Stephen Sidkin


Having worked in menswear, Stephen is an avid believer in the importance and value of brands and is proud to advise many of Fox Williams' fashion clients on their commercial law needs. He is focused on creating value for clients by helping them achieve their business objectives.

The work undertaken by him regularly includes advising fashion companies on domestic and international agency, distribution, concessions, franchising licensing and supply arrangements. He drove forward the creation of and chairs the Fashion Law Group.

Stephen also established and leads Fox Williams’ agentlaw team and developed, Fox Williams' specialist website dedicated to agency law.

Stephen is ranked in band 1 for Commercial Contracts, Chambers UK 2018 which states:

"Stephen Sidkin is described as an excellent lawyer who produces prompt correspondence and thoughtful work." 

The Legal 500 UK 2017 noted that: Stephen Sidkin ‘possesses tremendous gravitas’.

Stephen has been involved in advising a multitude of fashion principals and agents and suppliers and distributors on their commercial arrangements. He has recently advised four brands on their concession agreements with House of Fraser and Harrods both in the UK and Europe. Stephen has been involved also in a series of complex international trade mark licensing and franchising arrangements in respect of which the latest issue of The Legal 500 quotes clients as recommending Stephen for his 'quick, good advice and in-depth knowledge'.

Currently Stephen is involved in drafting and advising on terms and associated agreements for an online platform concerned with fashion.

He was a member of the team which advised Superdry Plc, in connection with its institutional and retail share offerings which resulted in it listing on the London Stock Exchange.

He has written or contributed to articles that have appeared in Drapers, Womenswear Buyer, Footwear Today, Bridal Buyer and Fashion Extras and Future. In 2006 Stephen became the business organisation editor of Business Law Review. He is the UK contributing author to Handbuch Moderecht (Fashion Law Handbook) (2011) and the UK author of International Agency and Distribution Agreements published by LexisNexis.

He has twice acted as a judge for the Drapers Awards.

Stephen is also a regular commentator on radio and television where his appearances include BBC Radios 4 and 5 Live (on which he broadcast most recently on The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations). His most famous appearance to date was on BBC1's Watchdog programme where he defended Levis refusal to supply its jeans to Tesco against Anne Robinson's championing of Tesco's ability to sell them. He has also appeared on many programmes made by Legal Television Network. In addition he keeps in touch with King's College, London from where he graduated with an honours degree in Law before obtaining his Masters in Business Law. For some years he has spoken at the Commercial Law Summer School at Cambridge University. In 2016 he spoke at Fordham University's fashion law symposium. 

Stephen has served for many years on the Commercial Law Committee of the City of London Law Society. He is currently again its Deputy Chairman as well as Chairman of its Brexit sub-committee. A former President of the Contract Law Commission of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) he is currently Communications and Strategy General Director . At recent UIA seminars and Congresses he has spoken on the topics of

  • protecting brands and the law of distribution contracts;.
  • Brexit and the impact on businesses;
  • the legal issues concerning influencers; and
  • intellectual property licensing agreements.

Between 2007 – 2012 he was president of the UIA Contract Law Commission. In 2012 he became the Co-Director of Commuications of the UIA.

During New York Fashion Week in February 2013 Stephen chaired the UIA Fashion law seminar and spoke on the subject of taking back exclusive distribution rights from distributors.

From a personal view

Over the years clients and partners have given Stephen the nicknames of "The Barracuda" and "The Rottweiler". But out of the office his wife, Lynne, and son, Sam, regard him as a pussy cat. With their assistance he loves nothing better than to mess about on boats, whether on river, lake or sea. His greatest maritime adventure to date was to skipper a 4m open boat down the Grand Canal of Venice and into the Bacino di San Marco. When restricted to dry land he collects political cartoons, is an avid student of brand marketing, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Stephen will be speaking at the UIA Congress in Porto at the end of October on 'What's next for Brexit: from today to 29 March 2019 and beyond'.

