Flavia Kenyon


Flavia was born in Romania, educated at Oxford University and called to the Bar in 2005. She has developed an exclusively defence practice and appears both as a leading and led junior across the spectrum of criminal law, including allegations of serious violence, complex fraud, people trafficking and rape. Flavia is frequently instructed in multi-handed and sensitive cases where the evidence extends to many thousands of pages and presents an international dimension.

Flavia is the only British criminal barrister fluent in Romanian. She provides general legal assistance to the Embassy and has become the 'go-to' lawyer amongst the UK's Romanian community. Flavia has recently become a media commentator on legal issues involving Romanians.

Flavia is respected amongst her peers as a fiercely articulate and determined advocate whose meticulous preparation, coupled with intellectual flair, ensures she masters the most complex of briefs.

In October 2014 Flavia received the prestigious "Ambassador's Award" for services to the Romanian community in the UK. The award was presented to Flavia by the Romanian Ambassador. Please see 'Recent News'.

Flavia is accredited to receive instructions via the Public Access Scheme.

Flavia Kenyon is ranked in Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide 2020 and has appeared since 2013. Please see below a link to Flavia's profile in the directory.


Flavia is also ranked again in the 2020 edition of The Legal 500 where it says...'She defends in violence cases'.

In the 2019 edition it says of Flavia...'Extremely hardworking, her grasp of cases is instant and her passion for defending as if her own freedom was at stake.'


Recent work includes: leading junior in a multi-handed case of people trafficking and rape, and a high profile cyber fraud case.


Notable Cases:


Murder and serious violent offences

R-v- RV and Others, Central Criminal Court (ongoing) - This is a five- handed case of joint enterprise murder. Flavia is representing the first Defendant and is led by Dean Armstrong QC. The deceased was a leading figure in the Romanian criminal underworld, and the first Defendant is said to have organised a revenge attack on the deceased together with a group of men armed with baseball bats, in the early hours of the 12th Nov 2017 in Ilford High Road.

R-v- DK and Others, Nottingham Crown Court, (June-Aug 2018) - Flavia appeared for the fourth Defendant and was led by Brendan Kelly QC. Flavia's client was acquitted of murder after a two months trial. The trial involved 7 men accused of brutally murdering another man in a house in Lincolnshire by beating him severely, gagging him, and binding his hands and feet.

R-v- Osei and Others, Central Criminal Court, (October 2016)- This was a joint enterprise murder, the stabbing of an alleged drug dealer arising from a dispute over a drug debt in a residential area in Finchley. Flavia successfully represented the fourth Defendant and was led by Courtenay Griffiths QC. A half -time submission of no case to answer was made and it was successfully argued that the Defendant, although present at the time and place of the stabbing, was not a party to the joint enterprise, (applying the Supreme Court ruling in R-v-Jogee).

R-v-N and Others, Central Criminal Court, (July 2016)- Flavia acted for the main Defendant, a 24-year-old charged with a conspiracy to rob commercial properties and a conspiracy to possess an imitation firearm with intent. Sentenced to 6 years' imprisonment after having pleaded Guilty.

Serious Sexual offences

R -v -N and Another, Northampton CC, (March 2018)  - Represented a 22-year- old Roma man charged with joint enterprise rape. Flavia uncovered gross failures in disclosure leading up to the first day of trial. Key evidence on social media had not been served or investigated properly, and the evidence that was served had not been properly translated from Romanian, evidence that showed consent. The Crown were forced to offer no evidence.

R-v- D and Others, (Operation Nautical 1), Oxford CC, (Oct - Dec 2017) - This was a 3-month-trial of child sexual exploitation and grooming involving a joint operation by the police and social services, the Kingfisher team, in Oxfordshire from 2009-2012. Seven defendants faced multiple counts of conspiracy and substantive offences of rape. Flavia appeared for one of the main defendants, (S D), and was led by Angela Rafferty QC. The Defendant was acquitted.

