With more than 25 years of cross-border experience, Stephen Pearson's practice focuses on complex international litigation and arbitration. Stephen is dual qualified (England & Wales and New York) and actively practices in the courts of both jurisdictions, as well as in numerous arbitration tribunals.
Stephen has represented clients in multibillion dollar disputes in the U.K., the U.S., and elsewhere. A recent success was the Excalibur/Texas Keystone proceeding in the English Commercial Court relating to a New York law contract. After a 57-day trial all claims were dismissed and, in a landmark decision, indemnity costs were awarded against not only the claimant but all of its litigation funders. In a clean sweep of the major U.K. legal awards, Stephen's team was awarded Dispute Resolution Team of the Year at the British Legal Awards, the Legal Business Awards, and The Lawyer Awards. Stephen enjoys similar recognition in both Chambers and Legal 500 where he has been described as "an excellent advisor" with "superb judgment" and as being "very able, hardworking and tough."
In addition to his disputes work for financial institutions such as RBS, Standard Chartered, Wells Fargo, and Lehman, Stephen has appeared as counsel in numerous cross-border bankruptcy cases. He was counsel to the Chapter 11 Trustee in the Soundview proceedings in which he coauthored only the second cross-border insolvency protocol (Cayman/U.S.). He was also part of the trial team in the recent high-profile Chapter 15 dispute concerning Oi Brazil Holdings Coöperatief U.A.
Sovereign Debt Disputes
Advised various investment banks, hedge funds, and government entities in connection with disputes centered around distressed corporate and sovereign debt. Acted in commercial litigation involving the Democratic Republic of Congo, the People's Republic of Congo, Liberia, Nicaragua, Brazil, Argentina, Cameroon, Zambia, and Indonesia. As a result of this experience, Stephen was asked to contribute a chapter on "Sovereign Immunity under English Law" to a leading textbook on cross-border litigation (Trans-Atlantic Commercial Litigation & Arbitration, published by Oceana).
Conducted a number of high-profile pro bono matters for sovereign states, including advice given to Uganda, Nepal, and Kenya on important constitutional issues.
Advised West LB AG in connection with a dispute concerning repo trades concluded around the time of the devaluation of the Turkish Lira.
Acted for Magnet Plc in GE Capital v. Bankers Trust and Others, litigation stemming from what was the then largest LBO in U.K. corporate history.
Acted for a number of major insurers, Lloyd's syndicates, and managing agencies on financial sector insurance claims (in particular D&O, E&O, BBB, trade credit, and political risk).
Acted for a number of Lloyd's Members' Agents in court proceedings (including group actions connected with alleged mis-selling) and in arbitrations under the Lloyd's arbitration rules.
Advised individuals on a number of major D&O claims, including the Queen's Moat Houses litigation, the RAC litigation, and a claim against two directors of an advertising company that became the longest civil fraud trial heard at the Old Bailey. Also advised the client, in conjunction with French lawyers, on the first contested avoidance of a D&O policy in France.
Advised leading property agents on disputes stemming from the $1 billion+ transfer of all Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise properties to the private sector (STEPS).
Acted for a BVI-registered energy company against a Turkish gas company in ICC proceedings in Geneva focusing on a failed joint venture in Ukraine.
Acted for a Russian commodities company against a Ukrainian company in an LME arbitration in London regarding failed manganese trades.
Advised diamond brokers on the DTC's restructuring of the rough diamond market (Supplier of Choice) and a variety of major diamond companies on ad hoc industry issues.
- May 20, 2014
2014 Speaker Series: Energy and Construction Law Update
- October 2008
Minimizing Litigation Risk - ABS East Conference
- June 2008
Litigation Risk: Latest Developments in US and UK CDO Litigation
- March 11–14, 2008
American and English Perspectives on CDO litigation
- The College of Law, Chester (Law Society Finals 1989); Keble College, Oxford University (B.A. Hons. in Jurisprudence 1988 with M.A. Hons.)
- England & Wales and New York
The British Legal Awards 2014 — Winner, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team of the Year
Legal Business Awards 2014 — Winner, Dispute Resolution Team of the Year
The Lawyer Awards 2014 — Winner, Litigation Team of the Year