Stephen Requena

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    Legal 500, 2022
    Stephen Requena

    Personal profile

    Stephen has a wealth of expertise in defending and prosecuting Business & Fraud Crime, Sexual Offences, Organised Crime, Serious Violence, and Road Traffic Offences resulting in death and serious injury. He has acted as leading junior for both prosecution and defence.

    A natural jury advocate, Stephen has a practical, hands-on approach and establishes excellent working relationships with his instructing solicitors and lay clients.

    Stephen is also highly experienced in Inquiry work. He was instructed by the Treasury Solicitor in the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and since 2019 has been engaged in specialist work for the Dame Linda Dobbs Review into matters relating to the HBOS Reading Fraud.


    Stephen is an experienced and effective specialist in cases of serious and complex Fraud, acting for both defence and prosecution. He is currently instructed as leading junior for the defence in an alleged £6.5m fraud due to be tried in 2023.

    Stephen is regularly instructed in cases of alleged corporate and related offending involving millions of pounds and the use of complex corporate and financial structures, including offshore companies and accounts.

    Stephen has defended doctors, company directors, bookkeepers and other professionals accused of Business & Fraud Crime and has appeared in the Companies Court.

    He has been briefed by several branches of the CPS Specialist Fraud Division several high-value prosecutions and has been instructed by government departments and agencies in the prosecution of offences under the Insolvency and Companies Acts.

    He is a CPS Specialist Panel Advocate (Fraud) (Grade 3).

    Featured cases

    • R v J and others (2020–present) – Instructed to lead for the defence in an alleged £6.5m fraud.
    • R v D (2019) – Instructed in a private defence of a trader charged with fraud, supply of a dangerous motor vehicle and perverting the course of justice by impersonating a trading standards officer.
    • R v M (2018) – Instructed for the prosecution of the Driving Standards Manager of the South East Coast Ambulance Service, for fraudulently obtaining his post by fabricating qualifications and forging documents.[Press Report]
    • R v T (2017) – Instructed for the prosecution of a chartered accountant for £5m fraud on a high-profile international company. Involved several corporate entities, property developments, stock transactions and bank transfers. [Press Report].
    • R v B (2017) – Instructed for the prosecution of a tax adviser for cheating the Revenue of £1.5m.
    • R v L (2016–2017) – Instructed for the prosecution of an international advance fee fraud perpetrated by a chartered surveyor. The fraud was carried out over several years mainly by way of voluminous email correspondence with three friends and acquaintances, two of whom were deceased by the date of trial.
    • R v G and others (2016) – Instructed for the prosecution of multi-handed conspiracies to defraud (VAT and Gift Aid) involving numerous corporate vehicles and charities. (Led jnr.)
    • R v B and others (2015) – Successful defence in £1.9m land banking boiler room fraud. The client was said to be an organiser and salesman who admitted using a pseudonym and being paid via a third party.
    • R v B (2015) – Instructed for the prosecution of the heiress to the Hickstead show jumping fortune for cheating HMRC of £½m in inheritance tax, the first of its kind. Confiscation proceedings concluded with a finding of £1m in hidden assets.[Press Report]
    • R v P and others (2013) – Successful defence of the bookkeeper at filmmaker Richard Driscoll’s studios in the second Film Tax Credit/VAT fraud prosecution. International media coverage. Acquitted on all counts after three-month trial. (Led jnr) [Press Report]

    Sexual Offences

    Stephen is regularly instructed on behalf of defendants accused of the most serious Sexual Offences involving adults and children up to and including rape. He has represented professionals accused of offending in the course of their work, including a teacher and a psychiatric nurse.

    Stephen is very experienced in dealing with vulnerable witnesses and has been appointed by the court to conduct cross-examinations under s38 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 on behalf of unrepresented defendants.

    He has also prosecuted serious sexual offences, including a case in which the complainant was a child aged four years and allegations of historical abuse.

    Featured cases

    • R v D (2018–2021) – Instructed for defence of the first defendant in a grave and complex case in which he was charged with 23 offences against three child victims, including rape of a child aged between three and five years, assault by penetration and sexual assault of a child aged 22-months and causing or inciting child pornography. (Jnr. alone) [Press Report]
    • R v S (2019) – Successful defence of a professional therapist accused by two customers of sexual assaults.
    • R v C (2017) – Instructed for defence in allegations of historic domestic rape.
    • R v C (2017) – Instructed for defendant accused of raping an acquaintance.
    • R v T (2016) – Successful defence of local councillor accused of historic indecent assaults on a family member.
    • R v J (2016) – Engaged by the court to conduct the cross-examination of rape complainant under s38 YJCEA 1999. Legal argument concerned the interplay of s38 and trial in absence.
    • R v S (2016) – Engaged by the court under s38 for a defendant accused of sexually assaulting a stranger on public transport. Subsequently instructed to conduct the remainder of the trial. Defendant acquitted.
    • R v J (2015) – Successful defence of man accused by his half-sister of several offences of rape and gross indecency.
    • R v B (2014) – Secured acquittal of a 78-year-old client on several counts of historical buggery and gross indecency (convicted of indecent assault). A previous history of similar offending and his pleas of guilty to several indecent assaults on the complainant were before the jury. [Press Report]
    • R v M (2013) – Instructed as junior for the first defendant in a three-month nine-handed rape and child prostitution case at the Central Criminal Court. [Press Report]
    • R v C (2012) – Instructed for the defence of a psychiatric nurse who was accused independently by two patients of a number of sexual assaults. The client was acquitted on all counts. [Press Report]

