Stephen practise in commercial and civil law with particular focus enforcing the rights of his clients in employment and international disputes.

He advises and represents clients in disputes in the Court of Appeal, High Court, Employment Appeal Tribunal, County Court, and Employment Tribunal. Stephen has significant experience of working with international clients, both in the UK and abroad. He has spent time living and working in the Middle East, and has worked on litigation and arbitrations before the International Chamber of Commerce, the United Nations Appeal Tribunal, the Dubai International Arbitration Centre, and the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts.

Stephen is currently instructed in a large group equal pay claim against a major supermarket, and by a foreign company in a claim against several hundred defendants concerning alleged unlawful Collective Investments Schemes, economic conspiracy and misrepresentations.

Stephen is co-author of the Law Society’s Employment Law Handbook, is a contributor to the Pensions chapter of Atkins’ Court Forms and lectures, trains and publishes on advocacy and legal issues with particular expertise in the developing law around cryptoassets.

He is noted as a Rising Star by Legal 500 for his employment work.

Before joining Chambers, Stephen worked at an English law firm. He has won several advocacy competitions, including whilst representing Lincoln’s Inn in the Supreme Court.


Stephen acts in a wide variety of commercial claims. As well as acting under sole instructions, he has significant experience of working within a team of lawyers in complex and sensitive disputes.

Stephen has experience of dispute resolution and litigation and in both civil and common law jurisdictions. He has been involved in advising European firms on the resolution of disputes governed by foreign substantive or procedural rules outside the traditional court system in England and Wales and abroad, especially in the Middle East.

Stephen has spent four months working in the Dubai office of a leading UAE law firm. He worked a number of complex commercial cases involving multi-million pound claims arising out incomplete large-scale construction and development projects.

Stephen has published and lectured to the Dubai Internal Financial Centre Academy of Law and in the UK on the development of the law around cryptoassets and smart contracts.

Notable Commercial & Chancery cases

Representing the claimant company at trial and on appeal in consolidated proceedings against several hundred defendants involving allegations of unlawful collective investment schemes, misrepresentation and conspiracy.

Representing a Scottish company in claims arising out of constitutional changes in multiple timeshare clubs in Europe and the UK.

Acting for a UAE-registered multi-national company in proceedings arising out of an aborted large-scale development project in Dubai.

Defending an online trading platform in misrepresentation and breach of contract claims.

Representing an online retailer in potential civil and regulatory proceedings in the UK and abroad arising out of online selling.

A contractual dispute arising out of domestic building work.

Representing a Dubai-based company in arbitrations at the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) arising out of incomplete construction projects in the UAE.

Assisting in an international administrative law appeal from a decision of the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation to the United Nations Appeals Tribunal.

Representing a Qatari engineering company in an Internal Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration in Doha.

Advising a UAE corporation on a claim before the Dubai Courts arising out of a failed infrastructure development in Dubai.

Assisting in advising a prominent UK law firm on the duty of good faith in UAE law in a large DIAC arbitration.

Working as part of a large counsel team in the multi-million-pound conspiracy claims brought by Robert Tchenguiz in the Commercial Court.

Stephen has a busy employment law practice in the Employment Tribunals and civil courts. He often represents clients in complex multi day hearings against senior counsel. His appellate practice encompasses the Court of Appeal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and High Court.

Stephen acts for both claimants and defendants/respondents in a wide variety of employment contexts including FTSE 100 companies, major financial institutions, quasi-government bodies and NHS trusts. He has particular experience of discrimination and equality claims.

Stephen is one of the three co-authors of the Employment Law Handbook, published by the Law Society of England and Wales.

Notable Employment & Discrimination cases

Representing several thousand Tesco workers in multiple equal pay claims in the Employment Tribunal and High Court.

Instructed in appeals in the Court of Appeal and High Court arising out of the suspension of a teacher following allegations of abuse, in which the High Court observed that Stephen’s advocacy was “first class” and that the claimant “could not have been better represented” (Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth [2019] EWCA Civ 322; [2017] EWHC 2019 (QB)).

Nicholson v Hazel House Nursing Home Limited UKEAT/0241/15/LA

Representing the successful appellant in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in a pregnancy discrimination claim.

Regularly acting for some of the UK’s largest housing associations in multi-day discrimination claims.

Assisting in equal pay and employment terms appeals to the United Nations Appeal Tribunal from decisions of the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation.

