Elena is a Higher Court Advocate, specialising in criminal defence and youth justice.
As an advocate she has successfully defended young people and adults including those charged with robbery, assaults, affray and public disorder.
Elena is a passionate and extremely thorough advocate, working tirelessly to secure the best outcome for her clients.
With a special interest in police powers, Elena is especially skilled when it comes to technical legal points and has for example, through legal argument had a confession excluded from evidence at trial.
Before joining GT Stewart Elena worked as a solicitor at Hodge Jones and Allen in the Specialist Youth Team, Protest Law Team, General Crime Team and as a Higher Court Advocate. Elena acted for Black Lives Matter activists and several Extinction Rebellion demonstrators at trial, resulting in acquittals.
Elena has written several articles on topics such as youth justice, drill music and police powers and her comment piece on the prosecution of peaceful protest was published in the Times in 2019. She has also been quoted in the Guardian in relation to the use of Criminal Behaviour Orders and the human rights implications.
Whilst studying for her law qualifications, Elena volunteered for the School Exclusions Project, representing young people who had been excluded from school. She also interned for Release, a drugs and Human Rights Charity and Runnymede Trust, a race equality think tank. Elena was a mentor at a youth project for several years and has ran workshops for young people in schools, youth clubs and for the youth offending service about stop and search and the law and rights. She is currently the Chair and Director of 4front, a social enterprise which seeks to tackle the root causes of youth violence.
Elena has completed the Youth and Witness Advocacy Training, is a qualified Duty Solicitor and Accredited Police Station Representative.
R v MR – MR was charged with dwelling robbery and blackmail. She was assessed as “dangerous” by both the Probation Service and an expert psychologist, pursuant to the provisions set out in the Criminal Justice Act 2003. Elena was able to persuade the court not to make a finding of dangerousness and MR therefore avoided having to serve two thirds of her sentence and being subject to an extended licence period.
R v J – Successful application to dismiss counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs and possession of a firearm.
R v MK – MK pleaded guilty to one count of Possession With Intent to Supply Class A drugs. MK was seen by police officers supplying a drug user with crack cocaine. He was found in possession of £1000, a large number of wraps of drugs and the county line drug phone. Elena successfully argued that her client should not receive immediate custody and he was sentenced to a 2 year suspended sentence.