Stephen specialises in family law. His practice covers a wide range of applications including public and private children law, ancillary relief and domestic violence.
In ancillary relief Stephen represents wives, husbands and civil partners in financial remedy applications; dealing with parties who have modest assets as well as those who hold more complex assets in multiple jurisdictions. Stephen also handles financial applications for children under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. He regularly advises and represents clients with claims under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act.
Stephen also deals with child abduction cases involving the removal of children to and from the jurisdiction to both Hague Convention and non Hague Convention countries.
His experience in private law children work covers contact and residence applications including contested final hearings where there are serious allegations of sexual abuse and violence. His strength is always keeping the focus on the welfare of the child regardless of the issues that adults in the case seek to litigate.
In relation to his public law children practice, Stephen has experience representing parents, Guardians, local authorities, grandparents and parties making special guardianship applications, and is regularly instructed in cases which involve issues of neglect, drug misuse, mental health, domestic violence, physical and emotional abuse.
Prior to specialising in family law, Stephen had a mixed practice including criminal and civil matters. Representing clients with respect to a range of offences involving, harassment, sexual violence, fraud and road traffic offences. He regularly appeared in trials in the Crown Court and in Youth Court.
Stephen is eligible to take work on a Public Access basis.
Court of Protection
Stephen is also a member of the Court of Protection Team. He is ideally placed to work on all applications concerning vulnerable adults in the Court of Protection, drawing on his expertise in children and family law for families and local authorities. Both areas of law are based on the ‘best interests’ jurisdiction and involve the application of parallel principles, in which Stephen is fully experienced.
Stephen has dealt with applications with contentious and sensitive issues including applications concerning forced marriage, the giving of medical treatment, deprivations of liberty, care, contact with family members where there are allegations of sexual or physical abuse and/or neglect, access to the community unescorted, injunctions to e.g. remove persons from their home or prevent family members returning them to the family home.
Stephen is a mentor with the Duke of Edinburgh Awards’ LGBTQ Youth Programme. This involves attending sessions that are geared towards helping young people improve or learn a new skill, offering practical assistance with the programme and also introducing them to a diverse group of LGBTQ role models.
Stephen was awarded the Harmsworth Scholarship by Middle Temple (2005).
Before coming to the Bar, Stephen worked as a compliance officer at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch International.
His work with Lylian Baylis Technology School saw him awarded the London South Bank mentoring award by Sir Trevor McDonald.
Prior to pupillage Stephen’s interest in domestic violence issues led him to act as a volunteer Mckenzie friend for the National Centre of Domestic Violence in order to help obtain ex-parte occupation orders and non-molestation orders for victims.
He also spent two years volunteering for Food Chain, a charity focusing on providing nutritional specific meals to those living with HIV.
In addition to this he volunteered for the United Kingdom Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group as a case researcher.
Swim coaching, performing arts, photography.