Stephen specialises in financial services disputes and contentious regulatory matters. The Legal 500 describes Stephen as a ‘key adviser’ and ‘highly regarded’ for banking and commercial litigation respectively, and notes that he ‘heads the firm’s FCA regulatory practice and has expertise across many of the most pressing issues occupying the minds of the regulator’.

Stephen is an experienced commercial litigator, with a particular focus on financial services and banking related disputes, and contentious regulatory matters. He has extensive experience acting for a variety of financial institutions, including hedge funds, brokers and investment managers. Stephen also has significant experience of professional negligence matters, involving professionals in a number of disciplines. He also regularly advises on a broad range of pensions related disputes.

Stephen has expertise in all forms of regulatory investigations and litigation – he regularly advises clients subject to investigation by the FCA. In addition to High Court trial experience, he often works with clients to resolve disputes through mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Stephen’s experience working with financial institutions includes both in-house and private practice. Prior to joining CYK, Stephen worked in-house at the derivatives broker-dealer, MF Global, where he was responsible for litigation and contentious regulatory matters across the European business. These included, for example, significant disputes in relation to FX, equity and commodity derivatives, both exchange-traded and OTC, and involving counterparties, regulators and exchanges. Stephen particularly enjoys cases involving complex financial instruments where his product knowledge acquired in-house is valuable.

MF Global was the first UK company to enter the post-Lehman special administration regime (SAR) for investment banks in October 2011 and has been at the forefront of significant legal and regulatory developments in that area.


Stephen qualified as a solicitor in September 2003. He trained and qualified at Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, working there on a variety of commercial litigation and professional negligence matters, before joining the London office of Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright) in 2008. He moved to MF Global in 2011, and joined Cooke Young and Keidan in March 2014.

Stephen read Law at Magdalen College, Oxford and completed the LPC (also in Oxford) with distinction.

What the legal directories say

The Legal 500 (2017 edition) says Stephen is “conscientious and personable” and “has expertise across many of the most pressing issues occupying the minds of the regulator including recent work in relation to benchmark and fix manipulation”.

The Legal 500 (2017) also describes Stephen as a “key adviser” and “highly regarded” for banking litigation and commercial litigation respectively.

Professional groups

Stephen is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales and the London Solicitors Litigation Association, Financial Services Lawyers Association and the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association.

Publications, articles and seminars

  • UK/US Cross-Border Litigation Summit, July 2017 – speaker on Specialized Commercial Courts 
  • ACCA, May 2016 event: Banking scandals – speaker on claims against banks; risks, tactics and the future. 
  • C5, Financial Institutions Regulatory Disputes & Investigations conference, November 2015 – speaker on implications of Property Alliance Group v RBS. 
  • International Financial Litigation Network, November 2015 meeting – speaker on benchmark manipulation.