Pupillage Practice Update on Stephen Barratt

Stephen started “on his feet” on 2 April 2024. He appears regularly in small claims, possessions, Stage 3s, and interim hearings.

Stephen commenced pupillage in October 2023 having obtained outstanding results in the BPTC, scoring 86% and89% respectively in the centrally assessed civil and criminal litigation modules and 85% overall. Stephen’s previous advocacy experience included over140 hearings as a County Court Advocate and casework in housing and social security.

Stephen is supervised by James Jarvis. During first six, Stephen was exposed to a wide range of matters concerning real property, will trusts, planning, personal injury, employment and commercial contracts. There was a focus on paperwork, an area of particular strength for Stephen. Stephen has practised the preparation of advices and statements of case in complex property ownership disputes (covering all  types of trust, boundary disputes and adverse possession), contractual, employment and planning disputes. He is also now prepared to advise on future losses in PI claims and draft schedules.

Stephen started “on his feet” on 2 April 2024. He appears regularly in small claims, possessions, Stage 3s,and interim hearings. Stephen also accepts written instructions (the first advice on quantum he prepared facilitated a swift settlement). Stephen has quickly developed a detailed knowledge of credit hire and has obtained favourable outcomes for both claimant and defendant clients, including achieving an 89% reduction in damages payable by his insurer client based on their service of an intervention letter.

Stephen is a detailed, ‘academic ’advocate, which distinguishes him in court and enhances the service he offers to his clients. In a recent directions hearing in a dispute over the ownership of agricultural land in Cornwall, Stephen presented the Judge with a succinct analysis of the issues (concerning whether there had been adverse possession and/or the imposition of a common intention constructive trust) and provided draft directions he had prepared. The Judge adopted Stephen’s directions and –accepting Stephen’s submissions on the scope and complexity of the issues –allocated the case to his client’s preferred track. Stephen’s client described the outcome as “excellent”.

Stephen has already begun to receive repeat instructions from clients, one of whom commented on the quality of his performance at the initial hearing (observed by his lay client) and also on the professional note he produced afterwards.

A small but important milestone for Stephen was his first fast-track trial. Stephen represented a claimant driver who suffered PTSD and whiplash as a result of an RTA, injuries whose causation was disputed by the defendant insurer. Stephen successfully established that both injuries were caused by the negligence of the Defendant’s insured, having seen off his opponent’s challenge to the reliability of the claimant ’sexpert evidence. Stephen then put his experience of Stage 3 hearings to good use in obtaining a favourable award of damages via the application of the JC Guidelines.    

Another area which benefits from Stephen’s thorough, black-letter approach is costs. Stephen is becoming known for his exhaustive knowledge of the relevant provisions and their interaction with the low-value protocols, so much so that he was forwarded instructions by a Member to draft grounds of appeal on a costs point concerning the scope of the EL/PL protocol. Prospective clients can be assured that he will deliver them the best possible outcome on all the issues, including costs.

Family and wellbeing is apriority at KBG Chambers, not least because we believe it leads our barristers and pupils to perform their best for their clients. Outside of work Stephen enjoys running and mountain biking on Dartmoor, as well as spending time with his family.

To book Stephen please contact Jamie or Grace at civilclerks@KBGchambers.co.uk.  

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