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Stephen Welfare


T: 020 7842 1426 (DDI)
T: 020 7583 2222

Stephen is a partner in our Technology & Media and Dispute Resolution teams. He is an experienced commercial litigator with a particular specialism in contentious intellectual property (IP) law. He is also the IP lawyer to the National Association of Jewellers and regularly contributes industry news for its members.

Stephen is an expert litigator who is in tune with his clients’ objectives. He gets results often without the need to go to court through out-of-court settlements. He has the ability to bring together the right team with the right skills for each case on its individual merits, so as to bring the matter to a successful conclusion.

Michael Edenborough QC, Serle Court

Stephen Welfare is an expert in intellectual property law, and knowledgeable about our industry. His advice is always commercially founded and yet sympathetic to the needs of jewellery design and manufacture. In addition to advising the NAJ and its Members on IP, he performed official duties such as Legal Officer at AGMs and the like.

Lindsey Straughton, National Association of Jewellers

About Stephen

Stephen studied at the College of Law, Guildford and trained as a solicitor at Royds. He qualified in 1993 and became a partner at Royds and now Royds Withy King in 1999.

Recognised by The Legal 500 UK as “always professional”, Stephen deals with all aspects of contentious intellectual property law, including

  • copyright disputes
  • patent infringement
  • trade mark disputes and passing off actions
  • design law issues.

He is responsible for the operation of the “Copywatch” IP Protection Scheme with the National Association of Jewellers and the British Travelgoods and Accessories Association.

With a wealth of experience dealing with intellectual property disputes, Stephen writes regular articles for the jewellery and luxury goods press (such as Retail Jeweller, Professional Jeweller, Jewellery in Focus and Fashions Extras) and has commented on topical issues on TV and radio.

Stephen is also an experienced general commercial litigator and his work has included media and sports law issues, disciplinary appeals and tribunals, licensing matters, Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise investigations. He also has expertise in estate agency law and business transfer agents fees recovery actions.

Work highlights

UKAJ logoWe are pleased and honoured to announce that we have been shortlisted for Service Supplier of the Year in the 2018 UK Retail Jewellery Awards.

The ceremony celebrates the very best in British jewellery and contributions made to the industry


Stephen’s client list includes Shaun Leane, David Marshall, Sarah Jordan and Paul Spurgeon (all former UK Jewellery designers of the year); Smyths Toys; East; Leatherman Tools Inc; Buck Knives Inc; Christie Group and Monsoon Accessorize as well as sports stars and celebrities.

Stephen’s reported cases include:

  • Agent’s commission dispute: Christie Owen & Davies plc v RAOBGLE Trust Corp. (2011) EWCA Civ 1151
  • Abuse of process: R v Buckinghamshire County Council Trading Standards ex parte Roberts (1994)
  • Copyright in artistic craftsmanship: Vermaat v Boncrest [2001] FSR 44
  • Unregistered design right: Landor & Hawa International v Azure Designs [2006] EWCA Civ 1285


Stephen is a member of the Intellectual Property Lawyers Association.

Outside of work, Stephen enjoys reading about historical military campaigns, watching cricket and playing golf.

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

For me it’s all about the clients.
What is their business, what is the nature of the dispute (or issue), and what resolution are they looking for?
The challenge is to understand these elements and apply law and procedure correctly, appropriately and proportionately in order to achieve commercial satisfaction.

Stephen Welfare

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