Laura Kenyon

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Red Lion Chambers offers a great depth of talented, approachable counsel.

Legal 500, 2022
Laura Kenyon

Personal profile

Laura has developed a thriving Crime practice, and appears regularly on the South Eastern Circuit. Laura is a robust advocate, whose meticulous approach to preparation allows her to present cases concisely and persuasively.

Laura is known for having a consistently high level of oral and written advocacy. She is able to assimilate large quantities of information quickly, allowing her to present it in a jury-friendly manner, and to prepare persuasive and detailed legal arguments.

She has a logical approach to factually complex cases, which is of particular value in Serious & Organised Crime cases, such as Drug Offences and Human Trafficking, involving the assimilation of large quantities of telephonic material.

She has particular expertise in dealing with cases involving gang evidence or complex/ sensitive issues of disclosure.

Meanwhile, her approachable and reassuring manner, have allowed her to develop other areas of her practice, including work involving Sexual Offences. She has undertaken and organised specific courses to hone her ability to deal with vulnerable parties, especially in relation to sexual offences.

Serious & Organised Crime

Laura specialises in multi-defendant cases, where clear presentation of individual defendants’ roles and the relationships between them is crucial. These cases often have a gang background to them, requiring the deployment of expert evidence.

Featured cases

  • R v J and others (2017) – Six defendants (including youths) charged with possession of firearms with intent to endanger life and linked firearm offences. The case involved a novel approach to the presentation of gang evidence; the court ruled that local gang officers could properly be considered to be expert witnesses, by virtue of their experiences. (Led prosecution junior)
  • R v M and others (2018) – Three defendants charged with sex-trafficking offences between Romania and the United Kingdom, in respect of multiple females, convicted after trial. The case involved devising/ supervising the implementation of a disclosure strategy in respect of the complainants’ mobile telephone devices and obtaining expert evidence to demonstrate the legality (and therefore admissibility) of Romanian intercept evidence. (Led prosecution junior)
  • R v O and others (2018) – First of three trials arising from an Operation to address Millennium burglaries/ vehicle thefts in the East London area. Five defendants (including youths) pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle and steal in respect of over 40 vehicles. Appeal against sentence by one of defendants dismissed. (Pros counsel)
  • R v B and others (2019) – Second of three trials arising from the same operation as R v O and others. Five of the seven defendants (including youths) pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle and steal and the remaining two defendants were convicted after trial. (Leading pros counsel)
  • R v A and others (2019) – Nine defendants were charged with conspiracies to supply Class A drugs, involving three separate county drug lines. Four defendants pleaded guilty before trial. The trial involved the organisation of large quantities of mobile telephone and cell-site material, with the majority of the evidence successfully reduced to chronological agreed facts. (Led pros counsel)
  • R v W and another (2019) – Use of CCTV footage to show that the defendant could not have known that his co-defendant had a knife and was going to use it to stab someone. W was acquitted of wounding with intent (s18 OPA 1861) and related offences. (Defence counsel)
  • R v F (2019) – Instructed in the prosecution of F in relation to gang-related firearms offences, involving gang expert evidence. Successful application to join a further firearms and drug indictment, on the basis that these offences reflected either a series of offending behaviour or had a close factual nexus (location where they were found). (Led prosecution junior)
  • R v G and others (2019) – Five defendants charged with conspiracy to supply multiple kilos of controlled drugs of class A (cocaine). The defendants pleaded guilty, three of them on the first day of trial. (Prosecution counsel)
  • R v Z and others, R v B and others (2020) – Instructed in cases involving conspiracies to supply Class A drugs, arising out of a test-purchase operation targeting street-dealers. Witness anonymity applications sought and granted in respect of undercover officers. Majority of defendants pleaded guilty. The only defendant to stand trial to date pleaded guilty at the close of the prosecution case. (Leading prosecution counsel)
  • Op S (2020) – Instructed to provide charging advice to the CPS in respect of three drug lines (comprising 23 defendants), detected during a test purchase operation. All but one defendant (whose trial remains outstanding) pleaded guilty. The CBOs obtained in respect of the majority of defendants. (Prosecution counsel)
  • EncroChat (2020-2021) – Instructed to prosecute a large number of EncroChat cases involving firearms and up to hundreds of kilos of Class A drugs and, often, multiple defendants. Issues that have arisen include applications pursuant to section 8 of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996, for disclosure of third party handles, which have been successfully resisted by reference to appropriate disclosure strategies, set out in disclosure management documents.

See our Serious & Organised Crime team.

Sexual Offences

Laura has prosecuted and defended in cases involving particularly vulnerable victims and defendants. She has utilised techniques from her vulnerable witness training and the advocates’ gateway to allow witnesses to give their best evidence.

Featured cases

  • R v N (2018) – Romanian defendant charged with sex-trafficking offences in respect of his ex-girlfriend. The Romanian complainant had already given evidence against other defendants in an earlier trial; she was reluctant to participate in further proceedings and required a particularly sensitive approach. (Prosecution counsel)
  • R v B (2021) – 15-year-old defendant accused of touching his eight-year-old sister sexually. Cross-examination of complainant (then ten-years-old) in accordance with ground rules and of complainant’s mother. The defendant was convicted but sentenced to a youth referral order. (Defence counsel)

See our Sexual Offences team.

Road Traffic Offences

Laura has prosecuted and defended in a large variety of road traffic cases, including those where, tragically, a death has occurred. She is experienced in dealing with the technical and expert evidence often generated by these cases.

Featured cases

  • R v C (2019) – Acquittal of a bus driver accused of careless driving, in a situation where his bus, whilst turning a corner, collided with a pedestrian, whose leg had to be amputated as a result. Use of on-board CCTV material to demonstrate extremely restricted views available to the bus driver of the pedestrian, who had been crossing the road whilst the red-man signal was showing. Those factors and the number of other checks that the bus driver had to perform during the turning manoeuvre convinced the District Judge to acquit. (Defence counsel)

See our Road Traffic Offences team.

Education

  • BA Law with Law Studies in Europe (France)

Professional appointments

  • CPS Panel Advocate (Grade 4)

Memberships

  • CBA
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Essex Bar Mess

Languages

  • French

Other experience