Stephen Parkinson

Senior Partner

Criminal Litigation | Public Inquiries

"he is phenomenal; he's an extraordinarily smart lawyer," adding that "he sees things from all perspectives."

Chambers and Partners, 2019

"a stellar reputation as one of the UK’s pre-eminent practitioners for defending individuals"

Legal 500, 2019

Stephen Parkinson is Kingsley Napley’s Senior Partner.

Stephen is a highly experienced and versatile litigator with extensive experience in advising companies and individuals caught up in criminal and regulatory investigations or public inquiries. His previous client list has included Tesco PLC, the Financial Conduct Authority, three former Prime Ministers and numerous individuals at the top of their fields, whether in business or politics.  He is adept at advising on and managing the reputational issues which invariably arise when high profile individuals or companies are involved in investigations.

Stephen is unusual in having achieved distinction in a number of areas of law, and in having worked at the highest levels both in the public and private sectors.  This experience has given him an unusually broad perspective and ability to advise on a wide range of issues.  He has rankings in the leading directories in respect of business and financial crime, administrative and public law and professional discipline.

"“a huge figure” in the business crime space who comes highly recommended by market sources for his vast experience handling regulatory and criminal investigations."

Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence 2018

Outstanding in Field"

Spears Top 5 Criminal Lawyers

Widely recognised for his 'sensational' work, particularly defending high-profile individuals"

Who's Who Legal: Business Crime

"Stephen is one of the most accomplished criminal defence lawyers in the country," enthuses a legal insider, adding that "he has a calm but assured demeanour and tons of experience."

Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2018

Prior to joining Kingsley Napley, Stephen was the Deputy Head of the Attorney General’s Office, advising three Attorney Generals in succession on their responsibilities for criminal litigation and for the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office. Stephen became a partner at Kingsley Napley in 2005, and then the Head of the Criminal Litigation department from 2006-2018, before stepping up to Senior Partner on 1 May 2018.

Stephen is an LGBT Ally, and has made the promotion of diversity and inclusion a key objective for his term as Senior Partner.

WHAT CLIENTS AND DIRECTORIES HAVE SAID

"He comes across as measured and considered; he's very highly respected"

Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2018

"Draws high praise from a range of international sources for his world-class practice"

Who's Who Legal, Business Crime Defence 2017: Analysis

"...Respected for his crisis coolness, strategic judgement and political sensitivity..."

Quote taken from Spear's, Top Five Criminal Lawyers, 10th Anniversary Issue 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                                          

Really top-notch given his experience and insight. …His knowledge is amazing; he's very sharp and very quick."

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016

High minded and clever "

Chambers UK, A Client's 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 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 Minister 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: Investigations, 2015

"...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 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

Stephen Parkinson's case list reads like a Who's Who of modern UK political affairs.

The Lawyer, 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

 

Recent cases

  • 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  in the Davis Inquiry (2014)
  • Advised Rebekah Brooks in the early stages of operations Weeting and Elveden (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.

 

Publications and Articles

Books:

  • Author, with David Corker, Disclosure in Criminal Proceedings, published 2009

Articles and comment:

 

Professional SOCIETIES and Memberships

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.

 

"he's very experienced, very sensible and knows the SFO extremely well," adding that "he has great knowledge of criminal trials."

Chambers and Partners, 2019

"understated and highly intelligent," highlighting his "great and clear grasp of strategy."

Chambers and Partners, 2018 

The "brilliant" Stephen Parkinson is well regarded for his work in the full range of financial crime matters, with a growing practice in the representation of corporates.

Chambers and Partners, 2018 

stands out for his excellent advocacy work in relation to business crime investigations

Who’s Who Legal, Investigations 2018 

"draws high praise from a range of international sources for his world-class practice"

Who's Who Legal, Business Crime Defence 2017 

"The ‘highly intelligent and calm’ Stephen Parkinson is ‘admired by those who lead the prosecuting authorities, from whom he obtains, as a consequence, results which appear impossible’."

Legal 500, 2017

"regularly entrusted with cases of the very greatest complexity and intellectual demand"

Legal 500, 2017

"fantastically able practitioner who is well connected”

Who’s Who Legal and GIR top lawyers for internal /external investigations, 2017

"one of the most talented solicitors around."

Chambers UK, 2017

hugely knowledgeable and hugely experienced, with a really good sense of judgement in complex cases, and a very strategic mind."

Chambers and Partners, 2017

"His diplomatic skills are second to none, which is very valuable."

Chambers UK, 2017

"exceptional judgment."

Chambers UK, 2017

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Insight from Stephen

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Legal 500 UK 2019
Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence 2018

Contact Stephen

+44 (0)20 7814 1204

sparkinson@kingsleynapley.co.uk

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