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Stephen-Mason

About Stephen Mason

Stephen Mason is a barrister. He was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in November 1988.

BA (Hons) (History and Educational Philosophy), MA, LLM, PGCE (FE)

Stephen is the recognised authority on electronic signatures and digital evidence, and has assisted governments in China, the Middle-East, Central America, and businesses in continental Europe and Africa, including the Corporation of London, the Ministry of Justice of the United Arab Emirates, the government of Trinidad and Tobago and others that wish to remain confidential.

More recently he has agreed to:

Council of Europe

Together with Uwe Rasmussen, Stephen has agreed to undertake a comparative study and analysis of existing national legal provisions that have been adopted or adapted on the effect of electronic evidence on the rules of evidence and modes of proof, with a focus on proceedings relating to civil law, administrative law and commercial law. The first draft is to be presented to the 89th plenary meeting of the European Committee on Legal Co-operation that is to take place in Strasbourg 29-31 October 2014.

Commonwealth Secretariat

Work with the Commonwealth Secretariat on the International Cooperation Programme regarding the Interception of Telecommunications in the Harare Scheme and the Commonwealth Draft Model Legislation, with a view to developing a framework for the interception of telecommunications.

Home Office

Accepted an invitation extended by the Home Office to be a member of an Expert Panel on Digital Signatures in the Acquisition of Communications Data within the Criminal Justice System.

He advises on:

(i) standardisation of technologies and authentication and identification methods;

(ii) the requirements of and implementation of legally enforceable digital signature programmes in global commerce;

(iii) the legal and regulatory factors affecting the use and acceptance of e-signatures in commerce;

(iv) admissibility of digital evidence internationally;

(v) specialist e-commerce due diligence in a take-over involving a payment gateway.

He is also available to provide expert evidence in respect to such matters.

Expertise

Advice on digital evidence

Advising the legal profession, global businesses and governments on digital evidence and electronic signatures. In particular:

(i) The legal implications of tendering copies of emails, rather than tendering the entire e-mail

(ii) admission of digital evidence into legal proceedings

(ii) challenging the weight of digital evidence

(iii) advising the binding effects of electronic gateways

(iv) authentication, retention of digital documents; email and internet use policies; security policies; interception and monitoring of communications and data protection

(v) electronic banking cases (ATM withdrawals, internet banking)

Advice on electronic signatures

Governments and business

(i) legal requirements of electronic signature laws in all major centres of commerce and jurisdictions;

(ii) admissibility of digital evidence and binding legal effect of electronic signatures;

(iii) integration of electronic signatures to acquire products and services in a number of jurisdictions;

(iv) audits and assessments of electronic signature programmes by businesses;

(v) electronic gateways constituting legally means to form contractual relations

(vi) binding use of electronic signatures with indemnities and guarantees

(vii) Advised on digital evidence in jurisdictions such as UK, Russia, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Canada, Germany, France, India, Australasia, South Korea

Businesses advised

(i) Software publishers and developers, including: Adobe, Inc.; Clifford Thames Limited

(ii) Industrial and manufacturing, including: Biwater PLC; Guerbet Laboratories Limited; Protech Asbestos Removal Limited;Wellness Technology (706) Limited; CBH Distribution Limited; Eurobuns Limited; Caravell (UK) Limited

(iii) Banking (Fortis Bank UK); ATM distributors

(iii) E-entrepreneurs, including: MARKETech, Inc.; Symbiotic Projects Limited; Evidence Talks Limited, including the automotive industry (Autobytel)

(iv) Payment gateway providers

Professional advice

(i) Advising generally on digital evidence, electronic signatures, security, data protection and related matters to on-line trading

(ii) Preparation and critiques of -email and internet use policies; software licences; online trading terms; disclaimers; businesses’ terms of use and trading; privacy policies for ecommerce sites; domain name disputes and back-end contracts; agency and distribution agreements; bespoke commercial agreements for national and enterprises trading globally; terms of trading

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