Acting for an unlawfully dismissed whistleblower in a multi-day whistleblowing claim arising out of the reporting of abuse in a care home.

Representing a police employee in multi-day disability discrimination proceedings in the Employment Tribunal.

Assisting with an appeal to the United Nations Appeals Tribunal in a claim arising out of classification of roles within an international organisation.

Advising a teacher on disciplinary proceedings and appeals to prevent suspension and dismissal.

Representing a university in a sex discrimination and part-time working claim.

Representing Transport for London in race and sex discrimination claims.

Representation at successful Judicial Mediations.

Stephen acts for litigants and government bodies on a variety of disputes relating to pensions and trusts. He has particular experience of complaints to The Pensions Ombudsman and is especially well-placed to advise on cases which encompass both employment law and pensions issues.

Stephen is a contributor to the Pensions chapter of Atkins’ Court Forms.

Notable Pensions cases

In the matter of the Axminster Carpets Group Retirement Benefits Plan [2021] EWHC 1652 (Ch)

Forfeiture, construction, exercise of discretion by trustees, interest, Re Benjamin orders, limitation, section 37 Pension Schemes Act 1993.

Atos IT Services UK Ltd v Atos Pension Schemes Ltd [2020] EWHC 145 (Ch)

Instructed in High Court proceedings on the construction of indexation provisions in a large pension scheme.

Providing advice to The Pensions Ombudsman on a range of legal issues.

Acting for a claimant in a maladministration claim arising out of misinformation provided during a TUPE transfer.

Assisting Nicolas Stallworthy QC in appealing a decision of The Pensions Ombudsman.

Representing a claimant in a misrepresentation claim against an employer.

Reviewing the decision of The Pensions Regulator following an alleged pension liberation fraud.

Stephen advises individuals, companies and regulators in England and abroad on a wide variety of matters and has particular expertise in claims relating to cryptoassets.

Notable Financial Services cases

Multiple claims against lenders under Consumer Credit Act 1974 arising out of inadequacies in the FCA-approved PPI redress scheme following the Supreme Court’s decision in Plevin v Paragon Finance.

Representing the claimant company at trial and on appeal in consolidated proceedings against several hundred defendants involving allegations of unlawful collective investment schemes, misrepresentation and conspiracy.

Advising on the implications of the regulation of land-based collective investment schemes.

Acting for the claimant in a misrepresentation and professional negligence claim against a financial advisor.

Assisting in a group judicial review of a regulator’s determination in a joint investment scheme.

Advising foreign entities on compliance with domestic regulations and the jurisdictional scope of the English regulations.

Assisting in advising a foreign regulator on enforcement proceedings in relation to unregulated collective investment schemes.

Advising on Consumer Credit Act claims arising out of failed timeshare agreements.

Related updates

Stephen Butler is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

"Stephen is cerebral and thorough - it is hugely reassuring as a solicitor to know that you have someone on the team who will think through a problem from every angle. He is also thoroughly pleasant to deal with."

Employment, Legal 500

"A real talent for the future and one to watch. Calm, forensic and highly persuasive."

 Legal 500 2021

"first-class… whatever the outcome of this appeal, the Appellant could not have been better represented"

Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth [2017] EWHC 2019 (QB)

"had a commanding grip of the detail of the case which he presented with great determination but also courtesy"

MRL v B (March 2019) E6QZ554H

To find out more, contact Matt Sale +44 (0)20 7427 4910 or George Bennett on +44 (0)207 427 0807 for a confidential discussion.

Our dedicated practice management team can help you identify the right barrister for your case.

  • French (intermediate)
  • Spanish (basic)

  • Co-author of the ‘Law Society’s Employment Law Handbook’
  • Contributor to the ‘Pensions’ chapter of ‘Atkins Court Form’
  • ‘The Person in Property – OTC on Cryptoassets: a commentary on David Ian Ruscoe and Malcolm Russell Moore v Cryptopia Limited (in liquidation) [2020] NZHC 728’, 2020
  • ‘Cryptoassets and Smart Contracts – The UKJT Legal Statement’, 2019

  • Walter Wigglesworth Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Buchanan Prize, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Lord Denning Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Hardwicke Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Bar Professional Training Course, ‘Outstanding’
  • Glanville Williams Prize for Law, Jesus College, Cambridge
  • Ng Prize, Jesus College, Cambridge
  • Hogan Lovells Prize, Jesus College, Cambridge

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