Alumnus: Stuart Cribb
College: St. Catherine’s
Scholarship: 3 Verulam Buildings
Stuart studied the BCL at St. Catherine’s College in 2011-12, taking papers in corporate insolvency, unjust enrichment, European business regulation and personal taxation. He was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in October 2013 and is now a commercial barrister at Essex Court Chambers, London.
What do you use from your Oxford Law degree in your job?
As a barrister specialising in international commercial litigation and arbitration, I grapple with difficult legal questions on an almost daily basis, either when advising my clients or in my written and oral advocacy. Academic legal ability is only part of the job, but it is an important part, and in my view there is no better preparation for it than the rigour of the BCL. I do not practice directly in the areas I studied on the BCL (save for unjust enrichment, which does arise frequently in my civil fraud practice), but there is no doubt in my mind that it made be a better lawyer. In particular, the ability to get to grips with new and difficult areas of law quickly was an absolute life-saver on pupillage.
What is special about studying Law at Oxford?
The quality of the cohort on the BCL is second to none. Having studied my undergraduate law degree at Cambridge, the quality of the law faculty at Oxford was something I had expected. What set my time on the BCL apart was my fellow students. You could not ask for a brighter, friendlier, more engaging group of people. They made my year at Oxford immensely rewarding, and I am lucky that many of them are still my friends and peers at the Bar in London.
What’s your best memory of your time at Oxford?
Following on from the above, the thing I always look back on fondly is fetching lunch from the Alternative Tuck Shop with my friends after Friday morning unjust enrichment seminars, before continuing whatever debate we had had with Andrew Burrows, Charles Mitchell and Williams Swadling in the postgraduate common room for at least a couple of hours each week.