Stephen is a partner specialising in commercial litigation. He leads the commercial litigation team in Bristol.

Stephen deals with complex, heavyweight disputes, based on giving clear, concise and commercial advice to our clients that adds real value to their businesses. He makes extensive use of ADR, mediation and creative fee structures (including the use of litigation funding, discounted Conditional Fee Agreements, ATE insurance and fixed fees) and sharing the litigation risk with our clients to set us apart from our competitors both nationally and in the City.

Stephen advises on contractual and corporate disputes. His experience includes supply chain disputes, IT disputes, breach of contract, breach of warranty claims, fraud, misrepresentation and advice on directors' duties. He also advises clients in situations involving breach of confidence and confidential information. In the property sector, he has advised estate agents and counterparties on liability for agency fees in the event of a dispute. He is fully conversant with decisions such as Foxtons Limited –v- O'Reardon.  

Stephen has also managed a team that has recovered over £14.2 million for a large national client for an investment of only 3.1% of the total debt recovered. (This includes debt in the Real Estate sector). The team act predominantly on a fixed fee and contingency basis.

Experience
Examples of experience include advising:
  • A London Borough Council in relation to a hugely complex contractual and regulatory dispute with a facilities management company worth £15m per annum.  This is hugely important and sensitive issue in the post Grenfell era.  
  • A national company following the £2.4million fraud from a former employee. 
  • Post Office Limited in the reported case of Post Office v Castleton [2007] EWHC 5 (QB) in which the court determined a former sub-postmaster was liable to account for shortfalls in post office accounts.  This was relevant to Post Office's £800m IT system.
  • An FMCG company in relation to a dispute over its product to a buyer which lead to business critical issues.
  • Insurers and Insured in relation to D&O policies, coverage and claims.
  • A large motor vehicle financier in successfully recovering a six figure shortfall under a guarantee when a large West Midlands dealer became insolvent.
  • Barclays in the leading case (Barclays Bank v Harris) in the Etridge appeals, the seminal cases on undue influence

Stephen's team is top ranked by Chambers 2015 for litigation in the South West (Plymouth and surrounds).

"He is a tenacious and very able litigator with a sharp mind and strong negotiating skills."

Chambers and Partners, 2018