Flavia Kenyon is a highly experienced and talented barrister. Flavia was born in Romania, educated at Oxford University and called to the Bar in 2005, making her the first British barrister of Romanian origin to be called to the Bar.
Flavia holds an impressive portfolio of national and international financial crime cases and advisory work. She has appeared in many high-profile trials over the years, including the biggest UK phishing malware cyber fraud case to date.
Flavia’s expertise focuses on financial crime and cyber litigation, and the legal and regulatory challenges arising out of the intersection of existing laws and rapidly advancing technologies: cyber attacks, surveillance, data breaches, online harms, disinformation and deepfakes, blockchain, and cryptoassets.
Flavia is frequently instructed to act in complex, cross-jurisdiction, multi-handed fraud trials. She has defended in insolvency prosecutions, money laundering, cyber fraud, fraudulent dealing, conspiracies to defraud financial institutions, conspiracies to making articles to use in fraud, forgery, and ponzi schemes, and fraud by misrepresentation.
Flavia’s expertise also encompasses private investigations.
She has advised Transparency International on jurisdictional and evidential issues with regards to two ongoing international investigations into fraud and bribery of foreign officials in the oil and gas sector in Senegal valued at £9-12 billion.
Flavia has also acted as an advisor to Earl Spencer in relation to matters arising out of the Lord Dyson Enquiry.
Flavia has developed a strong international profile in cybersecurity legal advisory. She is the founding member and chief general counsel to a global cybersecurity think-tank based in Canada, and has been appointed as a senior cyber analyst with the Global Foundation for Cyber Studies in Washington.
She is a well-known advisor, and commentator on issues of cybersecurity, and on the impact of the new disruptive technologies, such as blockchain and deepfakes.
She advises government departments, NGOs, companies, start-ups, and SMEs on legal issues arising out of cyber attacks, data breaches and privacy, cyber sanctions, cyber fraud and related cryptoassets litigation, online harms, and disinformation.
Flavia’s advisory work extends to government and embassies.
Flavia acts as the legal consultant for the Romanian Embassy in London.
She has recently represented the Romanian State and Embassy in London in an international commercial litigation case that successfully raised issues of jurisdiction and state immunity from jurisdiction, (CC-v- The State of Romania and the Embassy of Romania).
Flavia has advised the Midwifery Council on matters of comparative interpretation of UK and Romanian law on bribery arising in a fitness to practise case.
Appointments & Memberships
Cyber Security Global Alliance, Canada
Global Foundation for Cyber Studies, Washington
UK Cyber Advisory Council
Financial Crime and Fraud
R-v- MM and Others, Isleworth CC, (2020- 2021)
Flavia acted for the main defendant in an international, high profile conspiracy to launder the proceeds, namely £26 million worth of jewellery and watches, stolen from the largest burglary plot in the UK targeting the houses of Tamara Ecclestone, Frank Lampard, and the former owner of Leicester City FC. Flavia’s client was acquitted.
R-v- OA and Others, Southwark CC, (2019)
Multi-handed trial arising out of an inside fraud at the Metro Bank in Holborn. The proceeds were laundered through a sophisticated network of shell companies, and business accounts. Flavia’s client was the only defendant to be acquitted at trial.
R-v-ED and Others, (Operation Ragule), Blackfriars CC, (2016)
Multi-handed trial involving an international organized criminal group said to be part of a wider conspiracy to launder money through Hawala banking in the Middle East. Flavia’s client was caught with £100,000 in cash in a bag by a police surveillance operation in North London. After a month long trial, Flavia’s client was the only defendant to be acquitted.
R-v- I and Others, (Operation Heddon), Southwark CC, (2012-2013)
Flavia represented 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 the 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-AI and Others, Inner London CC, (2015- 2016)
Flavia acted in what was described as the "the biggest case the PCeU has dealt with to date, and the biggest cyber phishing case so far in the UK".
Flavia represented a coder charged with a conspiracy to commit fraud by launching phishing attacks targeting banks and financial institutions in the UK and worldwide. The value of the fraud was estimated to be at least £59 million. The Defendant invented a piece of malware which was so sophisticated that the police were unable to decode, but were able to prove it was being used as a vehicle for the fraud. The financial data was harvested and stored on two servers, one in France (Lille) and one in America (Austin, Texas), and it was never recovered.
Commerce and Insolvency/ Fraudulent trading/ unauthorised regulated activity
R-v-SD and Others, Southwark CC, (2019)
Prosecuted by the Insolvency Service Team, the trial involved 7 defendants charged with a string of fraud offences under section 993 of the Companies Act 2006. The defendants, operating under false identities, made use of multiple companies dishonestly intending to defraud creditors during 2009-2012.
R-v- JO and Another, Guildford CC, (2016-2017)
SFO prosecution of fraudulent trading contrary to section 993 of the Companies Act 2006 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.
R-v-N, Northampton CC, (2014-2015)
SFO prosecution of fraudulent trading and unauthorized regulated activity. Flavia represented a trader who set up an organization trading as an Investments Club, which over a period of two years attracted 180 investors and £2.6 million. It gradually became a ponzi scheme, with the Defendant exaggerating the profitability of the investments and falsely representing his expertise as a trader. The case presented complex expert evidence in respect of trading on FXCM, the foreign exchange market.
