Shahnaz qualified as a barrister in 1990 and specialised in criminal defence advocacy until 1994 when she qualified as a solicitor. She has over 25 years experience in representing clients charged with the most serious offences - murder, blackmail, kidnap, serious sexual offences, armed robbery, VAT evasion, carousel frauds, and major drug importations.
Shahnaz has developed an expertise in representing landlords for breach of HMO regulations. The Housing Act is a complex piece of legislation with the government tightening up the regulations and it is designed primarily to protect the tenants. Prosecutions instigated by the local authorities have far reaching consequences for the landlords.
Most of her casework is obtained through recommendation from previous clients and their families and associates. She enjoys a close working relationship with two of the most highly thought of chambers in the UK.
Notable cases include
2015 Represented 2 clients charged with trafficking persons into the UK for exploitation and holding another person in servitude contrary to s1 Modern Slavery Act 2015. Required detailed analysis of the law since new legislation introduced in 2015.
2014 Represented defendant charged with several offences of sexual assault wherein the defence rested on the fact that mobile phone evidence had been cloned, hence required instruction of experts.
2013 Represented defendant charged with murder where gait evidence was relied upon by the prosecution. R v H and others. See Enfield Independent 27.4.2012.
2012 Represented one of the defendants in the Banaz Mahmoud “honour killing”. The case involved complex issues relating to the two defendants’ extradition from Iraq. R v H and others. See BBC News 10.11.2010.
2008 Represented 5 members of a Tamil gang who hacked to death a member of an opposing gang after a chase in South London. R v N, K M, R, S. See Wandsworth Borough News 23.4.2008.
2003 IRA bombings. Represented two of the real IRA bombers at the police station and conducted the preparation of their case. These were the 2001 BBC White City, Ealing and Birmingham bombings. R v H. See Daily Mail 9.4.2003.
2002 Represented a member of a gang which planned to kidnap Victoria Beckham and her two children. R v K See News of the World 2.11.2002.
2002 Represented one of the men held for murder during the hunt for a missing gay Rabbi. See Evening Standard 12.7.2002.
2000 Multi-million pound duty evasion fraud investigated by the National Investigation Service which disclosed that the NHS had effectively connived at the widespread illegal sale of duty free spirits from warehouses in England involving a loss in revenue in the region of £2 billion. R v E See Sunday Times 11.2.2000.
1998 Successfully represented two asylum seekers charged with rape where the complainant died before the trial. Nonetheless, the prosecution continued with the case but offered no evidence on the first day of trial R v F See Daily Mail 16.2.98.
What our clients say
"At such a difficult time I really could not fault the response by Mrs Shahnaz Sargent. As someone who has never been involved with the law before, it was extremely reassuring to have someone there who was so helpful and clearly skilled at what they do. Would thoroughly recommend." - View from a satisfied client
"The service I received from Stephensons was very professional. My advisor was polite and courteous at all times. The advice given to me was realistic and relevant to my case. My advisor was careful to communicate with me in a language that was free from legal jargon and that I understood very easily. My concerns and questions were addressed appropriately in a timely manner. My advisor was empathetic to my difficult circumstances." View from a satisfied client