S J Phillips QC

S J Phillips QC

Silk: 2009 | Call: 1993

“An out-and-out insurance barrister who is on the rise.”

Chambers & Partners

Practice Profile


Stephen practices commercial law, predominantly insurance and reinsurance, but also has substantial experience in shipping and the carriage of goods, commercial fraud, banking and international finance, domestic and cross-border sale of goods and services, oil and gas, information technology and procurement and international credit mechanisms.

He acts both in an advisory capacity and as an advocate in the Commercial Court and in English and international arbitrations and has appeared both on his own and as part of a team in various high profile matters in England and overseas. In interlocutory matters, he has extensive experience of jurisdictional disputes, English arbitration law and freezing injunctions. The vast majority of Stephen’s work as a barrister is in international arbitration.

Stephen Phillips QC has been named Barrister of the Week by The Lawyer after securing a €27m judgment in a conspiracy claim.

Selected cases:

  • Jayaar Impex v. Toaken Group [1996] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 437 (Commodities Arbitration – Validity of award –  Whether standard terms and conditions incorporated – Remission for misconduct).

Selected cases:

  • South West Water v. International Computers Ltd. [1999] Build LR 421 (HHJ Toulmin  IT Procurement Project – Repudiatory Breach – Construction of Agreements – Waiver and Estoppel – Interim Payment)

Selected cases:

  • Prifti v. Musini SA [2005] EWHC 832 (Comm) (Reinsurance Stay Of Proceedings Amendment Application Case Management).
  • Prifti v. Musini SA [2003] EWHC 2976 (Comm) (Conflict Of Laws Jurisdiction Reinsurance Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001).
  • Bayview Motors v. Mitsui Marine & Fire Insurance Co. Ltd. [2002] 1 All ER (Comm) 967 (David Steel J.  Marine Insurance  Peril of Seizure  Total Loss  Proper Construction and Scope of Institute Cargo Clauses).
  • Kuwait Insurance Corporation v. Kuwait Insurance Co. SAK (No. 2) [2002] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 252 (Langley J.  Summary Judgment & Interim Payment   Effect of Judgment of House of Lords   Pro-Ration and proper construction of idemnity). See too Kuwait Insurance Corporation v. Kuwait Insurance Co. SAK (No. 3) [2000] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. IR 678.
  • David Wilson Homes v. Survey Services Ltd (in liquidation) [2001] 1 All ER (Comm) 449 (Court of Appeal   Dispute as to proper meaning of dispute resolution clause  Arbitration   Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 1930).
  • Kuwait Insurance Corporation v. Kuwait Insurance Co. SAK [1999] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 803 (House of Lords – Iraqi invasion of Kuwait – Loss of Aircraft and Spares – Proper Constuction of Policy (any one occurrence).
  • Metalfer Corporation v. Pan Ocean Shipping Co [1998] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 632 (Arbitration Incorporation and proper Construction of Clauses, Limitation of time).
  • Velos v. Harbour Insurance [1997] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 461 (Marine Insurance – Entitlement of brokers to retain commision following cancellation of the policy).
  • Cox v. Deeny [1996] LRLR 288 (Lloyd’s litigation – apportionment of E&O recoveries – Pro-Rotation and Top Down).
  • Cox v. Bankside [1995] CLC 180 (Lloyd’s litigation response of E&O cover to names – claims notification and conditions precedent – damages and interim payments per occurrence limits).

Selected cases:

  • Prifti v. Musini SA [2003] EWHC 2976 (Comm) (Conflict Of Laws Jurisdiction Reinsurance Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001)
  • The Ocean Enterprise [1997] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 449 ( Sale of ship   Whether sham transaction – Jurisdiction of Admiralty Court – Authority of company directors – Issue estoppel and res judicata – Standard of proof of criminal allegations in civil case).
  • The Kriti Rex [1996] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 171 (Carriage of goods by sea – unseaworthiness – main engine breakdown – Hague-Visby Rules – causation and remoteness of damage).

Selected cases:

  • The Ocean Enterprise [1997] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 449 ( Sale of ship   Whether sham transaction – Jurisdiction of Admiralty Court – Authority of company directors – Issue estoppel and res judicata – Standard of proof of criminal allegations in civil case).
  • The Kriti Rex [1996] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 171 (Carriage of goods by sea – unseaworthiness – main engine breakdown – Hague-Visby Rules – causation and remoteness of damage).
  • “an out-and-out insurance barrister” who is on the rise. Chambers UK 2011
  • “a star junior.” Chambers UK 2009
  • “could hardly have been better to work with.” Legal 500 2008
  • “his depth of engagement…his strategic sense of the ultimate merit of an argument is excellent.” Legal 500 2008
  • “very talented” “assertive but approachable. Legal 500 2008
  • “A real insurance specialist” a “polished performer.” Chambers UK 2008
  • praised for his ability to “grasp the fundamental issues of a case and present clear, rapid solutions.” Chambers UK 2006