Roger Stewart QC

Education

M.A. LLM (Cantab)




Tel: +44 20 7822 2038
Email: r.stewart@4newsquare.com
Email Clerk: a.call@4newsquare.com

Year of Call: 1986
Year of Silk: 2001

Profile

Stewart, Roger

A “Top-rate silk” who “prides himself on sorting the wheat from the chaff and identifying the issues that are worth pursuing”, Roger has a mixed national and international commercial practice specialising in professional liability, construction, insurance and re-insurance. He is regularly appointed as an arbitrator in high-value and sensitive disputes.

Roger has been described in the Directories as “another great example of sheer brilliance…His wide practice covers general professional negligence claims as well as construction claims, all of which he handles with ‘natural ease and the greatest of style’”; “If something looks like it might turn into a fight he’s your man”; "Every word he says counts"; "a modern silk: he's straightforward, courteous and clever" whose "top reputation has led to him being instructed on some of the highest-profile cases that have been fought"; as being able to “articular the most complex concepts with simplicity and brevity”; “a deeply impressive performer”; “a razor-sharp and formidable opponent”; “tenacious; “very commercial” and as being quite simply one of the best [cross-examiners] I have ever seen.”

Roger has particular expertise in relation to large disputes in the Middle East.  He has acted in relation to disputes for and against Governments in the Region as well as in relation to substantial private sector projects.  His experience extends to B.O.T. contracts in the energy sector as well as traditional contracts.  He has particular experience of the operation of nominated sub-contracts and the problems in relation thereto.

He is with John Powell Q.C. one of the two general editors of Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability (Sweet & Maxwell, 6th Edition 2007) and has been an editor since the 3rd Edition (1992). He has twice been awarded the Chambers & Partners Professional Negligence Silk of the Year (in 2007 and 2010). He is a Recorder and appointed to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Technology and Construction Court.

Roger is an established and extremely experienced leader who has undertaken some of the highest profile disputes across a number of fields in recent years. He is the Senior Bench Auditor of the Inner Temple responsible for overseeing their finances and was for some years a director of the Bar Mututal Indemnity Fund. He is member of the PNBA, Combar, Tecbar, LCLCBA, the LCIA and the South-Eastern Circuit.

 


International Arbitration

Roger has particular expertise in relation to large disputes in the Middle East.  He has acted in relation to disputes for and against Governments in the Region as well as in relation to substantial private sector projects.  His experience extends to B.O.T. contracts in the energy sector as well as traditional contracts.  He has particular experience of the operation of nominated sub-contracts and the problems in relation thereto.

Roger has extensive experience of high-value and high-profile predominantly international arbitrations.  He is appointed regularly both as Counsel and as Arbitrator and is a member of the LCIA.   He is used to working in a team with lay and professional clients.  He is listed as a leading Silk in International Arbitration by Chambers & Partners and is described as a "class act" who has "total command of his brief" as counsel, and is also a respected arbitrator.

Examples of disputes in which he has recently been appointed as Arbitrator include:

Examples of cases where he has recently appeared as Counsel include:

He has also acted in large bi-lateral investment disputes and was counsel in the underlying arbitration reported in BNP Parisbas & Others v Deloitte & Touche LLP  [2003] EWHC 2874 (Comm) [2004] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 233.


Commercial Dispute Resolution

The resolution of commercial disputes is at the heart of Roger’s practice. Almost all of his work in the fields of professional liability, international arbitration and insurance and reinsurance is commercial.  If litigated in London the usual forum will be the Commercial Court.  The nature and breadth of his practice can be seen by looking at his reported cases in the field:


Construction & Engineering

A large part of Roger’s practice concerns construction and engineering disputes.  He is listed as a leading silk by both Chambers & Partners (his "top reputation has led to him being instructed on some of the highest-profile cases that have been fought", a “top-rate silk” who “prides himself on sorting the wheat from the chaff and identifying the issues which are worth pursuing – he brings great order to matters that would otherwise be very complicated”  “Interviewees were keen to highlight his skill in cross-examination, commenting ‘he is quite simply one of the best I have ever seen”) and Legal 500 (“rarely bettered in the Courtroom”).

