Overview

Stephen Bate is a Chartered Arbitrator, with a UK domestic and international commercial arbitration practice carried on through ARBDB, arbitration chambers in London: http://www.arbdb.com. His practice background is as a barrister at the English Bar, with over 25 years’ experience in a wide range of civil and commercial matters, also specialising in media & entertainment law at 5RB barristers’ chambers until 2017.
Stephen has been appointed as sole arbitrator and co-arbitrator and has also chaired numerous arbitral and other tribunals. He is the author of ‘Resolving Business Disputes / How to get better outcomes from commercial conflicts’, Spiramus Press (2020).
Stephen is a member of the Presidential Panel of arbitrators at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is listed with the Dubai International Arbitration Centre as a qualified arbitrator. He is a member of the panel of arbitrators maintained by Sport Resolutions and an arbitrator on the panel maintained by Phonographic Performance Ltd., the licensing body for recorded music and performers’ rights.
He is also an expert appointed by Nominet to decide co.uk and .uk domain name ownership disputes. Stephen also chaired hearings of the British Horseracing Authority’s Licensing Committee for 10 years. He has also acted for many years as a Legal Assessor / Adviser to fitness to practise tribunals in the healthcare sector, including the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service and the General Dental Council.

Style and Approach

Stephen uses the flexibility of arbitral laws and rules to deliver cost-effective procedures and timely awards.

Expertise

  • Commercial contracts
  • Partnership and shareholder
  • Property
  • Intellectual property
  • Information, Communications and Technology (ICT)
  • Sport
  • Healthcare

Experience

Arbitral appointments (court / institutional / party) include the following –

  • Dispute over performance of a shareholders’ agreement of a telecommunications company, arbitration under UNCITRAL Rules. Award of US$130M.
  • Dispute over exercise of pre-emption rights over further shares in the same company; arbitration under UNCITRAL Rules. Claim value c. US$80M.
  • Contract dispute concerning the supply of education services to the Middle East, claim value c. £2M.
  • LLP partnership dispute concerning accountancy business; claims brought by partnership against one partner and cross-claims.
  • Dispute involving claims relating to the sale and re-purchase of fleet motor vehicles.
  • Patent licence dispute.
  • Video games dispute between developer and publisher.
  • Contract dispute concerning the supply of advertising services.
  • Contractual loss of profits dispute in the fashion industry.
  • Sale of goods dispute.
  • Disputes concerning partnership agreement, retirement provisions and enforceability of restrictive covenants against a leaving partner.
  • Dispute concerning contracts for facilities provision for the National Health Service.
  • Contract dispute in the soft drinks industry.
  • Disputes between player and player’s agent under Football Association’s procedures.
  • Football League’s Disciplinary Commission (FDC) arbitration under Rules and Regulations of the Football League concerning financial disclosures by former Chairman of Watford FC on behalf of the club, EFL v Raffaele Riva.
  • Arbitration between football clubs under EFL’s Rules and Regulations over the poaching of a management team, Colchester FC v Norwich FC.
  • Dispute between player and club arising from termination of player’s contract.
  • Dispute between (i) club and youth player over player’s registration and (ii) clubs and player over liability to pay ‘signing on’ fee.
  • 15 ABTA documents-only arbitrations in holiday and travel cases.

The above include/further areas from practice as a barrister are: sale of goods, supply of services, distribution agreements, licensing agreements in various fields, such as telecommunications, media and entertainment and intellectual property (e.g. patent and trade mark) disputes, copyright infringement; franchise agreements, gas supply contracts, computer contracts, employment contracts, restrictive covenant disputes, insurance claims, contract disputes in many other different fields, e.g. sale of companies, warranty claims under sale and purchase agreements, joint venture contracts, agency agreements, contracts for advertising services; landlord & tenant, professional negligence (solicitors), competition claims, claims for breach of statutory duty, sponsorship and other sports-related agreements; breach of confidence, privacy and data protection.

Professional Qualifications

  • Chartered arbitrator, C.Arb.
  • Barrister
  • Accredited mediator

Career History

  • Monckton Chambers 1992 (Barrister).
  • Five Raymond Buildings (5RB) chambers 1995 -2017 (Barrister).
  • CEDR Mediator / CEDR Chambers 2003 – (Mediator).
  • ArbDB Chambers 2012 – (Chartered Arbitrator).
  • Independent Legal Assessors 2015 – (Legal Assessor / Adviser).

