Stephen Beresford

Call: 1976

“His commercial practice is underpinned by sound business and tactical knowledge.”

Legal 500
Stephen Beresford

Stephen has extensive experience both as a mediator and as a mediation advocate. He was an early proponent of the process as a means of resolving civil disputes and has vast experience of successfully concluding disputes through mediation.

He is a long-standing ADRg trained and accredited mediator. Before retiring from the Bar, he was in private practice at Ropewalk Chambers, Nottingham focusing upon commercial, contract and land disputes with a reputation for enthusiasm, integrity, hard work, a quick grasp of the factual and technical details of complex disputes and being a safe pair of hands.

He has consistently been specifically identified for praise in commercial dispute resolution each year in the Legal 500 and Chambers (independent legal directories based on research and sounding professional clients). He also headed Ropewalk Chambers mediation services until his retirement.

His involvement in mediations as an advocate has enabled him to see a large variety of mediators’ styles and techniques from the consumer’s perspective. This, added to his extensive experience as a mediator, enables him to form an informed view upon the best routes to settlement in the particular case.

He utilises flexible and innovative approaches in appropriate cases and encourages the parties to think in new ways about their dispute and its resolution. He has successfully mediated disputes over a wide range of subject matters involving both multi-million-pound claims and disputes where the issues are based more on principles than immediate financial value.

He attributes his success as a mediator to a combination of careful preparation, a thorough understanding of the dispute, appreciating what the parties want out of the process and speedily achieving rapport with, and the trust of, the lawyers and their clients. He firmly believes that each lay client must feel at ease and at the center of the process even when a mediator robustly challenges entrenched positions. Professional and lay clients have frequently praised him for his empathy and his quick grasp of the crucial issues and how to achieve a satisfactory outcome.

He aims to provide the very best service at a competitive, reasonable price.

Recent mediations have included resolving:

  • Disputes between a local authority and employees concerning terms of service
  • Competing Inheritance Act claims
  • Dispute between different factions within a company’s board of directors
  • Insurance claim involving personal injury compensation
  • Civil fraud claims
  • Competing former employee claims
  • Conflicting interpretations of testamentary provisions
  • Defective goods and services litigation
  • Various professional negligence claims (solicitors, IFAs and accountants)
  • Departing minority shareholder claims
  • Disputes between partners and former partners (commercial entities as well as professional practices)
  • Commercial land contract disputes (sales, restrictive covenants, easements etc.)
  • Neighbour disputes (including boundaries, rights of way, nuisance etc.)

Appointments

  • Accredited Mediator

Memberships

  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Planning & Environmental Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Midlands Chancery Bar Association

Education

  • LLB, University of Birmingham

Notable Cases

  • Clark Electrical Ltd v JMD Developments (UK) Ltd [2012] EWHC 2627 (TCC): Submission to adjudication jurisdiction.
  • Robot Arenas Ltd v Newton Nottingham LLP [2010] EWHC 115 (QB): Leading case on involuntary bailments.
  • Sterling Hydraulics v Dichtomatik Ltd [2006] EWHC 2004 (QB): Battle of the forms.
  • Strata Land & Developments Ltd v Jones [2004] EWHC 1965 (Ch): Options to purchase.
  • Rushcliffe Borough Council v Watson [1992] 24 HLR 124 (C.A.): Fraud and property applications.

Recommendations

"He has experience of a wide range of commercial disputes."

Legal 500 2020 - Commercial, banking, insolvency and chancery law

"He's an incredibly bright and intelligent individual who gets to grips with a case from the outset. He's also user-friendly and is able to speak the client's language."

Chambers & Partner 2019 - Commercial dispute resolution

"Very thorough, knowledgeable and affable."

Legal 500 2019 - Commercial, banking, insolvency and chancery law

"Approachable, reliable and pragmatic."

Legal 500 2017 - Commercial, banking, insolvency and chancery law

"Stephen Beresford attracts widespread praise for his comprehensive commercial, property and chancery practice. He handles an array of matters, such as director and shareholder disputes, construction cases and litigious tax issues, amongst others." "He is extraordinarily bright, a very good draftsman and a very good man to have in a complex dispute." "Very experienced, very careful and thorough. He can be a devastatingly effective advocate, and his paperwork is always precise, shrewd and tenacious."

Chambers & Partner 2016 - Commercial dispute resolution

"Very user-friendly, gets straight to the point and is excellent on his feet."

Legal 500 2016 - Commercial, banking, insolvency and chancery law

"He's excellent as he's very user-friendly, very commercial and speaks a language that clients can understand and appreciate. He's also very methodical."

Chambers & Partners 2016 - Commercial dispute resolution

"He is very calm, collected and balanced, and gives advice and opinions in plain English."

Chambers & Partners 2015 - Commercial dispute resolution

"His commercial practice is underpinned by sound business and tactical knowledge.'

Legal 500 2015 - Commercial, banking and insolvency

"Stephen Beresford has a significant reputation on the Midlands circuit. He is identified as having notable commercial and property expertise." 'He is careful and highly effective. He gives very practical, client-focused advice.'"

Chambers & Partners 2014 - Commercial dispute resolution

"Ropewalk Chambers' Stephen Beresford is an experienced mediator with a strong commercial and insolvency practice."

Legal 500 2014 - Chancery, commercial, insolvency and banking

"Stephen Beresford at Nottingham's Ropewalk Chambers wins acclaim for his 'attention to detail' and 'fantastic ability to understand clients'. Contract and commercial property disputes keep this junior busy, though he also has particular expertise in mediation."

Chambers & Partners - Commercial dispute resolution

"Stephen Beresford has a significant commercial and insolvency practice."

Legal 500 - Chancery, commercial, insolvency and banking

"At Ropewalk Chambers, Stephen Beresford, who provides 'clear, crisp and insightful legal advice, which combines technical expertise with commercial awareness', is a commercial practitioner and regularly sits as a mediator."

Legal 500 - Chancery, commercial, insolvency and banking

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