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Stephen Leslie KC

Stephen Leslie KC is a former Leader of the South-Eastern Circuit. He specialises in complex and serious cases, including murders and other homicides, financial frauds, and other serious crimes.

Stephen Leslie, QC
Stephen Leslie QC

Career highlights

Call: 1971
Silk: 1993

Stephen Leslie KC has focused almost exclusively on criminal work, both defending and prosecuting throughout his career.

During that time, he has built an outstanding track record, noted for being able to easily deal with vast quantities of information, specialising in complex and serious cases.

Stephen Leslie QC CV
(PDF, 189 KB)

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Specialist areas

Stephen Leslie KC has conducted criminal cases before United Kingdom Crown Courts, and the Court of Appeal. In the Privy council he has appeared for several Appellants from the West Indies pro bono in their appeals against conviction for murder who had been sentenced to capital punishment.

He has also appeared before Courts Martial in Iraq to defend a UK soldier charged with homicide. He has represented Defendants in the Canary Islands and in Hong Kong in substantial fraud cases. He is widely experienced in defending the whole range of other criminal offences including terrorism, serious sexual offences, grave offences of violence and major frauds.


Stephen has appeared in numerous high profile fraud cases including a 15-month SFO prosecution, R v Pound, defending an architect in a multimillion-pound charities fraud and a 3-month single handed SFO prosecution defending a sales director of a multinational company.

Since then he has appeared in almost every type of fraud including boiler room, advance fee, mortgage, charity fraud, computer and letter of credit frauds, money laundering and insider dealing.

Memorable high-profile trials have included R v Wilkins – an acquittal in an SFO case, and he has also appeared in a high-profile SFO case representing Lord Edward Davenport. Stephen Leslie, KC’s experience of corruption trials encompasses cases against the police and public officials.

Murder and serious violence

Stephen Leslie’s has an extensive track record of defending in cases of homicide and other violent crime. He led Junior Counsel in four murder trials before taking Silk. His high-profile cases include the widely publicised and notorious Hungerford Bridge murder, where he represented the sole female defendant.

Stephen Leslie also recently appeared in a nationally publicised double murder trial where the defendant had killed his wife and a young child.

Vulnerable witnesses

Stephen Leslie is an accredited facilitator for the Vulnerable Witness Training programme of England and Wales.

Notable cases

R v T (Murder)

Six -week Murder trial – Principal defendant – (Juvenile)

• Alleged drug gang murder
• Four handed cut-throat
• Central Criminal Court

R v B (Murder)

Double Murder centring upon psychiatric evidence
• Bristol Crown Court before May J
• High Public Profile

R v KJS (Murder)

3-month high profile murder
• Acting for the first defendant and only one charged with murder in an 8 handed trial
• Case involved thousands of hours of CCTV and complex images
• Jury failed to agree

R v J (Fraud)

Complex Benefit frauds involving innumerable allegation over 8 plus years
• Large number of lever arch files containing various different frauds with varying names
• Defendant was involved in sacking 4 previous teams and we were able to conclude trial with overall
length of some 10 working weeks having taken it over mid trail and with minimum time to prepare and continue without complaint from the defendant during trial.

R v M (Fraud)

$100+ million international boiler room fraud (said to be largest ever), involving four continents
• Representing the accountant, who moved the funds across the world
• 3-month trial prosecuted by the SFO

FSA v D (Fraud)

Complex boiler room fraud representing the internal company accountant who was alleged to have run numerous bank accounts.
• International high-profile fraud involving six different countries.
• £28m involved through different companies, some of which had the Defendant as Company Director/Secretary
• Virtually paperless case
• 4-month trial after which every other co-defendant convicted on all counts, but Dingley acquitted of all counts.

SFO v D (Fraud)

Advance fee fraud c.£12m, rent fraud, ramping fraud and money laundering
• Representing the main defendant
• 4-month trial prosecuted by the SFO
• Largely paperless case where extensive material kept in encrypted form

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