Mark Howard Stephens CBE (born 7 April 1957) is an English solicitor specialising in media law, intellectual property rights and human rights with the firm Howard Kennedy LLP. Stephens studied law at North East London Polytechnic (now the University of East London), graduating in 1978. After further study in Brussels he was admitted as a solicitor in 1982. Stephens started his career as a lawyer providing advice to artists and soon established his own practice with a partner. In 1987 Stephens helped defend the American artist J. S. G. Boggs from a counterfeiting charge. He gained a reputation as "the patron solicitor of previously lost causes" following this case and others where he defended artists' freedom of expression, as well as representing the leaders of the miners' strike of 1984–8

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  • Mark Howard Stephens CBE (born 7 April 1957) is an English solicitor specialising in media law, intellectual property rights and human rights with the firm Howard Kennedy LLP. Stephens studied law at North East London Polytechnic (now the University of East London), graduating in 1978. After further study in Brussels he was admitted as a solicitor in 1982. Stephens started his career as a lawyer providing advice to artists and soon established his own practice with a partner. In 1987 Stephens helped defend the American artist J. S. G. Boggs from a counterfeiting charge. He gained a reputation as "the patron solicitor of previously lost causes" following this case and others where he defended artists' freedom of expression, as well as representing the leaders of the miners' strike of 1984–85 and James Hewitt when allegations of his affair with Diana, Princess of Wales first emerged. During the 1990s Stephens worked on cases arising from the occupation of the Brent Spar oil platform. He also provided advice to the "McLibel two", activists who were being sued by McDonald's. In 1999, his law firm merged with Finers to form Finers Stephens Innocent, with Stephens becoming the head of the international and media department, a position he continues to hold today. During the next decade he was involved in several cases defending the publishers of online material (both old and new media firms) against charges of libel bought against them. The Times in 2008, described him as both a "passionate supporter of human rights" and "one of the best advocates for freedom of expression". In 2010, he represented Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblower website, WikiLeaks, defending him against extradition to Sweden. Stephens has sat on many charitable, regulatory, government and academic committees including those related to contemporary art, education, media law, libel law and human rights. He was appointed UK chair of trustees for the international media charity Internews in 2018. The University of East London (previously North East London Polytechnic) awarded him an honorary doctorate in law in 2001. In 2009, Stephens was appointed the Chairman of the Governors at that university. He has also assisted politicians in their drafting of legislation, in the UK in the 1990s regarding the regulation of the press and in Romania in 2005 regarding freedom of information laws. Stephens frequently appears in the UK media. In the 1990s he was a legal correspondent for Sky TV and he has featured regularly in both print and on television during his career. He has also contributed to two legal books and is on the editorial board of three legal journals. (en)
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  • Mark Howard Stephens CBE (born 7 April 1957) is an English solicitor specialising in media law, intellectual property rights and human rights with the firm Howard Kennedy LLP. Stephens studied law at North East London Polytechnic (now the University of East London), graduating in 1978. After further study in Brussels he was admitted as a solicitor in 1982. Stephens started his career as a lawyer providing advice to artists and soon established his own practice with a partner. In 1987 Stephens helped defend the American artist J. S. G. Boggs from a counterfeiting charge. He gained a reputation as "the patron solicitor of previously lost causes" following this case and others where he defended artists' freedom of expression, as well as representing the leaders of the miners' strike of 1984–8 (en)
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