Laura Stephenson

Laura Stephenson

"Laura is a formidable, articulate and compelling advocate. She has an exceptional ability to capture the details of a complex case on a first reading of the papers."

Legal 500 UK 2024
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.

Laura has been instructed as sole counsel in a money laundering case with a value of over £2 million and has been led in a counterfeiting currency case valued at over £12 million. She is currently junior counsel for a lead defendant in a sophisticated pension fraud involving over 60 investors at an estimated loss of £5.4 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 criminal cases:

R v R [2023]

Laura represented a defendant alleged to have played a leading role in a sophisticated money laundering organisation. The group operated from an office in Canary Wharf and were alleged to have handled the proceeds of a £13 million drugs operation.

R v B [2022]

Junior counsel defending in the highest value counterfeit currency case ever prosecuted in English legal history. Laura’s client was said to have a leading role in the organisation of the scheme and was not convicted at the end of the 9-week trial.

R v E [2021]

Junior counsel for the first defendant 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. Laura successfully challenged her sentence at the Court of Appeal: 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 was acquitted of rape and assault after a trial.

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