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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 criminal and regulatory litigation and public law. He is a highly versatile lawyer with rankings in the leading directories in respect of financial crime; general crime; 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.
"...Outstanding in Field..." Spear's Top 5 Criminal Lawyers, 2016
"...Stephen Parkinson is head of the firm’s criminal and regulatory litigation group and another with 'a client list to die for' ..." Who's Who Legal: Investigations, 2016
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.
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
What is said about Stephen:
- "High minded and clever...really top notch, given his experience and insight...his knowledge is amazing; he's very sharp and very quick." (Chambers UK, A Clients guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016).
- "Strong on the interface between criminal and public law". He is described as "very incisive, pragmatic and easy to work with." (Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016)
- "Fantastic lawyer, with a political head on him,' ... 'absolutely cool in a crisis." (Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2015)
- "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)
- "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)
Selected matters in which Stephen has acted:
- Represents Tesco Plc in the SFO investigation into its accounting practices
- Currently advises senior business people in several other major SFO investigations.
- Represented the Financial Conduct Authority and its employees in the Davis Inquiry (2014)
- Advised Rebekah Brooks in the early stages of Operation Weeting and Elvedon (phone hacking and police corruption) and the Leveson Inquiry. A Kingsley Napley team led by Angus McBride represented her at trial.
- Adviser to several former Cabinet Ministers on a range of criminal and public inquiry work: 2012 - to current date.
- Advised the former 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.
- Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards: advised former UBS Chief Executive, Dr Marcel Rohner
- Represented 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 2016
- Author, with David Corker, Disclosure in Criminal Proceedings, published 2009
Articles and comment:
- The Lawyer, October 2015 "Hot 100 Alumni - Stephen Parkinson"
- The Times, June 2014 'Should we follow the Scots by having a written constitution?' (paywall acess required)
- The Lawyer, June 2014 'Government bribery review: need for speed must not replace fairness'
- 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.
"...Respected for his crisis coolness, strategic judgement and political sensitivity..."
Quote taken from Spear's, Top Five Criminal Lawyers, 10th Anniversary Iaaue 2016
"'...recommended for his abilities in politically significant criminal proceedings. Sources praise him as "high-minded and clever."
Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016
"...His knowledge is amazing; he's very sharp and very quick..."
Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016
Stephen Parkinson is head of the firm’s criminal and regulatory litigation group and another "major player in the UK market". Interviewees picked out his "phenomenal track record", which includes clients in several major SFO investigations as well as other high-profile clients such as the former prime minster Tony Blair in the Hutton Inquiry and former UBS chief executive Dr Marcel Rohner in relation to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards."
Who's Who Legal, 2016
"...If I were a local authority or public body looking for a solicitor," states a market source, "he would be my first choice."
Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2014
"Stephen Parkinson's caselist reads like a Who's Who of modern UK political affairs."
The Lawyer, 2013