Stephen Akinsanya

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Stephen Akinsanya

Call: 1993 (E&W)
Call: 2013-2016 (TCI)


Stephen Akinsanya is a barrister with a modern approach to independent practice with over 20 year experience at the bar of England and Wales, who prides himself on offering efficient advice and committed and effective representation from start to finish on behalf of his professional and lay clients.

As an experienced advocate he has appeared in many complex and serious criminal cases including fraud and murder. He has been led in a number of high profile criminal cases from the Central Criminal court to the Supreme Court. His practice also includes acting for soldiers of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, advising on contractual disputes and regulatory work before professional bodies.

Stephen was previously a member of the Turks and Caicos Islands Bar and he appeared as lead counsel in a murder trial, coroner’s inquest and regularly defended in cases there. In addition he advises on some aspects of contractual and commercial disputes as well as providing a second opinion in appellate work. He is an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Arbitrators.

Stephen has built a reputation as an approachable, conscientious professional with courteous and sensitive treatment of his solicitors and clients, both professional and lay. He has a noticeable skill of quickly putting his client at ease from the first meeting and throughout the trial process.
He provides clear practical advice and presents his client’s case with clarity and simplicity. He is regarded as a passionate and persuasive advocate.

“…there can be no doubt that the advice, detailed as it is and with great particularity identifying documents and the nature of documents to be obtained, underlines Mr Akinsanya’s expertise and experience in the issue of Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings”
Lady Justice Macur BDE

Stephen has been a visiting advocacy adviser on the annual legal workshop panel at his former University. He is also an accredited advocacy trainer for the Inner Temple. He assists newly qualified barristers in the development of their advocacy skills and is also available to offer advocacy training to junior lawyers and students in overseas territories.

Practice Areas

• Criminal defence work – Complex and serious criminal cases with particular emphasis on fraud, cross border money laundering and alleged proceeds of criminal conduct.
• Prosecution work on behalf of the Department of Social Security
• Military courts martial
• Advising on death row and life sentence appeals from Jamaica to the Privy Council
• Advising on matters of commercial and contractual disputes
• Appearing before regulatory bodies for those accused of misconduct
• Coroners inquests
• Confiscation and cash forfeiture
• Direct access accredited

Notable cases

R-v-Braybrooks (Luton Crown Court)-Murder -administering heroin to friends or acquaintances) [2003] 1 Cr.App.R. (S.) 114- appeared as junior counsel

R-v-Ali (Manchester Crown Court)-Role of agent provocateur in importation of 10 kilos of heroin)- appeared as junior counsel

R-v-Nawaz (Birmingham Crown Court)-Murder of two children in revenge arson attack by rival Asian groups)-appeared as junior counsel

R-El Mawas (St Albans Crown Court)-False imprisonment and kidnap-Ghanaian drug gang kidnap and rape of victim. Appeared as leading counsel

R-v-Mutede (Luton Crown Court and Court of Appeal)-False instruments; Immigration offences; obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception [2005]. 2 Cr. APP.R. (S)22.

R-v-Carth (Central Criminal Court)-Murder of a former British Heavyweight boxing champion-appeared as junior counsel

R-v-Celaire (Central Criminal Court)-Murder- only the third case of double jeopardy; prosecution application to Court of Appeal to quash previous acquittal for murder; ;retried for murder and subsequent attempted murder; confession to both offences on first day of trial; life sentence minimum term of 23 years-appeared as junior counsel

R-v-Draper (St Albans Crown Court)-Manslaughter-Former soldier admitted manslaughter of a friend following drug induced psychotic episode-appeared as junior counsel

Wounding with intent – successfully represented Iraq war veteran charged with two section 18 wounding offences; argued post traumatic stress disorder following road side blast causing loss of left leg and death of two colleagues.

R-v-Ibori (Southwark Crown Court)-Junior defence counsel representing the wife of the former Governor of Delta State accused of conspiracy to defraud

R-v-Ibori (Southwark Crown Court)- 2nd junior counsel representing a former Governor of Delta State accused of a conspiracy to defraud Delta State of $2.3 billion.

R-v-Belazaire (Supreme Court of Turks and Caicos)- Murder and rape-victim was raped and murdered before the body was destroyed by fire successfully appeared as lead counsel in the Turks and Caicos Islands taking a point of law on DNA evidence obtained from the accused-appeared as leading counsel.

R-v-Arthur (Supreme Court of Turks and Caicos)- Armed robbery of jewellery store

R-v-Holloway (Luton Crown Court)- Murder- young defendant accused of being jointly responsible for a knife attack on the deceased-successfully appeared as lead counsel

R-v-Waya (Supreme Court) -Proceeds of Crime- successful appeal on behalf of a Nigerian National from the Court of Appeal before the full 9 man court-appeared as junior counsel. Most significant case in confiscation proceedings. [2012] UKSC 51 on appeal from [2010] EWCA Crim 412

R-v-Misick and others (Jefrrey Hall) (Turks and Caicos Supreme court). Corruption trial involving former Premier and Government ministers

R-v-Obadiaru and others (Central Criminal Court)- Conspiracy to traffic women from Nigeria for the purposes of prostitution in Europe

R-v-Leka and others (Central Criminal Court)- Murder-Successfully defended 15 year old subsequently convicted of wounding with intent

R-v- Okoro (Central Criminal Court)– NHS Dr convicted partially on counts of possessing extreme pornography and an indecent image of a child. Suspended sentence

UKAD-v- Slowey – Successfully represented former Scottish Featherweight boxing Champion at a sports arbitration hearing following an interim ban for using Cocaine out of competition. Successfully argued for a reduction to the mandatory sentence after arguing ‘no significant fault’. 4 year ban reduced to 2 years

R-v- Richards (Central Criminal Court)- Murder- Defendant acquitted of the murder of rapper Mdot

R-v- Roye (Croydon Crown Court)- Attempted murder- Successfully defended a 13 year old defendant

Advising a former F1 driving on a contractual dispute

Advising a UK Chemical Company on contractual and related issues

Work Experience

• Visiting advocacy advisor to the Legal Workshop –University of Buckingham
• Accredited Advocacy trainer for the Inner Temple
• Visiting advisor with the British Nigerian Lawyers Forum to Lagos Nigeria
• Active mentor with Urban synergy mentoring scheme for pupils in local schools
• Legal commentator on Arise TV (Oscar Pistorious trial)

Bar Associations & Memberships

Chair of British Nigeria Lawyers Forum
Criminal Bar Association (UK)
South Eastern Circuit
Member of the Inner Temple Sponsorship & Scholarship Scheme
Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
Mentor for the Honourable Society of The Inner Temple
Fraud Lawyers Association
School governor St Jospeh’s School and Downsview Primary