Stephen Ruttle QC

Stephen has been in practice at Brick Court Chambers since 1978. For the last 11 years he has worked full time as a Commercial Mediator. By July 2013 he had mediated over 800 business, commercial and Governmental disputes of every legal type including many of the largest and most sensitive in the UK; with sums ranging from a few thousand pounds to hundreds of millions and, in some cases, billions. He practices mainly in London but mediates regularly in other parts of the British Isles and abroad.

For the last 10 years Stephen has consistently featured as one of the top 10 and Tier 1 commercial mediators practising in the United Kingdom.

Sample mediations

Initially the bulk of the disputes that Stephen mediated stemmed from the shipping, insurance and reinsurance markets which were his areas of expertise as Counsel. He still mediates more maritime disputes than any other particular class of dispute and has probably mediated most of the large shipping disputes that have come to mediation in the last ten years or so. However his practice as a mediator has spread very widely over the years and the disputes that he now mediates come from all areas of practice comprising all types of legal problems. In reality his expertise is now as a mediator rather than as a mediator of a particular sort of case. Typically he mediates two or three days a week; but save in exceptional circumstances will not mediate “back-to-back”.

The sums of money in issue have ranged from a few thousand pounds to as much as £2 billion but are typically in the millions. A large proportion of the work he mediates is international in nature and many disputes involve parties who are not based in the UK. Most of his mediations take place in London, but he regularly mediates elsewhere in the British Isles and has mediated in the United States, Greece, the Gulf and Hong Kong. He has mediated a number of sensitive, high profile Governmental disputes. Along with many other Commercial mediators he has noticed a trend in the last few years for an increasing proportion of those disputes that do settle (about 80% in his experience) to settle after the mediation day. This frequently involves extensive on-going contact between himself, the parties and their legal advisers.

Stephen regularly speaks, presents and lectures on mediation both in the UK and worldwide. He has been involved as a trainer on mediation and mediation-awareness courses.

Since about 2000 Stephen has also been heavily involved with community mediation. He is Chair of Trustees of Wandsworth Mediation Service (“WMS”) a registered charity that provides community mediation services in Wandsworth, training local people as mediators and developing initiatives to promote peace in the community. He is currently working with the Civil Mediation Council and with Government to seek to develop a national network of peace centres backed by panels of mediators competent to mediate different types of legal and non-legal dispute. He delivered the 2013 Roebuck lecture for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in which he set out his ideas on the wider social impact (and opportunities) of mediation.

In the last 5 years or so Stephen has mediated an increasing number of disputes within the Church. He was on the planning committee for the 2013 Faith in Conflict conference at Coventry Cathedral. He is a member of a number of working parties and groups, including the recently established charity BIMA, the object of which is to promote mediation and peace-making initiatives more widely both within communities and within and between faith groups.

You can find further information on the Brick Court Chambers website.