Chris has been a practising solicitor for over a decade, primarily at Sonn Macmillan Walker. His extensive experience covers the defence of prosecutions brought by the CPS and Revenue & Customs Prosecutions Office including high profile money laundering and MTIC frauds. He also specialises in extradition cases and summary trials.
His career began as part of the Jubilee Line fraud case defence team. Since then he has worked on further major frauds (eg Operation Euripus) and has become an expert in extradition. He works on football related cases, particularly those where the prosecution are seek football banning orders.
An experienced advocate, Chris has represented many professionals and is commercially sensitive to the wider impact that criminal proceedings can have on reputations, businesses and careers. He is routinely proactive in his investigations and strives to avoid court proceedings.
Chris has conducted a number of high profile serious criminal cases including allegations of murder, complex fraud and extradition. His recent successes include an appeal against the decision to extradite a client who was wanted for attempted murder in Greece and a case which set legal precedent for extraditions to Italy.
Chris is ranked as an up-and-coming lawyer in Chambers 2020: “The “excellent” Chris Stevens focuses his practice on extradition requests involving possible human rights breaches, particularly in relation to compliance with Article 3 of the ECHR. He wins high praise from sources, who say: “He really cares incredibly about his clients and has a huge amount of dedication to his work.”
“Chris, once again a big thank you to you for your help and support. It has been a very difficult period for us as a family and knowing you were on our side was a huge comfort.” Client A
Areas of Expertise
Football banning orders
Christopher's recent successes
Miss S was charged with a common assault by beating in respect of an incident that took place outside a major London railway station. Miss S, a University student of good character and ambitions of becoming a teacher, raised self-defence, on the basis that she was protecting a friend and herself from being attacked by someone she thought was just a random member of the public. At the time Miss S was unaware that the complainant had a grievance with her friend.
The case went to trial at the City of London magistrates court and the complainant attended and gave evidence. Ms S gave evidence along with a friend who had witnessed what happened.
Miss S was found not guilty following her trial. Miss S was relieved that she was not convicted as it would have made her career prospects in teaching very difficult. The ordeal had been very stressful for Miss S who had never been in trouble before. We were able to utilise our experience and prepare the case thoroughly. As the case was privately funded we were able to instruct an experienced barrister to assist her.
Mr S was arrested on a European Arrest Warrant issued by Slovakia. He faced 16 months imprisonment for theft of scrap metal in 2010 from various scrap yards in Slovakia. Mr S had been released following his arrest and made his way to the UK to be with his partner and 3 children.
Mr S is deaf and his partner suffers from Ushers syndrome, which is a degenerative condition that left her deaf and virtually blind. We obtained medical evidence to support this information and instructed an occupational therapist to provide a report to highlight the severe difficulty that she would endure if Mr S was extradited. We also sought assistance from the local authority to confirm her vulnerability since she had been targeted in the past by family members in respect of benefits she was receiving.
Since arriving in the UK Mr S learned British sign language and has been in paid employment through a charity that supports people with disabilities in the work place. He was supported with character references highlighting his importance to his family and the wider community.
The District Judge upheld our argument that there would be a disproportionate interference with his and his family’s rights under Article 8 ECHR and discharged him from the extradition proceedings.
The CPS decided not to appeal this decision.
USA v C
C was arrested in respect of a request from the USA concerning drug offences from 2009. C had no realistic bars to their extradition, however, were able to liaise with lawyers in the USA in order to provide them with important information concerning C. The best case scenario was to secure a plea deal in the USA and allowing C to return to the UK as quickly as possible. This was a classic example where despite there being no arguable grounds to stop extradition we were able to place C in a better position in the requesting country before they arrived.
M v Moldoveanu
M was arrested pursuant to an extradition request from Moldova for fraud offences. M was a Moldovan national and his extradition was barred on the basis that the prison conditions would have breached his Article 3 rights.
M v Greece
M was arrested pursuant to an EAW issued by Greece for attempted murder in 2005. M was an Albanian national who had health concerns and a family in the UK. M’s extradition was ordered by the District Judge but the decision was successfully appealed on the grounds that the conditions of the prison that M was likely to be held in would have breached his Article 3 rights.
The Netherlands v D
C was arrested pursuant to a EAW issued by The Netherlands for a murder alleged to have taken place in 1988 in Amsterdam. C was an English citizen and TV personality. D was granted bail at his first hearing and was subsequently discharged due to deficiencies with the EAW.
K v Bulgaria – instructed in an appeal against extradition to Bulgaria.