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Chambers of Michael Todd QC

Work 020 7242 5532
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Stephen Smith QC

Work 020 7242 5532
Erskine Chambers (Chambers of Michael Todd QC)


Barrister specialising in complex and heavy commercial litigation, often with a chancery (including company and insolvency) or jurisdictional element (especially issues arising under the Judgement Regulation) and/or involving restraints on disposals of assets, tracing interrogatories and receiverships, and also professional negligence, civil fraud, insurance and property disputes and arbitrations. Over the last five years Stephen has been heavily engaged in the attempts by BTA Bank (Kazakhstan) to recover billions of dollars of stolen funds. The UK proceedings have generated over 150 interlocutory orders and over 70 reported decisions, including 15 decisions of the Court of Appeal, and one in the Supreme Court; a committal trial resulting in the principal defendant being sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment and being debarred from defending (2012); and the trial of the substantive disputes in three actions lasting 45 days and ending in judgments being entered for over $1bn (2013). Other cases of note include: Mezhprombank v Pugachev; Ardila v ENRC; Nazarbayeva v Ishmuratov;Thevarajah v Riordan; Derby v Weldon (acted for Salomon Inc.); Morris v Mahfouz (BCCI: acted for Khalid Bin Mahfouz and others); FTIT Ltd v Morgan Stanley and Coopers & Lybrand (Maxwell: acted for liquidators – Deloitte Touche – appointed by Swiss Bank Corporation); Village Cay Marina v Acland (Privy Council decision about share registration and receivership in the BVI); Pagarani v T Choithram International SA (Privy Council decision about declarations of trust); Trustor AB v Smallbone, and v Barclays (acted for Trustor in claims for breach of fiduciary duty, to pierce the corporate veil and for negligence; RBG Resources Plc v Rastogi (freezing orders in provisional liquidation); Shierson v Rastogi (examinations under s.236 insolvency Act 1986); IPOC v L V Finance Group Ltd (receivership and money laundering, including in the Privy Council); AK Investments v Kyrgyz Mobil Tel Ltd (Privy Council decision on forum non-conveniens and allegations of endemic corruption amongst overseas judiciary); ATT v Cukurova (Privy Council decision on appropriation of collateral and relief from forfeiture, also including numerous decisions in the BVI High Court and the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal). Also called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the Isle of Man and the Cayman Islands. Appeared numerous times in the British Virgin Islands (and on appeal to the ECCA and the Privy Council), and also in the Bahamas (first instance and on appeal, including to the Privy Council) and the Isle of Man (first instance, Staff of Government and Privy Council).


Called to the Bar in England in 1983; called to the Eastern Caribbean Bar 1994;  QC 2000; called to the Bar of the Bahamas (ad hoc) 2004 and 2016; licensed as advocate in IoM (ad hoc) 2007; in Cayman Islands (ad hoc) 2010; Recorder 2004; Deputy High Court Judge in the Chancery Division 2006.


Middle Temple; Chancery Bar Association.


University College, Oxford (BA Jurisprudence (1st)), Wronker Prizewinner.

London Bar

Commercial litigation

Within: Commercial litigation – Leading silks

Stephen Smith QC - Erskine ChambersA powerful and pugnacious barrister.

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Company and partnership

Within: Company – Leading silks

Stephen Smith QC - Erskine ChambersSpecialises in breaches of directors’ duties.

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Fraud: civil

Within: Fraud: civil – Leading silks

Stephen Smith QC - Erskine ChambersA leader in his field, he’s rewritten the law on freezing injunctions.

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Within: Insolvency – Leading silks

Stephen Smith QC - Erskine ChambersHe is a wonder.

Within: Insolvency

One of the premier sets in insolvency and corporate’, Erskine Chambers offers ‘a good balance of advice and litigation’. Members are noted for their ‘technical expertise’, while the clerks are singled out for being ‘prompt, helpful and responsive’. Peter Arden QC continues to advise on aspects of the fallout from the Lehman Brothers collapse, while Stephen Smith QC led a team acting for the claimant liquidator in JSC Mezhprombank v Pugachev, resulting in successful civil and criminal claims.

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