Conspiracy to make articles for use in fraud, conspiracy to defraud/ fraud by false representation/forgery
R-v- C and Others, (Operation Academy), Blackfriars CC, (2018)
Flavia represented the first Defendant charged together with 7 others in a £3.5 million conspiracy to make and supply articles to use in fraud worldwide, and, a conspiracy to defraud financial institutions. The conspiracy involved the making of a highly sophisticated skimming device as thin as a piece of hair capable of storing data of over 20,000 bank accounts at a time. Flavia’s client was the only defendant to be acquitted at trial.
R-v-DR, Central Criminal Court, (2013)
Represented defendant charged with fraud by false representation involving a claim for injury and damages worth £923 million arising out of an accident at work. The original claim started off as genuine and as it progressed through the civil courts it became vitiated by fraud with D exaggerating the extent of his injuries and of the help he required.
Serious and Complex Crime
R-v-PD and Another, Central Criminal Court, (2020- 2021)
Unusual trial of murder by arson. Defendant was acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter.
R-v-RV and Others, Central Criminal Court, (2019)
Flavia represented the leader of an international criminal group who organised a deadly revenge attack on the leader of an opposing gang.
R-v-DK and Others, Nottingham CC, (2018)
Flavia and Brendan Kelly QC appeared for the fourth Defendant. Their client was the only one to be acquitted of murder after a two months trial.
R-v-O and Others, Central Criminal Court, (2016)
Flavia and Courtenay Griffiths QC successfully represented the fourth Defendant. 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.
R-v-VC, Canterbury CC, (2019)
Flavia represented a haulage driver accused of a double importation of 74 kilograms of high purity cocaine into the UK. At trial the Defence successfully showed that the Defendant had been set up and there was an international conspiracy that the police failed to investigate. The Jury unanimously acquitted the Defendant.
R-v-CS, Southwark CC, (2017)
Represented a Belgian haulage driver charged with importing 117 kilograms of high purity cocaine, between 68%-90%, concealed in the back of a van bringing confectionary, chocolate and marshmallows into the UK. 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-A, Canterbury CC, (2017)
Represented a company and one of its drivers charged with importing 21 kilograms of 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.
Flavia regularly advises and appears privately instructed in appeal cases before the Court of Appeal.
R-v-M and Others (June 2019)
Successful appeal against an extended sentence of 34 years’ imprisonment: the Court of Appeal reduced the sentence by half, quashed the extended sentence, and replaced it with a determinate custodial sentence.
R-v- CB (August 2017)
Test case involving a 24 year-old-Defendant of Roma ethnicity convicted of rape of a child, the child in question, aged 12, was his wife.
On appeal the sentence was successfully halved. The Court of Appeal agreed with the Defence that a departure from the Guidelines was warranted in this exceptional case, and the Judge should have given more weight to the cultural background.
R-v-A  EWCA Crim 1150
Privately instructed at the appeal stage, after initial trial counsel gave a negative Advice regarding grounds of appeal against sentence.
The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and reduced the sentence of 13 years’ imprisonment to 10 years’ imprisonment. It was successfully argued that the Appellant played a subordinate role in the importation of 42 kg of cocaine from Holland and the basis of plea, which had been accepted by the Crown, should have been taken into account by the sentencing Judge when considering roles.
R v Kluxen, Rostas and Adam  EWCA Crim 1081
This is a test case on the issue of recommendations for deportation of EU nationals. It was the first case to be decided since the implementation of the EU directive, 2004/38/EC on Freedom of Movement into UK law by the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, and the coming into force of the UK Borders Act 2007. The case involved interpretation of EU Directives.
Oxford University, (St Peter's College), BA (Hons): English and French
Graduate Diploma in Law, BPP Law School, London
Bar Vocational Course, BPP Law School, London
A highly experienced and passionate advocate, inside and outside court, Flavia is often invited to speak on the topic of cybersecurity. In 2020 she addressed the BBC Technology and Development department on cyber attacks and integrity of content with particular relevance to journalists, and media organizations regarding ransomware attacks and cyber espionage.
In 2021 she addressed the Global Cyber Summit at the International Cyber Expo held at Olympia on the power of weaponised disinformation and the upcoming legislation regarding online harms.
Flavia is the author of many articles on cyber published in the national press (The Guardian) and academic and legal journals.
- Flavia Kenyon in The Guardian: China’s ‘splinternet’ will create a state-controlled alternative cyberspace: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/jun/03/chinas-splinternet-blockchain-state-control-of-cyberspace
- Flavia Kenyon co-authored the whitepaper on Quantum Resilient Encryption Technology v Ransomware, a summary is published in Cyber Insights Magazine: https://www.cyber-insights.org/quantum-resilient-encryption-technology-vs-ransomware/
- Flavia Kenyon of 36 Commercial discusses the dangers of cyber espionage & global insecurity with New Law Journal. Please Click Here to read more.
- Flavia Kenyon of 36 Commercial outlines the increasing threat of ransomware cyber attacks on big business. Please Click here to read more
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