R -v- DI, Manchester CC, (July 2017) - Privately instructed to represent a prominent Romanian politician, who was the founder of the Intelligence Service in Romania (post Revolution), and Chief of Staff of the former president of Romania. He was accused of sexually assaulting a masseuse during a massage at a 5 stars hotel spa. After a week of evidence, the jury unanimously acquitted him in 1 hour 20 minutes.

R-v- C B, Chelmsford CC, (August 2017) - The Defendant, a 24-year-old man of Roma ethnicity pleaded guilty to one count of rape of a child. The victim was his wife, aged 13. They had been married in Romania in accordance with ancient Roma traditions and with blessings from their respective families, before they came to live as husband and wife in the UK. The girl fell pregnant and the social services and the police intervened and arrested the Defendant. As part of the mitigation, the sentencing Judge was presented with an expert report on the Roma culture produced by a Professor of anthropology. The Judge was invited to depart from the Sentencing Guidelines in this unusual case. The Judge refused, and imposed a sentence of 6 years' imprisonment. The sentence was successfully appealed in July 2018, and their lordships agreed with the Defence, and consequently halved the sentence.

R-v- Dr B, Canterbury CC, (January 2017) - Flavia was privately instructed to represent an emergency doctor charged with possession of thousands of extreme pornographic films of zoofilia, (adults having sex with animals), importation of this material into the UK, and possession of 8 indecent images of children. After a late plea, the Defendant received a 4 months' sentence of imprisonment.

R -v- L and Others, Coventry CC, (August 2016) - This was the mistrial of the Defendant, who, together with two others, was accused of gang raping a woman outside the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. The trial was stopped half way through the proceedings after Flavia made an application to the Judge outlining the gross errors in the interpreter's translation, and that the jury had been given a false impression as to what was being said during key passages of the Defendant's evidence. The Judge agreed and discharged the jury, ordering a re-trial.

R-v- I S, Portsmouth CC, (Jan 2016) - Represented a taxi driver charged with assault by penetration. The defendant worked for a well -known taxi firm in Portsmouth. It was alleged that during one of his late night bookings, he sexually assaulted a drunken female client. He was unanimously acquitted.

R-v-L M, Harrow CC, (June 2016) - Represented a Romanian man accused of sexual touching by his niece, aged 12. He was unanimously acquitted after a six-day- trial despite the entire family giving evidence against him.

R-v- H, Camberwell Youth Court, (June 2015) - Flavia represented a 13-year-old boy under a certificate for counsel. He was charged with sexually assaulting his two twin sisters, aged 10, over a period of a year, whilst their parents were going through an acrimonious divorce. After a two-day trial, the District Judge acquitted H. This was an unusual and challenging trial, with the mother of the children being a prosecution witness, and the father a defence witness.

R-v- M S and Others, (Operation Reportage), Oxford CC, (January- March 2015) - This was a two and a half months trial involving multiple defendants and multiple counts (26 counts) of sexual activity with children and rape. It was a joint investigation carried out by the Thames Valley police in conjunction with the Kingfisher Team, a social services unit specially created to deal with child sexual exploitation in Oxfordshire. Flavia appeared as sole junior for the second Defendant who was acquitted of the most serious charge he faced, namely joint enterprise rape, and, he was further acquitted of one count of sexual activity with a child. He was convicted of two counts of sexual activity with children and received a sentence of 4 years and 9 months' imprisonment. The trial involved difficult cross-examination of seven vulnerable young girls through an intermediary and complex s41 and bad character legal arguments.


R-v- P C and Others, (Operation Academy), Blackfriars CC, (January- February 2018) - Appeared as sole junior for the first Defendant charged together with 7 others in a 3- million- pound conspiracy to make and supply articles (skimming devices) to use in fraud worldwide, and, a conspiracy to defraud financial institutions in the UK. The Defendant (wife of one of the key men involved who had pleaded G), stood trial together with two others, one of whom was described as the head of this conspiracy and the ‘inventor' of a highly sophisticated skimming device as thin as a piece of hair. Flavia's client was the only defendant to be acquitted after trial.

