Owen joined Chambers in January 2021 upon successful completion of pupillage. Owen has extensive of experience of dealing with all areas of private family law, with a particular focus on financial remedies (including cohabitation disputes) and private law children proceedings. Owen represents both applicants and respondents in FDA (First Hearings) hearings, Financial Hearing Dispute Resolution hearings (FHDRA) and Final Hearings. Owen has dealt with a range of cases including high net worth divorces and is particularly adept at dealing with complex financial arrangements including trusts. Owen is known for giving practical advice and adopting a compassionate and empathetic approach, Owen has previously been described by a client as like "an angel from heaven".
Family Law (Children)
Owen's private law family (children) practice involves the following areas:
Child Arrangement Orders
Prohibited Steps Order
Specific Issue Order
Section 1 Applications under the Children Act 1989
Family Law (Divorce and Financial seperation/ancillary relief)
Owen has substantial experience of dealing with all matters of divorce and financial separation (ancillary relief) in particular high net worth (HNW) and ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals.
Owen has experience in financial services regulation and litigation. Previous work has included the following:
- Financial matters including large and complex regulatory matters
- Represented Deutsche Bank in relation to investigations by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and BaFIN, the financial regulatory authority for Germany into Libor and Forex markets manipulation
- Advised Barclays and Citi Bank in relation to repapering of their derivative contracts following the introduction of Mifid II
- Actively involved in repapering, including negotiating new agreements with counterparties, in particular the more complex or difficult counterparties
- Instructed to advise HSBC in relation to a complex regulatory matter which related to the most high profile and largest of the bank's clients, as well as the active supervision by the FCA and PRA of the steps taken by the bank
- Familiar with all aspects of funds legal matters, having previously worked on placement at DWS, one of the largest fund managers in the world
- Represented Lloyds Bank in relation to a large caseload of retail banking litigation matters with a particular focus on claims under s140A Consumer Credit Act 1974
- Shareholder disputes
- Directors' duties
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Non-compete clauses
- Fellow Royal Society of Arts
- Honourable Society of Middle Temple
- Master of Liberal Arts, Management, Harvard University
- Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Management, Harvard University Extension School
- Postgraduate Diploma in Law (BPTC), City, University of London
- LLB, University of Sussex
- Deans List Academic Achievement Award, Harvard University
- Jules Thorn Scholarship, Middle Temple
- Sussex Scholarship Winner, University of Sussex
Outside of work, Owen has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. This is an award granted to those individuals that the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) judges to have made outstanding achievements to social progress and development.
Owen is also a keen amateur cook and likes going for walks in the countryside with his wife and daughter. He is also deeply concerned about the ongoing issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and volunteers as Head of Legal for H20 Congo, an organisation that aims to raise awareness of the issues involved in the mining of precious minerals in that country. In addition, Owen has an interest in history, politics and theological matters.
Areas of Law
Mr Owen Smith is happy to accept instructions as counsel who is:
Very experienced in the areas of:
- Family Law
Experienced in the following additional areas:
- Public Access Accredited
Outside of these key areas of law, Mr Owen Smith is always willing to consider any enquiry requiring the experience or knowledge needed to help you or your client. Please call Owen direct or the support team on 01823 247 247 if you would like to discuss any aspect of this profile.
Cases and Publications
- Lead legal advisor for the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) in their prosecution of Southwark Council for the Lakanal House fire in 2009 which led to 6 deaths. Prosecution was for breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, for which they ultimately admitted liability. As a consequence, Southwark Council was fined £200,000 and paying costs of £370,000.
- Engaged on placement at the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), on a large and complex bribery and corruption case (SFO v Rolls-Royce Plc); a domestic and overseas joint investigation brought under pre-Bribery Act charges. This involved investigation and prosecution of offences including conspiracy to corrupt, false accounting and failure to prevent bribery. The conduct spanned three decades and involved Rolls-Royce’s Civil Aerospace and Defence Aerospace businesses and its former Energy business and related to the sale of aero engines, energy systems and related services. The result of the investigation was a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA), believed to be the first of it's kind in the UK. The conduct covered by the DPA took place across seven jurisdictions including Indonesia, Thailand, India, Russia, Nigeria, China and Malaysia and resulted in Rolls Royce agreeing to pay £497.25 million in fines plus the SFO prosecution costs of £13 million.
Member, Mensa the High IQ Society
Sir Jules Thorn Scholar (2011), The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
Fellow Royal Society of Arts
Fees and Feedback
Details regarding our approach to fees can be found at the following link: http://www.clerksroom.com/content-html?cid=514
Please see “profile” tab for a description of the legal services provided by this barrister.
We aim to complete and return all paperwork within 14 days (2 weeks) of receipt if no specific deadline is provided. We can work to much faster timescales if requested or we can agree a specific target date for each individual circumstance. We will always advise at the outset if counsel is unable to meet any deadline.
Each barrister has a standard hourly rate for their work. The individual hourly rate can be agreed when instructions are acknowledged if preferred. We welcome early discussion as to the suitability of a specific barrister for a specific case. The right barrister will have the relevant expertise to deal with the case but will not be too junior, or too senior depending on the complexities.
We aim to allocate all cases to the correct level of experience & seniority which we believe will prove most to be the most cost-effective solution for our clients.
If, due to urgency, we allocate paperwork to a more senior member of Clerksroom, we will charge the appropriate hourly rate for the work, not for the barrister. We welcome early discussion to ensure the correct fee is applied to the case at the outset.
