Stephen studied Law at the Universities of Nottingham and Sheffield, finishing up with a PhD. He then taught Law at the University of Hull for five years before retraining as a barrister in 2003. He was awarded a Diplock scholarship to study the BVC at Nottingham Law School where he was awarded an Outstanding and received the highest overall mark for his year. He was a pupil at Sovereign Chambers in Leeds which later merged with No 6 to become Park Square Barristers. In 2017 he moved to St John’s Buildings, Sheffield. Stephen practices in Public and Private family law cases.
- Family Law Bar Association
- North Eastern Circuit
Family - Children
Stephen specialises in public and private family law cases, appearing mainly for local authorities and parents, although he also represents guardians and other family members.
He has considerable experience of representing local authorities and parents in cases involving allegations of non-accidental injuries, chronic neglect and sexual abuse.
He has represented a number of parents (mothers, in particular) through the Official Solicitor, combining an academic attention to detail with an ability to explain things to clients in straightforward terms.
He has also appeared in a number of cases involving deaf parents and has provided training to other lawyers in the particular legal considerations applying to deaf litigants.
Stephen provides training to local authorities and solicitors on developments in the law.
A local authority v D (Family Court in Leeds) Represented the local authority in a case involving allegations of sexual abuse of non-subject children made against an intervener, living in the family home of the subject child. The case involved multiple child and vulnerable witnesses. After cross-examination of the intervener and child’s mother findings sought by the local authority were made.
A local authority v H (Family Court in Bradford) Represented the profoundly deaf mother of a new-born baby. The father was also deaf and had other significant disabilities. The relationship featured domestic violence. Secured an outcome where the child remained in the care of the client throughout proceedings and after final orders were made.
A local authority v S (Family Court in Bradford) This case involved the representation of a mother who was not only profoundly deaf but had been significantly isolated from the outside world, leading to problems with understanding and comprehension. She communicated through a deaf intermediary and BSL interpreter. Proper representation necessitated lengthy, structured conferences to convey information, and take instructions, in a format comprehensible to the client. Ultimately after many hours of such conferences the client did not oppose the applications being made by the local authority.Book BarristerBack to top
A local authority v B (Family Court in York Represented the local authority in an application for a care and placement order. The final hearing involved a cross-application by a maternal aunt for further assessment and/or orders that the child be placed with her. This position was supported by the Guardian and by the mother. The case therefore involved the cross-examination of the Guardian and making submissions as to why the court should make a placement order even in the face of a willing (and apparently able) family member to care for the child. Secured a successful outcome for the LA, with all orders sought being made.