| Call 1977
Experience and Expertise
As a company law specialist, Stephen has a long-standing expertise in corporate insolvency. Having developed a keen interest in company law at Cambridge, and undertaken a pupillage in a specialist company law set of chambers, in those early days Stephen also lectured in company law at Holborn Law Tutors (where he re-wrote their company law manual). Stephen has since then maintained his expertise in corporate insolvency. He was in at the ground floor when the administration regime was introduced. In addition, he rapidly extended his practice into personal insolvency, and has practised extensively in both areas throughout his career.
Stephen has acted for office-holders, companies and individuals subject to insolvency proceedings, and creditors. His approach is always thorough, and his advice practical and commercial, informed by his extensive knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter. As a litigator, Stephen is exceptionally tough and robust when the occasion demands, but always realistic. He is as effective in mediation as he is in court.
Cases and Work of Note
Some of Stephen’s more recent cases include the following:
- Salt & Evans v Corris Developments Ltd  EWHC 3822 (Ch) – Appeal against application to set aside statutory demand; application for wasted costs order against solicitor.
- Re Salt  EWHC 2105 (Ch) – Enforcement of guarantee by statutory demand; whether liability under guarantee sounds in debt or damages
- claim by liquidator against former solicitors who negligently pursued cases against former directors for misfeasance, wrongful trading and preferences;
- claim by liquidator to set aside transaction at an undervalue;
- disputed winding up petitions, applications to restrain advertisement and for validation orders;
- several directors’ disqualification applications on behalf of directors;
- a complex application on behalf of the liquidator for orders as to distribution to various categories of creditors of an investment company;
- bankruptcy petition based upon a guarantee raising numerous defences including the question whether petition could be based upon this type of guarantee;
- long-running series of bankruptcy petition disputes involving questions of set-off, settlement, arguments at an application to set aside statutory demand and hearing stages, and complicated costs questions including wasted costs order;
- severance of joint tenancy by act of bankruptcy;
- Stephen has delivered various seminar talks in the field of company and insolvency law, including recently on setting aside transactions at an undervalue.