R-v-E D and Others, (Operation Ragule), Blackfriars CC, (March 2016) - Flavia appeared for the third female Defendant, D, charged with laundering £100,000. After a three-week- trial, D was the only defendant to be acquitted.The case involved an organised criminal group said to be part of a wider conspiracy to launder money. A rucksack containing £100,000 in cash was intercepted by the police in D's car as a result of a surveillance operation of a meeting between the head of the criminal group and the money-launderer.

R-v- J O and Another, Guildford CC, (2016-2017) - Appeared as led counsel alongside Christopher Bertram. This was a case of fraudulent trading worth £1.9 million. The Defendants set up two companies selling investments in rare earth metals.
At trial, the investments were proven to be a sham through a series of sophisticated transactions made by corrupt brokers acting as agents for the Defendants. The case involved expert evidence in the use and applications of rare earth metals, with direct references to the Periodic Table.

R-v-A I and Others, Inner London CC, (2015- 2016) - Described by the Police Central e-Crime Unit as "the biggest case the PCeU has dealt with to date, and the biggest cyber phishing case so far in the UK"; Flavia appeared for the third Defendant charged together with two others with a conspiracy to commit fraud by launching phishing attacks targeting banks in the UK and worldwide. The conspiracy involved use of two servers, one in France and one in America storing personal details of almost 30,000 bank customers, of which 12,500 were in the UK. The value of the fraud was estimated to be in the region of £59million.

R-v- I S and Others, (Operation Heddon), Southwark CC, (2012-2013) - Appeared as junior counsel led by Dean Armstrong QC in this 3 months trial representing a Barclays bank manager charged with conspiracy to commit a large property fraud and conspiracy to money laundering. The two conspiracies overlapped: one involved stealing properties by forging title deeds at Land Registry, the other laundering the money from properties sales through accounts at Barclays Bank. The case involved evidence obtained via use of a covert listening device placed in a motor vehicle owned by one of the conspirators linked to a separate conspiracy to drug dealing.

R-v-R, Wood Green CC (2011) - Flavia acted for a Romanian national charged with defrauding the DWP of £114,000 and forgery of Home Office documents. The trial involved difficult cross-examination and close analysis of immigration papers held in at the UKBA and Home Office correspondence, which revealed an inside fraud. Following a half time submission of no case to answer, the Judge dismissed the case. Prosecution unsuccessfully sought to appeal the Judge's ruling.

R-v-D & Others, ('Operation Golf'), Southwark CC (2011) - Acted for one of the main defendants in this nine- handed case of benefit fraud involving a pan-European investigation as part of Operation Golf. The group targeted the UK benefit system, and made fraudulent claims over a significant number of years using false identities and fraudulent documents, claiming more than £800,000 at a time. The case received media attention and was covered in the national press.

R-v- O & Others, Southwark CC (2010) - Acted for one of the defendants involved in a multi-handed conspiracy valued at £2 million in defrauding the DWP, HMRC, and other various government departments.

People trafficking for exploitation

R-v- T S and Others, (Operation Svanetia), Woolwich CC, (2013-2014) - Appeared as leading counsel for the first Defendant who was found guilty of conspiracy to people trafficking for exploitation, conspiracy to organising sham marriages, and was acquitted of attempted rape. The case presented an international dimension with evidence from Slovakia played out against a background of Roma culture. After a trial lasting two months, the defendant, a Slovakian Roma, who was said to be in charge of an international trafficking ring bringing women from Slovakia to the UK and forcing them into sham marriages to EU nationals, received a sentence of ten years' imprisonment. On appeal it was successfully argued that this sentence was manifestly excessive, and the Court of Appeal reduced it to one of eight years' imprisonment on grounds of totality.

