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Practice Summary

Sam O’Leary has a broad commercial practice encompassing litigation, arbitration and advice.  He has substantial trial experience, both alone and with a leader, and is recommended by Chambers UK as a leading junior.

Chambers UK 2018 “He’s very astute.  He doesn’t sit on the fence, and always gives an opinion that’s well thought out.”

Chambers UK 2017 comments that Sam is “a versatile junior who is experienced in company and banking law claims.  He is frequently instructed in shareholder disputes.”  He is “very bright” and “very creative in his approach.” 

Chambers UK 2016 describes Sam as “a remarkably good lawyer” who is “reliable in terms of going that extra mile”.  “He is very good at thinking on his feet” and “everything you want in a junior: approachable, responsive and a pleasure to work with”.

Chambers UK 2015 comments that Sam is “clever, incisive, and such a delight to work with.” Sam is recommended in both Commercial Litigation and Company Law and is described as “An emerging talent who undertakes a range of commercial and company cases. Sources are impressed by his proactivity and persistence, as well as his obvious technical skills.”

Chambers UK 2014 said that Sam “combines excellent legal and analytical skills with an outstanding level of energy and imagination.  … He is, in no particular order, supremely clever, practical, quick thinking, hard-working, amiable and funny.”

Sam was listed as a “Star of the Bar” (5 years’ call and under) in Chambers UK 2013“O’Leary is ‘carving out quite a name and reputation for himself’ as a specialist in commercial litigation and international commercial arbitration.  Commentators see him as one of the Bar’s future stars, and describe him as ‘a good man to go to when you’re under pressure; he has the ability to sometimes see issues that other people haven’t seen.’ He ‘exhibits an astute mind, considerable depth of knowledge, a tenacious grasp of detail, and a practical awareness of his clients’ commercial concerns.’ Peers suggest ‘his greatest strengths are his intelligence, his doggedness, and his ability to knuckle down when the going gets tough.’”


Significant cases include: The "RBS Rights Issue Litigation" (acting for RBS in relation to a £4bn claim under s 90 FSMA); Re Charterhouse Capital Limited (six-week trial and subsequent appeal relating to the management buy-out of a leading private equity business); Euroption Strategic Fund Ltd v Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (two-week trial relating to the forced close out of a hedge fund’s trading portfolio); Kleanthous v Paphitis (£100 million claim relating to the acquisition of the La Senza lingerie business); F&C Alternative Investments Holdings Ltd v Barthelemy (nine-month trial relating to the management of a fund of hedge fund business during the financial crisis and the exercise of put option rights by the fund managers); ITV v Scottish Television (£30 million contractual dispute relating to the management of the Channel 3 television network); and Re Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Ltd (in admin); Brazzill v Willoughby (trial and subsequent appeal regarding the validity and operation of a £100 million trust account established by Kaupthing at the direction of the FSA on the basis of Kaupthing’s financial collapse).