Stephen Smith

Senior Clerk

Direct Dial Telephone: 0207 643 5011

Stephen Smith has been Chambers’ Senior Clerk since 1982, having started working for the set (formerly 4 Paper Buildings) in 1975. He was the youngest senior clerk in the Temple and is one of the most experienced and well-respected clerking professionals in London.

In addition to his oversight of the clerking team, Stephen devotes a considerable amount of time to client service and business development. His work has paid dividends and Chambers & Partners have awarded Hailsham Client Service Set of the Year twice, in both 2013 and 2019.

“The clerks are all excellent; senior clerk Stephen Smith is particularly commercial and helpful.”
Chambers UK 2022

“Stephen Smith, Michael Kilbey and Stuart Paley are all excellent clerks.”

“Excellent service – Stephen Smith runs a tight ship” “Stephen Smith and Michael Kilbey are outstanding in their mastery of clerking.”

“Stephen Smith and Stuart Paley are always on hand to help with planning, getting matters into the right hands and keeping matters moving. Very transparent and realistic on availability and cost.”
Legal 500 2022

The “‘very impressive’ senior clerk Stephen Smith … leads the ‘personable, reliable, and responsive’ clerking team to ‘provide impeccable service’. ‘They will always, without exception, strive to address our needs proactively and with urgency where warranted,’ said one solicitor. Another source added: ‘Always made to feel like the most important client. Never fail to recommend suitable counsel – realistic regarding workloads. Highly commercial in terms of fees, costs, and benefits.’”
Legal 500 2020

“Every aspect of the service at Hailsham is praised.  One instructing solicitor appreciates that the Hailsham clerks “always look for ways to strengthen the relationship,” citing training days and other events as particularly popular. “I don’t believe I have ever had a single issue with Hailsham’s consistently excellent clerking and front of house team,” says another impressed client.”

Stephen Smith and Michael Kilbey are “always helpful and both vastly experienced.”

“You can have total confidence in the clerks as they are at the top of their game. No problem seems to be too much for them and they will deal with issues very quickly.”

“The chambers is very user-friendly and the clerks are brilliant. Senior clerk Stephen Smith and deputy senior clerk Michael Kilbey are just fantastic and make you feel valued as a customer.”

“The clerking staff are knowledgeable and I am able to easily access counsel once I have instructed them.” “The clerks are excellent and maintain clear communication across the course of a case. They are always available and happy to assist.”
Chambers UK 2020

Leading an ‘exemplary clerking team’ that is ‘second to none’, senior clerk Stephen Smith is ‘a wonder’ … The clerks are careful to ‘identify appropriate counsel to provide expertise tailored to the individual client and matter needs’. The team is ‘very good at creating the illusion you are the only client they have.’
Legal 500 2019

Commentators report that the clerks at Hailsham Chambers are “sensitive to costs and responsive to problems, such as changes in timetables.” The “client service is of an excellent standard,” “What stands out is the flexibility and willingness of the whole team to be accommodating in order to meet requirements.” “They are very prompt at responding to emails and returning calls, they explore all options and they keep me informed and up to date with the barristers’ diaries,” “The clerks will go the extra mile to ensure that any queries or court issues are resolved.” “It’s amazing how approachable and accessible they are.”

“The clerks, led by Stephen Smith, will go the extra mile to ensure that any queries or court issues are resolved. They respond to correspondence in good time and they assist counsel very well.”
Chambers UK 2019

The clerks, led by Stephen Smith, are always “helpful and attentive.”
Chambers UK 2018

Hailsham Chambers houses “‘the best clerks around’; ‘all are friendly and accommodating, and you always feel that they will do their best to help where they can’. Senior clerk Stephen Smith ‘doesn’t promise anything he can’t deliver and understands solicitors’”
Legal 500 2017