Stephen Ashley

Of counsel

Stephen is a member of our commercial litigation department, working on a wide range of matters. He has market-leading experience and expertise in relation to EU and UK sanctions. Stephen has a particular focus on matters relating to Iran and he was a founding member of the firm's Iran group.

Stephen is a renowned specialist in sanctions, in particular legal challenges to sanctions in the EU and UK Courts. He represented Bank Saderat Iran, Persia International Bank Plc and National Iranian Tanker Company in their successful challenges to EU sanctions. He also acted for Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG in its challenge, which resulted in the UK changing its licensing policy.

Stephen also advises international businesses on sanctions interpretation and compliance, particularly sanctions against Iran and Russia. He is recognised by Chambers UK 2016 for his impressive international sanctions practice, with clients praising his "impressive knowledge" of the area.

Aside from his sanctions practice, Stephen advises on a broad range of complex commercial disputes. He has particular experience with financial litigation and arbitration, particularly the enforcement of foreign arbitration awards.

Stephen has advised Nigeria's national oil company in a long-running case in the Commercial Court in London: IPCO (Nigeria) Ltd v Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. This is the leading case on the enforcement of New York Convention arbitration awards in England and Wales.

Although Stephen has a particular focus on matters relating to Iran, his international experience also includes matters relating to the wider Middle East, Africa (particularly Nigeria), India, the EU and the US.

He is praised by clients for his "outstanding contributions to matters" (Chambers UK 2015), and is described as “outstandingly good” (Legal 500 UK 2015). He is further highlighted for his excellent insight into the EU judicial system.

Stephen Ashley is always the first choice of instructing solicitor for any complex sanctions case.

The Legal 500 UK 2020