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.
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 is nominated in the Legal 500 Bar Awards for Construction and Energy Silk of the Year 2022.
Named on the Chambers & Partners ‘Stars at the Bar’ 2022 list. This editorial says “In terms of courtroom advocacy and crisp, effective, succinct advice he’s at the top of the tree. He’s peerless at making the complex simple.” “Roger Stewart QC is very intellectually sharp and very hard-working. He’s an impressive arbitrator.” “He is engaged, personable, and willing to contribute to the drafting of the award with his expertise.” “Roger turns matters around quickly, has a lot of gravitas and is also user-friendly.”
Winner of the 2020 ‘Professional Negligence Silk of the Year’ award by Chambers & Partners, Roger has received numerous plaudits being described in the Directories as “a great cross-examiner who is absolutely razor sharp and has an amazing facility in court”; “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'”; “he is phenomenal and has cross-examination skills beyond compare”; “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”; “he prepares extremely well and has a very calming approach with clients. They feel very at ease with his advice”; “great choice for heavyweight matters”; “a deeply impressive performer”; “a razor-sharp and formidable opponent”; “tenacious”; “commercially savvy” and “an extremely able counsel, who is very attuned to what material will assist the tribunal.”
He is one of the three general editors of Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability (Sweet & Maxwell, 8th Edition 2017) and has been an editor since the 3rd Edition (1992). He has won “Professional Negligence Silk of the Year” three times and was again short listed in 2019 by Chambers & Partners UK. He is a Recorder and appointed to sit in the Technology and Construction Court.
“Very strong leading counsel, confident and knowledgeable. Highly impressive in cross-examination, he reads the mind-set of the tribunal very well.”– Legal 500, 2022
“He’s very intellectually sharp and very hard-working. He’s an impressive arbitrator.” “He is engaged, personable, and willing to contribute to the drafting of the award with his expertise.” – Chambers & Partners, 2022
“The counsel of choice for the biggest and most challenging cases.” – Legal 500, 2021: Middle East: Construction
“An exceptionally good cross-examiner. He is calm, very persuasive in his oral submissions, has a good feel of the Tribunal and a very thoughtful and effective approach to tackling the most difficult issues.” – Legal 500, 2021
“He is very confident, persuasive and has gravitas in front of a tribunal. He is not easily deterred, always keeps his composure and is a very impressive advocate.” – Chambers & Partners, 2021
“A brilliant advocate – no praise is too high.” – Legal 500, 2020
“A phenomenally good commercial lawyer.” “A very experienced silk.” – Chambers & Partners, 2020
“Exceptionally commercial. He has an excellent sense of how courts think about arbitration-related issues.” “Incredibly persuasive.” “Very hard-working.” “A very good advocate.” “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
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.
Examples of cases where he has recently appeared as Counsel include:
Examples of disputes in which he has recently been appointed as Arbitrator include:
Roger specialises in high value commercial disputes litigated both in England and overseas. He acted successfully for the UK Government in overturning the award against the Government in the Raytheon border dispute and for the Insurers in the mesothelioma litigation which went to the Supreme Court as well as for Mr Holyoake in his well publicised dispute with the Candy brothers. He is currently instructed in relation to high value fraud and conspiracy cases in both England and the Caribbean. He acted for the successful appellants to the Supreme Court in the important case defining scope of duty in lawyers’ cases – BPE solicitors.
Roger undertakes a significant amount of work in relation to offshore jurisdictions, particularly the Caribbean. He is presently instructed in two very substantial fraud recovery actions arising from alleged breaches of trust as well as the defence of very large conspiracy case with allegations concerning fraud in a number of different jurisdictions. He has also acted in relation to disputes where vehicles are based in the Channel Islands as well as important litigation stemming from those jurisdictions in England.
Roger has very substantial experience in relation to acting in Property Damage and Disaster cases over a lengthy period of time.
“Roger is an acknowledged star of the bar. He masters the papers and so is able to cross examine powerfully.” – Legal 500, UAE 2022 Leading Construction Silks
“Very strong leading counsel, confident and knowledgeable, highly impressive in cross-examination, read the mind-set of the tribunal very well. Roger is able to make the most difficult things and concepts easy to understand. He is commercially astute and makes a great impression on both clients and experts. Great pleasure to work with.” – Legal 500, 2022
“A very good trial advocate and cross-examiner.” “An excellent barrister with great written and oral advocacy skills.” – Chambers & Partners, 2022
“He’s just excellent, loved by clients, a great silk.” – Legal 500, 2021
“As an advocate he is polished and on top of the subject matter.” “He is clear and concise in submissions and very good on his feet with a real command of his brief.” – Chambers & Partners, 2021
“Excellent strategic instincts and wonderful advocacy.” – Legal 500, 2020
“He is very efficient, highly experienced in his field and a very effective cross-examiner.” “Very practical and solutions-oriented.” – Chambers & Partners, 2020
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 in 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:
Roger has won ‘Professional Negligence Silk of the Year’ three times including at the recent 2020 Chambers & Partners UK Bar Awards.
