Flavia was born in Romania, educated at Oxford University and called to the bar in 2005. Flavia specialises in International litigation, Commercial and Insolvency, Commercial Crime, Fraud, Regulatory, Cyber litigation, Cyber Fraud, Espionage, and Human Rights.
Flavia is the first British barrister fluent in Romanian. She provides general legal assistance to the Romanian Embassy and has become the 'go-to' lawyer amongst the Romanian diaspora. She is a media commentator on legal issues involving Romanians, and has appeared on national and international media.
Flavia is accredited to receive instructions via the Public Access Scheme.
Flavia has appeared in cases covering a wide spectrum of fraudulent conduct. She regularly appears as sole counsel in multi-handed cases of fraud, including cyber fraud, conspiracies to defraud, money laundering, fraudulent trading, ponzi schemes, fraud by false representation, forfeiture and seizure of assets. She also advises individuals and start-up companies on matters relating to the Bribery Act and Insolvency.
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".
Represented a coder charged together with two others with a conspiracy to commit fraud by launching phishing attacks targeting banks in the UK and worldwide. The value of the fraud was estimated to be in the region of £59 million.
The defendants used two servers, one in France (Lille) and one in America (Austin, Texas) storing the personal data of almost 30,000 bank customers, of which 12,500 were from the UK. The Defendant together with another invented a piece of software/ ‘language’ which the police were unable to decode; however the Prosecution was able to show it was a vehicle for the fraud.
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. The defendants, posing as trouble-shooters, would approach companies in difficulty and convince the MD to take over the company to ‘rescue’ it. The defendants would obtain trade credit relying on the past trading record of the company they had taken over and then default on payment.
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)
SFO prosecution of fraudulent trading and unauthorized regulated activity. Represented a trader who set up an organization trading as Sinawa 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.
R-v- OA and Others, Southwark CC, (2019)
Money laundering prosecution arising out of an inside fraud at the Metro Bank in Holborn committed by one of the bank’s employees. The proceeds, £613,000, were dissipated through a sophisticated network of money-launderers 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)
The case involved 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 by a police surveillance operation in North London which had targeted the head of the criminal group in the UK and the head of the money-laundering group. 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)
Appeared as junior counsel led by Dean Armstrong QC.
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.
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)
Appeared for the first Defendant charged together with 7 others in a £3million conspiracy to make and supply articles to use in fraud worldwide, and, a conspiracy to defraud financial institutions.
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 ‘inventor’ 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 £923K 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 the value and extent of the help he required.
R-v-D and Others, (Operation Golf), Southwark CC, (2011)
This was a 9-handed conspiracy to commit fraud involving a pan-European investigation. The group targeted the UK benefit system making fraudulent claims by using multiple false identities and forged documents claiming in excess of £800,000 at a time. The conspiracy was traced to a location in southern Romania where land and properties were bought using the proceeds of the fraud.
R-v-O and Others, Southwark CC, (2010)
This was a joint HMRC and CPS prosecution of a multi-handed conspiracy to defraud valued at £2 million. The conspiracy involved defrauding the DWP, HMRC, and other various government departments by an organized criminal group with help from an ‘insider’, an accountant who worked in one of the government departments.
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 sentence: the Court of Appeal reduced by half an extended sentence of 34 years’ imprisonment, quashed the extended sentence and replaced it with a determinate custodial sentence.
R-v- CB (August 2017)
Privately instructed in this unusual case involving a 24 year-old-Defendant of Roma ethnicity accused 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
Flavia Kenyon of 36 Commercial discusses the dangers of cyber espionage & global insecurity with New Law Journal.
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