Stephen completed his senior education in Cairns at St. Augustine’s College. He then undertook a Bachelor of Science degree at James Cook University in Townsville, graduating with majors in biochemistry, organic chemistry and zoology. After a period of employment at the CSIRO Davies Laboratories, Townsville, Stephen returned to university and successfully completed his Bachelor of Laws degree.
Stephen returned to Cairns in 1995 after his appointment to the position of Associate to (former) District Court Judge Peter White. In February 1997, Stephen was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia and commenced practice with Thomas Stevens and Company.
Stephen became the Managing Partner of O’Reilly & Stevens Lawyers in 2000 and has remained Managing Partner throughout the subsequent partnership and name changes which have now brought the firm full circle back to O’Reilly Stevens Lawyers.
Stephen practises exclusively in criminal law and has experience in all facets of criminal law in all jurisdictions. Stephen also undertakes defence work in quasi-criminal prosecutions, including workcover, workplace health and safety, fisheries, fire safety and environmental protection matters.
In 2006 Stephen was appointed as a member of the Queensland Law Society committee charged with developing and implementing an accreditation process for practitioners wishing to gain specialist accreditation in the area of criminal law. Stephen served on the accreditation committee until the end of 2014 and remains an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist, currently the only such specialist in Cairns.