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Stephen Requena

Stephen Requena

Call: 1997

T: 0207 520 6000    E: chambers@18rlc.co.uk

Stephen has a wealth of experience in defending and prosecuting fraud and corporate crime, sexual offences, organised crime, serious violence and road traffic offences resulting in death and serious injury.

Stephen also maintains a strong regulatory practice which has included private prosecutions under the Trade Marks Act 1994 on behalf of well-known manufacturers of luxury goods and representing a high-profile firm of high street estate agents in criminal proceedings under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

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


Fraud & Corporate CrimeSexual OffencesOrganised CrimeProceeds of Crime (POCA) Violent CrimeRoad Traffic

Stephen is an experienced and effective specialist in cases of serious and complex fraud, acting for both defence and prosecution.

He is regularly instructed in cases involving all types of alleged corporate offending including fraudulent trading, theft of company assets, etc. involving millions of pounds and the use of complex corporate and financial structures, including off-shore companies and accounts.

Stephen has defended company directors, bookkeepers and other professionals accused of financial and corporate crime and has appeared in the Companies Court.

He is currently briefed by several branches of the CPS Specialist Fraud Division in a number of 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 on the CPS Fraud Panel, Level 3.

  • R v T (2017)  Prosecution of Chartered Accountant for £5m fraud of a high-profile company.  Involved several corporate entities, property developments, stock transactions and bank transfers.  Press Links: Express
  • R v B (2017)  Prosecution of tax adviser for cheating the Revenue of £1.5m.
  • R v L (2016-2017)  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 & ors (2016)  Prosecution of multi-handed conspiracies to defraud (VAT and Gift Aid) involving numerous corporate vehicles and charities (Led jnr.).
  • R v B & ors (2015)  Successful defence in £1.9m land banking boiler room fraud.  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)  Prosecution of 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 Links: Telegraph
  • R v P & ors (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 Links: Telegraph

Stephen is regularly instructed on behalf of defendants accused of serious sexual offences 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 engaged by the Court to conduct cross-examinations under s. 38 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.

He has also prosecuted serious sexual offences, including a case involving a very young complainant (a child aged four) and allegations of historical abuse.

  • 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 s. 38 YJCEA 1999.  Legal argument concerned the interplay of s. 38 and trial in absence.
  • R v S (2016)  Engaged by the court under s. 38 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 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 Links: BBC
  • R v M (2013)  Junior for first defendant in three-month nine-handed rape and child prostitution case at the Central Criminal Court. Press Links: BBC
  • R v C (2012)  Defence of a psychiatric nurse who was accused independently by two patients of a number of sexual assaults.  Client acquitted on all counts.  Press Links: BBC


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 (e.g. R v M, above) and immigration fraud (in 2010 he was prosecution junior in what was then the country’s largest sham marriage trial).

Stephen has particular experience in cases which contain a prominent international dimension and involve letters of request, European Arrest Warrants, evidence by video link or extradition.

He is on the CPS Serious Crime Panel, Level 3 and has been instructed by SOCA and the CPS Organised Crime Division.  He has prosecuted in sensitive cases involving persons of interest to the national security services.

  • R v D & ors (2017/2018)  Instructed for the prosecution in large multi-handed duty evasion case.  (Led jnr.)
  • R v H & ors (2017)  Represented the second defendant in an eleven-handed case involving allegations of converting the criminal proceeds of organised drug dealing.
  • Op Kraken (2017)  Prosecuted in case involving organised drug dealing.
  • Op Ant (2016)  Prosecuted in case involving several importations of tobacco products with over £800k duty evaded.
  • Op Probert (2015)  Prosecuted in case of large-scale highly organised conspiracy to supply cocaine.
  • Op Burlesque (2014)  Prosecuted a multi-handed SOCA drug conspiracy involving £4m of cocaine and one of SOCA’s ‘most toxic’ criminals. Sentences between 12 and 7 ½ years.
  • R v F & ors (2013)  Prosecuted a conspiracy to import 19 kg of cocaine through Gatwick Airport via a corrupt baggage handler.
  • R v B (2012)  Prosecuted the importation of 60 kg of heroin by a coach driver (sentence 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.

Stephen has a wealth of expertise in restraint, confiscation and civil recovery.  He is on the CPS Proceeds of Crime Panel, Level 3, is instructed by the National Crime Agency and also 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 benefit and assets and the use of off-shore accounts and structures.

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

  • R v H & ors (2017)  Represented the second defendant in an eleven-handed case involving allegations of converting the criminal proceeds of organised drug dealing.
  • R v G & ors (2017)  Successfully conducted post-conviction POCA proceedings 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 & ors (2016)  Defence in money laundering trial involving members of the family of a man convicted of serious organised crime.
  • R v S & ors (2015)  Prosecution (led) in 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.

Stephen has a lengthy track record prosecuting and defending in cases of serious violence.

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

He 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 & ors (2005), appearing alone in the subsequent successful appeal.

  • R v X & ors (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 & ors (2017)  Prosecuting  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)  Prosecuted a road rage trial in which the victim was deliberately caused very serious injuries by being crushed between two vehicles.  Sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment.
  • R v P & anor (2016)  Successful defence of an ex-offender community ‘violence interrupter’ charged with involvement in a stabbing.
  • Other recent defence cases include:
    • Defence at Old Bailey in s. 18 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.
    • S. 18 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.


Stephen has wide 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 s. 172 RTA cases to allegations of death by driving.

In 2016 he secured the acquittal of a dust cart driver charged 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.

In 2017 Stephen represented the driver of a car transporter accused of causing death by dangerous driving and a London bus driver accused of causing death by careless driving.

Regulatory & Professional Discipline


Intellectual Property

Stephen has been instructed in private prosecutions under the Trade Marks Act 1994 on behalf of high-profile manufacturers of luxury goods.

Health & Safety and Environment

Stephen recently represented a well-known firm of high street estate agents in criminal proceedings under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

In 2010 Stephen was instructed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (as it then was) to advise on the first ever criminal prosecutions to be brought under the End-of-Life Vehicles (Producer Responsibility) Regulations 2005.  In the following two years he prosecuted these regulatory environmental offences in a large number of cases all over the country.

Inquiries & Appellate Work

Stephen has in-depth experience of public inquiry work, having been briefed by the Treasury Solicitor in the long-running Bloody Sunday Inquiry as junior counsel representing, amongst others, one of the soldiers alleged to have fired fatal shots.

Publications, Lectures and Training


Importation/Exportation, Production, Supply and Possession of Controlled Drugs: lead author, LexisNexis Practice Notes (2012)

The Serious and Organised Crime and Police Act 2005: Seminar: author and presenter 18 Red Lion Court (2005)



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First class LL.B. (Hons), London School of Economics – (1993-1996)


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South Eastern Circuit

Inner Temple



Professional Appointments

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CPS Panels (Level 3) – Fraud, Serious Crime, General Crime, Proceeds of Crime


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Major Scholarship, Inner Temple