Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones has spent the past 15 years specialising in construction law. “I’ve been involved in a lot of defendant professional indemnity work,” he says. “This was multitrack, high value, multiple party disputes—’heavy litigation’ as it’s called. It’s extremely interesting work but after 15 years I felt I wanted a better balance of claimant/defendant, contentious and non-contentious work. I’ve been able to find that since joining GSC.”

On his desk right now is a range of casework, from non-contentious contractual negotiations with architects and structural engineers to contentious damages claims for late delivery of projects, and defects claims (“I help clients whose building isn’t performing as it should because it hasn’t been designed correctly or built in accordance with the designs and also advise designers and contractors facing those allegations”).

Why GSC?

It wasn’t just the balance of work that made Stephen excited about joining GSC. “It’s a good size firm without being too big,” he says. “There’s an interesting client profile and challenging work, and while it has a fantastic reputation for its real estate work I saw an opportunity here to create a successful construction practice to complement our property division. On a personal level, that’s extremely exciting.”

Clever people doing clever things

“I find construction projects fascinating,” Stephen explains. “I get to work with sophisticated clients who are commercially switched on—these are clever people doing clever things. There’s a lot of money invested in construction which makes people more likely to assert their rights, which in turn makes it a dynamic and busy legal market. And I like the fact that much of the law that comes out of the Technology and Construction Court [where Stephen’s cases may be heard] pervades so many other areas of law.”

Commercially minded

Why do GSC clients choose to work with Stephen? “I think my clients trust me to find the commercially pragmatic route to a solution,” he says. “A realistic commercial resolution will usually be the better, least costly and far less risky route than pursuing disputes in court. I always aim to help my clients find that commercially sensible way out.”

Outside of work, Stephen is a keen golfer and enjoys watching international rugby… he is happier when Wales play well.

Qualifications & Experience

Stephen gained his degree at Durham University and became a Master of Laws at the University of Bristol. He completed the Legal Practice Course at Cardiff University in 2001.

Specialising in construction law early in his career with RadliffesLeBrasseur, Stephen continued building his legal expertise in construction, engineering and infrastructure with Berrymans Lace Mawer, DAC Beachcroft, Beale & Company and on secondment at Zurich Insurance.


Carole Joseph

The fields in which Carole specialises commercial /residential sales and purchases, landlord and tenant work and property finance – tend to be transaction driven. “We’re aiming to accurately document and refine what our clients have agreed,” Carole explains. But for the business owners, private investors, franchise operators, developers and residential clients who work with her, the relationship is often far deeper.

“Before any agreement is reached, we’ll advise our clients what they’re agreeing to and explore the potential pitfalls in taking a course of action,” she says. “We assess risk and ensure there’s nothing lurking that exposes them to cost later down the line. It’s so much easier if you sort these things in advance”.

“Our clients rely on us to consider the things they haven’t,” Carole continues. “In the aftermath of the pandemic, for example, the issue of rent reductions in the event of a similar future outbreak took on a newfound importance.”

Commercially-minded solutions

Remaining alive to the real-world implications of a course of action is one of the reasons Carole’s clients work with her again and again, but there are many more. “I’m conscientious, I work hard, I’m dependable and I’m always available. My clients really value that.”

Carole’s calm, commercially-minded approach is hugely important in reaching sensible, pragmatic solutions in the shortest possible time – and at least cost. “I tend to get on well with the lawyers on the other side,” she says. “It’s not about scoring points. My job is to get results and it helps to build good working relationships that facilitate working to an end, as quickly as possible.

Carole loves what she does. “The weeks fly by. It’s very fulfilling and intellectually stimulating. I really like my colleagues and find it a privilege to mix with clever people and hear their views – and there’s plenty of opportunity to do that here.”

Outside of work, Carole enjoys the theatre, ballet, reading and eating out.

Qualifications & Experience

Carole qualified as a solicitor in 1994, working with Nabarro for 10 years before joining GSC in 2013. She was appointed partner in 2018.

