Outstanding – Oscar Smith

I consider Oscar to be the primary driving force behind why I find myself today in a position of emotional and physical stability, strength and wellbeing.

My case was complex and multifaceted from the offset. We began our communications in Spring of 2021, during the pandemic. I don’t imagine there is ever a straightforward process when overseeing clients through divorce proceedings and all that this entails, however, I do believe Oscar was faced with an extremely challenging case and set of circumstances in my instance and in the face of such adversity his ability to not only meet but excel at managing it’s demands was outstanding and faultless.

Oscar first met me whilst I was a client at a residential addiction treatment programme in London receiving treatment for alcoholism; I was one month into my recovery programme having more or less fled Abu Dhabi in order to escape the physically and emotionally abusive marriage I was in, to seek addiction treatment in the UK and begin children’s proceedings whilst my children needed to remain at school in Abu Dhabi. For a vulnerable person such as myself in the context of these circumstances, I was extremely apprehensive of making any new acquaintance’s and tried to avoid communications with almost anyone other than family or my counsellors, I was also committed to a strict recovery programme and being in the early stages of recovery I was in a high relapse risk position.

As such Oscar was tasked with having to handle my process very delicately, to gain my trust, extrapolate necessary information from me to build my case, whilst being acutely aware that any distressing topic or question could be a triggering factor for me and thus potentially leave me vulnerable to relapse which needless to say would have been damaging for my case.

Throughout our interactions Oscar always made me feel at ease, reassured, supported, understood and safe, he was enormously patient and encouraging and always went above and beyond throughout proceedings. He expertly led me through more of the complex areas of the case, effectively clarifying where necessary and was skilled at gently but assertively encouraging me to maximise my position. There were times when I might waiver on my direction, with years of my being in a highly controlling relationship there were instances where I may have conceded on matters that I should not have as I was often still co-dependent with my ex husband but Oscar diligently and patiently navigated such instances and I am eternally grateful for this, he was my strength when I did not have enough of my own.

Oscar is incredibly empathetic and would be able to predict and provide the necessary guidance ahead of situations I would find potentially triggering and was able to put in place reassurances and measures that he knew would work for me; whether that was advice on putting me at ease ahead of a hearing, quashing unfounded fears I had further to receiving intimidating correspondence from the other side or by introducing counsel to me with consideration of my apprehension towards meeting new people during my vulnerable process of recovery. Oscars natural rapport with counsel, including Will Tyler KC and Sarah Phipps KC, immediately relieved me of any feelings of shame or awkwardness I had during conferences as I could see the ease at which they interacted which gave me confidence. Without Oscar’s excellent suggestions of such counsel which leant themselves in their niches to the complexities of the case, and his painstaking work towards each and every element of the case, the team work and strong relationships displayed throughout, I do not believe we would have gained the exceedingly successful results that we did.