Stella Hayden

Stella is a busy criminal and regulatory advocate who has established a successful practice across both disciplines. She thrives on grappling with complex areas of law and has been commended for her persuasive advocacy and the force and focus of her written submissions.

In the criminal courts Stella has defended in allegations of manslaughter, a £6 million conspiracy to breach immigration control and a conspiracy to cultivate cannabis on an industrial scale. Current instructions include an allegation of kidnap and complex cross-jurisdictional confiscation proceedings.

Before regulatory bodies, Stella represents those charged with serious misconduct. Instructions have included charges of contributing to a patient’s death as well as cases of fundamental breaches of professional boundaries.

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Stella’s experience extends to financial regulation. She was instructed in respect of the joint FCA and PRA investigation into the Co-op Bank’s £1.5bn capital shortfall. The investigation culminated in a censure for the firm and its CEO; the first occasion on which a CEO of any bank has been formally censured since the 2008 crisis.

Press reports here

Stella has a developed a niche expertise in election law proceedings. She recently acted for the DPP in relation to the Tower Hamlets’ Election Petition and advised regarding the potential for a follow-on criminal prosecution.

Press reports here

Stella prosecutes on behalf of the RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports and has a particular understanding of the issues arising in animal welfare and Hunting Act proceedings. She appeared in the ‘landmark’ prosecution of the Heythrop Hunt.

Press reports here

Notable cases


  • R v Okoh (2014 – Woolwich Crown Court) Led Junior in a multi-handed conspiracy to breach immigration control
  • R v Cosslett (2014 – Cardiff Crown Court) – cannabis cultivation
  • R v Dang (2013 – Central Criminal Court) Led junior in confiscation proceedings arising from an international conspiracy to produce cannabis – said to be the largest in Europe
  • RSPCA v Barnfield and Others (2012 – Oxford Magistrates’ Court) Led Junior in a private prosecution raising complex arguments relating to corporate liability and costs

Reported cases:

  • R v Meade [2013] EWCA Crim 1235 Successful appeal against sentence in relation to the tenth breach of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order
  • R v Clarke [2013] EWHC 366 (Admin)Appeal by way of case stated raising arguments regarding corroboration of speed measuring equipment and the admissibility of hearsay evidence


Education, prizes, and awards
  • Bar Vocational Course (Very Competent), College of Law (Bloomsbury)
  • Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction), College of Law (Chester)
  • MA History, Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge
  • Middle Temple Astbury Scholar
Other experience

Before joining Chambers, Stella worked for the General Dental Council where she assisted with the preparation of cases for prosecution in proceedings before regulatory tribunal and in the criminal courts. While at the Office of Fair Trading, Stella worked on a large price-fixing investigation, undertaking evidence review and conducting witness interviews.