Five minutes with...Seb Bisley, Buddle Findlay

by 07 Feb 2014
Seb Bisley is a member of the litigation and insolvency teams at Buddle Findlay. He's also a fan of Ti Kouka's pulled pork roll and once acted for the Prince of Brunei and his wife in a claim involving Impressionist art...

1.How long have you worked with Buddle Findlay and what brought you to the firm?
I've worked for Buddle Findlay for around five years.  I started here as a law clerk in 2002, working for Chris Chapman, then went overseas to study.  I re-joined Buddle Findlay in 2012 after five-and-a-half years in London.  I love working for the firm because it combines a relaxed and friendly culture with high quality legal work, and because I think it has a group of very talented lawyers across the whole spectrum of experience.
2.What’s the most interesting/challenging case you’ve ever worked on?
One of my most interesting cases was acting for a large investment fund that was the subject of a massive - and complex - fraud in Russia (involving around US$400 million).  Our job was to unpick the fraud, chase the assets through various offshore jurisdictions and engage with SO15 when our clients began to receive some rather odd and threatening text messages quoting parts of The Godfather. 
3.What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
A couple stand out: First, acting for a company owned by a man colloquially known in London gambling circles as "The Whale" in its (successful) defence to a claim against him by the Ministry of Defence and Support for the Armed Forces of Iran in relation to an airplane transaction that went wrong, and secondly acting for Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei and his wife, Madam Salma, in a claim for the conversion of a large collection of Impressionist art.
4.You’re based in Wellington – where’s your favourite place to eat and what’s the best item on the menu?
Tough question!  I really like Ti Kouka's pulled pork roll and Nikau's sage fried eggs. 
5.Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
Mountain biking, sailing and chasing my kids around local parks
6.How do you take your coffee?
Flat white
7.Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
If I wasn't a lawyer, I would be a marine biologist.
8.What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the corporate/commercial legal space in New Zealand in 2014?
In my area, litigation, I think it will be how to deal with litigation funders both for big cases (which get the attention) and the everyday cases where third-party funding is an important part of access to justice.
9.If you had John Key’s job for one day, what would you do?
Create a new marine reserve in the Sounds
10.What do you love about your job?
The cut and thrust of Court