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He is just a brilliant thinker and can find all sorts of creative solutions.

Media and entertainment - Chambers UK 2020
About

Specialising in international, appellate and complex litigation,  Mark Stephens has undertaken some of the highest profile cases in the country and abroad.

Mark is a solicitor with an expertise in constitutional, human rights, IP, media and regulatory work, defamation, privacy, media, art and cultural property, data protection and freedom of information, trusts litigation, intellectual property and international arbitration disputes.

Mark has created a niche in international comparative media law and regulation. He acts in judicial reviews, Privy Council cases- Ultimate Appeal Court for parts of the Commonwealth, as well as, regulatory cases and inquiries.

Mark practices before every level of court in England and Wales and also abroad before international tribunals and courts. He is also a Privy Council agent regularly working with a range of overseas lawyers. Mark is a qualified mediator.

He can also assist clients in jurisdictions outside of the UK and has been retained by a number of governments to advise and to represent their interests including, Republic of Cyprus, Jamaica, Libya, Mauritius, and the Russian Republic.

He has been appointed by the Foreign Secretary to the FCO Free Expression advisory board and the Lord Chancellor to be a Champion for the Community Legal Service. Mark became board chair of Internews Europe, an international charity dedicated to freedom of expression and trusted media in 2018.

Mark chairs a number of bodies including, Internews, the Management Committee of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy Wolfson College, Oxford Centre for Socio Legal Studies and the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation. He is former chair of the Contemporary Art Society, Global Network Initiative, Global Witness the University of East London the Design Artists Copyright Society. And former President of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association.

Mark is responsible for innovating the Business & Human Rights portfolio of Cygnet Healthcare in his role as Non-Executive Director. Cygnet is the UK arm of UHS, the largest and most respected healthcare provider in the USA, and provides a wide range of services for individuals with mental health needs, autism and learning disabilities within the UK.

He additionally sits on the board as a Trustee of Index of Censorship, the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, Commonwealth Lawyers Association and Council of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute and Human Dignity Trust.

Mark regularly appears in print, on radio and television. Mark also lectures at Universities and Higher Education Institutions around the world.

Mark has contributed to seven books, Miscarriages of Justice: a review of justice in error (1999), International Libel and Privacy Handbook all four editions (2005), (2009), (2013), (2016) published by Bloomberg Press, La Presunción de Inocenicia Y Los Juicios Paralelos (2013) published by Wolters Kluwer (Spain) for the Fundación Fernando Pombo/Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo., Media Law & Ethics in the 21st Century (2014) published by Palgrave MacMillan, This is not a book about Gavin Turk (2014) published by Trolley Books, Media Law and Policy in the Internet Age (2016) published by Hart an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, Media Law International (3rd Edition) - Specialist Guide for Global Leaders in Media Law Practice (2016) published by Media Law International.

He is also on the editorial boards of Communications Lawyer, Copyright World and European Intellectual Property Review.

Recent work
  • Advised global corporates and governments on designing and implementing Ruggie compliant Human Rights reporting mechanisms and also to making changes in employment practices.
  • Advising Zelda Perkins, former personal assistant to Harvey Weinstein, who broke her non-disclosure agreement to speak out against her former employer as the victim of years of sexual harassment.
  • Advising the British Humanist Association and Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network on a £500 million claim brought by an evangelical preacher from Nigeria who is claiming that her reputation and livelihood have been damaged following reports by BHA that accuse her of exploiting superstitious beliefs around demonic possession.
  • Advising in connection with the News International mobile telephone voicemail hacking litigation.
  • Acting on behalf of the editor-in-chief of a Mauritian, French language newspaper, in a successful appeal in the Privy Council against a conviction by the Supreme Court of Mauritius for contempt by way of scandalising the court.
  • Advising Vernon Unsworth in relation to his claims against Elon Musk both here and in America, following defamatory comments made by Mr Musk about our client on Twitter and via email to a media organisation following the Thai cave rescue.
  • Acted for a gallery and collector in the Middle East on a claim against an auction house.
Accolades
  • Mark is recognised in Chambers High Net Worth 2020 for Art and Cultural Property Law, and Defamation/Reputation Management: HNW. He is described as "one of the top high net worth lawyers out there."
  • Mark is ranked by Chambers UK 2020 for Art and cultural property, Media and entertainment, Civil Liberties & Human Rights and Defamation and reputation, noted for his advocacy on behalf of claimants in contentious freedom of expression cases: "He cares so much about his clients. It's remarkable to watch him fight for them. His instincts are brilliant and he is a world-class lawyer."
  • Mark is listed by Legal 500 2020 as a leading individual for the following categories: Art and cultural property, Civil Liberties & Human Rights, and Media & Entertainment.
  • Mark is listed as a key lawyer for Intellectual Property by Legal 500 2020.
  • According to Chambers High Net Worth 2019, Mark is a recognised practitioner in the art world, with an industry insider pointing out that "yes, we all know him." He has been involved in various high-profile cases within the industry and an art law expert notes: "He is a long-standing lawyer, especially on the IP side."
  • Mark is described in Chambers & Partners 2019 as, "A phenomenal lawyer with an incredible ability to engage in blue-sky thinking.".
  • Mark is recognised in the following categories in Legal 500 2019: London: Private Client- Art and Cultural Property, Public Sector- Civil Liberties and Human Rights, London: Risk Advisory- Reputation Management, TMT- Intellectual Property, London: TMT- Media and Entertainment (including media finance).
  • Mark is described in The Law Society Gazette as "the patron solicitor of previously lost causes".
Did you know
Mark was rendered into a Spitting Image puppet during the 1990s and describes his hobbies as bees, badinage and dandyism.

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