Accreditation

  • Arb.
  • FCI Arb.
  • (arbitration)IMI
  • (mediation).CEDR

Overview

Stephen has been practising as an accredited mediator for over 15 years, with a background as a barrister and chartered arbitrator in business disputes. He has been appointed as mediator in many commercial disputes for which the English courts are the forum and in those governed by domestic and international arbitration arrangements, including ICC mediation proceedings. He has mediated well over 150 cases, with claim values up to £250M.
The Legal 500 recommends Stephen as a leading mediator. The directory has noted that his ‘grasp of detail and his ability to mediate pleasantly and persuasively between parties who could not be further apart are the main contributory factors to the success of his mediations.’
He is also the author of ‘Resolving Business Disputes / How to get better outcomes from commercial conflicts’, Spiramus Press (2020).
Stephen practised as a barrister for over 25 years in a wide range of civil and commercial disputes across many business sectors, often advising and representing high profile businesses and individuals. He was consistently ranked in tier 1 of the professional directories for his barrister work in entertainment law, his specialism. Until September 2017 Stephen was a member of 5RB chambers.
As a Chartered Arbitrator, C. Arb., Stephen has been appointed by courts, parties and appointing bodies in domestic and international arbitrations. He has also acted for many years as a legal assessor / adviser to healthcare tribunals, including the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service and the General Dental Council. For 10 years, Stephen also chaired hearings before the British Horseracing Authority’s Licensing Committee and has regularly chaired arbitrations conducted under the Rules and Regulations of the English Football League. Stephen is also an expert appointed by Nominet in disputes over .uk domain name registrations.

Style and Approach

Stephen uses facilitative and evaluative techniques as appropriate to the dispute. He understands the landscape, pitfalls and consequences of legal disputes for businesses and individuals from his many years of experience in dispute resolution.

He uses critical thinking skills to enable parties and advisers to make the best decisions in the mediation process. In a non-confrontational manner, Stephen is prepared to challenge each side constructively, drawing out essential issues, enabling parties to better understand rival viewpoints and to make and act on an informed risk assessment. Stephen is passionate about getting the best available deal terms for mediation parties and helping them get the best outcomes from the mediation process.

Expertise

  • Commercial contracts
  • Partnership and shareholder
  • Property
  • Information, Communications & Technology (ICT)
  • Intellectual property
  • Reputation management

Experience

Commercial contracts

  • Competition / contract claims for £20M arising out of vehicle distribution agreement.
  • Claims relating to car assembly contracts of £4M.
  • Claims for £5M for breach of joint venture agreement for development of hardware and software for use in internet applications.
  • Dispute over oil and gas engineering project, claims for US$5M.
  • Contract dispute between recruitment company and services contractor over invoices for financial services placements.
  • Claim by fund manager for monies due under a contract relating to investment cells.
  • Claims concerning the sale and purchase of electronic equipment.
  • Dispute between principal and agent over procuring of contracts.
  • Claims relating to pre-contract representations, performance and termination of distribution agreement.
  • Claims from the abortive sale of a restaurant business.
  • Dispute concerning the importation and sale of timber from Holland.
  • Dispute over management services for the construction of an industrial power plant.
  • Disputes over performance of settlement agreement; breach of confidentiality provisions.
  • Claim to enforce alleged settlement agreement compromising disputes over a UK distribution business involving industrial bearings supplied from outside the UK.
  • Dispute about sale of bearing parts over price, delivery and defects between UK and German companies.
  • Disputes over leasing agreements between local authorities and leasing company involving allegations of fraud.
  • Claims arising out of distribution agreement and ancillary licensing arrangements for manufacture and sale of proprietary products.
  • Disputes between joint ventures over liability to repay bank borrowings.
  • Contract and copyright dispute arising out of termination of joint venture for pilot training courses.
  • Contract dispute between merchant and merchant acquirer (card services) over renewal terms, merchant alleging breach and loss of profits from third party contract.
  • Contractual disputes between a healthcare insurer and an advertising agency over online sales.
  • Claims by purchaser against seller of media business for breach of Share Purchase Agreement.
  • Damages claim by satellite broadcaster against companies distributing the service. The claims related to delays in the launch of the service. The dispute centred on who was to blame for the delays.
  • Dispute between advertising agency and clients over quality of adverts produced.

 

Partnership and shareholder

  • Disputes between shareholders in food supply companies involving minority shareholder’s petition and associated High Court litigation.
  • Shareholders’ and partners’ dispute in the pension field relating to payment arrangements for exploitation of goodwill and infrastructure of established business.
  • Dispute between shareholders of media services company.
  • Shareholder dispute involving retail business.
  • Minority shareholder claims concerning computer software company.
  • Dispute between partners over allocation of costs in land development projects.
  • Partnership dispute over GPs’ Medical Practice.
  • Contractual / partnership dispute concerning opthalmic services provided to two healthcare trusts by company in private sector; dispute included whether there was a partnership at all.
  • Family dispute over investment property transactions.
  • Contractual dispute between two individuals relating to running costs of a co-owned game reserve in South Africa.
  • Dispute between two shareholders with 50:50 participations in media company.

