Stephen practises commercial litigation, with a focus on international dispute resolution and arbitration, pensions, and financial services law. He is ranked in Chambers & Partners Global 2022 as an “Up and Coming” Junior with a “a strong UAE-focused practice which covers arbitration, regulatory investigations and litigation within the courts of the DIFC and ADGM”.
His international practice is predominantly based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the wider GCC region. In the past twelve months Stephen has been instructed as sole counsel in a number of multi-million dollar arbitrations, including in the fields of construction, property and shareholder disputes. He has appeared in arbitrations conducted under a number of institutional rules, including the ICC, DIAC, DIFC-LCIA and ADCCAC. Stephen also regularly appears in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Courts across a number of areas, including applications for interim injunctive and Mareva relief, financial services disputes, employment disputes, and jurisdictional challenges. Stephen is also currently instructed in relation to a Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) regulatory investigation.
Stephen’s domestic practise is focussed on general commercial litigation, pensions and financial services law. He has spent time on secondment at the Pensions Regulator, as well as both the Enforcement and General Counsel’s Division of the Financial Conduct Authority. Stephen has experience in respect of both Part 7 and Part 8 pensions actions, as well as having appeared before the Determinations Panel of the Pensions Regulator.
Some examples of Stephen’s recent instructions include:
Stephen has a first-class degree in History from Oxford University. He completed his Graduate Diploma in Law with distinction, and achieved an outstanding grade in the Bar Professional Training Course. He is also a contributing author to Atkin’s Court Forms issue on Pensions.
Stephen is public access qualified and accepts instructions directly from members of the public.
Stephen has substantial experience of dispute resolution in the Middle-East, particularly for a practitioner at his level of call, having spent almost two years on the ground in Dubai working at a leading UAE law firm. Stephen’s practice in the Middle East has been predominantly focused on high value commercial and construction disputes, and he is regularly instructed to advise on the merits and strategy in relation to complex arbitral disputes, as well as drafting pleadings and submissions. Stephen has also been instructed on numerous occasions to appear as sole counsel, and represent clients at preliminary and full merits hearings.
Stephen is ranked in Chambers & Partners Global 2022, with clients stating that: “Stephen Doherty is a very hard-working advocate and he knows his DIFC law really well.” “He has a phenomenal understanding of local laws. He is excellent on regulatory investigations. I would highly recommend him.”
Stephen has experience of conducting arbitration cases in accordance with DIAC, ADCCAC, DIFC-LCIA, SIAC and ICC Rules. Some examples of recent cases include:
Stephen also has experience of advising and representing clients before the DIFC and ADGM Courts, and advising on jurisdictional and other issues that arise in the UAE. Some examples of recent court cases include:
Stephen is also currently instructed in relation to a Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) regulatory investigation.
Stephen spent time on secondment to the Pensions Regulator, where he was involved in a range of Determinations Panel, Upper Tribunal and High Court litigation, and other advisory work. Stephen has experience of issues relating to pension scams, misuse and misappropriation of pension scheme assets, defined benefit scheme funding, scheme governance, and the prohibition of scheme trustees. Whilst seconded to the Financial Conduct Authority, Stephen has gained further experience of pensions scams, the regulation of personal pension schemes, and issues relating to the suitability of advice provided to pension schemes.
Stephen regularly advises pension scheme members in relation to a variety of complaints to the Pensions Ombudsman and through internal dispute resolution procedures (IRDPs). This includes complaints of maladministration through the provision of incorrect pension benefit quotations, misrepresentation, breach of contract, claw back of overpaid benefits, and complaints relating to the retention of Mental Health Officer (MHO) and Special Class (SC) status in the NHS Pension Scheme.
Examples of cases in which Stephen has acted include:
Stephen also undertakes a range of advisory work, including:
Stephen has been instructed to advise and appear in court in a range of other complex contractual and commercial disputes including a professional negligence, shareholder disputes, and civil fraud. Examples of recent instructions include:
Stephen has also acted for clients in a number of high-value and complex commercial disputes in the Middle East, including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Whilst seconded to a leading law firm in Dubai, he was responsible for advising on merits and strategy, drafting pleadings and submissions, and representing clients at preliminary and full merits hearings. Examples of recent cases include:
Since joining chambers Stephen has gained experience in a range of civil and criminal litigation in the field of banking and financial services, and has worked in both the Enforcement and the General Counsel’s Division of the Financial Conduct Authority.
Stephen has experience of advising on interest rate hedging product (IRHP) mis-selling, unfair relationship claims under s. 140A-D Consumer Credit Act 1974, applications for change of control under Part XII FSMA and other issues relating to suitability of investment advice.
At the Financial Conduct Authority, Stephen was involved in a high profile investigation of a retail bank and has advised on numerous issues relating to pensions scams, authorisation of firms, passporting, and the scope of the FCA’s powers under FSMA.
Stephen also has experience of a high profile criminal investigation, conducted by the Serious Fraud Office, into allegations of corruption and bribery against a large UK bank.
As well as having experience of the regulation of financial services in the UK, Stephen also has experience in advising international clients in respect of the regulatory framework in the DIFC. He is currently instructed in relation to a Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) regulatory investigation.
Aegis v Union Bank of India  DIFC CFI 004: Successful claim against a bank for breach of the Quincecare Duty, in the context of online phishing fraud. A novel application of the Quincecare Duty to cyber-crime committed by third-parties, and only the second ever successful application of the duty which was established over thirty years ago.
Advising a SIPP / TIP provider in relation to its reporting obligations under the FEES Manual of the FCA Handbook
Advising and drafting pleadings in relation to the clawback of commission by an FCA regulated firm in relation to a number of insurance products
Advising on the application of DFSA rules in a dispute between a bank and a commercial business
Stephen Doherty 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.
Our dedicated practice management team can help you identify the right barrister for your case.