TMC COVID-19 HUB: Legal Information and Support

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Areas of Practice:


• Commercial
• Employment
• Family
• Insolvency
• Personal Injury
• Property
• Public & Human Rights


Education:


• University of Cambridge, LLM in Commercial Law (Upper Second Class overall with a First Class Honours in Human Rights)
• BPP Law School, Bar Vocational Course (Outstanding)
• Cardiff University, LLB (First Class Honours)


Experience:


Commercial:

Stephanie is regularly instructed in trials and applications in the County Courts, High Court and Companies Court. She has advised and represented parties to a number of long running, high-value cases, involving complex issues of contract, standards of reasonable care and skill, agency, professional negligence, commercial tenancies, company law, insolvency, gifts, trusts and restitution. Stephanie has a particular interest in commercial fraud.

Selected cases:


• O v (1) C (2) B Ltd (2020): Led by Robert Deacon, currently representing the Defendants/Respondents to a claim, in which the Claimant asserts that she is entitled to 50% of a large number of properties acquired during the Claimant’s 20-year relationship with the First Defendant; and an unfair prejudice petition.The case concernsquestions of constructive trusts, partnership and proprietary estoppel between unmarried couples


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/couple-argue-over-4m-share-of-property-portfolio-promised-from-a-prison-cell-m7fvjqvml


• K v N (2020):Currently instructed in a number of contractual disputes arising from two property development projects.


• S Ltd v B Ltd (2019): Currently instructed by the Defendant in a dispute between companies as to the construction of a number of Joint Venture agreements entered into between them and the validity and enforceability of a default interest provision.


• Collins v Simonsen v (1) KNFH Ltd (2) Hill [2019] EWHC 2214 (QB): Represented Mr Collins (the donee), at trial and on appeal, in respect of an application for a ‘gift’ of £42,000 to be returned to Ms Simonsen (the donor). The matter in issue was whether the gift had been ‘perfected’, when it was paid to the letting agents handling Mr Collin’s lease, before Ms Simonsen changed her mind. The case demanded an in-depth analysis of the law on gifts and trusts; and required the court to balance competing equitable maxims.


https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2019/2214.html


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/i-took-my-lover-to-court-to-get-back-42-000-rjgwkvdjg


• T v C (2019):Advised the Claimant company in potential claims against a previous director for lost profits, including breach of fiduciary duties, breach of contract, breach of confidence and causing loss by unlawful means.The claim settled pre-issue.


• Hepworth v D v Lockington (2019): Represented the Defendant/Part 20 Claimant to a claim for breach of contract, in respect of allegedly unpaid commissions totalling c.£92,000. The parties reached agreement, at the door of the court, in which the Claimant’s claim against the Defendant/Part 20 Claimant was dismissed, with costs paid to the Defendant/Part 20 Claimant in full.


• Ward & Others v Savill & Others (2018): Instructed by one of over 20 potential defendants in respect of a complex civil fraud claim, brought by over 100 investors, worth over £35,000,000, regarding allegedly fraudulent tax avoidance film schemes, where the total fraud alleged exceeds £100,000,000. The joinder application was opposed on limitation issues and the merits; and has been stayed pending the claimants’ tracing exercise.


• E & Others v W Ltd (2018): Represented a group of actors against a production company, for terminating their contracts without notice or payment in lieu.


https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/production-news/producer-of-collapsed-wonderland-tour-faces-claim-it-owes-thousands-in-unpaid-fees


• CETAS Shipping (2017): Advised the Claimant company on a complicated case of alleged breaches of restrictive covenants, which cost the company over £100,000 in profits.


• BH Ltd v M (2016): Successfully represented the Appellant/Defendant on appeal, whose defence had been struck out at trial, in which the company had represented itself. HHJ Vevrecka found that there had been serious procedural irregularities and that very basic safeguards for any party, particularly a litigant in person, had not been observed.


• NN v (1) BH (2) Rajesh Singh Pathania (3) Rajeswary Ramasamy (2016): Counsel for the First Defendant in a long-running case, where the Claimant alleged fraud against the Second and Third Defendants, in that they issued or continued proceedings in her name against the First Defendant, without her authority, leading to the First defendant having ‘her’ judgment against him set aside, ‘her’ claim struck out, costs awarded against her and a charging order on her property. The case involved complex issues of fraud, invoking the court’s summary jurisdiction for breach of warranty of authority and third party funding. The Claimant was successful and, without issuing separate proceedings against the Second and Third defendants, the First Defendant was awarded the entirety of his costs incurred since 2011, on an indemnity basis, against the Second and Third Defendants.