 

Property

 

  • Dispute over plots of land sold to private investors as to the land’s development potential; withholding of monies payable under settlement agreement for alleged breach of confidentiality clause.
  • Dispute over contractual arrangements for commercial development scheme involving planning issues.
  • Dispute between parties to property joint venture over appropriation of investment costs.
  • Joint venture dispute over development projects.
  • Claims by multi-party investors against land development companies.
  • Dispute between freeholders and owners of long lease of commercial premises.
  • Claims by lessee of commercial premises for loss of profits, cross-claims for forfeiture.
  • Possession claim by owners of stadium against long-term commercial tenant involving three sets of proceedings.
  • Commercial landlord and tenant dispute concerning breach of insuring covenant.
  • Claims relating to ownership of disputed areas of land.
  • Contract dispute between a local authority and a provider of temporary and permanent housing accommodation over bonus payments and compensation for occupation voids.

 

Information, Communications & Technology (ICT)

  • Dispute over performance of a contract for the digitisation of an investment dealing platform.
  • Dispute between insurance provider and internet sales company tasked to increase online business.
  • Joint venture dispute of £5M concerning the provision of hardware and software for internet applications.
  • Software distribution contract and copyright infringement claims with clients from each side attending mediation by video link from Palo Alto, USA.
  • Claim concerning purchase and sale of computer games.
  • Dispute between sellers and buyer of a pre-broadcast packaging and transmission business over payment of the deferred part of the purchase price.
  • Dispute concerning principal / agent relationship in the distribution of telecommunications apparatus and services.
  • Contract dispute over the provision of a paperless medicines prescription, administration and supply software system.
  • Contract dispute over design and build of corporate web-site.
  • Dispute between investment management company and computer software company over the supply and installation of new software for processing the company’s business data, including customer relationship management and other systems.
  • Dispute over termination of a contract for the installation and license of a system for the maintenance and use of integrated patient records.
  • Dispute between a government department and provider of marketing and communication services under long-term contract for printing and e-distribution of information.
  • Contract dispute between merchant and merchant acquirer (card services) over renewal terms, merchant alleging breach and loss of profits from third party contract.
  • Contract dispute over licensing arrangements for applications in the pensions market.

 

Intellectual property

  • Trade mark dispute between brand owners in the clothes industry and online market providers.
  • Computer software (distributorship agreement and IPRs) claim where the lay clients were in Palo Alto, California and much of the mediation was conducted via video link from solicitors’ London offices.
  • Patent claims of £80 million in the aircraft sector involving world-wide litigation.
  • Computer software business; shareholder dispute over company’s IPR assets.
  • Long-running dispute between copyright collecting society and former licensees.
  • Dispute between company and its managing director over ownership of IPRs.
  • Passing off and copyright infringement dispute over car air fresheners.
  • Copyright claims brought by editor against magazine publisher.
  • Contract and copyright dispute arising out of termination of joint venture for pilot training courses.
  • Software dispute over licensing arrangements in pensions market.
  • Dispute between musical artist/writer and publisher involving world-wide sub-publishing deal over very successful song releases.
  • Accounting claims of £250M involving world famous pop band and associated companies.
  • Claims of approximately £1.5M for copyright infringement on a well-known pop album.
  • Dispute between sellers and buyer of a pre-broadcast packaging and transmission business over payment of the deferred part of the purchase price.
  • Multimillion-pound licensing and accounting dispute over distribution and sale of computer games.

 

Reputation management

  • Disputes over performance of settlement agreement; claims for breach of confidentiality provisions.
  • Disputes over allegations of breach of confidentiality agreement between joint venture parties.
  • Slander and assault claims in high profile case involving sports regulator where discreet settlement essential.
  • Defamation claims brought by company against trade rival over allegations of insolvency.
  • Defamation dispute between neighbours involving allegations of racism.
  • Defamation disputes between local authority and owners of holiday camps.
  • Slander dispute between local government officers.
  • Libel dispute over social-media postings arising from performance issues under a building contract.

Professional Qualifications

  • Accredited mediator.
  • Chartered arbitrator, C. Arb., F.C.I. Arb.
  • Barrister.

Career History

  • 1992 – 1994 Monckton Chambers.
  • 1996 – 1994 Five Raymond Buildings (5RB) Chambers.
  • 2003 – CEDR Mediator / CEDR Chambers.
  • 2012 – ArbDB Chambers.
  • 2015 – Independent Legal Assessors.

Accreditation

  • Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (2003).
  • International Mediation Institute, Certified Mediator (2015).