Although only called to The Bar as recently as 2023, Nick has vast experience as a defence lawyer and as a specialist Defence advocate with a huge reputation across the North-West. Nick joined chambers after spending in excess of 36 years at the highly respected solicitors’ firm, Russell & Russell LLP based in Bolton and heading up their renowned Criminal Defence department for many years.
From his days in articles in the city centre, at Betesh & Co in Manchester where he spent the majority of his time attending Crown Courts and upon legendary counsel of the 80s era, Nick very quickly developed into a well-regarded and determined advocate. Having been admitted as a solicitor in 1986, he soon joined Russel & Russell, then attaining Duty Solicitor status in 1988; from then leading a life of attending police stations often working through the nights, and appearing at Magistrates’ Courts across the region, defending with great tenacity those who had the misfortune of being arrested and charged by the local constabulary. In those days Nick recalls that many police station attendances were really quite attritional; great skill, diplomacy and patience were critical characteristics required to assist suspects and to manage often confrontational senior detectives (who were far more visible than they are now).
He attained his Higher Courts Rights (HCA) qualification in 2005. He has for more than 3 decades had the reputation as a determined, positive, and tenacious lawyer. He is very well known and regarded as a persuasive and stylish advocate. With Higher Court Rights having been granted in 2005, Nick became a regular advocate before the Crown Court. Indeed his very first Crown Court trial was at Southwark Crown Court, a Money Laundering case with a £1/2 Million value and in which all other parties were represented by Silks. He remembers well securing an acquittal of his client in that 5 week trial. Nick was also one of the first Solicitor Advocates to appear in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division, before the Lord Chief Justice in an Attorney General’s Reference in 2010.
Nick certainly has the reputation as a determined defence lawyer who very much prides himself not only on his own persuasive brand of advocacy, but also he is well respected by clients for his clear and honest advice (often robust and to the point) but always in the very best interests of the client.
Although appearing largely in the Crown Court for more than a decade, Nick also maintains a fine reputation and highly respected skills in defending motoring cases. He has indeed been regarded as an expert in defending drink drive, exceptional hardship and special reasons cases for many years and has travelled extensively in defending clients in these challenging cases. Nick intends to maintain his motoring practise at the Bar and is happy to receive instructions in such matters across England and Wales.
As a former solicitor Nick is critically aware of the importance of maintaining both high professional standards and efficiency in advising lay clients and in dealings with solicitors.
Although renowned amongst fellow professionals as a conscientious hard worker, Nick enjoys taking time out generally at weekends, and especially when the sun is shining. With his wife he enjoys walking, travelling (especially on cruises), visiting different rural parts of the UK, but especially trips abroad when time permits., and again preferably when there is warm sunshine on offer! He is also the proud father and step-father of 5 now grown-up children. Sports wise, he is a keen (armchair!) Man City fan, a great time to follow the Blues, and enjoys some gentle exercise, nothing too vigorous, even still hoping to return to the slopes for skiing in the not too distant future.
- R v D and others, Southwark Crown Ct 2009 – a money laundering trial, value £1/2m, Client Found Not Guilty.
-R v H and others, Minshull St Crown Ct 2010 – an 11 week conspiracy to supply drugs trial; Case became known as “The FaceBook Juror Case”. Not Guilty verdict.
- R v W, 2012 Liverpool Crown Ct – murder trial (led by KC), Guilty of Manslaughter.
- R v B. Inner London Crown Ct, 2017 – £2½ million copyright fraud. Suspended Sentence.
-AG v T (AG Ref.) 2021 - Defending Appeal by AG re- Unduly Lenient Sentence
-R v G Preston Crown Court 2022 – Arson with Intent – petrol bombing trial