Professional negligence work forms a substantial part of Stephen’s practice, especially matters involving tax advice, having represented advisors and clients in multiple disputes, including the leading cases on the negligence implications of the failure of Employee Benefit Trusts.
Prior to coming to the Bar, Stephen spent five years training and practising as a solicitor at two leading commercial firms, including a six month secondment to Barclays Wealth’s financial services legal team.
Stephen regularly acts for large businesses and individuals of high net worth and on occasion substantial public profile. He is accustomed to representing clients operating in highly regulated industries and those subject to considerable regulatory and public scrutiny. Away from chambers Stephen enjoys cricket and other sports, cooking, the countryside and fly fishing.
Stephen is a commercial and Chancery practitioner. He acts as sole or junior counsel in cases involving trusts, financial services, taxation, commercial disputes, real and personal property rights and insolvency. He has rapidly built a substantial High Court practice in the most complex of disputes.
In recent years Stephen has been involved in some of the leading cases turning on the alleged professional negligence of tax advisors, particularly in the context of employee benefit trusts. Stephen is presently involved in a substantial and increasing number of cases of this type, acting for taxpayers, scheme providers and introducers.
Having developed a particular expertise in the niche area of personal property law, Stephen is sought out by clients who wish to assert or defend ownership and/or possession rights over chattels. He is presently working on a book commissioned by Hart Publishing on the creation, disposition and protection of ownership rights in such property.
Stephen also has a substantial real property practice, which includes expertise on trespass, easements, covenants, nuisance and all aspects of real property entitlement. He has experience of construction disputes, including those touching on issues frequently arising in a rural context such as conservation restrictions.