Stephan Smoktunowicz Legal Director PSL

Speaks:  English

Qualified: 2005 - Solicitor of England & Wales

Primary office:  London

Stephan Smoktunowicz

Stephan Smoktunowicz is a highly experienced banking and finance lawyer, responsible for ensuring that our banking and finance team has the know-how, training and other resources necessary to provide the best possible commercially-focused advice to our clients. Having worked as a transactional lawyer for a number of international law firms and with almost four years of industry experience working at several global financial institutions as in-house counsel, Stephan understands the processes and hurdles involved to make the journey from origination to completion as seamless as possible.

Stephan has advised banks, financial institutions, corporates, business start-ups, developers, private equity houses, individuals, pension trustees and other lawyers on a wide range of banking and finance related issues. His experience includes acquisition finance, real estate, social housing and development finance, global loans, investment grade lending, private equity funding, asset based lending (including finance leasing, hire purchase, inventory finance and receivables finance), restructuring & insolvency, securitisations and trade finance. Much of his experience has an international flavour, having worked on transactions in over 30 jurisdictions.

Stephan has a keen interest in emerging technologies, including the use and development of artificial intelligence, smart contract and blockchain applications and has worked on a wide range of legal technology related projects. As a mentor, he has provided support to a number of legal tech start-ups through his involvement with the Barclays Eagle Labs Legal Tech Hub in Notting Hill, London. He has also worked on product and service development in a number of jurisdictions, so that legal documents and processes reflect the operational reality of how things are intended to work in practice.

Stephan is passionate about the difference that continued learning and education can make to everyone involved in the world of banking & finance. He writes and delivers training sessions on a wide range of banking and insolvency law related topics for banks, financial institutions, alternative debt providers and private equity houses and for professional associations including the Loan Market Association. The bespoke nature of these sessions balances technical understanding with the wider commercial considerations that are crucial to understanding how to help progress transactions through to completion and manage transactional risk. His training sessions have been described as "excellent", "thoroughly enjoyable" and "very insightful and well worthwhile".

As a writer, Stephan has written numerous briefing articles on both banking and insolvency related matters, helping our clients to stay aware of legal issues and developments that fundamentally affect their day-to-day business. His articles have also appeared in leading industry publications including Butterworths' Journal of International Banking and Financial Law and Motor Finance magazine and have been described as "clear, concise and to the point" and "incredibly helpful".

Stephan has sat on the Banking & Finance PSL advisory board for the legal publisher Lexis Nexis since its inception and is also a member of the City Finance PSL Network. He has also sat on the ABFA Legal and Technical Committee and participated in several key industry consultations including the Law Commission's call for evidence on smart contracts, the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce's consultation on cryptoassets and smart contracts and the Secured Transactions Law Reform Project, looking at ways of improving the law on secured financings to make it more appropriate for the requirements of modern business.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2021

    • Career
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, PSL Legal Director
  • 2016

    • Career
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, PSL Senior Associate
  • 2015

    • Career
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co LLP, PSL Senior Associate
  • 2013

    • Education
      Study break, including studies at Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy
  • 2010

    • Career
      Barclays Bank PLC, Legal Counsel
  • 2008

    • Career
      Wragge & Co LLP, Solicitor
  • 2007

    • Career
      Denton Wilde Sapte LLP, Solicitor
  • 2005

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Qualified, Solicitor of England & Wales
    • Career
      Cobbetts LLP, Solicitor
  • 2003

    • Career
      Cobbetts LLP, Trainee Solicitor
  • 2001

    • Education
      College of Law, York, Legal Practice Course and Graduate Diploma in Law