Stephen is also known as:


"Total professionalism and prompt responses"
(Chambers UK, 2019)

"He is knowledgeable in respect of international agreements, with the ability to foresee and point out potential issues."
(Chambers UK, 2019)

"Known to be an authority on agency, distribution, franchising and licensing agreements"
(WTR 1000, 2018)

"Excellent lawyer who produces prompt correspondence and thoughtful work" 
(Chambers UK, 2018)

Stephen Sidkin ‘possesses tremendous gravitas’
(Legal 500, 2017)

"Stephen Sidkin is held in high regard for his significant expertise in commercial transactions. He is particularly highlighted for his in-depth knowledge of agency agreements. Impressed sources say that he knows his stuff and is highly efficient, and also mention he is a good technical lawyer steeped in commercial law."
(Chambers UK, 2017)

"Stephen Sidkin is the leading authority in the UK on fashion agency law, so the quality of service is second to none"
(Chambers UK, 2016)

“He is absolutely excellent – he clearly identified options and provided high-quality and speedy communication.”
(Chambers UK, 2016)

‘'He is absolutely excellent – he clearly identified options and provided high-quality and speedy communication''.
(Chambers UK, 2015)

Stephen Sidkin is praised by clients as being "very hot on the detail" and "the best lawyer I've used for this type of work. His level of knowledge always impresses me''.
(Chambers UK, 2015) 

Stephen Sidkin is 'the UK'S leading authority on fashion agency law'.
(Legal 500, 2015)

Read more of my articles:

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog (April 2019)

Trade mark problems for leading sports brands

Digital concessions - how brands can take back control

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog (March 2019)

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog (February 2019)

Fashion: Is there a need for change?

Simon Bennett and Stephen Sidkin quoted in Drapers

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog (January 2019)

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog (December 2018)

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog (November 2018)

When can you not say you agree?

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog (October 2018)

Agentlaw seminar - Tuesday 27 November 2018

UKFT event: Working with agents and distributors

Stephen Sidkin writes in Footwear Today on Brexit: Find solutions to the potential chaos

Stephen Sidkin writes in Footwear Today - Agency termination: why it is important to know when it has happened

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog (September 2018)

Influencers and Bloggers in Fashion and Historical Brands

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog (August 2018)

Brexit and your business contracts

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog (July 2018)

Roger Federer and trade marks: what's happening at Wimbledon?

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog (June 2018)

Trade marks at the World Cup: Jesse Lingard runs, shoots and scores - but could he still pick up a red card?

UK brands undeterred by new US retail tax - Partner Steve Sidkin quoted in Drapers

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog (May 2018)

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog (April 2018)

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog (March 2018)

For distributors, possession is nine-tenths of the law - a regular blog

Stephen Sidkin quoted in Equestrian Trade News - Upmarket brands win right to block third party retailing

Stephen Sidkin quotes in Drapers on on The European Court ruling on luxury brands blocking online sales

Luxury brands celebrating landmark judgment European Court today

Why price fixing and information sharing matter

Stephen Sidkin and Sarah Redmond write for CWB online on Fashion, designs and Brexit

A guide to Brexit for the UK fashion industry

Concessions - attracting new customers can be a risky business at a time of Brexit uncertainty

Fox Williams mentor wearable tech start-ups as part of the Top Pitch programme

Stephen Sidkin writes in Footwear Today on the EU referendum - what it means for your business

Brexiting the future of fashion or a fashionable Brexit?

Industry expert becomes consultant to Fox Williams LLP’s Fashion Law Group

Changes needed in selective distribution agreements

Licensing up your brand

What is the difference between Tom Ford and Miu Miu?

Time to check out for Louis Vuitton

Why EU trade marks are no longer black and white

KRW Summary of consumer rights regulations as at 24 June 2014

Apple - One to watch?

The importance of logistics - How online can go offline so easily

EU consumer regulations rewrite the small print for British etailers

The Secret is out and PINK is in

Could franchising work for you?

The CEO's wandering hands

European Court victory for fashion designers in Karen Millen v Dunnes

Ukraine and Russia the commercial impact of conflict

Russian action shows need for an exit strategy

Force Majeure Clauses - A Means of Protection?

Reference pricing

Doesn't suit you, Sir!

How do you value agent compensation?

Like London buses... you wait for ages and then three turn up

Battle of the bikinis - Unregistered rights in action

We must be careful to define what 'Made in Britain' means

Crack down on tax cheats

Force Majeure Clauses A Means of Protection