Rebecca Penfold

Associate Member

Rebecca Penfold is now an Associate Tenant, having relocated to the North West. She is a tenant at St John's Buildings Chambers in Manchester yet retains an associate tenancy here at Drystone Chambers.

Rebecca joined Chambers in 2013 taking tenancy in November 2014, following successful completion of her pupillage. Prior to qualifying as a barrister, Rebecca developed a wealth of experience as a criminal defence paralegal before honing her advocacy skills as a prison law advocate. Rebecca also worked for the Criminal Cases Review Commission (‘CCRC’) investigating miscarriages of justice. She was involved in the landmark decision of the Court of Appeal, Mateta & Others - [2014] 1 WLR 1516, which is now the leading case on prosecuting refugees for using false documents to enter the UK. Rebecca is able to undertake instructions in all aspects of crime, prison law, criminal appeals and applications to the CCRC. She is Public Access qualified and a qualified mediator.


Rebecca is frequently instructed on a range of general crime matters, particularly violent offences, robbery and burglary. She is developing a strong Crown Court practice. Rebecca has a particular strength in representing youths, regularly defending indictable offences of robbery and serious violence. She is also adept at representing the more vulnerable client, particularly those who require the added assistance of an intermediary.

Rebecca is also instructed to undertake prosecutions on behalf of Government Departments and Local Authorities. Matters for which she has been instructed include benefit fraud, dangerous dogs, trademark offences and environmental nuisances.


Rebecca is developing a regulatory practice and accepts instructions on behalf of regulatory authorities and professionals. She has particular experience in relation to fitness to practice before the Nursing and Midwifery Council tribunal. Rebecca has been instructed to act in cases involving the death of patients and often appears in cases concerning complex technical matters. She has significant experience acting in substantive hearings, but also deals with interim order hearing, registration appeals and substantive order review hearings.


Rebecca is developing a practice in immigration and asylum law. She has experience representing appellants before the First Tier Tribunal.


Rebecca is instructed in civil matters before the Magistrates’ Court, including cash forfeiture, confiscation enforcement, applications for foreign travel orders and criminal behaviour orders. Rebecca has undertaken County Court work having been instructed by claimant Local Authorities in Possession Hearings and on a direct access basis to represent the defendant in a small claims trial. Rebecca was recently instructed on a direct access basis to assist a fact-finding investigation into employee misconduct within a multi-million pound business.

As a member of the Attorney-General’s off-panel junior counsel list, Rebecca has acted for various government departments in substantial disclosure and review exercises. Rebecca holds a high-level government security clearance.

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Competitions, Scholarships and Appointments


  • CEDR National Negotiation Competition, National Finalist, 2012
  • The College of Law Negotiation Competition, Winner, 2012
  • Citizenship Foundation Bar National Mock Trial Competition, Regional Winner and National Finalist, 2004


  • The Inns of Court Pegasus Scholarship Trust, Pegasus Scholar (Washington D.C.), 2015
  • Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway, full scholarship to attend International Criminal Court Summer School, 2013
  • Kalisher Scholar, The Kalisher Scholarship Trust, 2012
  • Queen Mothers Scholarship, Middle Temple, 2011


  • Attorney General’s off-panel junior counsel
  • Pro-Bono member of the Lawyers for Lawyers Intervention Programme, Law Society International Action Team 


  • ‘Criminal Appeals Handbook’, 2014, Bloomsbury Professional (contributing author)
  • ‘Gender Crimes in International Criminal Law and the role of the International Criminal Court’ 2012, The Student Journal of Law, Issue 3 

Associations and Memberships

  • The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
  • Middle Temple Young Barristers Association
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Amicus ALJ (Assisting Lawyers for Justice on Death Row)

Notable cases

Criminal Law

R v SK (Harrow and Luton Crown Courts, 2019) - Successfully represented the defendant on appeal further to four convictions for permitting his car to be used with no insurance. The appellant’s case was that the permission he gave was conditional: he believed that the driver had valid insurance, although the checks on the insurance after the event did not confirm any such insurance was in fact in place and was deemed an invalid certificate. Despite the offences being considered strict liability, the appellant was acquitted of all counts and a defence costs order was granted.

R v GD (Croydon Crown Court, 2019) - Represented defendant in historic sex case. Pleaded guilty to historic offences dating to the 80s, when the defendant was running an after school club. Sexually assaulted a 7-year old boy for 3 years. Defendant was nearing the end of a custodial sentence for like offences; Rebecca secured a short term of 16 months’ imprisonment for these further offences.

R v FM (Stratford Magistrates’ Court, May 2019m) - Rebecca successfully defended at trial when the Defendant was alleged to have been using a mobile phone whilst driving. The prosecution case fell upon the evidence of a Police Officer who maintained that he witnessed the defendant using his mobile phone whilst driving. Rebecca successfully advanced submissions at the close of the prosecution case on the interpretation of ‘interactive communication’ as required under section 110 Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.

The defendant was acquitted without having to give evidence and a Defence Costs Order was granted to the Defendant.

R v B (Luton Crown Court, 2014) - Successfully defended client charged with taking revenge and possession of offensive weapon, by arguing there was no case to answer at the close of the Crown’s case.

R v JR (Wood Green Crown Court, 2014) - Secured acquittal for client charged with domestic ABH.

R v B (Snaresbrook Crown Court, 2014) – Youth sentenced for arson with intent to endanger life- successful mitigation resulted in sentence of Youth Rehabilitation Order

R v B (Stratford Youth Court, 2015) - Secured acquittal for a youth on a multi-handed robbery charge.

MKDP LLP v AR (Uxbridge County Court, 2015) – Successful limitation argument advanced on behalf of the defendant in a consumer credit trial.

R v H (Snaresbrook Crown Court, 2015) - Successful mitigation for multiple breaches of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and breach of a suspended sentence order – Defendant sentenced to a community order.

R v P (Harrow Crown Court, 2016) – Successfully defended client of previous good character at trial involving multiple counts of racially aggravated offences which were caught on CCTV.

R v E (Northampton Crown Court, 2017) – A case of perverting the course of justice: by sending multiple texts and emails to the Police purporting to be from a complainant in a child rape trial. Significant aggravating features include that the complainant was the client’s daughter and the original trial was derailed as a consequence of E’s actions. The defendant charged with rape had received a term of 15 years’ imprisonment. Despite the aggravating features, Rebecca secured a sentence of 12-months’ imprisonment, after trial.

Immigration Law

SSHD v BOS - Manchester- IAC September 2019 - Successful appeal against the decision of the SSHD to refuse to issue a residence card under the EEA regulations. Appeal included earlier findings from the First Tier and Upper Tribunals that the appellant lacked credibility.

SSHD v EM (Taylor House IAC, 2018) – successful appeal against the decision of the SSHD to refuse to issue a residence card under the EEA Regulations.

SSHD v PS (Newport IAC, 2018) – Successful asylum appeal before the First-Tier tribunal. The SSHD refused the claim, and duly contested the appeal on every element bar nationality. The Immigration Judge found favour with the Appellant's case and allowed the appeal.

SSHD v H (Hatton Cross IAC, 2015) – Rebecca successfully represented Mr H on appeal in an EEA residence card appeal , with judgment being delivered on the day.

SSHD v S - Successful appeal to the first tier tribunal on behalf of an appellant who had served a significant term of imprisonment further to a conviction for fraud. Rebecca successfully argued that the Appellant did not represent a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to justify deportation. The Immigration Judge found in favour and allowed the appeal.