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Take 10 season three, episode nine – Never back down in the face of adversity

26 Nov 2021

In our ninth episode of this season’s Take 10 podcast, Asia Managing Partner Ian Mann interviews Victor Joffe QC about his extensive legal career including his aspirations as a law student, his role models, how he overcame challenges and lessons learned, as well as helpful advice to younger generations of legal practitioners.

Click below to listen:

Key Takeaways:

  • Victor was always interested in the law and originally planned to become a solicitor. When a tutor of his mentioned that being a barrister allowed for greater independence and the ability to “be your own boss,” Victor decided that a career path as a barrister was the right move for him.
  • Victor’s focus on company law was inspired by Gower & Davies: Principles of Modern Company Law. The book propelled him deeper into company law, developing particular expertise in unfair prejudice claims. Victor has also written a book on company law called Minority Shareholders: Law, Practice and Procedure and briefly taught company law and tax at the London School of Economics.
  • Victor’s mentors inspired him with their ability to clearly and logically express summaries of complex points and cases, as well as reinforcing the importance of being thoroughly prepared for court, being fearless in your clients' interests, to never give up even if the case doesn’t seem to be going your way, and to treat everyone with decency and respect.
  • When first starting out, it’s normal to be afraid when appearing in front of the judiciary and dealing with difficult judges, but with time and experience, practitioners will overcome this. The fear should never force you to cower at the expense of the client.
  • As a Silk, Victor would often visit Hong Kong for work. He loved the city and decided to move. The biggest difference is that he appears in court more often in Hong Kong than he did in the UK which has helped develop his practice significantly.
  • Victor’s key piece of advice to his younger self, and indeed to young practitioners today, is to achieve a good work-life balance and to be prepared for the unexpected.

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Take 10 season three, episode nine – Never back down in the face of adversity

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