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Mark Stephens

Work 020 3755 5725
Howard Kennedy LLP

Work Department

Dispute resolution.


Specialising in international, appellate and complex litigation, Mark Stephens has undertaken some of the highest profile cases in the country and abroad.
Mark is a solicitor with expertise in constitutional, human rights, IP, media and regulatory work, defamation, privacy, media, art and cultural property, data protection and freedom of information, trusts litigation, intellectual property and international arbitration disputes.

Mark has created a niche in international comparative media law and regulation. He acts in judicial reviews, Privy Council cases- Ultimate Appeal Court for parts of the Commonwealth, as well as, regulatory cases and inquiries.

Mark practices before every level of court in England and Wales and also abroad before international tribunals and courts. He is also a Privy Council agent regularly working with a range of overseas lawyers. Mark is a qualified mediator.

He can also assist clients in jurisdictions outside of the UK and has been retained by a number of governments to advise and to represent their interests including, Republic of Cyprus, Jamaica, Libya, Mauritius, and the Russian Republic.

He has been appointed by the Foreign Secretary to the FCO Free Expression advisory board and the Lord Chancellor to be a Champion for the Community Legal Service. Mark became board chair of Internews Europe, an international charity dedicated to freedom of expression and trusted media in 2018.

Mark chairs a number of bodies including, Global Network Initiative, Global Witness, Internews, the Design Artists Copyright Society, the Management Committee of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy Wolfson College, Oxford Centre for Socio Legal Studies. He is former chair of the Contemporary Art Society, the University of East London.

He additionally sits on the board as a Trustee of Index of Censorship, the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, Commonwealth Lawyers Association and Council of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute and Human Dignity Trust.


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: Private client

Art and cultural property

Within: Leading individuals

Mark Stephens - Howard Kennedy LLP

Within: Art and cultural property

Howard Kennedy LLP’s expertise covers all aspects of the law relating to art and cultural property, from drafting and negotiating agreements, to litigation and the resolution of disputes. Clients include museums and public collections, galleries and dealers as well as public art organisations, charities/foundations and collectors. It also receives a steady flow of instructions from artists and their estates, photographers, photo libraries and ultra-net-worth individuals. In addition the skilled team is adept at advising on looted art and cultural property as well as all aspects of intellectual property rights. It frequently provides legal opinions to national entities and their trustees on matters as diverse as outraging public decency, to obscenity and indecency. Mark Stephens and Daniel McClean are the names to note.

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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

Howard Kennedy LLP undertakes a wide scope of precedent-setting international human rights work, concentrating on large and often high-profile matters pertaining to women's rights and sexual misconduct, and freedom of expression and privacy, and on representing victims of torture. Mark Stephens CBE specialises in complex litigation and has experience in media law. Elizabeth Morley is recommended for her blend of expertise in media and human rights matters.

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London: Risk advisory

Reputation management

Within: Reputation management

Defamation and privacy issues are central to the internationally-focused media reputation management team at Howard Kennedy LLP. The firm has a particular strength in new media, advising on matters related to imposter accounts, defamatory content and publication of confidential information on social media. Practice head Mark Stephens CBE regularly handles cases for corporations and consults over libel reform both by policy makers and media companies. Associate to watch Elizabeth Morley predominantly acts for defendants and also provides media and publishing agents with pre-publication advice.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Intellectual property

Within: Intellectual property

Howard Kennedy LLP's department, which is recognised for its representation of clients in the media and entertainment and creative arts industries, handles a range of trade mark and copyright matters including brand management work, disputes and licensing issues. Robert Lands heads up the practice and assists clients in the technology and creative industries. Other names to note include Mark Stephens for media and regulatory work, defamation, privacy and data protection advice; Jonathan Sellors for IT, software and media regulatory work, and Daniel McClean, who frequently assists artists and photographers with IP agreements and disputes.

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Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Within: Leading individuals

Mark Stephens CBE (Dispute resolution) - Howard Kennedy LLP

Within: Media and entertainment (including media finance)

The media and entertainment practice at Howard Kennedy LLP is instructed by individuals and corporate clients on publishing, theatre, film, TV, music, advertising, PR, marketing, gaming and social media instructions. It offers contentious and non-contentious expertise in these areas and is adept at providing advice across corporate, financing, IP, regulatory compliance, employment, international broadcasting, online content and global rights protection matters. The team's core strength is in publishing work, where it handles a range of issues such as negotiating and preparing contracts, freedom of information, copyright and dispute resolution matters for magazines, newspapers, book publishers and literary agents. Theatre instructions are also a key focus, where it handles corporate, commercial, employment, real estate and charity issues for theatre clients. Elsewhere, major broadcasters instruct the team on regulatory and licensing issues. Mark Stephens CBE is an expert in international comparative media law and regulation, and he acts for corporates and individuals in high-profile domestic and international disputes. Senior associate Elizabeth Morley handles disputes involving defamation, reputation management, privacy, data protection and freedom of speech.

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