Rebecca joined Chambers as a tenant in April 2021, following successful completion of her pupillage.
General Criminal Practice-
Throughout pupillage, Rebecca appeared regularly in the Magistrates’, Crown and Youth Courts. She has appeared in trials including domestic ABH, assaults against emergency workers and public order offences.
Rebecca is now is building a busy practice in the Crown Court. She is a Grade 2 Prosecutor appearing regularly for the CPS, instructed in trials and appeals against convictions. Rebecca also has a busy defence caseload across a wide range of criminal offences.
Rebecca has successfully secured suspended sentences for defendants in cases of dangerous driving and benefit fraud. Rebecca has experience of working with defendants where mental health concerns are raised, having instructed expert psychiatrists to consider fitness to plead and having appeared in a trial of issue at Harrow Crown Court. In a case involving a vulnerable defendant, Rebecca liaised with the Crown to resolve the matter with pleas to theft and affray, with counts of attempted robbery left to lie on the file.
In the Youth Court, Rebecca has appeared in many trials, including for serious offences such as robbery, where both the Defendant and Complainant were youths.
In the Youth Court, Rebecca has conducted hearings in which modern slavery concerns have been raised, and has persuaded the CPS through written representations to discontinue proceedings in a possession with intent to supply Class A drugs case. The youth client was deemed to have been a victim of modern slavery and exploitation by the Single Competent Authority. During pupillage, Rebecca delivered a presentation to members of chambers on the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the operation of the National Referral Mechanism and Single Competent Authority decisions.
Rebecca has previously undertaken a secondment to Capsticks Solicitors LLP where she undertook investigative regulatory work. Since then, she has appeared regularly as case presenter on behalf of Social Work England in interim order applications, substantive and interim review hearings, and substantive hearings.
Prior to pupillage, Rebecca worked in a London chambers operating in the UK and internationally where she provided legal research and support for case preparation. She had previously been employed at Citizens Advice Camden and an intern at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants. Rebecca studied the BPTC part-time at the University of Law whilst working full-time. She was awarded the Blackstone Scholarship from Middle Temple as well as the Provost's Award for Excellence from the University of Law. During pupillage Rebecca received extensive advocacy training, including in NMC and court martial work.
Pupillage and Training-
Rebecca has recently taken on a role as an active member of the Pupillage Committee within Chambers. She is committed to the recruitment of successful new pupils.
Instructed defence counsel. The Defendant was accused of threatening his housemates with a knife. A successful application was made to vacate the Guilty plea entered in the Magistrates’ Court due concerns as to the plea being equivocal and to the Defendant’s mental health. The Crown subsequently offered no evidence in the matter. Isleworth Crown Court.
Defence counsel. This was a committal for sentence for causing serious injury by dangerous driving. The Defendant had driven around a bend at 60mph, hit another car and caused serious injuries to the driver. Extensive submissions in mitigation were made as to the Defendant’s own serious, ongoing injuries and poor health, his youth and the significant lapse in time between the offence and sentence. This resulted in a suspended sentence being imposed. Snaresbrook Crown Court.
This was a Newton hearing in the youth court, appearing for the youth Defendant. The case concerned an affray in which two groups of youths had attacked each other with machetes and knives, with one individual sadly dying. Following detailed submissions on the CCTV, the judge was persuaded that the Defendant was not the aggressor. In sentencing, a referral order was secured for the Defendant despite the involvement of weapons. Bexley Youth Court.
Instructed defence counsel. This was a trial of issue in a robbery matter in which the Defendant, who was homeless at the time and who suffered from schizophrenia and drug and alcohol misuse had pushed the Complainant and demanded a pound from her. The Defendant had been ruled unfit to stand trial. The jury found the Defendant to have done the act. Following mitigation, an absolute discharge was ordered by the judge. Harrow Crown Court.
PROFILE: Rebecca Steels
0207 489 2727
2016 London School of Economics, LLB (2:1)
2018 University of Law, London, BPTC: Very Competent
Criminal Bar Association
Young Legal Aid Lawyers Association
CPS Panel (Grade 2)