What can I do for you?
I specialise in resolving commercial disputes with the aim of preventing my clients getting embroiled in lengthy and costly proceedings. I am used to dealing with high value and complex disputes, particularly with an international element. My particular areas of expertise are product liability, breach of warranty, fraud and investigatory work and shareholder disputes. My work includes helping clients as varied as a global oil company to The Law Society.
Supporting my clients’ aims
One of the cases that I am most proud of is acting for a chemical company in defending a multimillion-pound claim arising out of an alleged breach of contract. Immediate action had to be taken to preserve my client’s position on limitation against its German joint venture partners.
With limited time available, we managed to issue and serve the joint venture partners in Germany and then persuade the claimant to agree to stay the proceedings, in order that we could bring the other parties and their insurers into the negotiation. At mediation, the German joint venture partners agreed to indemnify my client against all claims brought by the claimant and pay my client’s legal costs.
What do others say?
I am recognised as a leader in dispute resolution by both Chambers UK and Legal 500.
Chambers UK states that my "strong presence internationally, particularly in North America, has been a source of much success for the team". The review continues: "Market sources describe him as a superb lawyer who gets to the real issues very quickly. According to one interviewee: his real strength is his commercial awareness. He sees the big picture and doesn't get bogged down in detail; he can see the wood for the trees." The team is described as "a force to be reckoned with" and is commended for its "remarkably thorough handling of complex commercial disputes". Chambers UK also states that I have a "phenomenal workload" and that I am recognised for my "leadership of the team and commercial acumen".
Similarly, the Legal 500 says that "the team's work is of an extremely high standard" and that "practice head Steve Allen goes that extra yard for clients".
I also have two favourite client quotations, one from a senior legal counsel at a FTSE 100 company who wrote: “I would not wish to embark on a general commercial/tortious dispute without Steve Allen leading my team,” and another from a commercial client who wrote: “I feel that your work for us on this case has been exceptional – even by your own high standards.”
I was also named "International Solicitor of the Year" at the Birmingham Law Society Awards in 2010. The citation stated that I had impressed the judges with my "considerable achievements in international work as well as extensive external involvement".
What else should you know?
I have been the head of our 235 strong Birmingham office since 2012. In May 2015 I was elected President of the British-American Business Council (BABC) at its annual conference in New York and I also sit on the Executive Committee of the BABC's Midlands Chapter.
In 2011, I was selected as a finalist in the category of "Midlands Business Person of the Year" at the Midlands Business Awards, which cited "outstanding personal performance demonstrating exceptional business results". I am also a member of the Council of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and an international ambassador for the city of Birmingham, appointed by Marketing Birmingham.