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Stephen practises commercial litigation, with a focus on international dispute resolution and arbitration, pensions, and financial services law.
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:
- Acting as sole counsel for a sub-developer in an arbitration claim and counterclaim with a combined value of approximately $200 million (DIAC)
- Acting as sole counsel for a Master Developer in a $14 million arbitration claim against a sub-developer for breaches of its construction and payment obligations (DIAC)
- Acting for a large UK Company (led by Andrew Spink QC) in a pensions case raising giving rise to complex historic validity and rectification issues
- Appearing before the Determinations Panel of the Pensions Regulator resisting action taken to appoint an Independent Trustee to the Merchant Navy Rating Pensions Fund
- Acting as sole counsel for the main contractor in a number of multi-million dollar arbitrations arising from a high profile infrastructure project in Qatar (ICC)
- Appearing before the DIFC Courts on behalf of a client subjected to a freezing order in a $30+ million civil fraud dispute, raising novel questions on the application of “reflective loss” principles in the jurisdiction
- Advising and drafting in respect of a substantial financial services regulatory investigation in Dubai
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.
Commercial & Chancery
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:
- Acting in a £2+ million High Court claim for a property developer in a claim brought by an investor, raising issues of breach of contract, unlawful means conspiracy, knowing receipt / dishonest assistance, and fraudulent misrepresentation
- Obtaining judgment for £350,000 in a summary judgment application before the High Court
- Successfully resisting summary judgment in High Court commercial dispute
- Advising and drafting pleadings in a £500,000 breach of a supply agreement
- Advising in relation to a £250,000 dispute regarding breach of a loan agreement
- 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 a claim for unliquidated damages in a complex international dispute
- Representing a client in an application for injunctive relief in support of related arbitral proceedings
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:
- Acting as lead counsel for a sub developer in an arbitration claim and counterclaim with a combined value of approximately $200 million (DIAC)
- Acting as lead counsel for the main contractor in a number of multi-million dollar arbitrations relating to a high-profile infrastructure project in Qatar (ICC)
- Successfully acting as sole counsel for a Master Developer in a $14 million arbitration claim against a sub-developer for breaches of its construction and payment obligations (DIAC)
- 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 the contractor of a Dubai-based company, in relation to a claim against the Employer for unlawful termination (ICC)
Appointments & Memberships
- Lincoln’s Inn
- Association of Pensions
- DIFC Part II Registered Advocate
- 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.