Professional practice

Stephen’s practice encompasses commercial litigation and arbitration, commercial chancery, investor–state disputes, and public international law. He works as part of a team in larger cases and has appeared as sole counsel in the Commercial Court, Chancery Division, County Court, Employment Tribunal, and in arbitration. He also advises clients in both contentious and non-contentious matters in all areas of his practice.

His recent work includes substantial litigation in the Commercial Court, Chancery Division, and Court of Appeal, including cases raising complex issues of jurisdiction and choice of law, as well as commercial arbitrations under a variety of rules. He is also instructed on behalf of a state in relation to a boundary dispute and is acting as secretary to the tribunal in an investor–state arbitration under the UNCITRAL rules at the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Stephen joined Chambers from the Scottish bar and maintains an active practice there from Arnot Manderson Advocates. Before coming to the bar, he spent a year as judicial assistant to Lord Kerr in the Supreme Court and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, where he worked on a number of leading public law, human rights, and equality cases.

He studied law at Glasgow, Oxford, and Yale (as a Fulbright scholar) and has taught public international law at the University of Edinburgh and King’s College London and constitutional law at University College London. He has published on human rights, is an assistant editor of the European Human Rights Reports, and was on the editorial board of the Yale Journal of International Law. He is fluent in French and has a working knowledge of several other languages.

 

Examples of Recent Cases
  • Yukos v Merinson, Court of Appeal, on appeal from [2018] 2 WLR 1541: fraud claim in the Court of Appeal and Commercial Court raising issues of jurisdiction, conflict of laws, and the effect of foreign court settlements (with James Willan, instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP)
  • Brown v Neon Management Services Ltd [2018] EWHC 2137 (QB): instructed for the successful claimants in High Court trial of claims for relief relating to wrongful dismissal and restrictive covenants (with David Craig QC, instructed by Cubism Law)
  • Bord na Móna Horticulture Ltd v Washington [2017] EWHC 2406 (Ch): fraud claim in the Chancery Division arising from a sale and purchase agreement for shares in a company, with applications for freezing relief (with Huw Davies QC, instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP)
  • Latin American Investments Ltd v Maroil Trading Inc. [2017] EWHC 1254 (Comm): Commercial Court claims for breach of fiduciary duty and secret profits, with applications for freezing relief (with David Foxton QC, instructed by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP)
  • Erdenet Mining Corp. LLC v ICBC Standard Bank plc [2017] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 25: LCIA arbitration and Commercial Court proceedings arising out of an Asian banking fraud, including a successful application under section 70(7) of the Arbitration Act 1996 for security for the amount payable under two arbitral awards (with David Joseph QC and Edward Brown, instructed by Clifford Chance LLP)
  • Hellas II: trial in the Chancery Division of a claim under section 423 of the Insolvency Act arising from the multi-billion-euro refinancing of a Greek telecoms company (with Joe Smouha QC, Ciaran Keller, and Tom Ford, instructed by Norton Rose Fulbright)
  • Yukos v Georgiades: Commercial Court claims for breach of fiduciary duty by a director and for knowing receipt of their proceeds, involving intricate choice of law issues (with Jamie Goldsmith, instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP)
  • A claim by a band against its manager for breach of copyright and of a licensing agreement
  • Advising as to potential claims for breach of confidence, misuse of private information, and breach of data protection legislation against a newspaper
  • Advising a regulatory body on the jurisdictional scope of its amenability to judicial review on both common law and Convention grounds in a cross-border context
  • A commercial arbitration concerning a contract for financial services (as sole counsel)
  • Acting as secretary to the tribunal in an investor–state arbitration under the UNCITRAL rules at the Permanent Court of Arbitration
  • Instructed in an interstate case concerning a boundary dispute (with Professor Vaughan Lowe QC)
Arbitration & related court applications

Commercial arbitration and related court applications form a significant part of Stephen’s practice. For investor–state and inter-state cases, see ‘Investment treaty disputes’ and ‘Public international law’, below.