All our barristers are regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and hold a current practising certificate, details can be found at the following link Barristers’ Register
If you are not satisfied with the service provided, you can make a complaint to Chambers. Information on the chambers’ complaints procedure is available at the following link: http://www.clerksroom.com/content-html?cid=416
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from my chambers, you can make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. You must contact the Legal Ombudsman either within 6 months following the conclusion of our handling your complaint, within 6 years from the date of the act/omission, or 3 years from the date that you should reasonably have known there were grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before the 6 October 2010 or was more than six years ago).
The Legal Ombudsman’s details are as follows:
PO Box 6806
Tel: 0300 555 0333
1. This is a privacy notice that describes how, why and for how long I will process or keep your personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’).
2. The GDPR governs how an individual’s personal data is used, and your rights in relation to that data.
3. I, Mr Owen Smith, have been instructed by you or your litigation friend (usually a parent), through your solicitor or agent, or via the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
4. It is necessary for me to process your personal data in order for me to provide you with legal services, for example:
· Advise on the prospects of litigation;
· Advise on the value of your claim;
· Representation at a court hearing;
· Representation at trial;
· Advise, review or comment on legal issues or evidence.
5. Processing means anything done to data such as: recording, organising, adapting, altering, copying, consulting, transmitting, combining, erasing or storing it.
6. The processing for the purposes listed above will take place in accordance with either Article 6(1)(a) GDPR or Article 6(1)(b) GDPR, depending on how you instructed me.
7. If you have instructed me on a direct access basis, or engaged a solicitor (or legal agent), to assist you in bringing or defending a claim then the processing is necessary to perform a contract to which you are a party (Article 6(1)(b) GDPR). To give effect to that contract (i.e. to bring a claim) it is necessary for me to process your personal data for litigation purposes.
8. If I am assisting you on a pro bono basis, it will be necessary for me to seek your consent to be able to represent you (Article 6(1)(a) GDPR). In this scenario, you will be sent a consent form.
Recipients of your data
9. I may also be required to share your data with others, depending on the nature of your case. This may include:
(i) Courts and other tribunals to whom documents are presented;
(ii) Your solicitors, or agent representing you, through whom I have been instructed;
(iii) Potential witnesses, experts and other persons involved in the case;
(iv) Solicitors, barristers, or other legal representatives;
(v) Ombudsman and regulatory authorities;
(vi) Education and examining bodies; and
(vii) Current, past or prospective employers.
Special Categories of Data
10. In some cases I will have been given your personal data that is within the ‘special categories’ of data described in GDPR Article 9(1). For example, personal data that reveals your race, ethnicity, sexual preferences, political or religious beliefs, trade union membership or health. There are also restrictions for processing information regarding criminal convictions.
11. This type of personal data will only be processed where it is necessary in order to represent you in your legal claim, or advise on the prospects of a legal claim.
12. I will retain your personal data for no longer than is necessary, and where it is possible, I will anonymise your data.
13. How long your personal data is kept will depend on a number of factors. The retention period will be reviewed when the service I am providing you with is complete. However in general, I am obliged by the Bar Code of Conduct to retain records of my cases, and by HM Revenue and Customs to retain records for 6 years.
14. Once your case has concluded and fees have been paid, I shall retain only the personal data necessary for the following purposes:
(i) The legal and professional obligation to retain information relating to my cases;
(ii) To check for any potential conflict of interests that may arise in the future when I am instructed on other cases;
(iii) For use in the defence of potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes;
(iv) To refer back to in future cases which raise similar legal, factual, or procedural issues.
15. The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14 (ii), (iii), and (iv) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(f) GDPR. That is, for the purposes of legitimate interests that are not outweighed by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms.
16. The processing for the purposes listed in paragraph 14(i) above, will take place in accordance with Article 6(1)(c) GDPR. That is, the processing is necessary for me to comply with a legal obligation.
17. Where processing of your personal data was based on your consent (see paragraphs 6 and 8) you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. This does not affect the lawfulness of the processing based on consent before its withdrawal.
18. Withdrawal of your consent to process such data will most likely mean that I am no longer able to provide you with the legal services you seek.
19. You may request confirmation that your personal data is being processed by me and details about the personal data, the source, the processing, the purposes of the processing, the recipients and the retention period.
20. You may request a copy of your personal data that is being processed by me. You may also request rectification (i.e. correction) where there are inaccuracies in the personal data.
21. You have the right to object, on grounds relating to your particular situation, at any time, to processing of your personal data in paragraph 14 of this privacy notice. Should you object, the processing will only continue where there are compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests.
22. Where the processing or retention of your data is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, it will not be possible to object.
23. You have the right to request that your personal data is erased where any of the following apply:
(i) The personal data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed;
(ii) You withdraw your consent where the basis of processing was based on consent and where there is no other ground for the processing;
(iii) Where your fundamental rights, freedoms and interests override the legitimate interests of processing in paragraph 14;
(iv) The personal data has been unlawfully processed; or
(v) The personal data have to be erased to comply with a legal obligation.
24. You have the right to request that your personal data is restricted from processing, so that it is simply stored, for the following reasons: as an alternative to deletion; so that it can be corrected; for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; to verify if a legitimate ground exists (paragraph 14).
25. Where it is necessary to correct your personal data, or you have requested the restriction or erasure of your personal data, I shall endeavour to contact the recipients of the personal data, unless this involves disproportionate effort.
26. I take appropriate physical and technical procedures to safeguard your personal data to prevent it from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way. The I.T. systems used by Clerksroom are ISO27001 compliant.
Complaints or Queries
27. If you have any questions regarding this privacy notice, or how I use your personal data please email me: Owen.Smith@clerksroom.com, or my clerks: mail@clerksroom telephone 01823 247 247.
28. I shall aim to respond as soon as possible, and within 30 days.
29. You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) if you believe I have not handled your request in an appropriate manner. For information on contacting the ICO please go to: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/