• BZR Partnership (A Firm) & MC v Gcrypt Ltd (A Firm) & MA, High Court of Justice (Chancery Division) (2014): Drafting junior in a high-value commercial claim for outstanding invoices, dating back to 2002, in which the many intricacies were amplified as a result of all the parties and witnesses being related to each other.


• Frailing v A Firm, (2013): Represented the Claimant in a complex professional negligence claim, involving issues of agency, fiduciary duties, trusts, gifts and due diligence.

Civil:

Stephanie continues to develop a strong property practice in both business and residential disputes. She is also regularly instructed in personal injury and road traffic cases and credit hire matters. She has advised and represented clients in actions against the police and public authorities, independent prison adjudications, judicial reviews, contempt of court matters, immigration tribunals, housing proceedings, company law cases, insurance matters, insolvency and alleged breaches of the Data Protection Act and in Transport For London licensing appeals. Stephanie is currently assisting with disclosure in relation to a high-profile inquiry in London.


Stephanie is regularly instructed to advice and represent actors, models and other artists in respect of breach of statutory duties and breach of contract claims against their agencies and/or hirers.

Stephanie also has experience of advising on confiscation enforcement law and public procurement.

Selected cases:


• N (2020): Advised a professional golfer in relation to potential a personal injury claim against the PGA European Tour.


• C (2020): Led by Matthew Sherratt QC, currently instructed pro bono by an ex-serviceman, in respect of complaints and potential civil proceedings against the police and a prison.


• E Ltd v RC (2019): Represented the Respondent at the First and Upper Tier Tribunals (Property Chamber) in relation to breaches of covenants as a result of substantial works carried out to a ground floor flat.


• Z v M (2018): Advised the Respondent to an application for an order for sale of a property made by the Respondent’s previous partner, who asserted that she had a beneficial interest in an investment property the Respondent had purchased with a third party.


• Dr Efe (2018): Represented the Respondent company to applications for restrictions on its main asset, a property from which the company’s business was operated. The applications were made by the brother of the company’s previous sole director, on his death. The Applicant alleged that he had contributed to the purchase price of the company’s main asset and was, therefore, entitled to a beneficial interest in the same (by way of an implied trust). Successfully made submissions for the applications to be summarily dismissed, with costs to be paid by the Applicant to the Respondent, on the morning of the first day of the trial.


• AK (2018): Advised a woman on her potential causes of action against the police, as a result of injuries sustained during an arrest and strip-search, which she did not consent to, by using force to restrain and undress her and part her buttocks (arguably amounting to a unlawful intimate search). AK received compensation from the police.


• S (2017): Advised a man who wished to sue the police for trespass, conversion, assault and battery, when they turned up at his property with S’s ex-partner and accompanied her while she collected her belongings, allegedly to prevent a breach of the peace. S believed that his ex-partner stole some of his possessions in the process of removing her own from the property, with the assistance of the police.


• K (2017): Advised a man facing contempt of court proceedings for exaggerating injuries he sustained in a car accident and dishonestly attempting to recover £1,000,000 in damages from the other driver.


• C (2017): Instructed to represent the family in an inquest regarding the cause of death of a woman suffering with undiagnosed Nocardia and Aspergillosis.


• C v TFL (2015): Represented the claimant, who slipped on water on steps at Kings Cross underground and suffered scarring to her face.



Employment:

Stephanie undertakes claimant and respondent employment work. Stephanie has advised and represented recruitment agencies, employers and employees in matters involving wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal (including constructive dismissal); sex, age and race and disability discrimination; redundancy disputes; whistle-blowing and protected disclosures; and contractual and discretionary bonus schemes.

As a ‘Direct Access’ barrister, Stephanie welcomes instructions in compromise agreements.

Stephanie has held seminars on wrongful dismissal, unfair dismissal, the changing definition of ‘worker’ over time and redundancy.

Selected cases:


• N v JHH (2020): Represented the Respondent against claims for race discrimination, harassment and victimisation.The claims were struck out at a preliminary hearing.


• T v JP Morgan (2019): Represented the Claimant in her claims for unfair dismissal, age discrimination and victimisation.


• B v (1) FF Ltd (2) MM: Successfully represented the Respondents at a Full Merits Hearing, in relation to claims of unfair dismissal, age discrimination and unlawful deduction of wages.


