TOP TEN SOLICITORS
A solicitor who’s recognised more often than some of his famous clients (he even had his own Spitting Image puppet), Stephens has acted everywhere and for almost everyone, from UHNWs and Arab royalty to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He is currently representing Keith Vaz MP on allegations of sexual solicitation.
Stephens’ intellect, dedication and above all his creative approach to cases is widely revered — an attribute that seems to come in handy when clients often think in more litigative (and unsophisticated) terms: ‘They’re very often surprised that the remedies aren’t just legal,’ he says, pointing to Melania Trump, who has pursued what Stephens sees as an ill-advised path by choosing to sue over allegations in the press that she was once an escort.
The recent PJS episode remains the most pertinent case in point. While he expresses his respect for the solicitors who took the case, it’s a prime example of where the single-jurisdiction approach has been tested, and found sorely lacking.
‘One of the problems that happens a lot with our competitors is that they make a disaster out of a crisis,’ he says. ‘I think perhaps what they did is paint a target on their backs by going down the line they did. They made the “parish pump” mistake of looking at this as a purely domestic issue, when this was a global reputation issue — if you’re dealing with ultra-high-net-worths who are located and have exposure in multiple jurisdictions, that’s a problem.’