Stephen Innes

Direct Access Barrister

Are you a client let down by the service you have received from an adviser such as a solicitor, barrister, surveyor, financial adviser or accountant?

Do you wish to bring a negligence claim?

Do you want to know if you can challenge your lawyer’s fees?

Are you a professional facing a complaint or claim, or in a dispute with insurers?

He throws everything at a case…He is very diligent and thorough, but at the same time practical..his skills as a qualified mediator feed into his negotiations

(Chambers & Partners, Professional Liability 2018)

Thank you again for all your help – I’m so grateful for all your calm reassurances and of course excellent knowledge. Looking forward to working with you again.

(a London solicitor)

Approachable and a pleasure to work with; he provides clear, thorough advice and is great in conference with clients

(Legal 500, Professional Liability 2016)

Highly reliable and able to assimilate large quantities of documents and distil the key points; extremely good on paper and very user friendly

(Legal 500, Professional Liability, 2015)

A very valuable team member, who inspires real confidence

(Legal 500, Costs, 2016)

It has been a pleasure working with Stephen to progress our claim. Stephen clearly went beyond our contract to understand our … case to ensure the best outcome. He took time to understand all the angles and perspectives of our claim in formulating the most effective strategy.

(direct access client, contract dispute)

I cannot thank you enough for your brilliant advocacy, kindness and support at court this week

(leading family lawyer)

Professional negligence

I I have been specialising in professional negligence claims since I completed my training in 2001. 4 New Square is consistently rated as the leading set of chambers for professional negligence work and I am rated as a leading junior in the field by the Legal 500 directory and by Chambers and Partners.

About half of my work in this field involves acting for clients who are suing, or thinking of suing, their former professional advisers. They may be individuals, small businesses or larger institutions such as banks or building societies.

The other half of my work involves acting for professionals who are facing a claim, and usually, their professional indemnity insurers.

I frequently act in claims against solicitors and barristers, auditors and accountants, valuers and surveyors, independent financial advisers, receivers, insolvency practitioners, insurance brokers,  and other professionals. I do not act in clinical negligence cases.

Acting both for claimants and defendants gives me a good insight into the pressures faced by parties on different sides to litigation and familiarity with their tactics.


4 New Square is rated as a leading set for costs work and boasts a number of the best known practitioners in the field.

I am rated as a leading junior by the Legal 500 and often appear in cases against QCs.

I am involved in all sorts of litigation relating to costs, whether dealing with discrete costs proceedings for detailed assessment, or being brought in during ongoing litigation to provide specialist assistance in relation to a costs element of the case, such as for a costs management hearing or for submissions on costs at the conclusion of a trial.

I specialise in detailed assessments between solicitors and their clients, including common law assessments. I act equally frequently for clients and for solicitors.

Many cases against professionals begin with a dispute over fees and, particularly in claims involving lawyers, I benefit from my experience of costs work. I am often involved in applications for costs against lawyers, such as wasted costs applications or third party costs applications.


Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution whereby parties try to reach agreement without requiring the decision of a court or tribunal. It can be used to try to resolve any form of dispute, whether a case which may be subject to court litigation or not. The mediator is a neutral person appointed by the parties to try to help them resolve their dispute. He does not advise the parties, but explores with them whether a compromise can be reached.

I am a trained and accredited mediator and can be appointed to mediate a civil/commercial dispute. This can be a very cost effective way of resolving a case without the cost, delay and uncertainty of taking it to trial. 

I was trained by an organisation called CADR (Costs Alternative Dispute Resolution) and am a member of its panel of specialist costs mediators. Therefore I can mediate disputes which focus solely on costs, as well as the broader spread of civil/commercial disputes.

All parties to litigation (including detailed costs assessments) are encouraged to consider forms of alternative dispute resolution, and the court can impose costs sanctions for those who refuse or fail to participate.

Legal Notice
The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice.
No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it.
Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.
All original material on this site is © Stephen Innes and may not be produced without permission.

Stephen James Innes
Bar Council Number 41453
VAT registration number 782715995
Complaints policy available on request from 4 New Square