Stephen Donnelly

Year of Call
Devil Masters
Morag Ross Q.C.
Shelagh McCall Q.C.

Contact 0207 147 7390 Check Faculty diary

Practice Profile

Stephen's practice spans all aspects of public law and human rights, privacy and data protection, and commercial litigation and arbitration (including employment, insurance, and company matters).

He has appeared as sole counsel in the Inner and Outer Houses of the Court of Session and the High Court in England and Wales, as well as being instructed in the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and in large-scale international commercial and treaty arbitrations.

Before joining the bar, Stephen spent a year as a judicial assistant to Lord Kerr at the Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, where he gained invaluable experience working on a wide range of substantive appeals and applications for permission to appeal.

He has taught public law at Edinburgh and University College London and international law at Edinburgh University and King’s College London.

Stephen also practises as a barrister at Essex Court Chambers in London.

Education & Professional Career to Date

Barrister, Essex Court Chambers (2016–now)
Devil (Lord Reid Scholar), Faculty of Advocates (2014–15)
Judicial assistant to Lord Kerr, Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (2013–14)
Trainee solicitor, Simpson & Marwick (now Clyde & Co) (2009–11)
Intern through N.G.O. Reprieve at Gulf Region Advocacy Center, Houston, Texas (2009)

LL.M., Yale Law School (Fulbright Scholar) (2012–13)
B.C.L., Lincoln College, Oxford (2011–12)
M.Sc. philosophy, University of Edinburgh (part-time 2009–11)
Diploma in Legal Practice, Glasgow Graduate School of Law (2008–09)
LL.B, University of Glasgow (2004–08)


  • Tutor in international & public law, University of Edinburgh (2014–2015)
  • Teaching fellow in public law, University College London (2013–2014)
  • Tutor in international law, King's College London (2013–2014)
  • Editorial board, Yale Journal of International Law (2012–2013)

Publications & Seminars

'No consensus on consensus', with Luzius Wildhaber & Arnaldur Hjartarson 33 HRLJ 248–263 (article co-authored with former President of the European Court of Human Rights analysing the role of consensus among states in developing Convention obligations.

Additional Information

Fluent in French
Working knowledge of Italian & Spanish