Stephen Nathan KC has a broad practice including many areas of commercial and company law whether it is litigation, advisory or acting as an arbitrator or counsel in domestic and international arbitrations. Civil Fraud and Media & Entertainment are other key areas of his practice. Stephen's extensive knowledge of business practice is brought to bear in his mediation work and he is a qualified CEDR Mediator.

Stephen was named The Lawyer's 'Barrister of the Week' in July 2020.




Stephen has acted as Counsel or arbitrator in ad hoc and institutional commercial arbitrations (domestic and international), under (inter alia) ICC, LCIA, LMAA and LME rules and has been involved in English High Court litigation under the Arbitration Act 1996. 

In 2009, he was a guest speaker at the Inaugural Brunei International Arbitration Conference; in 2012 he was a guest speaker at the RAIF Conference on International Arbitration, Bali; in April 2017 he was a guest speaker at the IPBA Conference, Auckland.

Recent arbitrations have include ones in respect of shipping charter parties, oil trading in Africa, an oil exploitation joint venture, electricity power supply to a state, the construction of an electricity power station, a telecommunications joint venture in SE Asia, a joint venture for TV stations in a state in Africa, a master agreement for international aircraft sales/ leasing and film studio scenery-making. 


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Stephen has a diverse practice covering many areas of commercial law, oil-trading, shipping and company litigation, including private and public international law and arbitration work both as counsel and as arbitrator. His clients range from large multi-national corporations to small businesses and individuals, as well as the UK and several foreign governments. He acts as a litigator as well as in an advisory role.

He also acts for HMRC in relation to its regulatory powers over those engaged in duty-free alcohol trading and warehousing.


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Media & Entertainment

Landmark case: Stephen acted for Imperial Tobacco in the landmark decision in the House of Lords in Imperial Tobacco v Attorney General over the issue as to what constitutes a lawful lottery and competition.

Since then, he has regularly advised in respect of a very large number of lotteries, gaming and promotional schemes Stephen’s clients have come from both sides of “the street”, i.e. the Lottery Commission (previously the Director of Lotteries) as well as numerous major UK corporations.

Stephen acted as a libel reader for the Observer newspaper for 15 years.



Stephen has been able to bring his extensive knowledge of business practices in the commercial sphere to the disputes in which he has mediated. These have involved banking and commodity contracts, professional services, shipping and partnership disputes and resolution of media disputes.

He understands the process of mediation from both points of view as he has also acted as Counsel assisting/advising parties in various mediations, e.g. in relation to the extensive Tchenguiz litigation.




  • Astbury Scholarship (Middle Temple)


  • Stephen is one of the co-authors of ‘Employee Competition’, Oxford University Press (3rd Ed 2016). 
  • ‘Interest on Costs’ published by Solicitors' Journal 


  • Elected Bencher of Middle Temple (July 2005).  
  • Chairman of the London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association 2010 and 2011.
  • Council member of the Bar Council of England and Wales 2010 and 2011.
  • Recorder (2001-17).


  • International Council for Commercial Arbitration
  • London Common Law and Commercial Law Bar Association
  • Bar Council of England and Wales
  • London Court of International Arbitration, European Users’ Council
  • Bar European Group
  • CEDR Exchange

Selected Earlier Reported Cases


  • (R) Technologies v (N) Limited (commercial arbitration following Chancery Division proceedings)
  • Hashwani v Jivraj 
  • Albon v Naza Motor Trading and Tan Sri Dato Amin 
  • Whitehead (UK) v Hyundai Motor Co (Korea) 
  • Rutland County Council v Paul Bancroft 


  • The Moriarty Public Inquiry (2011)
  • R v Bhojwani (2010 – 2011)
  • Maitland Hudson v New Media Holding Co Ltd and Covington & Burling
  • Imerman v Tchenguiz (2010)
  • Earlcrown Ltd v Leconfield House Ltd (2010)
  • Richards and Whiston-Dew v HMRC (2010)
  • John and Welden Turnbull v HMRC (2010)
  • Rayden v Edwardo Ltd and Vincent Tchenguiz (2009)
  • Tajik Aluminium Plant v Ermatov and Others
  • Albon v Naza Motor Trading (2009)
  • Humana Europe Ltd v SB Developments
  • Miller v Bayliss
  • Thunder Air v Hilmarsson
  • United Co-operative Society and Others v Tui Ltd (Thomson Travel)
  • Mansour v Al Thani and the Government of Qatar
  • Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Corporation v Wall Street Journal (Europe)
  • Castlecare Group Ltd v MacKenzie and Others
  • Daura v HMRC
  • Tri-Q Group v Learoyd Group and API Group
  • Iraqi Mine Action Services & Humanitarian Consultancy Co. Limited (Jordan) v Bactec International Limited
  • Al Hashemite Corp. (Iraq) v NMS Sec-Com Limited
  • Rafidain Bank v Arab Bank
  • Oxus Gold plc v Templeton Insurance Ltd and Knox D’Arcy Investment Management Ltd
  • Al Fayed v Emanouel Antiques
  • Mohammed v Bank of Kuwait and the Middle East
  • HS Weavers Ltd v Drivers and others
  • Trendtex Trading Corporation v Credit Suisse

Civil Fraud, Asset Recovery & Injunctive Relief

  • Kagalovsky v Gusinski
  • JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov
  • Tajik Aluminium Plant v Ermatov and Others
  • Kuwait Airways v Iraqi Airways and Republic of Iraq
  • Kana Trading Co Limited (Japan) v Doracana Resources Limited and others
  • John Mowlem and Co plc v Eagle Star Assurance
  • Engineering Projects (India) Ltd v Mitsubishi Corp.
  • Widnell v Hyde Park Residence
  • Anselm v Anselm
  • HS Weavers v Drivers and others
  • Cross v Wordplex
  • Brennan v Alpert
  • Littlewoods Organisation v Virage Ltd and Leese
  • Iraq v Al-Shawi

Professional Negligence

  • Virgin Group Ltd v Finers and de Morgan
  • Airbreak Leisure Group plc
  • Darville v Ernest Notcutt and Co
  • Idealgrange Ltd v Austin Smith Lord
  • Widnell v Hyde Park Residence
  • Zaheri and others v Lawrence Graham
  • Places Trading Ltd v Kinsale Taverns Lt

Media & Entertainment

  • Imerman v Tchenguiz and Others (2010)
  • Attorney-General v The Observer (‘Spycatcher’)
  • Meacher v The Observer
  • Charles Taylor v Times Newspapers
  • Whitehead (UK) v Hyundai Motor Co (Korea)
  • Quinton v Peirce
  • Porter and another v Davies
  • RSPCA v British Assoc. of Sheep Exporters
  • Coff v Bedfordshire County Council
  • Nixon v Channel 4 Television
  • Halpin v Oxford Brooks University
  • Aspel v Daily Express

VAT registration number: 244207193

Barristers regulated by the Bar Standards Board

+44 (0)207 5831770