“He is brilliant, excellent, measured, helpful, and creative.” – Chambers UK, 2021
“Calm and thoughtful junior who is unflappable and good at getting to the nub of things. User friendly and capable of acting as sole counsel or as a supporting junior.” – Legal 500, 2021
“A fantastic young barrister” – Who’s Who Legal UK Bar, 2020
Stefan is a competition and regulatory specialist. He has extensive experience in damages actions (including collective proceedings) and in all areas of economic regulation, including in the telecoms, energy and financial services sectors. He also regularly advices on data protection, information law and the interception of communications.
Current and recent cases include:
- Acting for a defendant bank in the Foreign Exchange damages actions in the High Court and in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (the first collective proceedings applications to be subject to a ‘carriage dispute’)
- Acting for the proposed class representative in the first standalone collective claims (Gutmann/Boundary Fares)
- Acting for a group of claimants in follow-on damages claims in relation to the DRAM, CRT and LCD cartels
- Acting in a successful judicial review challenge to the implementation of the Household Energy Price Cap
- Acting in a successful challenge to Network Rail’s supplier assurance policies in the Competition Appeal Tribunal
Before coming to the Bar, Stefan was an Executive Director with Goldman Sachs in London, responsible for the coverage of European telecom and IT services companies in the firm’s Global Investment Research division. He has a wealth of industry experience in telecoms, IT and financial services, and a solid grounding in finance and economics, which makes his experience a particular asset in matters involving extensive economic argument, or cases of a technical or complex nature.
Stefan has extensive experience in competition damages actions, and regularly acts for both claimants and defendants in standalone or follow-on claims (including in Foreign Exchange, Air Cargo, DRAM, CRTs, LCD Screens, Power Cables, Gas Insulated Switchgear, and PU Foam).
Stefan also has first-hand experience of the UK collective proceedings regime and is currently acting for the proposed class representative in the first standalone collective claims (Gutmann/Boundary Fares) and for a defendant in the first collective proceedings subject to a carriage dispute between two proposed class representatives (Foreign Exchange).
In addition, Stefan undertakes a broad range of advisory work, and has acted in Phase I and Phase II merger inquiries before the CMA.
Recent and significant cases include:
- Allianz v Barclays & ors. (FX) – ongoing High Court damages action
- O’Higgins v Barclays & ors. and Evans v Barclays & ors. (FX) – competing CPO applications
- Gutmann v South Eastern and Gutmann v South Western – standalone collective claims
- Granville v Infineon  EWHC 415 (Comm) (DRAM) – limitation challenge in ongoing follow-on damages claim
- Achilles v Network Rail  CAT 20,  5 C.M.L.R. 23 – (expedited) challenge to Network Rail’s supplier assurance policies
- Emerald & ors. v BA (Air Cargo) – follow-on damages claim acting for main defendant BA
- Breasley Pillows & ors. v Vita Cellular Foams (PU Foam) – follow-on damages claim in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (acting for a Rule 39 Defendant)
- Arriva / Northern Rail – merger inquiry by the Competition and Markets Authority in relation to the Northern Rail franchise award
- 19 Oct 2021CAT certifies “Boundary Fares” opt-out collective proceedings against the operators of the South Eastern and South Western rail franchises
- 14 Apr 2021Stefan Kuppen acts for successful respondent as Court of Appeal considers postponement of limitation period for insolvent claimant
- 26 Feb 2020Stefan Kuppen acts for Claimants in defending limitation challenge to DRAM follow-on damages claim
- 26 Sep 2019Boundary Fares CPO stayed pending Mastercard in Supreme Court
- 25 Sep 2019Philip Woolfe and Stefan Kuppen acted for Achilles in successful CAT claim against Network Rail
- 29 Jan 2019Court of Appeal rules on temporal scope of EU competition law
Telecoms and utilities regulation
Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019 named Stefan as one of the two most highly regarded juniors in telecoms, describing him as “an incredibly bright barrister, who is imaginative and great with clients”. Stefan is recognised for his extensive industry knowledge, having advised telecoms clients for almost 20 years, including in his previous career in investment banking. Chambers UK 2021 notes that “in terms of practical knowledge of the industry and the law, he is pretty outstanding.
In addition to telecoms, Stefan regularly acts for clients (including regulators) in most other sectors subject to economic regulation, including gas & electricity, water, payment systems and airports.
