The Decade Dozen

From the Fall/Winter 2010 issue of Nexus.

Steven ElliottSteven Elliott: The gold standard

Tell Steven Elliott, JD 1995, that a case doesn't have a chance, and he'll only dig his heels in deeper - then win. While the London, UK-based barrister works in a cut-throat world, he is anything but.

"He is definitely competitive," says Gordon Haskins, LLB 1991, head of transaction execution at RBS bank, who first hired Elliott for his articles at Davies in Vancouver, "but I think in a very healthy, constructive fashion. He doesn't undercut people, but rather engages them in very interesting and challenging conversations." 

Neil Kitchener, Elliott's former pupil master, refers to him as 'the gold standard.' "He combines a stunning intellect, with a fearsome capacity for work, and a winning personality. He's a thorough and ingenious lawyer on whom you can always depend to get you out of a hole, or present your case in the most attractive light."

Take the case of Parabola Investments v. MF Global. Elliott and his team (including Kitchener) won - and kept on appeal - a £20 million damages award in a stock-broker fraud case against an original capital loss of only £3 million.

"He presented an argument that, for the first time, recognized a victim of fraud, who had been deprived of his trading capital, could recover his damages, the profits that he would have made with that trading capital over the years," explains Kitchener. "It was a proposition that had never successfully been made in English legal history, or as far as we know, in Commonwealth legal history."

Oxford law professor James Edelman, who did his doctorate with Elliott at the British institution, says "Steven's been responsible for probably four or five of the biggest commercial cases in the last few years, cases that have had ramifications of tens of billions of pounds for the British economy."

Adds Edelman: "His work has restructured our understanding of the way commercial law works."

Story: Lucianna Ciccocioppo

Photo: David Banks


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