    Serious & Organised Crime

    Stephen prosecutes and defends in large-scale drug importations and conspiracies, firearms offences and other cases of Serious & Organised Crime, including those involving sexual exploitation, modern slavery and immigration fraud (in 2010 he was prosecution junior in what was then the country’s largest sham marriage trial).

    Stephen is particularly experienced in cases which contain a prominent international dimension and involve letters of request, european arrest warrants, evidence by video link and Extradition.

    He is on the CPS Serious Crime Panel, (Grade 3) and has been instructed by SOCA and the CPS Organised Crime Division.

    He has prosecuted sensitive cases involving persons of interest to the national security services.

    Featured cases

    • R v S and others (2019–2021) – Instructed to represent the first defendant in a sophisticated and evidentially complicated seven-handed conspiracy to steal, disguise and export high-value vehicles. Guilty pleas were entered on a restricted basis and the value of the conspiracy was successfully limited to £3.3m as opposed to the £8m claimed by the prosecution.
    • R v L and others (2019) – Instructed for the prosecution of a large-scale modern slavery conspiracy involving complex witness issues and evidence given via international video links. Sentences from eight to ten years’ imprisonment. (First jnr., sentencing and confiscation proceedings unled).
    • R v D and others (2018–2019) – Instructed for the prosecution in a large, multi-handed duty evasion case. (Led jnr.)
    • R v H and others (2017) – Instructed to represent the second defendant in an eleven-handed case involving allegations of converting the criminal proceeds of organised drug dealing.
    • Op Kraken (2017) – Instructed for the prosecution in a case involving organised drug dealing.
    • Op Ant (2016) – Instructed for the prosecution in a case involving several importations of tobacco products with over £800k duty evaded.
    • Op Probert (2015) – Instructed for the prosecution in a case of large-scale highly organised conspiracy to supply cocaine.
    • Op Burlesque (2014) – Instructed for the prosecution in a multi-handed SOCA drug conspiracy involving £4m of cocaine and one of SOCA’s ‘most toxic’ criminals. Sentences between 12 and seven-and-a-half years.
    • R v F and others (2013) – Instructed for the prosecution in a conspiracy to import 19 kg of cocaine through Gatwick Airport via a corrupt baggage handler.
    • R v B (2012) – Instructed to prosecute the importation of 60 kg of heroin by a coach driver, subsequently sentenced to 20 years’).
    • R v B (2012) – Successful defence of possession of an automatic handgun, ammunition and silencer. The case involved complex issues of hearsay (a convicted co-defendant’s interview), accomplice evidence (from another convicted co-defendant, the client’s ex-girlfriend), bad character evidence and contested expert cell site evidence.

    Proceeds of Crime and Confiscation

    Stephen has a wealth of expertise in restraint, confiscation and civil recovery. He is on the CPS Proceeds of Crime Panel, (Grade 3), has been instructed by the National Crime Agency and regularly appears for defendants/respondents.

    His fraud and serious organised crime practice accounts for a large proportion of the confiscation proceedings in which he has appeared. Many involve millions of pounds in benefits and assets and the use of off-shore accounts and corporate structures.

    Stephen is also regularly briefed in money laundering prosecutions and civil forfeiture proceedings.

    Featured cases

    • R v S and others (2021) – Instructed to represent the first defendant in confiscation proceedings resulting from a conspiracy to steal, disguise and export high-value vehicles worth £3.3m.
    • R v L and others (2019–present) – Instructed to prosecute in post-conviction POCA proceedings relating to a large-scale, multi million pound modern slavery conspiracy.
    • R v H and others (2017) – Instructed to represent the second defendant in an eleven-handed case involving allegations of converting the criminal proceeds of organised drug dealing.
    • R v G and others (2017) – Successfully conducted post-conviction POCA proceedings were unled in case of conspiracy to defraud.
    • R v B (2016) – Post-conviction confiscation proceedings concluded after a contested hearing with a finding that the defendant had concealed assets worth £1m and an order to pay over £½ million.
    • R v D and others (2016) – Instructed for the defence in a money laundering trial involving members of the family of a man convicted of serious organised crime.
    • R v S and others (2015) – Instructed to prosecute (led) in a five-month multi-handed money laundering and fraud trial.
    • Op Vine (2014) – Sole successful conduct of multi-million pound confiscation proceedings in conspiracy to defraud.

    Serious Violence

    Stephen has a lengthy track record prosecuting and defending in cases of Serious Violence.

