Nicholas Cotter

Nicholas Cotter

Call 1999

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Nick Cotter is recognised for his expertise by the Chambers & Partners UK Bar Directory 2017.

Crime - Western (Bar) - Band 3

Has a general criminal and regulatory practice, and is active on both the Western and South Eastern Circuits. He has a track record of acting in cases involving fraud, organised crime and serious sexual offences.
Strengths: "Completely unflappable, he has an extremely good temperament in court. Destined for great things." "A very capable advocate."
Recent work: Represented the organised crime division of the CPS in Operation Greenless, a cross-border NCA prosecution involving indecent images of vulnerable individuals.


  • Serious crime consisting of murder, manslaughter, drugs importation, organised crime and sexual offences.
  • White-collar crime consisting of fraud, MTIC matters, Bribery, compliance advice, and asset recovery matters
  • Regulatory / Quasi-Criminal matters involving particularly sports law, disciplinary hearings, maritime and food standards matters

Serious Crime

R v X
Currently instructed in a kidnap and torture case at Kingston Crown Court

R v X
Currently instructed in a number of historic cases of child sexual abuse on the Western Circuit.

R v X
Currently instructed in several fraud matters both for the Crown and Defence in Win-chester and Portsmouth Crown Courts

R v X
Currently instructed in a large scale drugs conspiracy at Blackfriars Crown Court

R v F
Defence Junior in a 6 handed murder case at the Old bailey resulting in an acquittal on the murder charge.

R v Parker et al
Prosecution Junior in “Operation Elevdon" on behalf of the CPS Organised Crime Unit arising from press corruption discovered during the Leevson Inquiry.

R v B
Defending at the Old Bailey in a historic rape case dated from the 1960s involving a teacher accused by seven former pupils of repeated and systematic sexual abuse.

R v X
Defended in a case involving fraud and linked arson values in excess of £2million.

R v L
Successfully overturned a conviction before Lord Chief Justice Fulford for alleged his-toric sexual matters in the 1970s. The appeal was in relation to the unsafe admission of a Defendants previous sexual conviction in the 1980s.

R v B
Successful prosecution of a stranger rape case in which the Defendant received a 16 year sentence with an 8 year extension period.

R v X
Successful defence at the Old Bailey of a young man implicated in a significant cocaine importation conspiracy. Involving legal argument over evidence procured from Columbia.

Recent financial crime / Asset Forfeiture & recovery / MTIC matters

R v H
Instructed Junior Counsel for the in £140 million VAT ‘Missing trader’ fraud (MTIC), Croydon (VHCC PANEL)

R v P
Instructed Defence Counsel in relation to an alleged £65,000 false accounting matter, Portsmouth

R v P
Instructed Defence Counsel in an internet Conspiracy to defraud, Isleworth. This matter involved an alleged Nigerian internet cash scam targeted at very elderly people.

R v H
Advice on money laundering prosecution, Maidstone. This matter involved a detailed advice on disclosure matters pertinent to a successful prosecution.

R v S
Instructed prosecutor in company fraud matter, Norwich
This matter involved a forensic examination of company accounts and billing practice and the ability to convey these matters to a tribunal and jury

R v X
Instructed Defence Counsel in significant hidden assets POCA matter, Woolwich
This Crown asserted hidden assets due to the high value of the offence (in the millions) and the nature of the offence a high profile  international drugs importation.

R v X
Instructed Counsel in multimillion pound POCA matter, Portsmouth. This fully contested matter concerned a convicted loan shark who was targeted by the Crown in relation to a seven figure sum which was resolved on a lower basis.

Recent Violence/Organised crime

R v B
Instructed Defence Counsel for a 13 year old boy charged with manslaughter and rob-bery, Old Bailey

R v M
Instructed counsel in the large 'gang' gun seizure in South London in 2010, Croydon

R v K
Instructed Defence Counsel in drug importation case, Canterbury. This case involved a group of Latvian males who were charged with smuggling drugs hidden within the engine of a vehicle.

R v X
Instructed Defence Counsel in a large conspiracy to kidnap matter, Peterborough
This matter involved a Lithuanian gang who were alleged to be involved in the extortion, violence and kidnap of low-skilled immigrant workers
working within the Peterborough area.