“A very good advocate and a very good cross-examiner.” “A very competent lawyer; it amazes me how he is able to pull rabbits out of hats.” “In terms of courtroom advocacy and crisp, effective, succinct advice he’s at the top of the tree. He’s peerless at making the complex simple.” – Chambers & Partners, 2022
“Incredibly helpful on very knotty accountants’ negligence claims. Very responsive and provides terrific advice.” “He is as good as they come: extremely bright, very good with clients and highly forensic.” “He thinks of excellent points and counterarguments, and is so intelligent.”– Chambers & Partners, 2021
“He has fantastic knowledge of professional negligence law, and a very good approach to strategy – very user friendly and a top choice for leading professional service firms.” – Legal 500, 2021
“He’s one of the leading silks in professional liability and is very committed to cases. He is passionate in his advocacy, good at reading the judges, and is a very, very hands-on silk.” “He has a brilliant mind, great strategic vision and is very good with the client. Clearly someone at the very top of his game.” – Chambers & Partners, 2020
“A superb courtroom advocate, with a deft and commanding style.” – Legal 500, 2020
Roger’s 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.
Roger has acted for and against accountants, auditors and actuaries throughout his professional career. As well as acting following the collapse of large companies, he has particular experience of dealing with challenges to tax schemes and advice in relation to the same having acted in two successful appeals. The first is the high profile decision in Mehjoo v Harben Barker,  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  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 and is acting in a variety of different jurisdictions in relation to alleged negligence (eg Barclays Trust Co v Ernst & Young  EWHC 869.
As examples of the sort of work he undertakes, he recently acted or 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.
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
Typical instructions include
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“Roger has enormous expertise and experience, and gives excellent strategic guidance throughout. Where he really stands out, however, is in trial, particularly in cross-examination.” – Legal 500, 2022
“He has fantastic knowledge of professional negligence law, and very good approach to strategy – very user friendly and a top choice for leading professional service firms.” – Legal 500, 2021
Roger has extensive and long-standing experience of disciplinary work having been instructed both by regulators and defendants. In particular he has acted in a large number of solicitor’s disciplinary cases including appeals – see Baxendale Walker v Law Society  EWHC 643 and  EWCA Civ 237; he has acted for both large and small firms and individuals and in high profile and sensitive matters. He has acted for accountants firms in connection with investigations both in the United Kingdom and overseas. He has acted for financial services firms in relation to investigations by the FCA and by its predecessors. He has negotiated Regulatory Settlement Agreements and successfully defended firms. He has also advised prosecutors in relation to large scale investigations.
Roger has extensive experience of acting in disputes in the energy sector in relation both to construction and supply. This includes acting for a Middle Eastern government owner in relation to a major pipeline; acting for a major contractor in relation to an EPC platform for offshore gas supply; acting for in relation to a sub-contract dispute for the supply of equipment for North sea works and acting in relation to port supplies for both oil and gas exporting. He has also acted as arbitrator in relation to a dispute relating to the late construction of a major expansion to a Middle Eastern oil field. He has also acted in relation to distribution disputes in particular concerning take or pay obligations and minimum commission arrangements. He has also acted in relation to electricity generation and power station disputes for engineers, contractors and owners. His experience extends to disputes in the Middle East, Far East and the Americas as well as the UK
“Enormous expertise and experience, and gives excellent strategic guidance throughout.” – Legal 500, 2022
“Roger is extremely commercial and very good at coming up with answers to complex problems.” – Chambers & Partners, 2022
“Always on my shortlist when we require sheer depth of experience, technical capability and gravitas.” – Legal 500, 2021
“He’s very experienced and very strong on construction and insurance issues.” “He’s well regarded and in demand in the insurance space.” – Chambers & Partners, 2021
“He is a formidable advocate with an impressive courtroom style.” – Legal 500, 2020
“An outstanding barrister.” “A go-to construction insurance person.” “Very versatile.” – Chambers & Partners, 2020
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.
“A dynamic counsel for complex IT disputes.” – Legal 500, 2021
“A brilliant barrister with the ability to cut to the chase and analyse the essence of any issue.” – Legal 500, 2020
“An excellent advocate and is able to convey very complex legal and factual issues simply.” – Legal 500, 2019
Roger has acted in some of the highest profile and most demanding cases concerning Information Technology. In particular he was lead counsel for the Home Office in its dispute with Raytheon over the E-borders dispute which involved consideration of the termination of that contract and numerous other issues. He has also acted in other disputes both for and against the Government or Government entities in relation to complex IT disputes. He has also advised and acted in disputes with two major financial institutions. He is well familiar with the difficulties which IT disputes bring – in particular those caused by different stakeholder requirements, changing environments, bespoke code and testing issues.
Ranked as a Leading IT Silk by Legal 500, Roger is described in their 2019 edition as “an excellent advocate and is able to convey very complex legal and factual issues simply.”
The Court of Appeal has given valuable guidance on the correct approach…
4 New Square Chambers’ Roger Stewart KC will speak at the UK…
4 New Square
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