R-v-U and Others, (Operation Fable), Wood Green CC, (2016) - This was a six-handed conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration to a Member State, a form of trafficking people out of the UK and into the Schengen space for financial gain. The Defendant was party to an organised criminal enterprise facilitating the exit of people, mainly of Bangladeshi and Indian nationality, out of the UK and across the Channel into France. The Defendant played the role of one of the organisers and was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment.

R-v- B, Birmingham CC, (August 2015) - This case tested the current immigration legislation, particularly the definition of "immigration law" under s 25(2) of the Immigration Act 1971. Represented a haulage driver caught with 4 people hidden in the back of his lorry exiting from Dover. He was charged with an offence of assisting unlawful immigration under s 25 in respect of one man only, who was of Pakistani origin, a refugee in Italy but an overstayer in the UK. It was successfully argued that s 25(2) of the Act did not bite, applying R-v-Kapoor [2012] EWCA Crim 435, and the Judge dismissed the case.

R-v-N & Others - Snaresbrook CC, (February 2011) - Successfully secured the acquittal of the main Defendant, a 24-year-old Romanian footballer accused of organising the trafficking of women from Romania into the UK for prostitution and controlling their prostitution for gain.

R-v- H & Others - Wood Green CC (June 2010) - Appeared for the female Defendant, wife of the alleged organiser of a conspiracy to traffic women from Romania to the UK and within the UK, for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forcing the women to work as prostitutes, and controlling their prostitution for gain. There were further counts of rape against the main organizer. After a month long trial, the Defendant and her husband were acquitted.

R-v- BV & Others - Reading CC (2008) - Appeared in this first case of people trafficking prosecuted under section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004. It was a five -handed case involving a Roma family charged with trafficking a 13 -year -old girl from Romania to the UK with the intention to exploit her for commercial purposes.

Drugs trafficking and supplying

R-v-CS, Southwark CC, (February 2017) - Represented a Belgian haulage driver charged with importing 117 kilograms of cocaine of high purity, between 68%-90%, concealed in the back of a van bringing confectionary, chocolate and marshmallows into the UK. The cocaine was street valued at over £11million. Flavia successfully mitigated the Defendant's role down to a lesser role, which persuaded the Judge to pass a sentence of 6 years and 6 months' imprisonment despite the vast amount of drugs involved.

R-v-S O'Boyle & Others, Woolwich CC, (February 2017)- This was an undercover operation targeting the supply of Class A drugs in the Woolwich Dockyard area going back to 2016. The Defendant was originally charged and pleaded guilty in relation to substantive offences. He was then charged with a conspiracy with others including the dates of the substantive offences. Flavia successfully raised an abuse argument based on the principle akin to autrefois, namely no man should be punished twice for an offence arising out of the same or substantially the same set of facts, applying R-v-Dwyer [2012] 2 Archbold Review 1,CA.

R-v-A, Canterbury CC, (October 2017) - Privately instructed to represent a Romanian freight driver charged with importing 21 kilograms of Class A drugs (cocaine) into the UK hidden in a consignment of sofas from Holland. The mitigation advanced persuaded the Judge to adopt a lesser starting point, which ultimately led to a sentence of 7 years and 6 months.

R-v-A and Others, Court of Appeal, (April 2016) - Flavia was privately instructed at the appeal stage, after initial trial counsel gave a negative Advice regarding grounds of appeal against sentence. After obtaining leave, Flavia successfully argued a reduction in sentence from 13 years to 10 years' imprisonment for the Appellant who had pleaded guilty on a basis to being concerned in the importation and supply of Class A drugs, (42 kg of cocaine), from Holland into the UK concealed in pallets that contained car battery parts.










Oxford University, BA (Hons), English and French.
Post graduate Diploma in Law, BPP Law School, London.
Bar Vocational Course, BPP Law School, London.

Memberships & Associations

Lincoln's Inn
Criminal Bar Association
European Criminal Bar Association

Languages: Romanian and French

Publications: 'Deportation': Two views on Kluxen', Feature article in Archbold Review, Issue 6, July 2010

Areas of work

Privacy Notice

Flavia Kenyon

Recent news