A frequent ‘face of the firm’ Carole has been involved in numerous GSC Academy video presentations.

Legal 500: ‘Carole takes a practical and long-term approach, which means that timescales and costs are always under control’

Legal 500: ‘Carole Joseph and Peter Belcher balance sound and detailed legal advice with practical and pragmatic business sense.  We couldn’t ask for more’







HHJ Dr. Maged Kamel

Maged has a broad and busy portfolio. Having spent many years as a judge in Egypt (and collected three PhDs along the way), he is now an international arbitrator. His legal advisory opinions as an expert witness have been sought in global arbitration centres across four continents. In the UK, now the world’s eighth largest market for Islamic finance products, Maged reviews major contracts for Islamic financial banks and other institutions “because Islamic finance is not only banks”.

In addition to speaking and lecturing, at GSC Maged combines his legal role with marketing and training, exploring and creating new global joint ventures. He is supporting Dubai in its ambition to open a branch of the Islamic Arbitration Centre in London to facilitate arbitration within Islamic institutions. “We are also in the process of launching a training course for Pakistani judges regarding Islamic finance.”

Building bridges

Maged is an enthusiastic advocate for Islamic mortgages. “Islamic finance is moral finance—finance with ethics, nothing more. The principles it operates by are universal. Anybody can adopt it. Some UK high street banks already have. Yet there remains a general wariness and misunderstanding about these products.

“I was born in Germany. My family is Turkish. I built my career in Egypt. I now work internationally but am based in the UK. I am multicultural and my passion is to build bridges between cultures, to build communication, because often we are so good at misunderstanding one another.”

Knowledge with academic depth

Why do Maged’s clients choose to work with him? “I believe it is because of the trust and the knowledge. They know I will be very clear, very honest. At the outset of any case, I can say to them ‘I can tell you how this will work’. I care about my clients. They really can (and do) call me any time and they know I am always there to represent their interests. Also, I combine the practical with the academic. My knowledge has depth. My clients value that.”

Why GSC?

I love the community here. The people I deal with are very helpful. I always search for the right atmosphere in a place of work. GSC feels like family.”

Qualifications & Experience

It was Maged’s father that set him on the path to a career in law. “He noted that I spent a lot of my time arguing. ‘The best thing for you is to go to school of law’ he said.”

Maged studied English common and civil law at Cairo University. Having finished his first PhD (in Public law) he was part of the student assembly that in 2012 drafted the new Egyptian constitution. His work as a legal consultant to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Investment in Egypt gave him his first practical experience in Islamic products. He joined the Egyptian judiciary in 2000.

Wishing to expand his knowledge, Maged studied international commercial arbitration at UCL, and gained two further PhDs in Islamic law.

“I love what I do,” he says. “I feel I have so much more to achieve, and I love to grow and progress.”

Philip Kratz

Philip specialises in all aspects of planning and development related law, a role he summarises as “guiding clients through the rocks of the planning system”. His work includes planning applications, planning appeals, listed building appeals, enforcement notice problems, negotiating section 106 planning obligations and all related aspects of development law, including highways agreements, rights of way and compulsory purchases.

Before entering private practice Philip worked in local government, becoming a chief officer with responsibility for all operational services. He has been involved in developing various large-scale proposals, including:

  • New settlements
  • A large riverside redevelopment
  • A city centre retail redevelopment
  • A large scale campus relocation for a leading university
  • Obtaining permission for London campuses for regional and overseas educational institutions; and
  • Numerous renewable energy projects

Now acting for private clients and some public sector organisations, Philip is aware that his background leads many of his clients to see him as “gamekeeper turned poacher”.

“My clients value my understanding of the culture and mentality of the public sector that can help make their planning application or appeal more successful,” he says.

After more than four decades in planning law, Philip remains as enthusiastic about his work as ever. “With planning law you can see the results,” he explains. “You can see the buildings that are built (or not built, in the case of objections) as a result of what you’ve done – so you see the effect of that. You’re literally shaping the world you live in. I thoroughly enjoy making that difference.”

