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Sean Upson

Sean Upson

Partner in the Commercial Litigation Department, Stewarts Law LLP


Sean has a wide-ranging domestic and international litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution practice, specialising in complex, commercial contract and tort disputes and all aspects of international trade and commerce, insolvency, property and banking disputes.

He is recommended by The Legal 500 where he has been described as a "brilliant strategist", "innovative and always on top of the detail" and is rated for his "focus and commitment". The Legal 500 has also reported that "clients consider him to be outstanding" and "he is highly praised for the quality of his work on high value matters". Sean was named by The Lawyer as one of the "Hot 100 2008" lawyers. This annual review highlights 100 "lawyers who have had excellent years and who look set to continue their run of form."

Sean was also selected for inclusion in the 2013 Thomson Reuters' London Super Lawyers List. The list recognises solicitors who have distinguished themselves in their legal practice and was published in various publications (including in a supplement to both the Telegraph magazine and the Law Society Gazette). It is limited to only 5% of solicitors within London.

In Chambers 2015 it's reported that Counsel describes him as "an exquisite solicitor: he understands the detail of a client's case. He will drill down into the detail and understand what is needed to win it." And "clever, thorough and very tenacious." Sources admire his "unusual mix of intellectual rigour and litigation common sense." Chambers 2014 described Sean as "a great tactician and very good on strategy" who is admired for his intelligent insight into law, fact and strategy and for his commitment to providing "absolutely first class service."


Sean worked for the Niigata Prefectural government, Japan, from 1992 to 1993. In 1993 he joined Baker & McKenzie where he trained and practised in its London and Sydney dispute resolution departments until 2004. In 2004 with a group of Baker & McKenzie litigators, Sean founded niche dispute resolution practice Masseys LLP which was described in Legal 500 as "'excellent', 'responsive', and 'helpful on all fronts', and noted for its willingness to litigate against banks" and as a "human firm, good at explaining legal terms to the layman and praised for its value for money and understanding of business". The Times described Masseys as a "go to" law firm in regard to banking disputes while The Lawyer stated that Masseys was "rapidly becoming favourites among larger City firms on conflict referrals". Masseys merged with Stewarts Law on 2 August 2010.

Sean has acted in a numerous leading cases including John Thomas -v- Ken Thomas Ltd, Bear Stearns Plc -v- Forum Global Equity Ltd, Firstcoin and others -v- West Bromwich Albion and others and In re Palmier Plc . In addition, he has considerable experience of LMAA, GAFTA, and other maritime and trade arbitrations.

Sean's articles and cases have appeared in publications such as the Financial Times, The Times, Fraud Intelligence, International Arbitration Review, The Banker, Shipping and Trade Law, Estates Gazette, Insolvency Law & Practice and Lloyds' List. He has lectured at various conferences on a variety of issues and is an external CPD Law Society accredited speaker.


Sean speaks Japanese.

Chambers 2015n/a


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