Laura Stephenson

Laura Stephenson

"A very able advocate, who is well-prepared, thoughtful and extremely adept at dealing with sensitive cases."

Legal 500 UK 2023
Year of call: 2012
For enquiries please call: 020 7353 5324 or email vcard cv linkedin save

Criminal Defence

Laura is instructed to defend in cases spanning a wide range of seriousness, including rape, child sexual abuse, s.18 assault, fraud, and drugs offences. Examples of cases she is currently instructed in as junior counsel include international people trafficking and historic child sexual abuse.

Laura has been instructed as sole counsel in a money laundering case with a value of over £2 million and is currently being led in a counterfeiting currency case valued at over £5 million. She is skilled at managing the voluminous paperwork and extensive disclosure that often arises in such cases. Her significant practice in the Tax Tribunal enables her to approach complex financial crime with confidence, she has particular knowledge in VAT and customs and excise.

Examples of recent notable cases:

R v E [2021]

Junior counsel for the first defendant who is accused of controlling prostitution, forced labour, rape and people trafficking in respect of a number of women allegedly trafficked from South America to the UK.

R v S [2021]

Defended a man accused of the rape of a 17-year-old girl who was attacked by a stranger on the street. The defence made successful legal applications before trial about the complainant’s sexual history and the admissibility of expert evidence. This was one of several cases Laura has dealt with involving the s.28 pre-recorded cross examination procedure.

R v May [2020] EWCA Crim 365 

Defended a woman of good character who pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving. At the Court of Appeal, a sentence of 24 weeks’ immediate imprisonment was replaced with a suspended sentence. An order for an extended driving test after obligatory disqualification from driving was also successfully appealed.

R v C [2020]

Represented a man accused of committing two random stabbings of women on the street in East London. The defendant was found not fit to plead and Laura acted in his interests at trial and sentence. The defendant received a hospital order. The case received attention in the local and national press.

R v K [2019]

Defended a man accused of rape, false imprisonment and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, but denied rape. The defendant was acquitted of rape and assault after a trial.

R v D [2018]

Junior counsel to Narita Bahra QC in a complex case involving the international supply of drugs and unauthorised medicines.


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