Top Ten Reputation Lawyers
Mark Stephens is arguably in a league of his own – one of the few lawyers not just on this list, but across the whole legal profession who has become a figure of national significance. Any reputation of Stephens’ magnitude must be built first and foremost on client relationships. ‘I’d do anything for Mark,’ says one well-known TV journalist, adding: ‘My goodness me, he’s got me out of some scrapes.’ Another client – a famous novelist – is equally a fan: ‘Mark is a great man,’ she says.
Others he has acted for include WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whom he defended against extradition to Sweden, and Dow Jones in its free speech case against Australian mining magnate Joseph Gutnick. If clients like him, then it’s a feeling Stephens reciprocates. ‘It’s my clients who decide whether I am trusted or not and that is very much based on an individual, person-to-person interaction which goes far beyond knowledge and confidence,’ he says.
His success is therefore a testament to the success of his mantra: ‘Listen to the client, and then make them laugh.’ His likeability, humour and clubbability have set Stephens apart in a profession that has arguably become too serious and pompous. As he says, ‘The trust of a client is much harder to earn if you are dull!’ It hardly needs adding that Stephens is anything but.