  • Erdenet Mining Corp. LLC v ICBC Standard Bank plc [2017] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 25: LCIA arbitration and Commercial Court proceedings arising out of an Asian banking fraud, including a successful application under section 70(7) of the Arbitration Act 1996 for security for the amount payable under two arbitral awards (with David Joseph QC and Edward Brown, instructed by Clifford Chance LLP)
  • Sole counsel in a commercial arbitration concerning financial services
  • Instructed in a commercial arbitration with complex issues of choice of law, including the interrelationship of overlapping applicable laws
  • Ad hoc arbitration concerning breaches of a contract for the construction of solar panels (with Hugh Mercer QC and Iain Quirk)
  • Ad hoc arbitration under a shareholders’ agreement involving claims of unfair prejudice under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006 (with Paul McGrath QC and James Willan, instructed by Elborne Mitchell LLP)
  • Instructed in challenges under sections 67 and 68 of the Arbitration Act to an award in an ICC arbitration (with Iain Quirk, instructed by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP)
  • Advised on and assisted with an appeal concerning the interpretation of an arbitration clause before the Court of Appeal of Singapore
Banking & financial services
  • Erdenet Mining Corp. LLC v ICBC Standard Bank plc [2017] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 25: LCIA arbitration and Commercial Court proceedings arising out of an Asian banking fraud, including the successful application under section 70(7) of the Arbitration Act 1996 for security for the amount payable under two arbitral awards (with David Joseph QC and Edward Brown, instructed by Clifford Chance LLP)
  • Sole counsel in a commercial arbitration concerning financial services
  • Appeared as sole counsel in numerous cases in the County Court, particularly in cases concerning banking and financial services
  • Instructed by the FCA in matters of proposed regulatory action
Civil fraud & asset tracing
  • Yukos v Merinson, Court of Appeal, on appeal from [2018] 2 WLR 1541: fraud claim in the Court of Appeal and Commercial Court raising issues of jurisdiction, conflict of laws, and the effect of foreign court settlements (with James Willan, instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP)
  • Bord na Móna Horticulture Ltd v Washington [2017] EWHC 2406 (Ch): fraud claim in the Chancery Division arising from a sale and purchase agreement for shares in a company, with applications for freezing relief (with Huw Davies QC, instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP)
  • Latin American Investments Ltd v Maroil Trading Inc. [2017] EWHC 1254 (Comm): Commercial Court claims for breach of fiduciary duty and secret profits, with applications for freezing relief (with David Foxton QC, instructed by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP)
Commercial chancery disputes
  • Appeared as sole counsel in various chancery matters, including in the bankruptcy and interim applications courts
  • Hellas II: trial in the Chancery Division of a claim under section 423 of the Insolvency Act arising from the multi-billion-euro refinancing of a Greek telecoms company (with Joe Smouha QC, Ciaran Keller, and Tom Ford, instructed by Norton Rose Fulbright)
  • Bord na Móna Horticulture Ltd v Washington [2017] EWHC 2406 (Ch): fraud claim in the Chancery Division arising from a sale and purchase agreement for shares in a company, with applications for freezing relief (with Huw Davies QC, instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP)
  • Instructed in a claim by a band against its manager for breach of copyright and of a licensing agreement
  • Ad hoc arbitration under a shareholders’ agreement involving claims of unfair prejudice under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006 (instructed by Elborne Mitchell LLP)
Commercial dispute resolution
  • Yukos v Merinson, Court of Appeal, on appeal from [2018] 2 WLR 1541: fraud claim in the Court of Appeal and Commercial Court raising issues of jurisdiction, conflict of laws, and the effect of foreign court settlements (with James Willan, instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP)
  • Latin American Investments Ltd v Maroil Trading Inc. [2017] EWHC 1254 (Comm): Commercial Court claims for breach of fiduciary duty and secret profits, with applications for freezing relief (with David Foxton QC, instructed by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP)
  • Erdenet Mining Corp. LLC v ICBC Standard Bank plc [2017] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 25: LCIA arbitration and Commercial Court proceedings arising out of an Asian banking fraud, including a successful application under section 70(7) of the Arbitration Act 1996 for security for the amount payable under two arbitral awards (with David Joseph QC and Edward Brown, instructed by Clifford Chance LLP)
  • Appeared unled and instructed as junior counsel in the Commercial Court in Golddecade International Ltd v Huang, concerning the liabilities arising from an alleged loan agreement (with Jern-Fei Ng QC, instructed by MFB Solicitors)
  • Acted in a High Court claim for payment of sums outstanding under an agreement for the sale and purchase of shares (instructed by Fox Williams LLP)
  • Appeared as sole counsel in numerous cases in the County Court, particularly in cases concerning banking and financial services
  • Advising as to potential claims for breach of confidence, misuse of private information, and breach of data protection legislation against a newspaper
  • Advising a regulatory body on the scope of potential judicial review proceedings in a cross-border context
Company & insolvency law
