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Keystone Law

Work 020 3319 3700
Fax 0845 458 9398
Belfast, Belfast BT2, Bristol, Douglas, Guernsey, London

Stephen Ralph

Work 020 7152 6550
Keystone Law

Work Department

Commercial litigation.


Stephen has 40 years’ experience as a commercial litigator. Stephen also has substantive experience in both trading and professional partnerships, LLPs and joint ventures, acting for firms, partners and individuals in the drafting of partnership and LLP agreements, partnership disputes and insolvency matters. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and an accredited mediator, being on the Law Society Panel of Arbitrators and the Association of Partnership Practitioners Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators. Stephen’s areas of expertise are commercial litigation, partnership, LLP and professional practice disputes, LLP members’ agreements and partnership agreements, arbitration, mediation white-collar fraud, insolvency – personal and corporate. Stephen’s key achievements include acting for a major Russian energy company in winding up proceedings at the suit of an Italian supplier and the defence of a $500m guarantee claim against one of the director/shareholders. Acting for a 40-partner West End law firm on solvency position, requiring negotiations with major clients, the firm’s bankers and its landlords. Acting for City shipping law firm on discovering bribery allegations against the senior partners obtaining search and seize orders and freezing order over assets and successfully pursuing ensuing Chancery litigation. Acting for Ernest Saunders, the former chief executive of Guinness on the ‘Guinness Scandal’, dealing with the civil proceedings, the criminal proceedings following his arrest and the DTI inspection and insolvency enquiries. Successfully obtaining an award for a ‘career loss’ claim on behalf of a senior female solicitor of a major City law firm. Acting on behalf of a firm of architects on a major claim for negligence beyond the limit of its PI Insurance and successfully negotiating a resolution. Acting for a substantial family farming partnership in the East of England where the family members had ceased communicating and successfully resolving the dispute at mediation. Acting for a major US financial institution on a debenture over substantial farmland in East Anglia, successfully appointing a receiver and a farm manager to manage the farms until sale. Acting for doctors in a highly contentious dispute over shared medical premises, dealing with the litigation and negotiating a detailed settlement agreement between the parties and subsequently suing for breach of the agreement and mediating a successful buyout. Advising on a substantial discrimination claim by a senior partner of a Magic Circle firm. Acting on behalf of a leading City firm in the Maxwell litigation and representing the partners in the ensuing DTI investigation and in the s236 enquiries in court.


Qualified 1975; Payne Hicks Beach, 1977-91; Boodle Hatfield, 1991-95; Ralph Hume Garry, 1995-2001; Penningtons, 2001-2013; Keystone Law 2013.

London: Corporate and commercial


Within: Partnership

Keystone Law’s professional practices team has ‘a very strong offering’ that includes partnership formation, incorporation restructuring, M&A, risk regulation and litigation. The group includes the ‘sure-handedPeter Garry, whose experience informs ‘great insight’ in relation to partnership law. The group was instructed by partners and firms in a number of high profile disputes in 2017, including sex discrimination, whistleblowing cases and partner exits. Consultant commercial litigator Stephen Ralph is ‘a veteran’ of the partnership space.

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