G.O. Ogle QC
G.O. Ogle QC
A recent experience with a prospective new client has led me to reflect on how the practice of law has changed since I qualified in the late 80s (that is the 1980s by the way!). The dispute was over an estate where the prospective client had already consulted Mr Ogle QC and was able to relay to me learned counsel’s advice on various issues regarding the law on caveats. Whilst the procedural advice was undoubtedly correct, in terms of resolving the actual problem, it failed to take account of the fact that there is a difference between money being owed to you by someone who has died and money being owed to you by a company of which the Deceased was a director and shareholder.
Whilst it is great that most people are now much better informed of their legal rights than was perhaps historically the case (they can even safely do certain law-based things e.g. applying for probate without any lawyer’s involvement – a terrible idea I know but apparently it happens!) as with lots of other things in life there is sometimes the risk of ‘a little knowledge being a dangerous thing’.
I have heard GPs on the radio complaining about the downside of the modern day involvement of Doctor Google in the sense of patients attending surgery armed not only with the learned doctor’s diagnosis but also in many cases the prescribed treatment. Doctor Google appears to have drawn the line at carrying out actual surgery but I am sure somewhere in the world the boffins are already working on that.
With Mr Ogle QC, this silicon silk has a number of advantages over conventional analogue advisers. Not only is he multi-lingual and never struggles with IT he has boundless energy and drive(s) and is available 24/7 365 days a year and even more in leap years.
Whereas with traditional leading counsel as they grow in experience they tend to focus on increasingly specialist areas of law as his name suggests, Mr Ogle QC appears to take a particularly close look at all aspects of all law in all jurisdictions. His knowledge borders on the encyclopaedic (or should that be Wikipaedic).
There are however several Achilles heels (if you can have more than two of them).
Firstly, he only tends to answer the question which he has been asked rather than as other lawyers do considering whether in the circumstances the client may in fact be asking the wrong question.
Secondly, he often tends to reflect the views of other lawyers who surprisingly do not always agree with each other such that you can end up with advice that “on the one hand…..” but “on the other hand….”. This was the sort of fence straddling legal advice which my father-in-law always said precluded anyone with less than the full complement of arms from becoming a lawyer, which was apparently a joke.
Thirdly and most importantly, a lot of work which I and other lawyers do in the field of Inheritance disputes involves one having a clear understanding of the family dynamics and the psychology behind often complex family relationships. However sophisticated the software gets and whatever the trajectory of artificial intelligence, will Mr Ogle QC and other binary briefs ever get to the point of being able to factor that in to the sort of rounded advice which is often necessary in terms of seeking solutions to often bitterly fought and protracted family disputes.
Even more worrying perhaps for the future is whether Mr Ogle QC is elevated to the bench such that he rises above the role of adviser to the exalted status of decision maker because not everything in life is about algorithms.