Stephen Barker – Profession Bio July 2017
|Barrister and Mediator
Stephen has always been happy at the coal-face and gained his experience by leading-from-the-front. Stephen has hard-to-find experience of high value, complex, commercial contract negotiation and drafting and dispute work.
Stephen’s personal style:
Stephen’s aim is to help alleviate the stress of conflict by delivering his service with the speed and efficiency that comes from long experience.
Whatever our clients’ commercial legal needs, he provides a calm assessment of their best realistic outcome. He listens to his clients’ needs and uses the depth and breadth of his experience to help them achieve them.
Stephen believes that lawyers deliver their best value when they have an open and transparent working relationship with their clients. Stephen does his best to make himself easy to work with. There’s little more frustrating than nasty surprises due to poor communication.
Stephen believe that it is vital for external lawyers to
- be transparent on costs
- keep professional and lay clients informed promptly and
- always be accessible to talk
Stephen will only take on new clients or new work if he believes he can deliver the highest levels of attention to each piece of work for each client.
Negotiating and drafting commercial contracts for a leading security software company as retained outside counsel from 2013-2017, including
- Terms and conditions of purchase of recruitment services;
- Digital marketing and SEO outsourcing agreements;
- Advising on law relating to marketing to children for child cyber-security service
- Non-Disclosure Agreements with various financial institutions
- contract for purchase of professional services;
- Outsourcing of IT services, including implementation of orders, preparing and installing hardware, and transport and EU distribution;
- Advising on consumer complaints handling and disputes;
- termination of outsourced services contract;
- performance management and service level agreements;
- contract with online retail interface company;
- terms and conditions of trading for RICS surveying and valuation company.
- advising in relation to shareholder/directors powers, rights and duties in a Community Interest Company public sector supplier following the departure of director.
- Drafting shareholders agreement for firm of Solicitors
IT software and project implementation: e.g.
- acting for IT services company in £13m claim arising from the termination of the implementation of a new IT system for a financial institution with counterclaim against specialist financial software supplier
- advising software security company in respect of licence disputes;
- representing an IT Firm in a dispute arising from TUPE takeover;
- acting for that Firm in dispute with IT contractor agency relating to claims for payment arising from roll-out of desktop renewal to one of a global accounting practice.
Automotive engineering and manufacturing: e.g.
- acting for legal UK Car Manufacturer in supply chain issues;
- acting for leading car component supplier (Tier 1 systems supplier) in dispute with Sub-supplier following global product recall;
- Advising Portuguese aftermarket subsidiary of car component supplier with regard to breaches of parallel importing during exclusive Distribution Agreement.
M&A disputes: e.g.
- Acted for Company in £850m completion account expert determination concerning discrepancies in asset value of motor group, following sale of the vehicle manufacturer;
- Represented Component Supplier in defending and defeating $38m warranty claim arising from the sale of one of its UK divisions;
- Various expert determinations and warranty claims.
- LCIA Arbitration in Frankfurt acting for a supplier of medical diagnostic equipment in €7m claim against Turkish distributor;
- advising US veterinary medical supplies company in complaint concerning adverse procurement decision;
- assisting US counsel in UK aspects of representing Prominent Manufacturer in US FDA prosecution relating to illegal payments made to doctors to promote use of their medical devices.
Construction and Engineering: e.g.
- adjudication in £120m off-shore energy contract;
- acting for national house-builder in claim against ground works contractor for laying road contrary to s.106 agreement specification;
- appearing as advocate in Court of Appeal for House Builder in appeal by unsuccessful claimant in action for land finder’s fee;
Judicial review: e.g.
- acting for National Coach Operator in JR of decision of West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive in respect of reimbursement rates for concessionary fares for over 60s;
- advising Shadow Strategic Rail Authority and Strategic Rail authority in various challenges to procurement decisions, including high profile;
Banking and Insolvency: e.g.
- acting for a clearing bank in contested guarantee actions;
- ROT actions;
- applying to High Court (as advocate) for the appointment of a Provisional Liquidator of Airline Company;
Testimonials and recognition of legal work
“Stephen combines great technical skills with commercial acuity and a very good sense of tactics and effective negotiation all bundled with a very good sense of humour and a commitment to achieving the right result. A delight to work with.”
Peter Manford, Partner, Higgs & Sons
“Is it wrong to hope that your clients will bring you a litigation problem, just so you get the chance to work with someone who inspires you? This was my dilemma while at Eversheds. Stephen’s passion for getting the best legal strategy for a client, makes working with him fun and exciting. If there is a hope, he will find it, sometimes in the most unusual places. But if there is no hope, he will tell you, but beautifully craft an exit that gets the best commercial outcome for the client. I loved working with Stephen, he inspired me back then and continues to do so to this day. Stephen is truly a “trusted business adviser””
Kay Chapman, General Counsel, Aesseal plc
Described as “an A-list player”, Stephen has been singled out for commendation by influential independent guides to the legal profession:
Chambers & Partners’ Guide to the UK Legal Profession repeatedly rated Stephen in ‘Band 1’ as a Leading Individual and has said of him:
“His “measured and sensible approach” convinces commentators that clients are in safe hands.”
Chambers Guide 
“Stephen Barker wins applause for his exceptional work“
” A well established and respected practitioner”
“Hard working and highly intelligent.”
Chambers Guide 
“An extremely good litigator with an astute business mind.”
Chambers Guide 
“A-list player who has a good legal brain and brings incredible energy to his cases.”
Chambers Guide 
Testimonials for work as Mediator
“Please accept our grateful thanks for your hard work at the mediation today. It is inherent in a mediation process that the involved parties rarely get exactly what they want but the end result is always dependent on the quality of the mediator. That quality shone through today.”
“We were delighted at the outcome. I cannot stress enough the feeling of relief at the lifting of three years’ worth of harassment and constant pressure which will now allow us to pursue our lives in a manner which we had thought would never return.”
“What a week we had last week with two trials and a mediation! Hence the delay in my writing to you to thank you for your and your colleague’s tremendously valuable efforts in achieving a mediated settlement for our clients”.
“Stephen has mediated a case in which I was instructed as a barrister. His approach was very patient, measured and creative and we ended up with a good and workable compromise.”
“Stephen achieved a settlement between two difficult clients with entrenched views. He was efficient and organised, he pitched the discussions at exactly the right level. He engaged with the client and kept the momentum going until the very end.”
“I would highly recommend Stephen and would not hesitate to instruct him again.”
“Stephen Barker was astonishingly effective.”
“His calm approach helped him put the parties at ease, and he was able to quickly narrow the issues, he brings the consequences of going to trial to the clients in a friendly way.”
Chambers Guide 2015
“He gets people on his side; they trust him very quickly.”
Chambers Guide 2016
“One source praises his performance as “excellent, professional and impeccable,” while another highlights his “thorough, relentless and tenacious” work.
Chambers Guide 2017
“One market source highlights his “neutral, calm and creative” approach, and another reports: “He established a good rapport in the room and built confidence well.” Sources consistently praise the balance he strikes between patience and pragmatism, saying: “He took the time to listen but was straight-talking in dealing with any of the parties’ unrealistic expectations.”
Chambers Guide 2018
- CMC Board Member/ Director
- Association of Northern Mediators Board Member/Director
- External Tort Examiner for Contract Management Law examination for the Institute of Civil Engineers – 2012-2014.
- Association of Midlands Mediators Board Member
- Birmingham Law Society, Civil Litigation Sub-Committee