  • Appeared as sole counsel in various chancery matters, including in the bankruptcy and interim applications courts
  • Hellas II: trial in the Chancery Division of a claim under section 423 of the Insolvency Act arising from the multi-billion-euro refinancing of a Greek telecoms company (with Joe Smouha QC, Ciaran Keller, and Tom Ford, instructed by Norton Rose Fulbright)
  • Yukos v Georgiades: Commercial Court claims for breach of fiduciary duty by a director and for knowing receipt of their proceeds, involving intricate choice of law issues (with Jamie Goldsmith, instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP)
  • Ad hoc arbitration under a shareholders’ agreement involving claims of unfair prejudice under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006 (with Paul McGrath QC and James Willan, instructed by Elborne Mitchell LLP)
Conflict of laws & private international law
  • Yukos v Merinson, Court of Appeal, on appeal from [2018] 2 WLR 1541: fraud claim in the Court of Appeal and Commercial Court raising issues of jurisdiction, conflict of laws, and the effect of foreign court settlements (with James Willan, instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP)
  • Yukos v Georgiades: Commercial Court claims for breach of fiduciary duty by a director and for knowing receipt of their proceeds, involving intricate choice of law issues (with Jamie Goldsmith, instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP)
  • Instructed in a commercial arbitration with complex issues of choice of law, including the interrelationship of overlapping applicable laws
Employment
  • Brown v Neon Management Services Ltd [2018] EWHC 2137 (QB): instructed for the successful claimants in High Court trial of claims for relief relating to wrongful dismissal and restrictive covenants (with David Craig QC, instructed by Cubism Law)
  • Mitre Linen Ltd v Broadhurst: instructed as junior counsel for the former employer in a High Court ‘team move’ case (with Edward Brown, instructed by Temple Bright LLP)
  • Campbell v Secretary of State for Justice: appeared in the Employment Tribunal for the defendant in claims for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination (with Jane Russell, instructed by Government Legal Department)
  • Appeared as sole counsel in the Employment Tribunal in a case concerning disability discrimination and unfair dismissal
  • Instructed for the claimant in Employment Tribunal proceedings alleging disability and sex discrimination
Human rights & civil liberties
  • Before coming to the bar, spent a year as judicial assistant to Lord Kerr in the Supreme Court and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, where he worked on a number of leading public law, human rights, and equality cases including R (Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice[2015] AC 657, Bull v Hall[2013] 1 WLR 3741, and R (Lord Carlile of Berriew QC) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] AC 495.
  • Colstoun Trust v Scottish Ministers: instructed in a claim before the Scottish Courts for just satisfaction for losses arising from the enactment by the Scottish Parliament of legislation found to be in breach of article 1 of Protocol 1
  • Advised a regulatory body on the jurisdictional scope of its amenability to judicial review on both common law and Convention grounds in a cross-border context
  • Advised as to potential claims for breach of confidence, misuse of private information, and breach of data protection legislation against a newspaper
  • Published article ’No consensus on consensus’ with Judge Luzius Wildhaber, former President of the European Court of Human Rights (33 HRLJ 248)
  • Taught constitutional law at the University of Edinburgh and University College London
Investment treaty disputes
  • Secretary to the tribunal (Sir Frank Berman KCMG QC, Judge Stephen Schwebel, Judge Bruno Simma) in a PCA investor–state arbitration under the UNCITRAL rules
  • Before coming to the bar, appeared in a complex, multi-billion-dollar investor–state arbitration under the UNCITRAL rules concerning the supply of natural gas
Media, art, entertainment
  • Instructed as sole counsel in a claim by a band against its manager for breach of copyright and of a licensing agreement
  • Instructed as sole counsel in a defamation claim made by an individual and a related corporate entity arising from posts made on Facebook
  • Advising as to potential claims for breach of confidence, misuse of private information, and breach of data protection legislation against a newspaper
Public international law
  • Instructed on behalf of a state in relation to a boundary dispute (with Professor Vaughan Lowe QC)
  • Assisted Sir Frank Berman KCMG QC in advising claimants as to possible proceedings in claims involving issues of state succession
  • Before coming to the bar, taught public international law at the University of Edinburgh and King’s College London and was on the editorial board of the Yale Journal of International Law
Career
  • 2016 Tenant at Essex Court Chambers
  • 2015 Advocate at the Scottish bar
  • 2013–14 Judicial assistant to Lord Kerr, Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
  • 2009–11 Trainee solicitor, Simpson & Marwick (now Clyde & Co.)
  • 2009 Intern, Gulf Region Advocacy Center, Houston
Education
  • 2012–13 LL.M., Yale Law School
  • 2011–12 B.C.L, Lincoln College, Oxford
  • 2009–11 M.Sc. (philosophy), University of Edinburgh
  • 2004–08 LL.B., University of Glasgow
Awards
  • 2014–15 Lord Reid and Faculty of Advocates scholar (for pupillage at the Scottish bar)
  • 2012–13 Fulbright scholar
  • 2012 Shearman & Sterling mooting trophy, University of Oxford
  • 2011 Runner-up, Times Law Awards
  • 2008 Dean’s Cup, University of Glasgow
  • 2008 Semple Mooting Prize, University of Glasgow