JOSEPH OATES MARKS 20 YEARS
Partner Joseph Oates is celebrating 20 years with CooperBurnett, having joined the firm in October 1999. He became a partner in 2002 and is also a member of the firm’s Management Board.
Prior to joining CooperBurnett, Joseph had qualified the previous year with a firm in Brighton. He was told about an opportunity at CooperBurnett by a former colleague, who had already made the move to Tunbridge Wells.
“I discovered that CooperBurnett, although outwardly traditional, was very open in its outlook and that appealed to me,” says Joseph. “Over the years, what I’m particularly proud of is our meritocratic culture; people have joined and moved up the firm because they very much deserve to.”
Since qualifying, Joseph has always worked in litigation.
“I’ve always thought that the purpose of law is to resolve disputes, if necessary through the courts,” he says. “That said, litigation has changed over the years and there’s more of an emphasis on resolving disputes informally at lower cost to clients and saving court time.”
To this end, Joseph is a trained mediator and adopts a straightforward approach to resolving disputes, whether personal or commercial, such as shareholder and partner disputes.
One area in which Joseph stands out from other litigators is his 20 years’ experience in advising insolvency practitioners. He has a thorough understanding of insolvency law and practice and is a licenced insolvency practitioner, having completed the Joint Insolvency Examination Board (JIEB) insolvency exams ten years ago.
“As a firm, we have developed a reputation for supporting our team in their continued learning and development,” says Joseph. “In the 20 years I’ve been here, it’s been great to see so many of my colleagues grow their careers here and I’m proud that we continue to offer those opportunities.”
When he’s not at work, Joseph enjoys playing football and was recently part of the CooperBurnett team which took on the challenge of cycling from London to Paris in 24 hours, raising more than £25,000 for Brain Tumour Research.
“There’s been an increased commitment from us to supporting charities over the past few years,” says Joseph. “This year we also made a decision as partners to match the funds raised for the charity too. The cycle to Paris was a challenge but it certainly made us all fitter and I’m enjoying keeping up with cycling in my spare time.”
Joseph acknowledges that while there have been changes over the past 20 years, CooperBurnett has continued to provide consistently high levels of service and has always been there to assist its clients through good times and challenging times.
“I’m proud of where we are as a firm now and the supportive atmosphere we offer to both our clients and our colleagues,” he adds.