Qualifications & Experience

Philip is accredited as a specialist planning solicitor by the Law Society. He is a legal associate member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, a member of the National Association for Planning Enforcement, and a current member of the Law Society’s Planning and Environmental Law Committee.

Chambers legal directory ranks Philip as a leading specialist in planning, describing him as a “…robust advisor who inspires confidence”.

Legal 500: “Philip has has the magic touch; his knowledge and level of service are excellent”.




David Nathan

For his clients, David is the first call for challenging employment queries. “An employer might call me about (re)negotiating staff contracts or attending a tribunal,” he explains. “An employee may call me about a pending grievance or redundancy. My role is to ensure that, whatever a good outcome looks like, we achieve it.”

That commitment to achieving a ‘good outcome’ is built on David’s passion for his work. “I like helping people. Intellectually, employment is a really interesting part of the law, but it’s also a very human part of the law. It’s about people’s lives. Whether you’re an employer or employee, relationships matter. I like that human dimension.”

That philosophy informs David’s approach to his work. “Whatever the issue – from a policy that stands the test of time to a grievance that needs resolving – I help guide people through the process. Where necessary, I help provide the objective view, taking the heat and emotion out charged situations to reach better commercial and/or personal solutions.”

David’s background (and ongoing role) in commercial law enables him to bring a unique perspective to his employment law work. “In both areas of law, the right solution is one that’s realistic, that leads to the best result and, wherever possible, protects relationships,” he explains. “I think my clients would say those are the sorts of solutions I work to deliver.”

Qualifications & Experience

David read Economics at Leeds University (BA)  and qualified as a solicitor in 2001. He joined GSC in 2005, where employment law has grown to occupy most of his workload. He became a partner in 2013.


Matthew Phillips

“The difference between GSC and other law firms is the connection we make with clients,” Matthew explains. “It isn’t a transactional thing. Many of our clients have been with us for a long time. There’s a shared relationship – a rapport that removes overbearing formality and enables us to get things done. That’s something that pervades the firm.”

Property expertise

Matthew’s expertise is broad, reflecting what he describes as the “natural ebb and flow” of property work. He specialises in complex commercial property transactions including agreements for lease (including for development sites) and leases, acquisitions and refinancing of owner-occupied and multi-let premises.

He advises general commercial clients (whether as owner-occupiers or tenants), fast food franchise owners/operators, pub portfolio operators, and also overseas investors in relation to their UK property portfolios. He has significant experience in high value residential property transactions.

Matthew has experience in property-based banking transactions and secured lending.  He also has experience in supporting clients with the sale or purchase of pubs which were designated as “assets of community value”.

Finding satisfaction

“I enjoy doing this,” Matthew says. “I like working with my clients and the GSC team here. There’s always interest and variety in what I do. And there’s always satisfaction in helping a client achieve their goal.”

A service to be proud of

“We want our clients to feel that they have enjoyed a first class service from us,” Matthew stresses. “We strive to do the very best we can. We want to give a service we can be proud of. I think most clients feel we deliver that.”

Qualifications & Experience

Matthew trained as a solicitor in Cardiff. It was there he discovered that he and property law were a natural fit. “I liked the work and the way people within the field worked,” he explains. He qualified as a solicitor in 1995.

Amee Popat

There’s a reason Universal Music chose Amee and GSC Partner Harvey Posener to handle the pre-let of its London HQ in 2015. It was the same reason Bravado entrusted its flagship Rolling Stones store in Carnaby Street to them in 2020, and why, most recently, Abbey Road Institute asked them to manage the legal work for the lease of its new home at the Angel Recording Studios in Islington.

“The level of advice we give and our technical ability really is exceptional,” explains Amee. “We’ll often hear the legal team for the other party say ‘we’ve never seen drafting like this’. That’s because we think deeply. We are not just transactional lawyers following a process. We add value for our clients. We give commercial advice that saves money by identifying risk and reducing it.”

