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Mark Stephens

Work 020 3755 5725
Howard Kennedy LLP

Work Department

Dispute resolution.


Mark specialises in international comparative media law, data protection, privacy and regulation. He regularly acts for corporates and individuals in high profile international disputes both in the UK and abroad. He is well-known for his role in some of the leading cases relating to media and entertainment and is also widely recognised for his broader IP and defamation and privacy expertise. Mark has for the last 35 years had a leading practice in art and cultural property and was awarded a CBE for his services to the Arts and the law. His advice is actively sought by auction houses, national galleries, commercial galleries, artists, UHNWI and even countries. Mark has practised before every level of Court in England and Wales and has also practised abroad and before international tribunals and courts. He is also a Privy Council agent regularly working with a range of overseas lawyers. Mark is also a qualified mediator.


Trained Sheridans, Vincent Whatley Lane & Co, Paul Ridout; qualified1982; partner FSI (now Howard Kennedy) 1982.


Chairs Global Network Initiative, Design and Artists Copyright Society, Contemporary Art Society, Art and Cultural Property group of International Bar Association and Management Committee of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the Centre for Socio Legal Studies at Wolfson College, University of Oxford. Immediate past President of Commonwealth Lawyers Association.

London: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation

Within: Commercial litigation

The 'forward-thinking, efficient' Howard Kennedy LLP 'provides an excellent levels of service'. It advises on contractual disputes, professional negligence actions, complex international litigation and arbitration, and contentious insolvency; the practice is also experienced in director and shareholder disputes and civil fraud. It obtained a series of injunctions for a payment and foreign exchange services firm, whose banking services were suspended following alleged money laundering and fraudulent activity by a number of its customers. Commercial litigation head Louise Bennett 'gets to grips with complex financial issues to see the bigger picture'; dispute resolution head Simon Taylor is 'an excellent strategist and superb negotiator'; Tim Bignell 'cuts through detail to commercial issues and practical solutions'; and Fiona Hinds is 'an excellent, pragmatic commercial lawyer'. Other key litigators include managing partner Craig Emden, Steven Morris, Joel Leigh and Mark Stephens CBE; while senior associate Ayesha Salim is 'always in command of the details'.

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London: Private client

Art and cultural property

Within: Leading individuals

Mark Stephens - Howard Kennedy LLP

Within: Art and cultural property

Mark Stephens¬†¬†heads a dedicated team at Howard Kennedy LLP¬†that advises on all aspects of the law relating to art and cultural property, from drafting agreements to litigation and the resolution of disputes for clients such as museums and galleries as well as public art organisations, photo libraries and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Other clients include governments and national institutions. The ‚Äėrobust‚Äô Daniel McClean¬† divides his time between the US and UK and is recommended along with Robert Lands,¬†who specialises in intellectual property and related IT and media work. Major clients include The Tate, Contemporary Arts Society, Mark Wallinger and the Design Artists Copyright Society. Sir Peter Blake and Art Basel are other significant clients. Tim Bignell¬† is leading the advice for a pre-eminent Middle Eastern gallery and art collector in a claim against the international art house Sotheby‚Äôs. The claim is for the alleged incorrect description and dating in a sales catalogue relating to the sale of a historical bronze statue.

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London: Public sector

Civil liberties and human rights

Within: Leading individuals

Mark Stephens CBE - Howard Kennedy LLP

Within: Civil liberties and human rights

Key figures at¬†Howard Kennedy LLP¬†include the ‚Äėhighly responsive‚Äô Mark Stephens CBE¬† and Elizabeth Morley¬†. The practice has an extensive track record handling cases in the Supreme Court, the Privy Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Clients include Human Rights Watch and the Media Legal Defence Initiative, as well as corporate clients, for which the practice advises on a full range of human rights issues, including compliance and non-financial reporting. Other areas of expertise include free speech and privacy matters, where the practice is able to leverage the firm's media capability; and assisting vulnerable clients with judicial review cases.

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London: Risk advisory

Reputation management

Within: Reputation management

Headed by the ‚Äėexperienced and responsive‚Äô Mark Stephens CBE, Howard Kennedy LLP¬†represents high net worth individuals and large corporations abroad and in the United Kingdom on privacy and reputation matters. The firm acted for Democratic Press SA in defence of a libel claim brought by Israeli businessman Mr Sabby Mionis and provides pre-publication advice to publishing companies. ‚ÄėHighly experienced‚Äô senior associate Elizabeth Morley¬† is one to note.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Intellectual property

Within: Intellectual property

The 'competent and knowledgeable' team at Howard Kennedy LLP acts for clients such as Pandora Jewellery, Strada Italian Restaurants and ePlus Technology Inc. The group was instructed by Micad Systems UK on the acquisition of software company Integrated Handheld solutions, including on IP rights relating to valuable software. It has also acted for large brand retailers and restaurants on strategic IP, including on licensing and joint venture issues, as well as in contentious matters. Robert Landsis highlighted as being 'efficient with an in-depth knowledge' heads up the practice which also includes Mark Stephens CBE, who has particular media sector expertise.

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Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Within: Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Howard Kennedy LLP’s media and entertainment practice acts for individual and corporate clients across publishing, theatre, film, TV, music, advertising, PR, marketing, gaming and social media. Its expertise spans corporate, financing, IP, regulatory compliance, employment and defamation matters, and it handles international broadcasting, online content and global rights protection cases. Corporate partner Stephen Heinemann advised Greene Light Stage the fund raising for a joint venture with Elton John’s production company, Rocket Stage. Consultant David Hooper is a publishing expert and is representing Democratic Press in a libel action. Litigator Tim Bignell is representing musician Richard Blackmore on claims against HEC and DPO (both in administration).  Senior associate Elizabeth Morley handles media and entertainment sector disputes and employment head Jane Amphlett is also noted for her expertise in the sector. Media law and regulatory head Mark Stephens CBE leads the department with IP and commercial head Robert Lands.

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