David Wingfield

Issue 2 of ThoughtLeaders4’s Competition Magazine was released on 19 September and features a ‘60-seconds’ feature with David Wingfield, 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: What a nightmare that prospect is! If I didn’t work, I would like to return to university and study Victorian and Edwardian history and literature.

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

A: Understanding that competition law is both law and applied industrial economics; it is not just one or the other.

Q: What’s the strangest, most exciting thing you have done in your career?

A: Litigating and then settling a case in Kinshasa Zaire involving a massive resource development which was completely dependent on the political situation surrounding President Mobutu, in one of the most repressive states in Africa at the time.

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

A: Run a collective action through to its conclusion, including the distribution of a damages award to the class.

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

A: When making submissions think like the judge.

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

A: Using collective proceedings to prove the primary antitrust liability, rather than just relying on a competition law agency’s determination of unlawful conduct.

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

A: The ability to think logically and to act rationally.

Q: What book do you think everyone should read, and why?

A: David S Landes “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations”. People need to understand both why wealth creation is central to a state’s success (and independence) and the economic and social conditions that maximise wealth creation. This is the best single book I have read on that topic.

Q: What cause are you passionate about?

A: Free speech. To be human is to be able to think freely. Unless every person can speak freely it is not possible for any person to think freely.

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

A: Italy. Need anything more be said?

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

A: Winston Churchill. In addition to being one of the most consequential political figures in history – and a renowned journalist and historian – he lived one of the most interesting lives of anyone, and did so during a period of dramatic political, social, economic, and technological change: The Victorian through the Second Elizabethan eras, and two global wars.

Q: If you had to sing karaoke right now, which song would you pick?

A: “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons. I am useless at singing the song, but the lyrics are quite meaningful to me.

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