Amee’s philosophy is a simple one: “You achieve better results by building better relationships,” she says. “We work with, not against our counterparts to achieve our clients’ goals. We aim for perfection, but getting the deal done is always the number one priority. Our clients trust us to make that happen.”

She enjoys getting under the skin of her cases, but it’s the end result that drives her. “I love working with clients to help them realise their goals or dreams. Seeing bullet points on a piece of paper turn into something magnificent and tangible is enormously rewarding.”

Qualifications & Experience

Amee read Law at the University of Leicester (2003 LLB Hons) and joined GSC in 2004 as a trainee. She qualified as a solicitor in 2006 and was appointed a partner in 2013.


Shareena Rahman

Shareena joined GSC in December 2021, attached to the private client team working on immigration matters. Her immigration work stretches back several years and was inspired by her own experiences.

“When I was the president of the Malaysian Students Association [at the University of the West of England] a number of us were trying to figure out how to stay in the UK and how to find work. My route ‘in’ was to apply for an internship.”

Shareena’s experience enables her to empathise with private and corporate clients seeking visa advice, indefinite leave to remain, sponsor licences and more. Typically for a GSC team member, her personal approach is a vital element in her success.

“It makes a lot of difference when you build good relationships with your clients,” she says. “My approach is always to understand the long term aims. If a business is seeking to hire a migrant worker, understanding the overarching aim – whether this is a one-off for a family member of a broader business strategy – can help inform my actions.

“Similarly with investor visas for private immigration cases, for example, just because a client has the wealth to qualify, it doesn’t necessarily mean that is the quickest, most appropriate or most cost-effective route for them. Understanding the client is important, and that makes building trust vital. When a client trusts you, yours and their lives become so much easier because they know you have their best interests at heart.”


Despite a legal career that has so far centred squarely on immigration, Shareena knows that clients who need immigration support now will likely need wider advice soon. “I want to be a ‘full circle’ lawyer for my clients,” she says. “That’s one of the reasons I joined GSC – it has the platform and the outlook to support me in that ambition.”

Shareena’s entrepreneurial spirit is helping to ensure she’s well placed to support clients beyond her immediate sphere of legal expertise.

“I helped a friend launch their consultancy business,” she says. “I also created and ‘soft’ launched an activewear brand for city women. Those experiences gave me first-hand understanding of setting up and launching a company, of marketing  and branding, of compliance, HR and ops management.

“For my clients, that means the advice I give isn’t purely from a legal perspective. I have lived experience of many of the challenges they will be facing, and that makes me better able to give the rounded, practical advice they need.”

Outside of her work, Shareena is a keen boulderer (a rock climber who doesn’t use ropes or other technical gear). Yoga and Pilates help keep her focused at the end of a busy day, and she enjoys mini-trips in Europe with her friends.

Qualifications & Experience

Shareena gained her law degree at the University of the West of England (UWE) and post graduate legal qualifications at Birkbeck College, University of London and UWE.

Shareena is now a qualified solicitor and prior to this, she was a level 3 OISC Immigration Advisor. With over 12 years’ experience in UK Corporate Immigration Law she has helped countless organisations and individuals to bring their business to the UK offering them a comprehensive service to make their migration process smoother.




Mark Richardson

Mark acts in a range of broad base commercial litigation including landlord and tenant, contract disputes, debt recovery and insolvency

“We’re a distress service, a service of last resort” he explains. “We are the ones you call when something has gone wrong. That might be when you’re being sued. It might be when you’re owed money and you’ve already tried every other avenue to get it back. Our role is to help the client understand what’s happening and what the options are. And if litigation is the answer, it’s our role to get the best result possible for the client.”

Mark is enthusiastic about the benefits of litigation and dispute resolution with GSC.

