Sebastian undertakes a broad range of commercial and Chancery work including commercial litigation and arbitration, civil fraud and asset recovery, company and insolvency, contentious trusts, wills and probate, art and cultural property, and property litigation.

He is a highly experienced advocate, often appearing un-led against Silks, but equally happy being led. His experience covers lengthy, complex trials, applications for interim relief (often of an urgent nature) and appellate work (up to Supreme Court level).

Much of his work has an international element to it and he has extensive experience of dealing with conflict of laws and jurisdiction issues. He is called to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands and is regularly instructed on proceedings in that jurisdiction. He has also appeared in the Supreme Court of Seychelles and the European Court of Human Rights, and has provided advice and assistance in relation to proceedings in the Cayman Islands, Jersey, and the Isle of Man.

Directory recommendations

Sebastian has been recommended for many years by both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners for real estate/property litigation.

Sebastian is very good on paper and a fierce cross-examiner.” (Chambers & Partners)

Sebastian Kokelaar of Three Stone is a formidable property junior with expertise in commercial property and restricted covenants. His areas of focus also include landlord and tenant cases, as well as land registration and mortgage matters. He has appeared in a number of reported cases, including before the Supreme Court.” (Chambers & Partners)

A brilliantly technical lawyer and skilled drafter, Sebastian is an outstanding junior.” (Legal 500)

He has an extraordinary work ethic, and is very commercial and practical. He is also a brilliant cross-examiner.” (Chambers & Partners)

Sebastian is fast, reliable, clever and an excellent advocate.” (Legal 500)


