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Stephen Butler

Stephen Butler

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Stephen practises in commercial and civil law with particular focus on employment and international disputes.

He advises and represents clients in disputes in the Court of Appeal and Employment Appeal Tribunal, and in the High Court, County Court, and Employment Tribunal.

He acts for and against individuals, FTSE 100 companies, major financial institutions and NHS trusts, as well as advising government bodies including The Pensions Ombudsman and international financial regulators.

Stephen has significant experience of working with international clients, both in the UK and abroad. He has worked on litigation and arbitrations before the United Nations Appeal Tribunal, the International Chamber of Commerce, 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 consolidated 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 regularly provides training on advocacy and legal issues.

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.

Commercial & Chancery

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’s recent and current work includes:

  • representing the claimant company 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
  • working as part of a large counsel team in the multi-million-pound conspiracy claims brought by Robert Tchenguiz in the Commercial Court
  • 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

Employment & Discrimination

Stephen has a busy employment law practice in the Employment Tribunals and civil courts. He often represents clients in multi day hearings against senior counsel and 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.

Stephen’s recent and current work includes:

  • instructed with Keith Bryant QC in equal pay claims on behalf of several thousand Tesco workers in the Employment Tribunal and High Court
  • instructed for the claimant with Andrew Allen 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))
  • representing the successful appellant in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in a pregnancy discrimination claim (Nicholson v Hazel House Nursing Home Limited (2016) UKEAT/0241/15/LA)
  • acting for one of the UK’s largest housing associations in several multi-day disability discrimination claims
  • assisting Alex Haines in an equal pay appeal to the United Nations Appeal Tribunal from decision 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 a race and sex discrimination claim

Pensions & Trusts

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.

Stephen’s recent and current work includes:

  • providing regular 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

Alternative Dispute Resolution

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’s recent and current work includes:

  • representing a Dubai-based company in arbitrations at the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) arising out of incomplete construction projects in the UAE
  • assisting Alex Haines 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
  • representation in Judicial Mediations in the Employment Tribunal
  • assisting in advising a prominent UK law firm on the duty of good faith in UAE law in a large DIAC arbitration

Financial Services

Stephen advises individuals, companies and regulators in England and abroad on a wide variety of matters.

He has particular experience of misselling and misrepresentation claims, and of claims against banks under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Stephen’s recent and current work includes:

  • 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
  • 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 Tim Aron 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

Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury

Stephen is often instructed to advise, represent and draft proceedings on behalf of claimants, defendants and insurers. He has experience of a wide range of hearings including multitrack, fast track and small claims proceedings. He also represents NHS Trusts and other interest persons in the Coroner’s Court.

Stephen has particular experience of dealing with cases which involve overlap between employment and personal injury, including disability-related injuries and mental health.

He is able to advise upon complex and overlapping claims and remedies in the Employment Tribunal and the civil courts.

In addition to domestic claims, Stephen is regularly instructed in cases with an international element or where injuries are sustained abroad.

Stephen’s recent and current work includes:

  • representing the claimant in a multi-track claim arising out of psychiatric injuries sustained during detention in a foreign jail
  • representing an NHS Trust in an Inquest into the death of a patient in the community who died following repeated admissions to, and discharge from, hospital
  • representing a claimant in proceedings following a negligent avoidable leg amputation
  • advising an Italian claimant on proceedings in England
  • assisting Eliot Woolf QC, working on a number of lengthy High Court clinical negligence trials and settlements, including claims against the Ministry of Defence
  • acting for a surgeon in a claim arising out of unsuccessful cosmetic surgery
  • representing a claimant in a disability discrimination claim involving psychiatric injuries sustained during the course of employment

Health, Safety & Environment

In parallel with practice in personal injury and workplace claims, Stephen provides advice and representation in Health and Safety matters in a variety of different courts.

Stephen’s recent and current work includes:

  • working with James Leonard on the defence of a multi-billion pound company in an Health and Safety Executive prosecution arising out of deaths whilst working on the electricity network
  • acting for a multi-million pound company in criminal proceedings arising from a fall from height
  • representing a barge captain in a prosecution brought by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency
  • representing a distribution network operator in Coronial proceedings
  • representing the family of a patient who died in hospital in circumstances where hospital records were alleged to have been dishonestly fabricated
  • assisting in advising a large hotel chain following a significant explosion on its premises

Appointments & Memberships

  • The Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
  • Employment Lawyers Association (ELA)
  • Young International Arbitration Group (YIAG)
  • Free Representation Unit (FRU)
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit (BPBU)


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


  • French (intermediate)
  • Spanish (basic)

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.

Areas of Law


“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


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