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Stewart Lewis

Stewart Lewis | Solicitor

slewis@hja.net 020 7874 8493

I qualified as a solicitor later in my career having been guided by a lecturer at Bromley College where I studied law part time completing the institute of legal executives qualification M.Inst ILEX.

I completed a law degree at Greenwich University in 1999 and obtained a training with city firm Salans. I think my previous incarnation within the financial service industry assisted me in this respect.

While I was pleased to be offered a role within the litigation team at Salans on completing my training contract I had other aspirations as a lawyer. I wanted to make a difference and decided that issuing proceedings against individuals and corporate entities, while interesting did satisfy my wish to be an advocate representing clients in court.

Criminal law provided the ideal opportunity to become directly involved in the judicial process as an advocate in the magistrate’s court and the potential to become a higher court advocate should I wish to.

Duty solicitor

I qualified as a solicitor in 2004 and became a duty solicitor while working for Andrew Keenan & Co in 2009. Since then I have provided representation at the police station and at court across the full spectrum of offences.

During my time as a duty solicitor I have represented clients charged in relation to Rape and murder. One particular case of R v Hamza Dodi and others 2016 was the first case heard in a central criminal court (The Old Bailey) following the Supreme Court judgement in R v Jogee on the issue of ‘joint enterprise’. Legal argument on behalf of Hamza Dodi and a co-defendant Khalid Hashi was unopposed by the Crown Prosecution service and took into account the R v Jogee ruling immediately after it was given. ‘Joint enterprise’ as it had been interpreted would have resulted in a conviction where Hamza Dodi ‘foresaw’ the possibility that the main perpetrator might kill someone. In this case it was argued it was not right that someone should be guilty merely because they foresaw a co-defendant ’might commit a crime’ and Mr Dodi was acquitted of murder Judge Paul Worsley ruling there was no case to answer.

To have been involved was a privileged and as a result ‘foresight’ is evidence to be taken into account but not to be considered proof. Active assistance and encouragement is required in relation to joint enterprise, which is not to say those other than the main perpetrator will avoid any potential penalty at all. I believe it is probable that Judges and advocates had regarded joint enterprise as being potentially unfair to defendants prior to R v Jogee.

I am constantly surprised by how appreciative those I have advised are of the person who has provided advice that can be hard to accept and given in circumstances that are stressful for them.

In R v Asika tracing and identifying a witness who got out of a Black Audi and spoke to Mr Asika on the evening it was alleged he raped a woman was vital to the case. The CCTV monitoring a children’s play area would have provided intrinsic evidence however it seemed the cameras put in place by the local authority were not working. It was the witness from the Black Audi’s evidence and footage of the play area taken on the client’s behalf that assisted the jury in bring back a not guilty verdict. Mr.Asika and his parents were pleased with the verdict, their thanks overwhelming and much appreciated.

Areas of experience include:

  • Fraud – banking, foreign exchange, benefits, Housing benefits and credit card
  • Sexual abuse – child and internet pornography
  • Theft – including Burglary and Robbery
  • Terrorism – including funding terrorism

Education

  • Bromley College
  • University of Greenwich
  • BPP law school

Cases of note

  • R v Dempsey 2017 (Benefit fraud), Inner London Crown court: Housing benefit represented the mother a co defendant
  • R v Simmons 2016 (child sexual abuse), Woolwich Crown court: successful defence of alleged abuse by step child
  • R v Dodi 2016 (murder), Central criminal court (Old Bailey): successful defence to joint enterprise
  • R v Asika 2016 (rape), Inner London Crown court: successful defence of alleged rape in a park

Interests

Mountain biking and classic cars.