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Chambers of Oliver Blunt QC & Sally O'Neill QC

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Nicholas Hearn

Work 020 7405 3232
Furnival Chambers (Chambers of Oliver Blunt QC & Sally O'Neill QC)


Specialist practice areas: serious crime, criminal/civil fraud, serious sexual offences, regulation/compliance, extradition, asset forfeiture, health and safety, immigration, inquests and public inquiries. General crime: Nicholas is regularly instructed in the Crown Court in all areas of criminal proceedings including offences of violence, dishonesty, drugs, sexual offences and frequently accepts private instructions in road traffic proceedings in magistrates’ courts. Nicholas has acted as a lead junior in proceedings relating to allegations of murder and conspiracy to murder at the Central Criminal Court. He has also acted as a lead junior in proceedings relating to the large scale supply of Class A drugs at Kingston Crown Court. Most recently Nicholas has acted as a lead junior at Inner London Crown Court in a historic sexual abuse case. As a junior alone Nicholas’ practice has encompassed offences of grievous bodily harm with intent, aggravated burglary, false imprisonment, robbery, affray and a variety of sexual offences. Highlights have included: R v Hoyte – lead by Sonia Woodley QC in a six-week trial at Inner London Crown Court arising out of allegations of sexual abuse against a youth worker by nine different complainants. R v SG & ors – successful defence of two 18 year olds accused of burglary in circumstances where the defendants were arrested fleeing from the scene of a burglary and the Crown’s forensic expert suggested that there was ‘strong support’ for the contention that footprints found at the scene belonged to the defendants. Both defendants acquitted by a jury. R v BM & ors – successfully defended a mother and two sons in relation to charges of assault PC arising out of a s18 search warrant of their family home. Nicholas received a commendation for his handling of the case by the district judge in his written judgment acquitting all three defendants of all charges. Extradition: Nicholas is a specialist extradition practitioner with a busy defence based extradition practice. He regularly appears before the Administrative Court in extradition proceedings. Nicholas has acted for individuals whose extradition has been sought in relation to offences as varied as murder, sexual offences, people trafficking and drugs importation. Nicholas is available to provide advocacy and advice in extradition proceedings from the initial hearing right through to appeal proceedings in the High Court. Nicholas is currently instructed in a number of extradition proceedings relating to requests under ‘Part Two’ of the Extradition Act 2003. He is currently acting for an individual requested by the Russian Federation for drugs importation and for an individual requested by the United Arab Emirates for an offence of armed robbery. Reported cases: Italy v Ayaz [2010] EWHC 2650 (Admin) – double jeopardy in the extradition context. Regulatory: Nicholas has represented represent defendants facing prosecution by a wide range of prosecuting authorities including the department of work and pension, Media Protection Services Ltd (on behalf of BSkyB) and The Royal Mail. Asset forfeiture: Nicholas appears in civil proceedings for the detention and forfeiture of seized cash, as well as confiscation hearings in the criminal arena. Immigration: Nicholas appears at Asylum and Immigration Tribunals throughout the United Kingdom. He regularly represents immigration detainees in bail applications and appeals against refusals of asylum. Other: before his call to the Bar, Nicholas worked for white-collar law firm, Kingsley Napley, where he assisted in the management and review of disclosure for the second defendant in a four-month trial at Southwark Crown Court, arising out of the collapse of the ‘Independent Insurance Company’ with a loss in the region of £1bn (R v Bright & ors). In 2005 Nicholas completed an internship at the Gulf Region Advocacy Centre (GRACE) in Houston, Texas. GRACE provides free legal representation to indigent individuals on death row in Texas. During his internship Nicholas liaised between office-based lawyers and inmates on death row and assisted with research and investigation in support of appeals against the imposition of the death penalty.


Called 2007.

London Bar

International crime and extradition

Within: International crime and extradition – Leading juniors

Nicholas Hearn - Furnival ChambersA very capable and effective advocate.’

Within: International crime and extradition

For some, Furnival Chambers is ‘a go-to set for extradition law’ that includes a number of juniors, often with strengths in prison conditions cases. James Stansfeld and Nicholas Hearn were both involved in the Supreme Court case of Goluchowski and Sas v Poland, which concerned the level of information required in European Arrest Warrants for persons already convicted.

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