• MC v MI & Others (2018): Instructed by a Respondent to a multi-partied case, who is a foreign bank (“the bank”). Allegations included unfair dismissal, detrimental treatment due to ‘whistle blowing’, age discrimination and breaches of the Equality Act 2010. The case was discontinued when the Claimant reached agreement with the other Respondents, prior to a preliminary hearing, in which the bank sought to dismiss the case against it on the basis that it was not the Claimant’s employer, the Equality Act 2010 claims were insufficiently particularised and on forum conveniens arguments.


• W v MOW (2017): Successfully represented the Respondent in a document heavy unfair dismissal claim by a director, involving serious allegations of mismanaging company finances.


• W v CG Ltd (2016): Successfully represented the Claimant in an unfair (constructive) dismissal claim, in which he resigned due to a unilateral change made to his contract, affecting his bonus payments. The EJ was satisfied that, for the period of time he remained in work after the new scheme was implemented, he was working under protest and had not accepted the variation to his contract.


• FF v TB Ltd (2015): Successfully represented the Claimant in a long unfair (constructive) dismissal claim, in which he walked out after a breakdown in relations with his superiors and they reneged on their promise of a raise.


• Rahman v Lion Re:Sources Ltd & Kaizen Search Ltd (2012): Persuaded an Employment Judge that the Second Respondent did not make an offer of employment and that no employment contract was agreed with the Claimant, after cross-examining the Claimant and making legal representations at a pre-hearing review. The claim was struck out.



Family:

Stephanie is regularly instructed in private and public child proceedings, financial dispute resolution and international family law matters.

Selected cases:


• G v G (2019): Represented the wife in financial dispute resolution proceedings for a long marriage, in which there was an inordinately long period of separation (c.20 years) prior to either party obtaining a divorce and applying for financial remedies - the result being that the wife had paid almost 100% of the former matrimonial home (the parties’ principal asset).


• Re B (2018): Represented maternal grandparents in contested care proceedings, in which unsupervised and unregulated contact was allowed once B was placed with a family member.


• C v C (2017): Represented the wife in financial dispute resolution proceedings. The husband wished for the former matrimonial home to be sold immediately and the proceeds of sale to be split with him receiving the greater share based on contributions. After making submissions for a ‘Mesher’ order, the judge, at FDR, indicated that the sale should be postponed until the parties’ son, who had a number of special needs, was much older and the proceeds of sale should be paid to the parties equally. Parties then agreed to postpone the sale until their son reaches the age of 13 and to split the proceeds of sale equally.


• S v C (2016): Successfully opposed the wife’s application for permission to bring proceedings for financial relief in England, due to there being parallel proceeding in the US and in Pakistan.


• D v D (2016): Represented the father and successfully opposed the instruction of the mother’s chosen expert on Indian law, without any indication as to whether this expert could advise on Gujarati law, when the mother’s intention was to take the child on an extended family holiday to Gujarat.


• H v G (2016): Represented the mother, who was granted residence of the child. The social worker had recommended the child live with the father due to the mother’s mental health issues.


• W v W (2016): Successfully opposed a dismissal argument in relation to the wife’s application for interest on a lump sum, which was paid almost a year later than envisaged in the order. The husband had also failed to maintain interim monthly payments. Argued that the husband’s failure to continue monthly payments, his intention to retain the properties and his delay in putting them on the market deprived the wife of benefits to his advantage, effectively undermining the whole order for a lump sum, which met the wife’s needs in 2014 but no longer met her needs in 2016. The DDJ was persuaded that these were strong arguments and made directions for a full and final hearing, which put the wife in a strong position with regards to settlement.


• Re K (2015): Successfully secured supervised contact for a father who had a lengthy criminal record and had been in prison for serious offences for a number of years.


• Re H (2014): Successfully resisted interim contact in proceedings, initiated by a father who was serving a nine-year prison sentence for rape, battery and false imprisonment.



Crime:

Although no longer a core area of her practice, Stephanie has appeared for the defence and prosecution in hearings, trials and confiscation proceedings, and in the youth court, magistrates’ court, crown court and Court of Appeal; involving a range of offences from public order matters and assaults to complex frauds, dangerous dogs, conspiracies, kidnaps, murders, perjury, sexual offences, road traffic and motoring law.

Stephanie has represented and cross-examined youths and vulnerable adults.


She has successfully appealed a sentence in the full Court of Appeal, without leave from the single judge. She also successfully opposed an appeal against conviction, with leave, on behalf of the Crown.