Recent and significant cases include:
- Virgin Media v Ofcom  CAT 5 – challenge against consumer rights enforcement action by Ofcom
- British Gas v Ofgem  EWHC 3048 (Admin) – judicial review challenge to the implementation of the Household Energy Price Cap (led by Michael Fordham QC)
- EE v Ofcom (ALFs)  EWHC 2134 (Admin),  1 C.M.L.R. 23, and  EWCA Civ 1873,  1 W.L.R. 1868 – judicial review of Ofcom’s decision setting annual licence fees for mobile spectrum (led by Lord Pannick QC)
- BT v Ofcom (WMO) Case  CAT 25 – appeal of Ofcom’s decision to remove the “wholesale must offer” obligation in relation to Sky Sports content (acting for Ofcom)
- TalkTalk and BT v Ofcom (VULA)  CAT 12 – super fast / fibre broadband pricing appeals to the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the Competition and Markets Authority
- British Gas v Ofgem (RIIO-ED1) – appeal of the irst RIIO based electricity distribution price control to the Competition and Markets Authority
- BT v Ofcom and EE, Three & Vodafone (08x Numbers) Case 1211/3/3/2013 – second ladder charges appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (on secondment to EE)
- Sky and TalkTalk & ors v Ofcom (Ethernet Determinations)  CAT 14 –broadband pricing appeal
Stefan was called to the Bar in 2013, and joined Chambers after the successful completion of his pupillage in 2014.
In 2019, Stefan was admitted as a Rechtsanwalt to the Dusseldorf Bar in Germany, having passed the Eignungsprüfung für die Zulassung zur Rechtsanwaltschaft (qualified lawyers transfer test) in December 2018.
Stefan is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder and obtained a master’s degree in finance from the University of Cambridge, where he has also taught and supervised.
During his training for the Bar, Stefan was a Middle Temple Queen Mother Scholar and received a Bar European Group Phoenicia Scholarship. Prior to that, as a financial analyst, Stefan received several industry awards, including from Institutional Investor (and II’s Alpha) and Les Echos/Thomson Reuters.
Stefan is fluent in German, with a good understanding of Dutch and intermediate French.
He is a member of the Bar European Group, the Commercial Bar Association and the CFA Institute.
What the directories say
Telecommunications: “He has been particularly helpful and is a barrister who delivers things in a timely way.” “He is a very good technician.” – Chambers UK, 2022
Leading junior in Telecoms (Regulatory) – Legal 500, 2022
Telecommunications: “In terms of practical knowledge of the industry and the law, he is pretty outstanding.” “He is brilliant, excellent, measured, helpful, and creative.” – Chambers UK, 2021
Competition: “Calm and thoughtful junior who is unflappable and good at getting to the nub of things. User friendly and capable of acting as sole counsel or as a supporting junior.” – Legal 500, 2021
Telecoms (Regulatory): “He has a very strong grasp of the EU telecoms regulatory framework and also has strong commercial acumen.” – Legal 500, 2021
“A fantastic young barrister”, recognised as “great in front of the regulator or the tribunal” – Telecoms, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2020
Telecommunications: “A brilliant man when it comes to the technical detail of expert evidence,” and “someone with a really good grasp of numbers.” “Good at drafting submissions, he has a very logical way of breaking down arguments and presenting them in a very intuitive manner.” – Chambers UK, 2020
“Recognised as a ‘Most highly regarded’ junior.” “An incredibly bright barrister, who is imaginative and great with clients”, say peers. He is well versed in competition and regulatory matters pertaining to the telecoms sector.” – Telecoms, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019
Telecommunications: “Knows the technology and the industry well, so can hit the ground running in cases.” “He is on top of the Ofcom guidance, on top of the legislation, and importantly from the client’s point of view is on top of Ofcom’s thinking.” – Chambers UK, 2019
Telecommunications: “A real asset to any team.” “He certainly knows a great deal about the telecoms industry and is very astute on tricky economic questions which arise.” – Chambers UK, 2018
Telecoms: “Stefan Kuppen is praised for his ‘savvy approach’ and ‘superb technical skill’ which allows him to produce ‘work of the highest quality’.” – Who’s Who Legal, 2016
Telecoms: The “super smart” and “impressive” Stefan Kuppen has a plethora of experience in telecommunications and is “widely respected” for his “vast knowledge”. – Who’s Who Legal 2015