Roger Stewart QC


M.A. LLM (Cantab)

Tel: +44 20 7822 2038
Email Clerk:

Year of Call: 1986
Year of Silk: 2001



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 pre-eminent reputation in the resolution of the most complex, high value and high profile disputes.  Roger has almost 30 years of experience working for every type of client in relation to disputes all over the world.  He is regularly appointed as both Counsel and arbitrator in international arbitrations.

Roger has received numerous plaudits being 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 “articulate the most complex concepts with simplicity and brevity”; “great choice for heavyweight matters”; “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"; “devastatingly effective when it comes to cross-examinations and addressing the tribunal."

He is with John Powell Q.C. one of the two general editors of Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability (Sweet & Maxwell, 7th Edition 2012) 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 in theTechnology and Construction Court.


Professional Liability

"Excellent on his feet - he gets what he needs to out of witnesses in a very considered style." "Extremely tenacious - a real street fighter." - Chambers & Partners, 2016

‘He is absolutely charming and meticulous in his preparation.’ - Legal 500, 2015

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”, "he is absolutely charming and meticulous in his preparation").  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 particular experience and expertise in dealing with challenges to tax schemes and advice in relation to the same having acted recently in two successful appeals to the Court of Appeal concerning tax issues. The first is the high profile decision in Mehjoo v Harben Barker, [2014] EWCA Civ 358, where the Defendant accountants were exonerated having been held liable at first instance (where Roger was not instructed). The second is 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.

As examples the sort of work he undertakes, he is presently acting:

He also has extensive experience in relation to non-tax claims, particularly in relation to pension equalisation and the determination of adjustments in company sales.

He has acted 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 one of the most experienced and sought after of silks in relation to claims against construction professionals.  He has been consistently listed by the directories as one of the leading practitioners

'He is well known for his niche expertise in technology and construction-related professional negligence work. “Excellent on his feet - he is clever at cross-examining and gets what he needs to out of witnesses in a very considered way." "He is calm and excellent in terms of his analysis - someone you can rely on."' – Chambers & Partners, 2016

Typical instructions include:

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

Throughout his career Roger has regularly acted for and against insurance brokers in relation to a wide range of underlying insurance.  His familiarity with the insurance market and insurance disputes means that he he has experience of the placing of risk (both insurance and reinsurance) on both the London and overseas markets for very substantial amounts.  He is presently or has recently acted  in relation to claims where there have been disputes as to the identity and roles of the placing brokers; as to whether insurers were bound; as to disclosure on renewal; as to the availability of cover and as to the rating of the insurers.  Many of the disputes are and have been for very substantial sums  He has particular expertise in relation to the placing of professional indemnity insurance in relation to a number of different professions as well as Contractors’ all risk insurance, Employer’s Liability Insurance, Public Liability Insurance and Key Man Insurance within the financial services sector.  By way of example only he has acted recently  or is acting in relation to claims where the availability of non-standard cover for a large firm of solicitors is in dispute; in relation to the professional indemnity insurance of a larger contractor in relation to civil engineering works in Australia; in relation to the avoidance of cover for a very substantial fire.  He has sat as sole arbitrator to determine a number of disputes as well as for a tri-party dispute between insured, insurers and brokers.  

On a number of PFI projects, he has been asked to advise as to the nature and obligations of brokers in relation to the procurement of long-term insurance and has also advised as to the suitability of product liability insurance for a large international conglomerate.  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.

Reported cases include:

Kidsons v Lloyds Underwriters  [2007] EWHC 1951;

Excelsior Commercial & Industrial Holdings Ltd v Salisbury Hammer Aspden & Johnson (a firm) [2002] EWCA Civ 879 ;

Verdarame v Commercial Union  [2000] Lloyds Rep PN 557.


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:

International Arbitration

Roger has an extensive International Arbitration practice having appeared in a very large number of arbitrations under ICC, LCIA, DIFC and other Institutional rules as well as in ad hoc arbitrations.  He is used to leading large teams of lawyers or appearing as Co-Counsel to undertake particular roles.  He has received numerous plaudits from the directories.

"“He has a very understated advocacy style which is devastatingly effective when it comes to cross-examinations and addressing the tribunal." "He is just awesome in front of judges and arbitrators and just so incisive as a cross-examiner." – Chambers & Partners (2016)

"His advocacy really is top-notch. He is able to convey complex legal issues simply and clearly. He also understands the client's key drivers." - Chambers & Partners (2015)

"A pleasure to work with – his subtle but highly-effective cross examination is exceptional." - The Legal 500 (2015)

A "class act" who has "total command of his brief" as counsel, and is also a respected arbitrator.

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

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

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:

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. "He's a formidable advocate and also very user-friendly, not at all stuffy. He manages to combine a very busy practice with being a very personable advocate." Chambers & Partners (2016). “Well known for his broad practice covering professional negligence, construction and insurance work. He is acknowledged by peers for being "very user-friendly," and for having "a very good instinct for what judges want” and for being “ridiculously efficient, quick and bright." Chambers & Partners (2015).  "He gets complex points across in the simplest of ways" Legal 500 (2015).

His reported cases in the field include:

The Trigger Litigation [2012] UKSC 14;

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.  


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 .

Construction & Engineering

Roger has enormous experience across the full range of Construction, Engineering, Infrastructure, Energy and PFI disputes whether litigated, arbitrated or adjudicated.   He has acted for employers, contractors, sub-contractors and consultants both nationally and internationally.  He has acted in connection with projects an a large number of jurisdictions including the UK, France, the Phillipines, Ethiopia, Zambia, Australia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, the Ukraine, South Africa, the U.S, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Libya.  He is familiar with all of the major standard form contracts as well as bespoke agreements.  He has led large teams of lawyers in relation to major disputes including other more junior silks.

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 is "a great choice for heavyweight matters," "he's very bright and very user-friendly” and “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”).  Typical relevant experience includes:

Transport and Marine Infrastructure Disputes

Energy Disputes

PFI Disputes


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.

Public International Law

4 New Square Chambers is a fast growing presence at the public international law Bar. Members of Chambers regularly act on behalf of, and against, national governments in the UK and abroad in contentious and advisory proceedings, and advise governments, corporate bodies, non-governmental organizations, and individuals on a range of matters including:

Current and recent instructions in the field of public international law include disputes before the International Court of Justice, the ICSID and ICC tribunals, the European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States, and the domestic courts of the United Kingdom, the Gambia and the Republic of Turkey. Given Chambers’ long-standing strength in international arbitration work, members of chambers are particularly well placed to advise and to represent parties in investor-State disputes.

Highlights of recent public international work by Members of Chambers include: