One of the few juniors recommended as a Leading Individual by Chambers and Partners for both finance and children work, Stephen practice focuses on high value money cases and complex private law matters. Stephen’s cases routinely involve an international element and he has experience with high profile work involving national and international news coverage. Stephen has represented clients in proceedings in all levels of court, up to and including the Supreme Court, and has also advised clients litigating abroad.
Stephen routinely deals with high value matrimonial finance and Schedule 1 matters, including cases in which the assets are complex and include disputed valuations of companies and pensions, or those where assets based abroad. Stephen often advises and represents clients in proceedings involving allegations of non-disclosure or alleged dissipation or assets. Stephen is ranked as a Leading Individual for family finance cases in the Chambers and Partners directory, and attracts praise for his attention to detail, his calm, approachable manner and his effectiveness in the courtroom. Stephen has written a number of articles and co-authored book chapters on family finance.
Stephen has considerable expertise and experience in dealing with difficult private law cases, particularly those involving a relocation either outside or inside the United Kingdom, and those where there are allegations of abuse or substance issues. Stephen is ranked as a Leading Individual in Chambers and Partners for children cases. Stephen has been involved in a number of high profile and reported cases concerning children, including:
Al M (Al Maktoum v Al Hussein and Others)  EWFC 16 – Welfare judgment of the President of the Family Division in highly publicised wardship proceedings.
Al M (Al Maktoum v Al Hussein and Others)  EWFC 94 – Final Part III/Schedule judgment of Moor J.
Al M (Al Maktoum v Al Hussein and Others)  EWCA Civ 900;  EWCA Civ 1216 – Appeal of fact-finding judgment.
Al M (Al Maktoum v Al Hussein and Others)  EWHC 1577 (Fam) – Lives with judgment.
Al M (Al Maktoum v Al Hussein and Others)  EWHC 1162 (Fam) – Fact finding judgment.
Al M (Al Maktoum v Al Hussein and Others)  EWHC 660 (Fam);  EWCA Civ 890 – Immunities judgment.
Al M (Al Maktoum v Al Hussein and Others)  EWHC 915 (Fam) – Case management judgment.
Al M (Al Maktoum v Al Hussein and Others)  EWHC 303 (Fam) – Legal services order (LSO) judgment.
Al M (Al Maktoum v Al Hussein and Others)  EWHC 3305 – Non-molestation application judgment.
Al M (Al Maktoum v Al Hussein and Others)  EWHC 2883;  EWCA Civ 129 – Appeal concerning the application of the Foreign Act of State judgment in wardship proceedings
Al M (Al Maktoum v Al Hussein and Others)  2 FLR 493 – Appeal concerning confidentiality and media issues in highly publicised wardship litigation.
M (Children) (non-Hague Convention state)  All ER (D) 05 (Mar) – Appeal concerning temporary leave to remove to the United Arab Emirates.
Timokhin v Timokhina  All ER (D) 46 (Aug) – appeal concerning the interpretation of costs rules in children proceedings.
RJ v Tigipko and others  All ER (D) 117, GT v RJ  EWFC 26 , GT v RJ  1 FLR 46 – litigation in the High Court and Court of Appeal concerning leave to remove and the use of publicity orders as a coercive tool to secure the return of children.
Re C (Internal Relocation)  1 FLR 103 – the leading Court of Appeal authority on cases involving a relocation within the United Kingdom.
Re D (a child) (No 2) (recognition and enforcement of judgment: Supreme Court jurisdiction)  4 All ER 95 – Supreme Court appeal concerning the voice of the child and the jurisdiction of the court to entertain appeals from the Court of Appeal under Brussels IIR.
Re OB (Private Law Proceedings: Costs)  1 FLR 92 – the first reported case in which costs were awarded against a non-party in a private law case. Stephen represented the father, PB, who succeeded in his application for costs on the basis of principles drawn from wider civil jurisprudence.
Re S and O (Temporary Removal from Jurisdiction)  Fam Law 114 – case concerning a novel technique for securing the safe return of two children from a non-Hague Convention country.
Stephen often appears with or against silks (KCs) in children cases and has written a number of journal articles concerning private law matters.