“We pride ourselves not just on quality but cost effectiveness,” he explains. “There are larger law firms, but we aim to achieve the same results without the same costs. Importantly, when a client brings their case to GSC the solicitor will be doing the work, with the support of junior fee earners where appropriate– so their case benefits from constant expertise and experience.”

Why did Mark choose to specialise in litigation? “I enjoy it,” he says, simply. My wife will say I’m an argumentative person but I find the work intellectually stimulating.  and I like that fact that in litigation you do have an end result – that’s what clients need in order to move on.”

Away from the office, Mark is a West Ham season ticket holder and loves eating out.

Qualifications & Experience

Mark attended Southampton Solent University (2007 LLB Hons) and completed the College of Law Legal Practice Course in 2008 with a commendation. He gained experience as a commercial litigation paralegal with GSC before commencing his training contract in 2009 and qualifying as a solicitor in 2011.

Initially working in IP litigation, Mark began working with GSC’s Michael Shapiro to vary his experience, joining the litigation team full time in 2016.


Barry Samuels

Barry has been qualified for 50 years, the longest of any of GSC’s practitioners, applying his extensive skills to commercial litigation (“usually based on contract”), corporate law, torts (often with allegations of fraud or professional negligence) and arbitrations.

He is completely hands on. “I am not a processor. I don’t simply clock up the hours and rely heavily on Counsel. I still like to read everything in depth because I consider it essential to understand the details of the case, to identify the problems (actual and potential) and to find ways to address them.  I am truly available 24/7 and my clients know I really care about them and their case.”

Having already retired from the law once, he returned in 2010, joining GSC as a consultant after missing the challenges of dispute resolution. “I like learning.  I still have lots to learn and experience. Whenever I finish a case, I always ask what I’ve learned and how can I improve. I’m fascinated by the complexities that cases can throw up.  I also enjoy the relationships with clients and colleagues.”

Protecting clients’ interests

Much of Barry’s work reaches him via a battery of top rate barristers who recommend him because “they know I will care about the case, work well the client and charge sensibly.”

The sentiment of this is shared by his clients. “Many of my clients are high profile business people and there’s usually an international element to my cases,” says Barry, who has dealt with a wide variety of high value disputes whilst with GSC. “I tend to act for entrepreneurs,” he adds, “because I like to deal with the people who can give me instructions directly rather than having to report to a committee.”

One of Barry’s clients – an individual of ultra-high net worth – reflected that Barry is not just a ‘yes man’ doing a client’s bidding, but someone who is always looking after his interests.

Recent cases include:

  • A shareholders’ dispute involving a deadlock company in which one of the two shareholders sought permission to bring a derivative action
  • Successfully resisting with indemnity costs an attempt by a Russian businessman to obtain an anti-suit injunction in England to restrain proceedings in the New York Court. The case also involved Jersey and Ukrainian law element
  • A dispute regarding the sale a property owned by an elderly and frail gentleman at a significant undervalue involving breach of the estate agent’s duty and challenges to the bona fides of the purchaser
  • An acrimonious family dispute centred in the Courts of Uganda Jersey and the BVI with accusations of breach of freezing orders and allegations of contempt
  • Acting for a Georgian oligarch relating to his claim that his business had been unlawfully taken by the Bank of Georgia and described as one of the top cases to come to trial in 2021.  The case was based on Georgian law principles.

Away from the office, Barry is happy to wax lyrical about Helen Shapiro (“my heroine”) and the magical and restorative healing power of the magnificent Mugello Valley in Tuscany “with its abundance of amazing red wine and the best olive oil in the world at Villa Campestri.”

Qualifications & Experience

Barry attended Manchester University where he gained a first-class honours degree followed by first class honours in his professional qualification.

He qualified at Nabarro Nathanson in 1971 where he became the youngest solicitor appointed to partnership. He moved to become a partner and subsequently head of department at Manches & Co in 1974, Brecher & Co in 1986 and Kingsley Napley in 1996.

Barry joined GSC in 2010 as a consultant.