Shaen’s principal areas of practice are commercial law, international commercial arbitration (particularly concerning the energy and petrochemicals industries), and telecommunications, including the Electronic Communications Code. He is experienced in obtaining and resisting injunctions and other emergency relief. He acts for a wide range of clients including international energy companies, UK public companies, and individuals.
Recent notable cases include:
‘Shaen is very impressive, insightful, commercial, user-friendly and creative. His advocacy skills are second-to-none and show incredible common sense. His drafting of his advice and pleadings is detailed and analytical – he clearly has a great grasp on the matter at hand.’ - IT and Telecoms, Legal 500 2024
‘Shaen is technically very good, easy to communicate with and always meets deadlines. Shaen is great to work with and his advice/drafting is tailored to the client and their needs and strategy.' - IT and Telecoms (Infrastructure and Contracts), Legal 500 2023
Specialises in disputes relating to the installation or removal of telecoms apparatus. He is regularly instructed to act for leading telecoms operators in cases that require a strong understanding both of the Electronic Communications Code (ECC) and of real estate issues. Catherwood has acted in several test cases relating to the updated ECC and draws praise from interviewees for his knowledge of the Code. He is also well regarded for his experience in representing service providers in relation to commercial disputes. "He is technically very good. He has an excellent knowledge of the Code, and his advice is tailored to the client and their needs. He is easy to communicate with and always meets deadlines." - Telecoms, Chambers UK Bar 2022
Ranked as a Leading Junior - IT and Telecoms, Legal 500 2022.
"A hands-on lawyer with a great work ethic, who is a favourite with network operators, especially in respect of Ofcom, CAT and regulatory matters." Acted for EE in relation to a lease renewal under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. The lease concerned the installation of a telecoms mast, and the case was significant as it concerns the new Electronic Communications Code's impact on the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 - Telecommunications, Chambers UK Bar 2021
‘Shaen is attentive and very commercial. He is quick and always available - an asset to our team and our go-to barrister on telecoms.’ - IT and Telecommunications (Excluding Regulatory), Legal 500 2021
"He takes into account the commercial considerations of the clients and always offers practical, pragmatic options, as well as good knowledge of the black letter law." "He has a calm view, is very good with clients and is very likeable and reasonable." Assisted EE and Three with a dispute relating to their need to maintain apparatus on the roof of a building in London. - Telecommunications, Chambers UK Bar 2020
‘His technical knowledge of the telecoms sector is very impressive.’ - IT and Telecommunications (Excluding Regulatory), Legal 500 2020
"Has solid knowledge about the telecoms code, and is, in addition, a good real estate litigator." "He knows the law inside-out and makes it his business to get to know the client, so I can instruct him with minimal effort." "He is very patient and nothing is too much trouble." Defended EE and H3G in a claim brought by Snow Hill Birmingham Developments relating to the removal of telecoms apparatus from private land. - Telecommunications, Chambers UK Bar 2019
‘He is very knowledgeable in telecoms work and very commercial in his approach.’ - IT and Telecommunications (Excluding Regulatory), Legal 500 2019
"Very approachable and easy to communicate with." - IT and Telecoms (excluding regulatory), Legal 500 2017
"Well known for telecoms disputes." - Legal 500 2016
"He is commended by clients for his 'highly responsive' approach to advisory work." - Who's Who Legal 2016
Shaen has extensive experience in the field of international arbitration:
Shaen has developed particular experience in disputes involving the energy and petrochemical industries, including:
For energy and telecommunications work see separate headings
Recent examples of Shaen's general commercial practice are:
Shaen has extensive experience in telecommunications disputes and is listed in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 in this category. He has been instructed in numerous cases under the new Electronic Communications Code and is familiar with litigating such disputes in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chambers). He has also advised extensively on the construction of the new Code.
He also advises and acts in commercial disputes, including contractual disputes.
He is frequently instructed by EE, Hutchison 3G, Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited and BT, amongst others.
Recent cases include:
He has advised a telecommunications operator in relation to its potential liabilities in respect of call traffic generated through third party fraud.
He has also advised in relation to a potential contractual claim concerning call plans.
He appeared, successfully, for BT in Toneylogo Ltd v. British Telecommunications plc (HC QB Birmingham Mercantile Ct, 1.2.05), LTL 9/2/2005 led by Graham Read QC. The claim concerned artificial inflation of traffic, self-dialling, conspiracy, and procurement of breach of contract.
Before being called to the Bar, Shaen worked in publishing. He edited magazines including Diplomat and Foreign Service and was Publisher at Diplomatist Associates Limited. He has practical experience in company management, financial planning, buying, marketing and employee relations (including recruitment, remuneration and disciplinary matters).
Only Bar Finals Student graded 'Outstanding' in 2000
Certificate of Honour from Bar Council
Cloisters Award for Top Student, College of Law
Bedingfield Scholarship, Gray's Inn
City University: Diploma in Law (Commendation)
New College, Oxford: BA in English Literature (First Class)