Cases of interest

  • Re Gerald Martin Smith (The Serious Fraud Office and others v Litigation Capital and others) [2020] EWHC 3548 (Comm); [2020] EWHC 2077 (Comm); [2020] EWHC 1280 (Comm); [2020] EWHC 788 (Comm); [2017] EWHC 3333 (Comm); [2017] EWHC 3332 (Comm); [2017) EWHC 3334 (Comm).
  • HM Attorney General v Zedra Fiduciary Services (UK) Ltd [2020] EWHC 2988 (Ch)
  • JSC VTB Bank v Skurikhin [2020] EWCA Civ 1337; [2019] EWHC 1407 (Comm); [2019] EWHC 69 (Comm); [2018] EWHC 3072 (Comm)
  • Slade (t/a Richard Slade and Co) v Abbhi [2020] EWHC 2181 (Comm); [2019] EWCA Civ 2175; [2019] EWHC 355 (Comm); [2018] EWHC 2039 (Comm)
  • Bridgehouse (Bradford (No. 2) Ltd v BAE Systems plc [2020] EWCA Civ 759; [2019] EWHC 1768 (Comm); [2019] EWHC 675 (Ch); [2018] EWHC 3719 (Comm)
  • Horsford v Horsford [2020] EWHC 584 (Ch)
  • Natural England v Warren [2019] UKUT 300
  • Tsareva v Ananyev [2019] EWHC 2414 (Comm)
  • UKI (Kingsway) Ltd v Westminster City Council [2018] UKSC 67; [2017] EWCA Civ 430; [2015] UKUT 301 (LC), [2015] RA 433: Acting for a billing authority on a successful appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber). The Deputy President (Martin Rodger QC) held that the billing authority’s failure to state the name of the intended recipient of a completion notice issued under the Local Government Finance Act 1988 Sch.4A, which was addressed only to “the owner” of the building, did not render the completion notice invalid, nor was service of the notice invalidated by the fact that it passed through the hands of an agent who lacked authority to accept service and reached the intended recipient in electronic form only. The ratepayer’s appeal is to be heard by the Court of Appeal in January 2017.
  • Galagaey v Ananyev [2018] EWHC 2430 (Comm)
  • Phoenix Group Foundation v Cochrane [2018] EWHC 2179 (Comm)
  • Robinson v Ness and Co (A Firm) [2017] EWHC 2305 (Ch)
  • Leeds v Lemos [2017] EWHC 1825 (Ch)
  • Barrington Development Limited & Anr v Ocra (Seychelles) Ltd & Anor. Supreme Court of the Seychelles 184/2017 – Govinden J – 20 October 2017. In proceeding concerning the shareholding of a Seychelles company, Sebastian acted for the defendants who successfully set aside leave to serve the proceedings on them out of the jurisdiction and had the claim against them struck out.
  • Ovcharenko v InvestUK Ltd [2017] EWHC 2114 (QB)
  • Byrne v Mullan [2017] EWHC 1387 (Ch)
  • Re Young (A Bankrupt) [2017] BPIR 1116
  • Hoyl Group Limited v Cromer Town Council [2015] EWCA Civ 782, [2016] 1 P&CR 3: acting for a local authority landlord in proceedings between it and its tenant concerning a right of way over the landlord’s retained land acquired by way of proprietary estoppel. The Court of Appeal reaffirmed the broad approach to proprietary estoppel advocated by Oliver J in Taylors Fashions Ltd v Liverpool Victoria Trustee Co Ltd [1982] QB 133 directed at ascertaining whether, in the particular individual circumstances, it would be unconscionable for A to be permitted to deny that which he has allowed or encouraged B to assume to his detriment, and held that constructive knowledge by A of B’s mistaken belief was sufficient to support a finding of unconscionability.
  • Coventry (t/a RDC Promotions) v Lawrence (No 3) [2015] UKSC 50, [2015] 1 WLR 3485: Acting (with Robert McCracken QC) for an unsuccessful defendant in noise nuisance litigation on an appeal to the Supreme Court against his liability to pay success fee uplifts and ATE insurance premium incurred by the claimants on the grounds that such liability breached his rights under Article 6 and/or Article 1, First Protocol, European Convention on Human Rights. By a majority of 5-2 the Supreme Court held that the statutory regime which permitted the recovery of additional liabilities from unsuccessful defendants was lawful.
  • Re Gigi Brooks Ltd [2015] EWHC 961 (Ch) (Hildyard J): contested application for an administration order.
  • Re Lucas [2015] EWHC 476 (Ch) (Birss J): rectification of wills
  • Coventry (t/a RDC Promotions) v Lawrence [2014] UKSC 13, [2014] AC 822 (led by Robert McCracken QC in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court): noise nuisance claim against owners and operators of a motorsports stadium. Issues in the case included whether the implementation of a planning permission had changed the character of the area, so as to shift the standard of reasonableness in favour of the defendants, whether the defendants had acquired a prescriptive right to cause a noise nuisance, and the principles governing the exercise of the court’s discretion to award damages in lieu of injunctive relief.
  • Johnson v County Bideford Ltd [2013] L&TR 18 (Lands Chamber, Upper Tribunal): recovery of service charges: A landlord’s failure to comply with the requirements of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 s.47(1)(a) when serving invoices for service charge did not mean they were not demands. When they were corrected with retrospective effect by later compliant demands, they could be taken into consideration for the purpose of the time limit under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 s.20B.
  • Re Gonsalves (a bankrupt) [2011] BPIR 419: proceedings brought by a trustee in bankruptcy to obtain possession of the bankrupt’s home. Whether court’s discretion under section 363 of the Insolvency Act 1986 to postpone date for possession constrained by section 89 of the Housing Act 1980.
  • Mehra v Citywest Homes Ltd [2010] UKUT 311 (LC): appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) concerning the apportionment of service charges between tenants in a block of flats. The judgment contains important observations by the President about the scope of the LVT’s jurisdiction under section 27A of the Landlord. and Tenant Act 1985.

Sebastian has on a number of occasions been instructed by the States of Jersey to advise on and assist with law reform projects in the field of insolvency and company law, the most recent of which culminated in the passing of the Companies (Amendment No. 11) (Jersey) Law 2014.

Memberships & appointments

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Property Bar Association
  • Agricultural Law Association
  • Cambridge University Land Society


  • MA, MPhil (Jesus College, University of Cambridge)


Dutch (fluent), French, German (working knowledge) and Italian (basic)


Sebastian frequently publishes articles on topics within his areas of expertise. The publications to which he has contributed include Commercial Litigation Journal, Solicitors Journal, Property Law Journal, New Law Journal, and the Estates Gazette.

  • “No Rainy Sky over the Gower Peninsula.” Commercial Litigation Journal. 2015, 63, pp13-15.