Roger has experience of acting in large disputes in the energy sector including the turn-key construction of power stations and the construction and operation of oil and gas pipelines.  He has been instructed in relation to a large variety of standard and non standard form contracts with differing dispute resolution provisions including ICC, LCIA and DCIA arbitration provisions.  He has undertaken numerous disputes based upon differing forms of JCT and NEC contracts as well as variations of government contracts and sub-contracts.  He is used to dealing with the varying allocation of risk under differing provisions as well as the influence of funding provision.

He acted for Multiplex in relation to their long running dispute with CBUK arising out of the construction of Wembley stadium as well as in other disputes with sub-contractors and the claim against the engineers (now settled).  He is currently instructed in a large number of national and international disputes concerning a variety of projects in the UK and overseas.    Many of these projects are the subject of arbitration agreements but the size and longevity of his experience in this area can be seen from his reported cases:


Disciplinary

Roger has acted on behalf of individual professionals involved in disciplinary proceedings.  He also has extensive experience of the wasted costs jurisdiction in relation to lawyers and has acted on behalf of insurers in relation to directions from professional bodies concerning insurance coverage for disciplinary tribunals as well as the payment of costs pending determination of underlying disputes.

He acted  in a high profile dispute concerning professional discipline which went to both the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal – Baxendale-Walker v The Law Society  [2007] EWCA Civ 233, [2006] EWHC 643 as well as for the Bar Council representatives in relation to alleged defaults in disciplinary proceedings – Diamond v Mansfield  [2006] EWHC 3290 .


Insurance & Reinsurance

Insurers or reinsurers or both are involved in some capacity in a large proportion of Roger’s work.   Roger has extensive experience of coverage work and regularly conducts indemnity consultations on behalf of insurers in professional indemnity matters.  He also advises both insurers and insureds in relation to insurance disputes outside the professional indemnity area and is appointed regularly to sit as an arbitrator in relation to such disputes.

Roger is currently engaged as Counsel in the Trigger Litigation which is due to reach the Supreme Court at the end of 2010 following the Court of Appeal decision at [2010] EWCA Civ 1096.  He has a particular speciality in dealing with contractors’ all risk and financial guarantee insurance and is currently dealing with several large disputes in this field.

His reported cases in the field include:

City & General v Royal & Sun Alliance  [2010] EWCA Civ 911;

Trigger Litigation  [2010] EWCA Civ 1096, [2009] 2 All ER 26;

Kidsons v Lloyds Underwriters  [2007] EWHC 1951;

Lumbermans Mutual Casualty v Bovis Lend Lease Ltd  [2004] EWHC 2197;

Mayban General Assurance v Alstom  [2004] EWHC 1038;

Bovis Construction v Commercial Union Assurance plc  [2001] 1 Lloyds’ Rep 416;

Robert Irving & Burns v Rodney Stone  [1997] CLC 1593;

Hopewell Project Management v Ewbank Preece Ltd [1998] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 448.  


Professional Liability

Roger is listed as a leading silk by both Chambers & Partners ("True heavyweight barrister " Roger Stewart QC "is another great example of the sheer brilliance of silks at this set.  His wide practice covers general professional negligence claims as well as construction claims, all of which he handles with “natural ease and the greatest of style”. Instructing Solicitors appreciate the clout that he carries, remarking “If something looks like it might turn into a fight, he’s your man”, peers attest to his status as an "inventive and destructive cross-examiner of both factual and expert witnesses and Legal 500 (“can articulate the most complex concepts with simplicity and brevity”).  Roger has twice been the Chambers & Partners Professional Negligence Silk of the year in 2007 and 2010.

Roger is one of the 2 general editors of Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability and has been an editor since the 3rd edition in 1992.  He originally personally edited the chapter on construction professionals and for the last two editions has edited the chapter on surveyors.  The extent and breadth of his practice is shown in the individual professions.

