Stephen has always specialised in planning and related fields of law, having graduated in both law and planning. He has advised on matters of planning, including major commercial projects, in Gibraltar, Jersey, the Cayman Isles and the Isle of Man. With regard to the Isle of Man, Stephen has regularly appeared at planning inquiries there for more than 20 years and has a close understanding of their planning system and the way the Government and Local Government institutions on the Island operate.
His experience, both as adviser and advocate, included village greens and commons, the range of planning and related topics, including major infrastructure projects and in particular waste and energy facilities. His work covers the regulatory aspects (under the various domestic regimes and international regimes) as well as the planning issues. Stephen particularly enjoys the role as Inspector in dealing with village green disputes and being involved in arbitrations and mediations and planning and property related matters. He also has extensive experience of highways, advertisements, heritage assets and compulsory purchase and compensation. This work is for both the private and public sectors. It covers hearings, inquiries, criminal and civil courts, including advising and appearing in judicial review and statutory challenge proceedings. Stephen employs a strategic and practical approach to advising and representing clients and seeking solutions that might avoid expensive litigation. He prefers to adopt a calm but firm approach to this but adjusted to fit the circumstances. Stephen is also keen on making full use of modern technology to research problems, find information and solutions, and delivering these to his clients and, as far as possible, being contactable and available at their convenience.
Stephen is recommended by Chambers & Partners as a leading planning law junior. The 2016 edition states that, "he is very clear in his arguments and he manages witnesses very well." The Legal 500 2015 ranks Stephen as one of the two top-tier juniors in planning law.