Name: Farhaz Khan KC

Organisation: 3 Verulam Buildings

Role: Barrister

Location: London

Trained at: Outer Temple Chambers

Year qualified: 2005

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What’s your most vivid memory from being a pupil?

During law school I volunteered at Toynbee Hall LAC in Whitechapel and represented a whistle-blower in the Employment Tribunal (ET). The case was long running and hard fought, and by the time I commenced pupillage at Outer Temple, the respondent railway company was represented by a seasoned employment and pensions barrister, Andrew Short KC, who my pupil supervisor – and therefore I – happened to share a room in chambers with. Close to trial, the parties entered settlement negotiations and the claim was eventually compromised on terms which my client regarded as very favourable.

Prior to settlement, I vividly recall a couple of weeks in chambers when (it seemed to me, at least) everyone was talking about my impending bust up with Andy and getting fantastic advice from senior members of chambers about how best to upend my opponent. The episode was my first experience of how hard-fought intra-chambers cases are, but also how supportive and kind an environment chambers can be, especially for those fresh in the profession.

What is the thing in your professional career that has terrified you or taken you out of your comfort zone the most?

I’m not sure I’ve ever been terrified in the job, although I do recall some striking incidents at regulatory interviews with US agencies in Washington DC during the Forex scandal in the mid-2010s. Two incidents in particular stand out.

First, during one interview an FBI agent entered the room, sat down, pulled his gun out of his holster, and placed it on the table. I’m not sure it was routine, or done to intimidate my client, or both, but it was not something I forgot in a hurry.

Second, during the same set of interviews, an officer from a US agency took my US co-counsel aside (the brilliant Ed Little, of Hughes Hubbard Reed in NY) and asked whether our client was going to join ‘Team America’, or else face the consequences. After some agonising, and having been understandably intimidated by the episode, my client declined the offer – thankfully with no meaningful consequences for him. Since then I’ve acted for several City regulators (Lloyd’s of London, the FCA, the Bank of England etc), but have managed to resist the temptation to ask whether a defendant is ready to join the ‘team’.

What is the wisest thing anyone ever said to you (and who said it)?

Be kind (my late father).

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get to where you are/do the job you do?

Work hard, trust your talent, and persevere.

What’s your best friend from law school doing now?

Dominic Wheeler, who works in the General Counsel’s Division of the FCA. Whilst Dom and I share a financial services connection, other Bar school friends have gone into other parts of the profession. Notably, Lucie Wibberley, a renowned criminal and human rights advocate, was a leader of the criminal bar’s recent action against Government underfunding of her part of the profession.