    He has appeared in trials involving gang violence, firearms, kidnapping and organised violent disorder, having prosecuted in some of the worst cases of football-related violence seen in recent years.

    Stephen was leading counsel for the Crown in the successful prosecution of a number of defendants accused of conspiring to commit a large number of cash-in-transit robberies (Op. Mill City (2005)).

    He has been led for the prosecution and defence in cases of murder and attempted murder, including in the high-profile “witchcraft” conspiracy to murder, K and others (2005), appearing alone in the subsequent successful appeal.

    Featured cases

    R v F (2019) – Instructed for the prosecution in a pre-planned wounding with intent committed in a busy shopping street in which the victim sustained a life-changing injury. Sentenced to eight years’ detention. [Press Report]

    R v A (2018) – Successful defence in an alleged road rage wounding with intent and attempted GBH.

    R v X and others (2017) – Successful defence of a man accused of conspiring to commit arson with intent, conspiracy to intimidate a witness and assisting an offender.

    R v A and others (2017) – Instructed to prosecute a conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life and several counts of wounding with intent and attempting to cause GBH with intent. (Led jnr.).

    R v S (2017) – Instructed to prosecute a road rage trial in which the victim was deliberately caused very serious injuries by being crushed between two vehicles. Sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.

    R v P and another (2016) – Successful defence of an ex-offender community ‘violence interrupter’ charged with involvement in a stabbing.

    Instructed for the defence at the Old Bailey in s18 stabbing where the defendant had armed himself with a knife and threatened to stab the complainant before inflicting two wounds and confessing to police. The defendant asserted it was an accident and was acquitted.

    Successful defence of first defendant in multi-handed kidnapping and robbery and separate trial involving gunpoint robbery.

    S18 allegation supported by independent eyewitnesses of kicking and stamping resulting in fractured eye-socket and loss of vision. The defendant asserted self-defence and was acquitted.

    Road Traffic Offences

    Stephen has wide-ranging experience in defending cases of causing death or serious injury by dangerous or careless driving. Alongside his publicly funded practice he also defends in private driving cases, mainly for professional lay clients, in matters ranging from s172 RTA cases to allegations of death by driving.

    Featured cases

    • (2019) – Instructed in a case in which a 16-year-old pleaded guilty to offences relating to his driving of a motor vehicle taken without consent which crashed, causing near-fatal and life-changing injuries to two of its occupants. A custodial sentence was avoided.
    • (2018) – Secured the acquittal of a bus driver accused of causing death by careless driving in a case in which the prosecution relied upon expert evidence, a number of eyewitnesses and recordings made by several CCTV cameras.
    • (2017) – Instructed to represent the driver of a car transporter who was accused of causing death by dangerous driving and a London bus driver accused of causing death by careless driving.
    • (2016) – Secured the acquittal of a dustcart driver indicted with causing the death of a colleague by careless driving (alleged ‘unintended acceleration’), a case in which the defence had no expert evidence to assist in challenging two prosecution experts.

    Regulatory & Professional Disciplinary

    Stephen has been instructed in private prosecutions under the Trade Marks Act 1994 on behalf of a number of manufacturers of luxury goods and has represented a well-known firm of high street estate agents in criminal proceedings under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

    Featured cases

    • (2010) – Instructed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (as it then was) to advise on the first prosecutions brought under the End-of-Life Vehicles (Producer Responsibility) Regulations 2005. Having advised on interpretation of the regulations, legal and evidential requirements, matters relating to the public interest and charging, in the following two years Stephen prosecuted these environmental offences in a large number of cases all over the country. He was also instructed to advise on potential amendments to the Regulations.

    Inquests & Inquiries

    Stephen has in-depth experience of high-profile and sensitive Inquiry work.

    Featured cases

    • (2019 – ongoing) – Engaged full-time in the Dame Linda Dobbs Review into matters relating to the HBOS Reading fraud. Stephen has a senior role in a specialist team dealing with legally privileged material. In addition to analysing very large volumes of such evidence, his responsibilities include reviewing the work of more junior counsel and preparing and conducting interviews of key participants.
    • At an earlier stage in his career Stephen was instructed by the Treasury Solicitor in the Bloody Sunday Inquiry as a led junior representing, amongst others, one of the soldiers alleged to have fired fatal shots. As well as having cross-examined witnesses in Derry-Londonderry he was tasked with analysing tens of thousands of pages of evidence.


    • LLB (Hons), London School of Economics: First class


    • Major Scholarship, Inner Temple


    • CPS Panel Advocate (General Crime) (Level 3)
    • CPS Specialist Panel Advocate (Fraud, Serious Crime, POCA) (Level 3)


    • South Eastern Circuit
    • Inner Temple


    • ‘Importation/Exportation, Production, Supply and Possession of Controlled Drugs’, LexisNexis Practice Notes, 2012, lead author
    • ‘The Serious and Organised Crime and Police Act 2005’, Red Lion Chambers Seminar, 2005, seminar author and presenter


    • French (conversational)
    • Spanish (basic)