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Chambers of David Berkley QC

Work 020 7583 8055
Fax 020 7353 6271

Nicholas Cotter

Work 020 7583 8055 / 01962 868 884 / 0117 928
3PB (Chambers of David Berkley QC)

Work Department

  • Regulatory law
  • Maritime and environmental law
  • Disciplinary law
  • Sports disciplinary law
  • Business crime
  • Serious crime


Nicholas specialises in regulatory law, sports and serious crime. He has carved a reputation within these fields as an effective advocate with a commercial eye to client needs, aims and resources.

Nicholas has advised and represented various prosecuting and regulatory authorities (CPS complex crime unit, NCA, RASSO, CPS Fraud Unit, various trading standards bodies and the UK anti-doping Unit). 

Nicholas is often instructed to represent companies and directors in relation to alleged regulatory or criminal fault and is on hand to provide assistance for compliance, pre-charge advice and during potential prosecution. 

He seeks to provide strategic and client centred approach to his advice and brings a forensic eye and assured and calm presence to his advocacy.

Professional Qualifications & Appointments

  • A Grade 4 Crown Prosecutor
  • Member of the Rape Panel of Crown Prosecutors
  • Member of the Serious Crime Panel of Crown Prosecutors
  • Member of the Serious Fraud Panel of Crown Prosecutors


Nicholas has recently undertaken work in a diverse number of offences from murder & manslaughter to organised crime, business crime & fraud, through to torture, kidnapping, death by dangerous driving and sexual offences (including those involving children). 

Nicholas is often instructed privately but also retains a commitment to undertake legally aided work.

Recent notable cases: 

Serious Crime

R v X
Defending in a high profile robbery high value jewellery robbery in Mayfair.

R v X
Prosecuting for the National Crime Agency in relation to organised crime.

R v X
Defending in a tragic death by danger matter in Luton involving the loss of three lives.

R v D
Defending in a large conspiracy to supply drugs matter in Warwick Crown Court

R v M
Prosecuting a large conspiracy to steal matter at Reading Crown Court on behalf of the CPS Complex Crime team.

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 Winchester and Portsmouth Crown Courts.

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 Leveson 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 historic sexual matters in the 1970s. The appeal was in relation to the unsafe admission of a Defendants previous sexual conviction in the 1980s.

Recent financial crime / Asset Forfeiture & recovery / MTIC matters

R v X
Successfully Prosecuting on behalf of the CPS fraud Unit for VAT fraud and advising on the implications of section 71 to 74 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.

Prosecuting on behalf of the CPS fraud team

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 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.

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 intention.

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

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 implicated 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.


Called 1999; Lincolns.


  • The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
  • Association of Commonwealth Criminal Lawyers
  • British Association for Sport and Law (BASL)
  • Member of the Western Circuit
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers' Association
  • The Health & Safety Lawyers Association
  • Member of the Criminal Bar Association


  • Diploma in Law / CPE (Bristol)
  • BA (Hons) History

Regional Bar : Western Circuit


Within: Crime – Leading juniors

Nicholas Cotter - 3PBA consummately able barrister.

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