Rebecca Penfold


Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of call: 2012

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Rebecca is a criminal defence specialist. She qualified in 2013 at a leading London set where she practised until joining Chambers in 2020.

Prior to the Bar, Rebecca 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 the leading case on prosecuting refugees for using false documents to enter the UK.

Rebecca is Public Access qualified.

Rebecca fundamentally believes in access to justice. She co-founded and runs a social mobility scheme intended to broaden access to the profession for young people. The scheme provides workshops, seminars, work experience, advice and trial training to state school pupils across the country and encourages all young people, whatever their background, to consider a career at the Bar.

Rebecca is currently instructed as Junior Counsel to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.


COVID-19 and the Right to Protest co-authored with Aparna Rao of 5 Paper BuildingsRead the article here.

‘Advocacy and Vulnerable Witnesses: 20 years on from the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999’ hosted by the Centre for Advocacy at Nottingham Law School in conjunction with The Advocate’s Gateway – 2019, co-presented a paper on The Operation of Ground Rules Hearings.

Birkbeck University Symposium: Borders, Racisms & Harm – 2018, co-presented seminar entitled Byron Burgers & Beyond: Private Citizens as Immigration Enforcement Officers.

‘Criminal Appeals Handbook’, 2014, Bloomsbury Professional (contributing author).


  • The South Eastern Circuit Bar Mess Foundation Advanced International Advocacy Course, Keble College Oxford, South Eastern Circuit Scholar – 2018
  • The Inns of Court Pegasus Scholarship Trust, Pegasus Scholar (USA) – 2015
  • Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway, full scholarship to attend International Criminal Court symposium – 2013
  • The Kalisher Trust, Kalisher Scholar – 2012
  • The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, Major Scholarship: Queen Mother’s Scholar – 2011


  • Crime


    Rebecca is a defence specialist and is frequently instructed on a range of general criminal matters. Rebecca has a particular strength in representing the more vulnerable client.

    Rebecca has expertise defending in road traffic matters, especially in cases where a driver is at risk of losing their licence. She has defended civil matters before the Magistrates’ Court, including cash forfeiture, confiscation enforcement, foreign travel orders and criminal behaviour orders.



    General Crime

    R v L (2020): Multi-handed fraud, vulnerable complainant and defendant.

    R v M (2018 – ongoing): Led junior in ongoing multi-handed Modern Slavery Act trial.

    R v R (2016): Secured acquittal at trial of Communications Act offence whereby a university was shut down further to receiving a threat identical to that made prior to the Umpqua Community College (Oregon) mass shooting in 2015. Case had international dimension involving evidence from the FBI and Canadian Police Forces.

    R v B (2014): Youth sentenced for arson with intent to endanger life – successful mitigation resulted in sentence of Youth Rehabilitation Order.

    Violent Offences

    R v G (2019): Secured acquittal in multi-handed affray.

    R v W (2019): Secured dismissal in a case of football violent disorder, Queens Park Rangers v Millwall.

    R v G (2018): Secured acquittal in a case of child cruelty, which required cross-examination of a 6-year-old complainant.

    R v P (2016): Secured acquittal for client of previous good character involving multiple counts of racially aggravated violent offences which were caught on CCTV.

    R v B (2016): Defended youth in multi-handed s.18 stabbing. Secured DTO of 18 months further to convictions for s.20, affray and possession of offensive weapon.

    R v B (2015): Secured acquittal for a youth on a multi-handed robbery charge.

    R v JR (2015): Secured acquittal for client charged with domestic ABH.

    R v B (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.

    Sexual Offences

    R v D (2019): Historic sex case attracting significant media attention.

    R v E (2017): 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.

    Driving Offences

    R v SK (2019): Successfully represented the defendant on appeal further to four convictions for permitting his car to be used with no insurance. Despite the offences being considered strict liability, the appellant was acquitted of all counts and a defence costs order was granted.

    R v FM (2019): Secured acquittal at trial when the Defendant was alleged to have been using a mobile phone whilst driving, further to successful 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.

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  • Regulatory


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

    She has particular experience in relation to fitness to practise 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 hearings, registration appeals and substantive order review hearings.

    Rebecca also advises individuals facing a barring decision of the Disclosure and Barring Service.

    Rebecca has acted for various government departments in substantial disclosure and review exercises including the Bank Mellat litigation, Libor fraud and Undercover Policing Inquiry. Rebecca holds a high-level government security clearance.


    Oldham BC v S Cars: Trading Standards prosecution relating to the sale of a ‘clocked’ car.

    DBS v CM:  Successful written representations further to a minded to disbar letter for a Teaching Assistant in relation to sex offences committed as a youth.

    LBW v S: Led junior, £1m fraud by an employee of a local authority.

    LBH v K: Planning enforcement confiscation, successfully secured confiscation order in sum of entire rental income over a property subject to lawful and unlawful use.

    NMC v L: Fitness to Practise – represented NMC at substantive hearing involving contested charges of registered nurse causing the death of a patient.

    NMC v M: – Fitness to Practise – represented NMC at substantive hearing involving contested charges of registered nurse causing harm to a patient.

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  • Public Access

    Rebecca is accredited to receive instructions directly from members of the public through the Public Access Scheme.

    Click here to view our Public Access pages and details of the process for instructing public access accredited barristers.

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