R v S
Instructed Counsel in an arson with intent to endanger life

R v B
Instructed Defence Counsel in murder trial, Winchester

R v B
Instructed Defence Counsel in attempt murder/ s18, Woolwich
This matter concerned a male from Romania who was observed on CCTV planting a carving knife into the neck of a male and concerned issues of mental health and inten-tion.

R v E
Instructed Defence Counsel in large scale violent disorder, Woolwich
This matter involved a large pre-arranged gang fight the case demanded detailed dis-closure matters and sensitive part eight applications.

R v A
Instructed Defence Counsel in 'steamer' gang robbery matters, Blackfriars
This matter involved a series of robberies on the rail lines running past Woolwich and involved a large number of defendants who ran through the trains robbing the  passen-gers.

R v S
Instructed Defence Counsel in organised high value jewellery robbery, Chichester
This matter concerned a highly organised gang from Liverpool who as a team committed a daylight robbery on the shop before undertaking a high-speed getaway from the police.

R v P
Instructed Defence Counsel in a large scale drugs conspiracy, Ipswich
This matter involved a gang from London who established a significant an high value drugs dealing network within the Ipswich area.

R v S
Instructed Defence Counsel in an attempt murder, Cambridge
This matter involved the throat slashing of a male from the travelling community and involved two Defendants blaming each other.

R v X
Instructed Defence Counsel in a large scale drugs cultivation, Portsmouth
This matter involved the Defence at trial of a male and his co-defendants of setting up a warehouse to cultivate cannabis on an industrial scale.

R v X
Instructed Prosecution Counsel in a series of industrial cannabis warehouse cases and associated POCA matters, Peterborough.
This paper heavy set of cases involved a group of linked cases linked to national police operation combating
cannabis production.

R v Y
Currently instructed Defence Counsel in an ongoing gang kidnap, extortion and torture case, Croydon Recent instructions in other areas of crime

R v N
Instructed Defence Counsel in a historic child rape case, Canterbury
This matter demanded significant skill in cross-examination of matters that were of some age and were highly sensitive.

R v X
Instructed Defence Counsel in child cruelty case, Peterborough
This matter involved the issue of chastisement of children and associated law.

R v R
Instructed Defence Counsel in child abuse matters, Woolwich
This matter concerned a mother accused of leaving her children with an abusive man and neglect

R v K
Instructed Defence Counsel in child sexual abuse matters, Norwich
This matter involved a male who had worked in a child care home and was later impli-cated with sexual assault against children from 3-7 years old

R v Aylett
Instructed Defence Counsel in road rage violence, Court of Appeal, reported
This matter concerned an appeal of sentence passed in relation to the actions of a male involved in road rage and resulted in the case being case reported.

Other matters:

Islington Environmental Health Office v X

Currently instructed to Defend a nationally known company accused of breaches of European food safety Regulations 

Wandsworth CC v X
Instructed to advise and prosecute in relation to selling practices undertaken by a na-tional firm of builders.

Advised on FSA registration
Instructed to advise a male deemed unfit for financial registration within the banking sector in relation to an upper tier hearing.

Advised on Authorities Powers
Advise provided to a Police Authority on the implications of the Firearms Act and the civilian seizure of firearms.

Disciplinary hearing
Recently advised and provided representation in a fitness to practice hearing before the NMC in relation to repeated medical care breaches

Recent licensing matters:
Mr Cotter has undertaken a variety of alcohol licensing applications and recently un-dertook to assist in an application to appeal the refusal of a firearms license.

R v C

Instructed to represent the defence in a highly reported case involving the defence of a lorry driver accused of causing the death of an elderly lady at a crossing within the grounds of Luton airport.


August 4 2014:

Nicholas Cotter successfully acts on behalf of UKAD more

October 1 2012:

3PB is delighted to announce that Nicholas Cotter has joined Chambers. more

... more news

Academic Qualifications

  • Diploma in Law (Bristol) CPE
  • BA (Hons) History
  • Public Access Qualified

Professional Bodies

  • Association of Commonwealth Criminal Lawyers
  • British Association for Sport and Law (BASL)
  • Grade 4 Prosecutor
  • Member of the South Eastern Circuit
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers' Association
  • Rape Panel
  • Serious Crime Panel
  • Serious Fraud Panel
  • The Criminal Bar Association
  • The Health and Safety Lawyers Association
  • The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn