Stephen Atherton KC > Twenty Essex > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Twenty Essex

Work Department

  • Banking
  • Civil aspects of international and domestic commercial fraud
  • Company law
  • Domestic and international commercial litigation;
  • International and domestic corporate insolvency and restructuring
  • Personal insolvency


Stephen’s practice comprises international and domestic corporate insolvency and restructuring, company law, civil aspects of international and domestic commercial fraud, personal insolvency, banking, general offshore and international commercial litigation, and international and domestic asset tracing.

He has considerable experience in commercial litigation, civil fraud and contentious insolvency proceedings in the UK, Hong Kong, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Singapore, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Jersey, Samoa and the Isle of Man.

Stephen is admitted to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean (BVI). He is also called to the Bars of Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man and Samoa for specific cases. Stephen has rights of audience in Brunei Darussalam for specific cases.

He was named as Insolvency/Corporate Restructuring Silk of the year at the Chambers Bar Awards 2014.

Stephen has also provided expert evidence on English, Bermuda, BVI and Cayman Islands law for use in foreign proceedings, including proceedings in Singapore, Hong Kong, New Hampshire and the Netherlands.


Qualified 1990; QC 2006; called to the Bars of the Eastern Caribbean, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands; Rights of audience in Brunei Darussalam for specific cases and called to the Bar of the Isle of Man for specific cases. Articles of note include: ‘Charges over Chattels: Issues in the Fixed/Floating Jurisprudence’ (‘The Company Lawyer’ vol 26 (No 1) p10).


  • Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3)
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Insolvency Lawyers’ Association
  • Restructuring and Insolvency Specialists Association
  • Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration.


  • University of Cambridge: LLM, First Class
  • Lancaster University: LLB (Hons)


Rugby (league and union); cricket.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Fraud: civil

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Stephen Atherton KCTwenty EssexA very experienced senior fraud and insolvency silk. His advice is very clear and well thought out. An excellent strategist and an extremely fine and strong advocate.

London Bar > Offshore

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Stephen Atherton KCTwenty EssexHe has a no-nonsense approach and is combative and well-regarded Offshore.

Praised  as ‘a brilliant offshore/civil fraud set‘, Twenty Essex has grown its offshore offering in recent years, with Andrew Ayres KC the latest addition with a notable practice in offshore litigation. 2020 silk Blair Leahy KC continues to advise in the BVI, Caymans and the East Caribbean on commercial disputes, insolvency and company law matters, including acting for the five claimants in $80m dispute Glen Moar Properties Ltd (and 4 others) v (i) Simon McNally (ii) Simon Cooper in the BVI, a claim involving allegations of breach of duty and knowing receipt against former management of a group of BVI and Manx investment companies. Stephen Atherton KC is a further name to note, leading Sarah Tresman in representing GHF Group and its related funds in two sets of large-scale fraud proceedings in the Cayman Islands.

London Bar > Insolvency

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 4

Stephen Atherton KCTwenty EssexA heavyweight silk, who is at the top of his game, commanding the respect of the court and opponents alike.

London Bar > Company and partnership

(Company - Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Stephen Atherton KCTwenty EssexExcellent all-round and a pleasure to work with, very adaptable and responsive.