Reputation & Awards
"He gives sound advice and presents cases in a compelling, robust way." "A charming, practical advocate who is good at gauging what judges need to hear."CHAMBERS & PARTNERS 2022
‘He is very gentle in his manner towards clients, but on his feet he’s very strong and effective.’… “He quickly wins the trust of judges and clients, and his written and oral advocacy are both excellent.” – Chambers & Partners, 2024
‘An incredibly supportive barrister who works hard to deliver the best outcomes for clients.’ – Chambers & Partners, 2024
‘Stephen is very bright, has fantastic attention to detail, and is a strategic thinker who sees the bigger picture with a calm and reassuring presence in a crisis. He is highly intelligent and accomplished.’ – Legal 500, 2024
“Stephen has considerable experience in complex divorce financial cases, bringing his expertise and knowledge to the client. He handles cases professionally, particularly when dealing with highly conflicted parties. He is strong in attention to detail and always approachable and personable.” – Legal 500, 2024
“Stephen Jarmain is a very strong advocate. He’s very tenacious and quite charming. He is sensible and liked by clients.” – Chambers and Partners 2023 Edition
“He gives sound advice and presents cases in a compelling, robust way.” “He is approachable, has a chatty bedside manner, and is impeccably well prepared.” “A charming, practical advocate who is good at gauging what judges need to hear.” – Chambers and Partners 2022 Edition
‘He combines a powerful intellect with remarkable client care skills. His work rate is extraordinary, and he is highly responsive to all queries, however small or large.’ – Legal 500, 2022
‘Expresses himself very persuasively and has an amazing eye for detail.’ – Legal 500, 2021
“Stephen marries a forensic level of attention with really spectacular client care.” “He has this amazingly calm and understated way of dealing with things, and is a good negotiator with a calm air.” – Chambers and Partners 2019 Edition
Stephen is ‘absolutely superb, very talented, very conscientious and highly knowledgeable.’ – Chambers and Partners 2018 Edition
Stephen is ‘A very thorough junior whose preparation is second to none. He has an excellent client manner and is a delight to work with. He’s very bright and always approachable.’ – Chambers and Partners 2017 Edition
Stephen ‘Has an understated manner, which belies his effectiveness inside and outside the courtroom. He was most vividly described by one observer as a ‘silent assassin’. He maintains a broad-based private matrimonial law practice.’ Expertise: ‘He is absolutely excellent. All his skills far surpass his call. His knowledge is extremely varied, his documents are first-rate and you can see the amount of work that goes into them. He goes more than the extra mile.’ – Chambers and Partners 2016 Edition
Stephen ‘Manages both complex private law children matters as well as substantial financial disputes. He is good on cross-border cases pertaining to child abduction as well as matrimonial finance cases, and also has particular expertise in human rights law.’ Expertise: ‘Extremely well prepared, very approachable, and impressive to clients.’ ‘A clever chap who is meticulous and well prepared. He’s one of the rising stars.’ – Chambers and Partners 2015 Edition
Stephen ‘has an excellent and broad-ranging family law practice, with particular focus on private law work involving children and matrimonial finance issues.’ Expertise: ‘he is very calm, he always prepares thoroughly and he has an excellent rapport with clients.’ – Chambers and Partners 2014 Edition
Stephen Jarmain ‘offers good, realistic advice and finds creative solutions to problems,’ say sources. His broad family law practice takes in family finance and private law children matters. One instructing solicitor remarked that ‘he is very dedicated and passionate about his work, which makes him great to work with.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2013 Edition
Stephen Jarmain is described as ’an extremely sharp-minded, calm advocate.’ – Chambers and Partners, 2012 Edition
Awards and Scholarships
Blackstone Entrance Exhibition Scholarship, Middle Temple, 2005
BSc (Hons) Psychology, 2002
Postgraduate Diploma in Law, 2004
Practice Diploma in International Human Rights Law and Practice, 2008
Family Law Bar Association
Stephen has contributed to a variety of legal texts and websites, including:
- Stephen co-authored the family law chapters of ‘Cases That Changed our Lives’;
- Stephen authored a section of ‘Applications under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989’;
- Stephen authored a chapter in ‘The Family Court Without a Lawyer’;
- Stephen has contributed to the Family Law Journal and other publications on matters of domestic and international family law;
- Stephen’s articles and case summaries have been published on the familylawweek.co.uk website.
Stephen has a young family and his interests include foreign travel and culture, particularly Asia and the Americas. When at home, Stephen’s main hobby is football, both playing and watching, and he is a qualified Football Association referee.