Hannah Bernstein

Issue 1 of ThoughtLeaders4’s Competition Magazine was released on 15 May and features a ‘60-seconds’ feature with Hannah Bernstein, a barrister at Fountain Court with particular expertise in competition work. More information about Fountain Court’s competition practice can be found here.

Q: Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend your weekdays?

A: A I love hiking and I’ve always wanted to go to the north pole – so training for that!

Q: What do you see as the most important thing about your job?

A: Attention to detail. In my view, getting to grips with the finest details of the case in order to be properly prepared for the counterarguments that could be raised is essential.

Q: What motivates you most about your work?

A: I love the fact that no two cases are the same, and love learning about the different industries and business models that the clients work within. I am also very competitive and want to win, and that is very motivating!

Q: What is one work related goal you would like to achieve in the next five years?

A: I was an economist before coming to the Bar and advised on competition economics as a consultant. Part of the reason I came to the Bar, and have a particular interest in competition law, is because of that background. My goal is to cross-examine an expert economist.

Q: What has been the best piece of advice you have been given in your career?

A: Preparation preparation preparation!

Q: What is the most significant trend in your practice today?

A: There has been a huge growth in the number of class action enquiries, and disputes. I expect to see this area continue to grow as the funding market continues to develop.

Q: Who has been your biggest role model in the industry?

A: Lady Rose JSC. I first came across Lady Rose when I was an economist considering making the move to become a barrister. She was then sitting in the Court of Appeal. I asked to marshal with her because of my interest in competition law and her former role as a judge of the Competition Appeal Tribunal. It was a fantastic experience that fueled my desire to become a barrister. She is very inspiring.

Q: What is one important skill that you think everyone should have?

A: Empathy. I think the ability to understand and empathise with the people you work and engage with is essential to a happy life!

Q: What cause are you passionate about?

A: Global warming. I’m not sure this needs much explaining. In my view it is the most urgent issue facing my generation.

Q: Where has been your favourite holiday destination and why?

A: Madagascar – because of the lemurs!

Q: Dead or alive, which famous person would you most like to have dinner with, and why?

A: David Attenborough. He has inspired many generations to care more about the planet, and to act on that; must also have the most incredible stories; and undoubtedly has fascinating insights into wildlife.

This piece was originally published in ThoughtLeaders4’s Competition Magazine and can be found here.