Stephanie has also been instructed by the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC and private solicitor firms, to assist with disclsoure in respect of complex fraud prosecutions and high-profile public enquiries.


As a result, Stephanie has gained substantial experience of trial preparation, is particularly well versed in witness handling, and has developed a solid foundation for cross-over areas of her civil practice, such as in actions against the police and commercial fraud.

Selected cases:


• R v DT (2018): Represented a Defendant charged with making (by downloading) a small number of Category A and B moving indecent images, which involved both the prosecution and defence calling conflicting forensic expert evidence in relation to the defendant’s computer.


• R v P & others (2016): Instructed as junior counsel for a Defendant facing a re-trial for a number of different tax frauds, in London, linked with other individuals or groups, based in France and Manchester; and to activities, to some extent, in Ireland – all allegedly disguised as legitimate business transactions (the sale of alcohol) rather than the proceeds of crime (the evasion of duty and VAT on imported alcohol, cigarette smuggling and other criminal conduct). Serious allegations of professional misconduct were raised by the Defendant in relation to solicitors involved in the first trial.


• R v C (2016): Prosecuted an assault matter, where most of the witnesses had severe learning disabilities and gave their evidence with the assistance of intermediaries. An extensive Ground Rules hearing took place before the trial.


• R v Lababidi (2016): Represented a Defendant club promoter who crashed a hired £130,000 Lamborghini.


http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/west-end-club-promoter-who-wrecked-hire-lamborghini-in-60-seconds-couldnt-handle-it-a3171786.html


• R v H (2015): Defence counsel for a Defendant found alone, in the driver’s seat of his car, one mile from Nottinghill Carnival, with £2000 cash and bag of cannabis in the glove compartment, £200 on his person, a large quantity of cocaine hidden in the panels of the driver’s door and 5 ‘dirty’ phones in his possession. The case required scrutiny of voluminous amounts of telephone and cell site evidence. During the trial, successfully resisted various applications to amend the indictment and adduce the Defendant’s antecedents. The Defendant was acquitted on all 8 counts of offering to supply and possession with intent to supply Class A and B drugs.


• R v A (2014): Defence counsel in a sophisticated TFL fraud, involving multiple transactions over a significant period of time, affecting a vast number of Oyster card users.


• R v D (2014): Youth Defendant acquitted of serious sexual offences. All live witnesses were vulnerable youths and assisted by special measures.


• R v Martin Lally [2014] EWCA Crim 1090: Successfully appealed the length of a custodial sentenced imposed for an offence of possession of a bladed article in a public place and breach of a suspended sentence for ABH, without leave of the single judge.



International:

In addition to international family law case, Stephanie has a Masters in International Commercial Litigation and has advised and represented clients embroiled in cross-border trade disputes following the sale and transit of goods from one jurisdiction to another.

Stephanie has also worked on public law matters of constitutional importance to foreign jurisdictions.

Other:

Stephanie has worked, on a pro bono basis, for the Women’s Legal Centre, in Cape Town, South Africa, in the areas of social welfare, family law, hate crime, sex discrimination and decriminatlisation of sex work in the city.

At Cambridge University, Stephanie carried out comparative research on the development of socio-economic rights in the courts of England and Wales and in India for the Equal Rights Trust in its continuing work in this field.


Articles/Publicatons:


“Family and Civil Remote Hearings During COVID-19" - https://thomasmore.co.uk/family-remote-hearings.pdf


“COVID-19 and Redundancy” (May 2020) - https://thomasmore.co.uk/Notes%20for%20redundancy%20seminar.pdfhttps://thomasmore.co.uk/tmc-webinar-vlc.mp4


“Covid19 and Default Judgments - To Request Default Judgment or Not, That is the Question. . .” (April 2020) - https://thomasmore.co.uk/covid-19-and-default-judgements.pdf


“Gifts: When to perfect the imperfect”, Trusts & Estates Law & Tax Journal, December (2019) - https://www.lawjournals.co.uk/trusts-estates-law-and-tax-journal/gifts-when-to-perfect-the-imperfect/


"Applying Equality and Non-Discrimination Law to Advance Socio-Economic Rights", Cambridge Pro Bono Project’s Submission to the Equal Rights Trust (13 January 2013)


"Making Contact Work: Is the Children and Adoption Act 2006 Enough for Resident Parents and Children?" (2008) 38 Fam. Law 1237


"What is adultery?" [2008] CUSLJ 41


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