Stephen Du, 7 KBW

Stephen was born in Shanghai, and his childhood was split between China and England as his parents moved jobs from country to country. He completed his GCSEs and A-Levels at a comprehensive school in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, before studying law at university (undergraduate and postgraduate), followed by the Bar Professional Training Course and pupillage. Stephen is now a barrister at 7 King’s Bench Walk.

Stephen practises in commercial law, with a particular emphasis on shipping and insurance. Most of his cases have an international element – the parties, their assets, the events, or the item under dispute will be located somewhere other than England. Sometimes, hearings take place abroad, and Stephen has previously travelled to Hong Kong and Singapore to appear in arbitrations. His clients often face the interesting issue that a judgment from an English court may be ignored abroad, or even contradicted by another judgment from a foreign court; this is either wonderful or terrible news for the client, depending on how favourable the ruling in England is. As a consequence of being dragged from country to country as a child, Stephen learnt and is fluent in both English and Chinese; his younger self did not realise this, but being bilingual has become very useful as more and more clients come from Chinese-speaking countries.

Aside from his commercial practice, Stephen takes on cases through an organisation named Advocate, providing free legal assistance to members of the public who may not otherwise be able to afford professional lawyers.