Accountants, Auditors & Actuaries

Roger has acted for and against accountants, auditors and actuaries throughout his professional career. He has extensive experience of the issues which arise in such claims and is particularly good at coming to grips with the financial details of a complex claim as well as the inevitable legal issues. He is currently acting in relation to a number of substantial disputes ranging from allegedly negligent advice in relation to fuel allowance giving rise to very substantial irrecoverable tax liabilities to alleged liabilities following alleged defects in share purchase agreements. He has great experience of expert determination clauses and the issues which arise in relation to them.

As an example of his work Roger recently acted in the successful appeal in Capita v Drivers Jonas [2012] EWCA Civ 1417 where the Court of Appeal determined that credit had to be given for the effects of tax incentives in an Enterprise Zone scheme.  He has acted in relation to the determination of liabilities between large firms of accountants and members of the Tax Bar; for accountancy firms in relation to allegations of negligence in relation to the sale of assets in Eastern Europe; for corporations seeking indemnity in relation to negligent auditing.  He has been instructed by the Trustees of pension funds seeking recourse from auditors and directors as well as for directors seeking to avoid allegations of wrongful trading.  He has also acted in very substantial share sales with actions over against the advisers who provided due diligence as well as in the determination of financial adjustments required as a result of cross-border sales.

 

Construction Professionals

Roger is amongst the first Counsel to be considered in relation to claims for and against construction professionals. He acted for Multiplex in its claims relating to Wembley Stadium; for Arup Associates in the successful defence of claims relating to the design of a Phillipines power station and is currently engaged in relation to a number of high-profile and high value disputes.  A selection from his  reported cases in the field show the depth of his experience

Financial Services Professionals

Roger has acted on numerous occasions for and against financial advisers who have been sued in relation to pension advice, endowment contracts, draw-down mortgages and zero income bonds.  He has particular expertise in consideration of claims against the issuers of prospectuses for products involving tax incentives such as property enterprise zone unit trusts and film finance schemes.  He has also acted for an against the professional advisers who have acted in relation to such schemes both in relation to their promotion and their implementation.

Insurance Brokers & Agents

Roger has regularly acted for and against insurance brokers and agents.  He has particular experience of claims where there are alternative allegations against insurers and brokers.  3 substantial disputes where Roger has acted for the Claimants have settled at the door of the Court in recent years.

Roger has also acted in

Kidsons v Lloyds Underwriters  [2007] EWHC 1951;

Verdarame v Commercial Union  [2000] Lloyds Rep PN 557

Lawyers

It is only necessary to list some of Roger’s reported cases to see the depth of experience that he has in this area.  Outside such cases, Roger has acted in numerous arbitrations concerning primary liability, apportionment and insurance coverage.  He regularly conducts indemnity consultations.  A particular high-light was the successful defence of a firm of solicitors arising out of the purchase of Fulham Football Club. Roger has undertaken numerous cases concerning the wasted costs jurisdiction on behalf of both barristers and solicitors.

Reported cases include:

Patent Agents

Roger has acted in two of the very rare reported cases against patent attornies – which demonstrates the considerable extent of his experience in this relatively small area.  He is presently acting in relation to two substantial disputes in the field.  His technical expertise makes him ideal for understanding the necessary concepts and complications in the field.

The reported cases in which he as acted are

Surveyors & Valuers

Roger has edited the relevant chapter in Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability for the last 3 editions.  As would be expected he has enormous experience in this field.  He appeared in the House of Lords in one of the leading cases, Swingcastle v Gibson  and has appeared extremely regularly in the courts ever since. He appeared at first instance in BBL v Eagle Star before the case was discontinued against his clients after many days.

His reported cases include:


Information Technology

Roger has acted in one of the largest IT disputes in the United Kingdom with the total contract value was just under £1bn.  The Award in relation to the dispute is presently awaited.