Stephen Innes

Have you been  let down by the service you have received from an adviser such as a solicitor, barrister, surveyor, financial adviser or accountant? Do you want to know if you can challenge your lawyer’s fees? Do you need advice or help in relation to costs in your litigation? 

I can advise you on the merits of your case or guide you through the relevant procedures; I draft or respond to court or other documents such as statements of case, witness statements, costs points of dispute, letters of claim or complaint; I can represent you in court hearings, mediations or other meetings. 

My work is divided equally between acting for clients and acting for professionals and their insurers, so I am very familiar with the pressures and tactics on both sides.

My approach

I always try to give advice which is comprehensive, realistic and easy to understand: ‘approachable and a pleasure to work with; he provides clear, thorough advice and is great in conference with clients’ (Legal 500, 2016 – Professional liability).

I am approachable and unstuffy: ‘a very valuable team member, who inspires real confidence’ (2016 – Costs); ‘extremely good on paper and very user friendly’ (2015 – Professional Liability).

I am hardworking and go the extra mile for my clients to guide them through what can be very stressful situations for them.

I find that it is often helpful to have a telephone discussion to explore how I can help you.

My work

My recent costs cases have included advising litigation clients in a dispute with their after the event insurers over the terms of their policy and whether payment of their premiums have fallen due. Careful analysis of the contract provisions and drafting a strongly worded letter which set out the relevant background in some detail proved decisive in persuading the other side to accept the clients’ case.

I acted recently in a costs dispute between a solicitor and former client, where solicitors’ costs of over £1 million were challenged. Some of the points of principle made a very large difference to the amounts which could be recovered. As a barrister brought in very shortly before the hearing, when the case had already been prepared, I think I justified my involvement by taking a critical look at the evidence and identifying a few key documents which had not previously been brought to the court’s attention, but which in the end proved decisive in persuading the court of our version of events.

I regularly help clients who are being sued by their former solicitors for fees. I often draft "Points of Dispute" in detailed assessment proceedings and then assist at the final hearing or help the cleint to negotiate a settlement.

About me

My specialist areas of practice are professional negligence and costs. I have 19 years’ experience as a barrister in a well-regarded commercial set of chambers, 4 New Square. I am ranked as a leading junior in both of my practice areas by the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

I am also a qualified mediator. I trained with a specialist costs mediation organisation, Costs ADR.

What my clients say

‘approachable and a pleasure to work with; he provides clear, thorough advice and is great in conference with clients’ (Legal 500, 2016 – Professional liability).

‘extremely good on paper and very user friendly’ (2015 – Professional Liability). 

“I cannot thank you enough for your brilliant advocacy, kindness and support at court this week” (a recent client in costs proceedings).

"if you hadn’t produced my response I very much doubt that they would have presented [this offer] so my thanks for your sterling work" (a recent direct access client in a costs case)

Professional & academic

I won a scholarship studying classics at New College Oxford. After teaching for a year in Australia I took the law conversion course at City University in London and the Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law. I won a prince of Wales Scholarship from Gray’s Inn. I undertook my pupillage at 4 New Square and became a tenant in 2001.

I am a member of the Executive Committee of the Professional Negligence Bar Association.

I am a bencher of Gray's Inn and a qualified advocacy trainer through the Inn

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