Following the collapse of the FCA iSOFT prosecution, in which Alistair Webster Q.C. defended the former FD of the Footsie listed company, his client spoke of his views as to the experience which he, as a high achieving businessman, had gone through during the protracted proceedings.
"Facing a criminal trial is something none of us expect to happen and when it does, it is a devastating, emotional and frightening experience.“
“I was introduced to Alistair Webster in 2007 and from that moment, until I was found not guilty in July 2013, I had the advantage of, and was very much reliant on, Alistair's dedication, tactical and strategic wisdom, hard work and unceasing support for me and my case. His diligence in examining the papers, his instinct for identifying weak points in the Prosecution arguments and his judgment in knowing which points to make, and how and when to argue them was truly remarkable. His wealth of experience, and the success he achieved in my case against a very well financed FCA, speaks for itself but what I will remember most about working with Alistair is his warmth, and sense of humour which made an otherwise unbearable situation, very bearable.”
“When you select a barrister for your case, it is sometimes easy to overlook the human aspect of the case: the long hours spent with your barrister dealing with difficult issues. It's so much less stressful when you have absolute confidence in his skill and find that you are treated with empathy. I can't stress enough how important this aspect of the case is. To find a combination of the technical excellence and skilful advocacy of Alistair with the ability to make you feel at ease - and not just to be "the defendant" - is invaluable.”
“Finally, I would add, in 2011 my insurers removed my D&O insurance cover, which meant that I had to apply for legal aid and, consequently, Alistair had to complete my case on fee rates which were a fraction of what is appropriate for a barrister of his standing. It says a lot about Alistair, and his integrity, that I never once doubted that he would continue to support me, albeit at inappropriately low fee rates. It would have been easy for him to walk away from the case, but he didn't - something for which I will be eternally grateful."
Alistair responds: "This is very flattering. It was a hugely complex case and I was very well supported by my excellent junior and Pannones, John's solicitors. The result - the FCA offering no evidence after two trials, was highly gratifying."