Before the Bar called him, Leech started out teaching modern languages at Shrewsbury and Eton. ‘If you can stand up in front of a classroom full of kids who don’t particularly want to listen to you, then you can stand up in front of a judge,’ he says.
However that’s where the similarities end, although his language skills have clearly translated: he’s rightly proud of the fact he’s become the go-to barrister for London’s growing French diaspora. ‘Law is like healthcare: if you’re an Englishman in France you’d rather see an English doctor — not because their skills are different, but because you feel so much more comfortable and reassured when it’s in your own language.’
His biggest case so far involved a billionaire client dividing their business along the lines of divorce, while more recently he’s been acting for a Swiss client fighting a ‘rearguard action’ in the English courts. Such is Leech’s financial knowledge that he now spends much of his time advocating and arbitrating financial dispute resolutions — when he’s not tending the flowerbeds of his Burgundy bolthole, that is.