Mr Steven Thompson KC > Chambers of Elspeth Talbot Rice KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Elspeth Talbot Rice KC
XXIV Old Buildings
Steven Thompson photo


Steven has a commercial chancery practice with a particular emphasis on civil fraud actions, company/joint venture disputes, insolvency issues and aviation disputes.

He has been instructed in some of the largest civil fraud cases of recent years, both in London and overseas and is always working on a steady stream of aviation and aviation insolvency disputes.

Steven regularly appears in the Business and Property Courts in the Rolls Building (primarily in the Chancery lists and the Commercial Court) as well as overseas.

He has particular experience in the British Virgin Islands where he lived for a period in 2000 whilst on secondment to a local law firm.  He was called to the Bar of Supreme Court of the Eastern Caribbean that year and has since appeared in both the BVI High Court, the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal as well as the Privy Council on BVI disputes.

He regularly appears in the courts of the Cayman Islands on large shareholder and fraud disputes often involving Chinese / Hong Kong businesses, and has advised and assisted in cases in Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, the Turks & Caicos Islands and Hong Kong.

He is also registered (under Part II) to appear in the Dubai International Financial Centre, with full rights of advocacy.  He was involved in many of the leading cases on jurisdiction in the DIFC, including the conduit jurisdiction cases both at first instance and on appeal.  He is one of a very few English barristers who has conducted a full trial in the Court of First Instance.

Steven is also regularly instructed on international arbitrations and associated Court hearings, in the Far East and in Dubai as well as in London.  He has been nominated, appointed and sat as an arbitrator in an LCIA arbitration which ran to full hearing and final award.

For many years Steven has served on the International Committee of the Bar Council, of which he is currently Chair.  He is also chair of the Bar’s China Interest Group.  He is regularly instructed in China-related disputes by Chinese and other firms.


Call: 1996 | Silk: 2015


  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
  • Bar of the Dubai International Financial Centre
  • Chair of the International Committee of The Bar Council


  • BA (Hons) St. John’s College, Cambridge University (Natural Science)
  • Dip. Law City University, London

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Aviation

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Steven Thompson KCXXIV Old Buildings ‘Steven has a strong intellect and gives clear and robust advice. He knows the aviation field better than almost anyone else at the Bar.’

XXIV Old Buildings is a ‘great aviation and commercial litigation set’ which frequently acts for aviation lessors, airlines and manufacturers. Steven Thompson KC is well-known for handling aviation maintenance, lease, sale and purchase agreements. Arshad Ghaffar  is a popular choice for aircraft lessors, while Bajul Shah  deals primarily with disputes relating to dry leasing, mortgages and forfeiture issues. Erin Hitchens has appeared in various interim matters in the Commercial Court and Tom Stewart Coats is instructed in regulatory matters.

London Bar > Insolvency

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 4

Steven Thompson KCXXIV Old Buildings ‘Steven is highly experienced in this field and with his offshore expertise is a great asset on any case involving aspects of insolvency.’

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Steven Thompson KCXXIV Old Buildings ‘Steven is a truly brilliant advocate. He is always meticulously prepared and is an immaculate court room performer. Exceptional in every way.’

London Bar > Fraud: civil

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Steven Thompson KCXXIV Old Buildings ‘Steven is real heavyweight in this area with a razor sharp eye for detail and a no nonsense approach. He has a great advocacy style and his written work is excellent.’

The English Bar Offshore > The English Bar Offshore

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Steven Thompson KCXXIV Old BuildingsRobust advocacy, not easily fazed, makes difficult concepts simple to understand, stands up well under pressure even at the highest levels of the court system.’

Middle East: The English Bar > Commercial

(Leading silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Steven Thompson KCXXIV Old Buildings ‘Steven is an excellent advocate. He is very detailed-oriented, and is happy to roll up his sleeves and get stuck into the case. He is also a pleasure to work with.’

XXIV Old Buildings is well regarded for its expertise advising on matters throughout the Middle East region, with a particularly strong presence in Dubai. Steven Thompson KC acted for the defendants in Credit Europe Bank v New Medical Centre, which concerns a bank debt claim before the DIFC Courts against the backdrop of a major alleged fraud in the UAE. Before the same forum, he has also acted for the claimants in StormHarbour v Noor Bank, a dispute concerning the agreement of the sale and purchase of aircraft financing bonds, which saw a rare case of a bank seeking rectification of a written contract it signed. Other standout names include Elizabeth Weaver, Arshad Ghaffar and Edward Knight. Key changes in the set include Michael Black KC being appointed as judge in the DIFC Court of Appeal.