Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood LLP is a law firm with over 1100 people worldwide, including more than 180 partners. Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, with eight offices across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. In 2014/5 it achieved total revenues of £145 million and profits per equity partner of £763,000 (2014/15)[4]

Stephenson Harwood LLP
Stephenson Harwood logo.svg
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom[1]
No. of offices8[2]
Major practice areasGeneral practice
Revenue£145 million (2014/15)[3]
Profit per equity partner£763,000 (2014/15)[3]
Date founded1875 (London)


When attorney William Harwood returned to London after practising in China, he and Henry Stephenson created the firm of Harwood & Stephenson in 1875. The firm's history can be traced back to 1828 and the City law firm Tatham & Lousada. In 1920 Tathams merged with Stephenson Harwood - as the firm was by then known - to form Stephenson Harwood & Tatham, renamed Stephenson Harwood in 1977.[5]

Two years later as one of the first UK firms to enter the Asian market, it has now been in Hong Kong for thirty years. In 2002 the merger with City shipping specialist Sinclair Roche & Temperley gave it a Shanghai office.[6]

Stephenson Harwood played an instrumental role securing release of American hostages during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. Acting for Bank Markazi, a leading Iranian financial institution, their personnel became de facto mediators between Iran and America. At the time all foreign Iranian assets, including those of Bank Markazi, were frozen. A key factor delaying release of the hostages was the unfreezing of Iranian assets. Stephenson Harwood engineered the means by which this could be done, causing US Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance to laud the firm.[7]

In 2011, in the largest Boeing deal in aviation history, the firm advised Lion Air on purchasing 230 model 747 aircraft worth US$21.7 billion. The signing was witnessed by the American Chief Executive.[8]


The financial results for 2011/2 show the firm increased turnover to £110.2 million, and grew equity partnership year on year by almost a fifth.[9]

In February 2012 the firm became the first UK firm to serve court papers via Facebook.[10]

In March 2012 the firm converted to LLP status.[11]

In 2011 the firm counselled Piramal Healthcare's $3.7 billion sale of generic branded business to Abbott Laboratories.[12] In April 2012 the corporate team acted for Piramal Healthcare acquiring molecular imaging products from Bayer in a deal worth $1.5 billion.[13]

In June 2012 it won Litigation Law Firm of the Year at The Lawyer magazine's annual awards for work undertaken for the Tchenguiz Family Trust.[14]

In December 2012 the firm opened an office in Dubai, its first in the Middle East.[15]


Announcing strategic growth in Asia, it opened an office in Beijing,[16] and formal associations in Yangon[17] and Singapore[16] with U Tin Yu & Associates and Virtus Law. The Yangon deal was struck 8 May 2013.[18]

In March it secured a Court of Appeal win for client Dmitry Skarga in a dispute with his former employer Sovcomflot, a Russian tanker company.[19] The same month the aviation practice advised a US$24 billion deal for 200 passenger jets for Indonesian carrier Lion Air.[20]

A key Oxford Street development of new mixed use buildings including retail, office, and residential space along the new cross rail route,[21] and the sale of the Park Lane InterContinental Hotel[22] were supported by the real estate practice.

The firm's rail finance practice won Rail Finance Law Firm of the Year 2013 at the Global Transport Finance awards.[23]


In January the firm became advisor for The Myanmar Federation of Mining Association.[24] In August it received a license to practice in Seoul.[25]


The firm advises the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.[26]

Key practice areasEdit

  • Competition
  • Corporate and commercial
  • Employment and pensions
  • Environment
  • Finance
  • Funds
  • Insolvency and restructuring
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Information technology
  • Intellectual property
  • Litigation and arbitration
  • Outsourcing
  • Projects, including PFI/PPP
  • Real estate
  • Regulation
  • Shipping and maritime
  • Tax[27]


  1. ^ "Stephenson Harwood LLP - True Picture | Chambers Student Guide". Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  2. ^ "Key facts and figures". Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  3. ^ a b "The Lawyer UK 200 Preview: Come on, united". The Lawyer. 12 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  4. ^ "20% revenue growth at Stephenson Harwood sees turnover top £145m with PEP surging to £763,000 |". Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  5. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  6. ^ "Legal Week - Stephenson Harwood". Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  7. ^ John E. Hoffman (27 August 2009). "Lessons From the Iranian Experience: National Currencies as International Money" (PDF). Proceedings of the Conference on the Internalization of the Capital Markets. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  8. ^ "Stephenson Harwood finesses the finer details as Lion Air mega deal with Boeing takes off". The In-House Community of Legal & Compliance Professionals.
  9. ^ Freedman, Joshua (2012-07-13). "Stephenson Harwood turnover nudges up 3 per cent as PEP falls | News". The Lawyer. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  10. ^ Dowell, Katy. "Stephenson Harwood uses Facebook to serve court claim | News". The Lawyer. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  11. ^ Freedman, Joshua (2012-03-30). "Stephenson Harwood joins majority as LLP | News". The Lawyer. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  12. ^ Hollander, Gavriel (2011-05-16). "Awards contenders show corporate is still a big deal | News". The Lawyer. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  13. ^ "Stephenson Harwood takes lead on $1.5bn Indian healthcare deal". Legalweek. 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  14. ^ "Awards: Mishcon de Reya, Brick Court scoop top prizes | News". The Lawyer. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  15. ^ Ames, Jonathan (18 December 2012). "Stephenson Harwood latest to plant flag in Dubai". The Global Legal Post.
  16. ^ a b "Stephenson Harwood unveils Beijing launch and Singapore association | News | The Lawyer". Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  17. ^ "Stephenson Harwood pioneers Myanmar expansion with association | News | The Lawyer". Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  18. ^ "Consult-Myanmar".
  19. ^ "Regulation - Landmark appeal dismisses Sovcomflot fraud claims - Lloyd's List". Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  20. ^ "Legal Week - Stephenson Harwood flies high on record $24bn Airbus order from Indonesia's Lion Air". Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  21. ^ "BLP and Stephenson Harwood in store for £121m Oxford Street development | News | The Lawyer". Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  22. ^ "Legal Week - GTM and Stephenson Harwood advise on hotel group's £302m Park Lane sale". Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  23. ^ "Stephenson Harwood wins Rail Finance Law Firm of the Year award | Firm News | The Lawyer". Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  24. ^ "Mining body appoints legal advisor". The Asia Miner. Retrieved 3 February 2016. Stephenson Harwood is the first and only firm to hold this role.
  25. ^ "Stephenson Harwood gets licence to open Seoul office". Legal Business. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  26. ^ "Myanmar: pushing the boundary". The Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 3 February 2016. It is also on the legal advisory committee of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MFCCI), the largest not-for-profit business federation.
  27. ^ "Legal500". Legal500. Retrieved 2012-07-17.

External linksEdit