Stephen Houseman KC KC > Essex Court Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Essex Court Chambers


Handles a wide range of commercial disputes. Many of his cases are substantial and complex in nature, and the majority of them involve multi-jurisdictional contexts and foreign law elements. Appears regularly in the High Court and appellate courts, international arbitrations conducted in the UK and abroad (including as co-counsel with foreign lawyers), and also courts in offshore jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands/Eastern Caribbean. Instructed in cases across the spectrum of the business world, with particular emphasis on banking and financial services/insurance and reinsurance/mining and energy/media and sport. Particular expertise in arbitration-related anti-suit and other injunctions in the High Court, having appeared in three of the landmark Court of Appeal cases in this area in recent years, namely: Sulamérica v ENESA [2012] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 671; BNP Paribas v Russian Machines [2012] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 649; and C v D [2008] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 239 (in all three cases, acting for successful injunction claimants). Has also acted for bondholders in a number of cases, including litigation concerning the Elektrim bonds: see eg Concord Trust v Law Debenture [2005] 1 WLR 1591 (House of Lords’ decision about trustee’s obligation to give notice of acceleration). In addition to commercial litigation and arbitration, Stephen has experience in judicial review and administrative law proceedings, especially those involving a commercial context. As a junior, he was appointed to the Attorney General’s ‘B’ Panel (2006-2011), having been part-time lecturer in Public & Administrative Law at Oxford University during his early years in practice.


Called 1995, Inner Temple.


Administrative Law Bar Association; Cayman Islands Bar (1998-99); Commercial Bar Association; LCIA Young International Arbitrators Group; London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association; London Maritime Arbitrators Association.


Hertford College, Oxford (BA, BCL); Martin Wronker Prize (1992, overall joint winner).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Banking and finance (including consumer credit)

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Stephen Houseman KCEssex Court Chambers ‘A go-to counsel for financial disputes, a fantastic team player.’

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Stephen Houseman KCEssex Court ChambersVery user-friendly, extremely intelligent and calm under pressure.’