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Stephen Doherty

Stephen Doherty

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Stephen Doherty became a member of Chambers in September 2014 following pupillage.

He accepts instructions in all areas of Chambers’ practice and has a particular interest in pensions, financial services and commercial litigation.

Stephen is currently on secondment at a leading law firm in Dubai working within their international arbitration team. He provides advice, draft pleadings and submissions in claims arising from incomplete large-scale construction, infrastructure and development projects in the Middle East, also representing clients at preliminary and full hearings.

Stephen is registered to appear in the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts.

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.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Stephen has extensive experience in international arbitration, having spent 20 months working at a leading UAE law firm, Horizons & Co. Stephen’s practice in the Middle East has been predominantly focused on high value commercial and construction disputes, and he was 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 as an advocate, to represent clients at preliminary and full merits hearings.

Stephen has experience of conducting arbitration cases in accordance with DIAC, ADCCAC, DIFC-LCIA and ICC Rules. Some examples of recent cases include:

  • Representing the contractor in a complex construction dispute valued in excess of $30 million, relating to a dispute over contractual variations and entitlement to an extension of time (ADCCAC)
  • Representing a master developer in a contractual dispute valued in excess of $10 million (DIAC)
  • Representing the contractor in a high-profile infrastructure dispute, valued in excess of $8 million (ICC)
  • Representing the contractor of a Dubai-based company, in relation to a claim against the Employer for unlawful termination (ICC), and
  • Representing a Dubai-based real estate investor in a complex suite of claims, which relate to a high-profile commercial dispute regarding a failed development, which is valued in excess of $60m (DIAC).

Stephen also has experience of advising and representing clients before the DIFC Courts, and advising on jurisdictional and other issues that arise in the UAE.

Pensions & Trusts

Stephen has recently returned to chambers following a 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). Recent cases include 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.

Stephen was recently led by Nicolas Stallworthy QC in Hogg Robinson Plc v Harvey and others [2016] EWHC 129 (Ch), an application by the sponsoring employer of a pension scheme for summary judgment in respect of its claim for rectification of a deed of amendment to the scheme, which purported to change the rate of pension increases from RPI to LPI.

Stephen spent part of his pupillage under the supervision of David E. Grant where he gained experience in a variety of other pensions and trusts disputes. As a pupil he drafted numerous pleadings, skeleton arguments, opinions and research notes in relation to complex pensions, regulatory, insolvency and probate matters.


Banking & Financial Services

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.

Commercial & Chancery

Stephen has recently been instructed to advise and appear in court in a range of other contractual and commercial disputes including a professional negligence claim relating to a commercial property transaction, a dispute by a minor shareholder against a major UK plc, a contractual dispute relating to a publication agreement, and a contractual dispute between a commercial business and a gas supplier.

Public Law

Stephen has experience of public inquiries, and during 2014-15 was instructed as Junior Counsel to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, which is investigating the physical and sexual abuse of children from 1945 to 2014, and allegations of political interference in relation to the prosecution of alleged offenders.

In addition to spending a year as Junior Counsel to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, during pupillage Stephen gained experience of drafting pleadings and other court documents in judicial review proceedings. More recently he has been involved in the high profile litigation surrounding the public procurement of criminal legal aid work by the Lord Chancellor.

Personal Injury

Stephen regularly accepts instructions from both claimants and defendants in personal injury and clinical negligence claims. He is experienced in drafting pleadings and representing clients at various hearings including applications, costs and case management conferences, and at trial.

Stephen also regularly appears on behalf of both families and NHS Trusts at inquests and spent three months on secondment with Capsticks Inquests Team following pupillage. He has represented families pro bono through AvMA.

Employment & Discrimination

Stephen regularly appears at Employment Tribunals and has advised and represented parties in a variety of cases including unfair dismissal, wage & holiday pay claims and at preliminary hearings. He has also represented claimants pro bono through the Free Representation Unit.

Appointments & Memberships

  • Lincoln’s Inn
  • Association of Pensions


  • Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Hardwicke Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn

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.

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