Stephen is the head of the Criminal and Regulatory Litigation Group, consisting of the criminal, regulatory and public law litigation teams. He has extensive experience of public inquiries, criminal and regulatory litigation and public law. He is a highly versatile lawyer with rankings in the leading directories in respect of crime; fraud; administrative and public law and professional discipline.

Stephen is included in the Times Law 100, the list of the most influential lawyers in the country.

"fantastic lawyer, with a political head on him,' ... 'absolutely cool in a crisis."

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2014

Stephen frequently represents high profile individuals caught up in criminal or regulatory investigations. His background, working at the highest levels of government, makes him particularly well placed to advise in cases which need good political antennae and sensitive handling. 

He has extensive experience handling public inquiry work, having played a leading role in 10 major inquiries in recent years, including the Hutton inquiry and the Leveson inquiry.

In his varied career Stephen has been a prosecutor in the CPS, the Legal Adviser to the Companies Investigation Branches of the DTI and has had responsibility for all the Government's chancery and regulatory litigation. Between 1999 and 2003 he was the Deputy Head of the Attorney General's Office.

Stephen was called to the Bar in 1980 and requalified as a solicitor in 2005. He became a partner of Kingsley Napley in 2005 and the head of the Criminal and Regulatory Practice Area in 2006. He is also admitted to the Bar of the Turks and Caicos Islands in respect of a number of cases.

What is said about Stephen:

  • "Stephen Parkinson has 'a very high standing in his field'... 'wonderful at offering strategic advice' and providing 'sound counsel' to clients."
    (The International Who's Who of Business Crime, 2013)
  • "Stephen Parkinson's caselist reads like a Who's Who of modern UK political  affairs" (The Lawyer 2013)
  • "Excellent lawyer, who has great objectivity, and is considerate and calm" (Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2013) 
  • “excellent strategic advice on highly sensitive issues", (Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2012)
  • ""professional, experienced, calm and knowledgeable", Legal 500 UK 2012
  • "Stephen is 'cool and calm in a crisis' and has an ability 'to sift through material and find the bits that matter'...", (Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2012)
  • Clients value his ability to 'see the problems and the issues immediately, and understand the easiest way to make progress'...", (Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2011)
  • "Impressed clients describe him as 'an anchor in the middle of a storm'...", (Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2010)
  • "He is commended for his extensive knowledge and ability to explain complex information clearly", (Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2010)
  • "Master tactician", (Legal 500, 2009)
  • "An intelligent practitioner who has an acute awareness of political sensitivities", (Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2009)
  • "Outstanding track record", (Legal Business)

Selected matters in which Stephen has acted:

  • Advised Andrew Mitchell, former Chief Whip, concerning the criminal litigation aspects of the "Plebgate" affair.
  • Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards: advised former UBS Chief Executive, Dr Marcel Rohner.
  • Operations Weeting and Elveden (phone hacking and police corruption), Leveson Inquiry.
  • Advised the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and all the No 10 and Cabinet Office witnesses in the Hutton Inquiry.
  • Advised former Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major and former Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine in the BSE Inquiry.
  • Advised a key witness in the Iraq Inquiry.
  • Represents several clients in corruption investigation/prosecution in Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • Represented Sir Ian Blair and other officers in the IPCC investigations arising out of the shooting of the Jean Charles de Menezes.
  • Represented Sir Ian Blair in the Flanagan investigation for the MPA.
  • Represented clients in the loans-for-peerages investigation.
  • Represented clients in the BAE/ Saudi corruption investigation. 



  • Contributor to Blackstone's Criminal Practice 2014. 
  • Author, with David Corker, Disclosure in Criminal Proceedings, published 2009

Articles and comment:

  • The Guardian, 'Keir Starmer to stand down as director of public prosecutions'  April 2013
  • The Times, 'when is a bribe not a bribe', Stephen comments on the challenges of oligarch litigation, July 2012
  • The Times, Ministers defy their experts to kill Serious Fraud Office and Standalone agency crucial in the fight against corruption, April 2011.
  • The Telegraph, The Bribery Act is a case of 'right idea, wrong time' for the the Government, February 2011.
  • Times online, CPS role in extradition cases, January 2011.
  • Lawyer of the Week, The Times, July 2010.
  • Stephen is a member of the Times Law Panel and of the Advisory Board of the Centre of Criminal Law, University College, London.

Stephen Parkinson

Partner and Practice Area Leader

"If I were a local authority or public body looking for a solicitor," states a market source, "he would be my number-one choice."

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2014

"...'he has perfect, faultless judgement'...”  

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession,  2013

"Stephen Parkinson is an "extremely astute and enormously experienced" former government lawyer who is considered to be one of the leading public law solicitors in the country."

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2013