Stephen Thompson


As well as being the firm’s Managing Partner, Stephen is Head of the Corporate and Commercial, Franchising and Data Protection teams. With his broad commercial experience, Stephen acts for a range of businesses across many sectors, including manufacturing, education, housing, construction, IT/ software, medical and bio sciences.





  • Hutton Grammar School
  • University of West England

“…well-founded advice” and “good value for money” (Legal 500)

Described in Legal 500 2015 as “exemplary” and particularly recommended for:

  • franchising
  • commercial contracts and acquisitions
  • insolvency and corporate recovery
  • construction

Steve qualified in 1993 with Blake Morgan, after which he remained with the firm for three years as an assistant solicitor. He then moved to Pinsent Curtis in 1997 where he spent two years in their Birmingham office. Following a further period as a partner in a niche commercial practice in Cardiff, Steve joined Darwin Gray as a partner in 2004.

Steve is head of the firm’s Corporate and Commercial team and is also a member of the Dispute Resolution team, in which he is involved in a number of specialist areas of litigation.

Steve has wide ranging experience in relation to transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, management buy outs and buy ins, joint ventures and business reorganisation and restructuring. 

As an Affiliate member of the British Franchise Association and a certified QFP (Qualified Franchise Professional), Steve has particular expertise in relation to the buying and selling of franchise businesses. Steve also has considerable experience in the buying and selling of businesses in an insolvency context.

With his extensive commercial experience, Steve regularly acts for a range of businesses, particularly in the IT sector. He has a great deal of experience in advising on and reviewing contracts of all types, including those with an international connection. In addition, Steve advises in relation to lottery, gaming and charity issues.

In relation to Dispute Resolution, Steve is regularly instructed in relation to a variety of specialist areas including construction, intellectual property, professional negligence, procurement, franchising and also banking and finance litigation.


  • Member of the Data Protection Society
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Affiliate of the British Franchise Association
  • Incorporate member of the Chartered Institute of Builders
  • Regional Chair of EWIF SW & Wales branch

Personal Interests

Steve enjoys spending time with his family, spin classes and martial arts.