseCoopers in the 1992 Bingham Inquiry into the supervision of collapsed bank BCCI.
His move comes as chambers look to broaden their skill sets to become more economically efficient.
Earlier this month Radcliffe Chambers hired professional negligence barrister Shantanu Majumdar from Lamb Chambers and tax specialist Mark Thomson from HM Revenue & Customs.