Nicholas Cotter

Year of Call: 1999
Email Address:
Secure Email:
Telephone: 01962 868 884

Download Expertise CV Add Expertise to CV Shortlist

How to use the Shortlist tool?

Public and Regulatory

Regulatory Law (including maritime, fire regulation, CQC, environmental law and Heath and Safety matters)

Nicholas undertakes instructions in a wide variety of regulatory and quasi-criminal matters.
Nicholas has prosecuted for a number of local and national authorities and has extensive experience representing employers, employees, directors and companies often charged with complicated and offences that carry profound reputation damage.

Nicholas is often instructed by insurance firms and risk assessors to provide advice on the merits of an insurance funded case before action and is well versed in providing realistic, swift and cost appropriate advice to both those insured and self funding. As such he provides advice and assistance targeted to avoid, challenge or minimise the effects of any regulatory investigation or prosecution whilst maintaining a commercial eye to an individual means and ultimate business reputation of the client.

Recent examples:
Regulatory Breach

  • R v X
    Currently instructed Defence Counsel in an environmental prosecution of a company director for alleged chemical air pollution
  • R v X
    Currently instructed Defence Counsel in an environmental prosecution of a farmer for breaching of the clean air act
  • R v X
    Currently instructed Defence counsel in a food safety prosecution representing both the company and CEO
  • R x X
    Representing the Director of a care home in which a tragic fire had led to the death of one of the residents. This case involved significant breaches of the Fire Regulatory Code. Early intervention led to the Director of the home being found not guilty and the position of the company was enhanced by limiting the number of alleged breaches admitted resulting in reduced costs and fine
  • R v X
    Advising positively on the merits of a Care Quality Commission Appeals tribunal involving the cancellation of a service providers registration across a large and well established care home business
  • R v X
    Representing a nationwide Salvage and building demolition Merchants charged with exceeding their landfill license. This case involved advising on the merits of a dismissal argument and the tactical approach this may have on the merits of the protection. The Environmental Agency upon consideration of the potential submission accepted a lower sanction resulting in a significantly lower fine with reduced reputation damage
  • R v X
    Representing a large property development firm and its primary directors charged with significant TPO breaches
  • R v X
    Representing a firm of nationwide food suppliers who were accused of breaching the EU Regulations on food hygiene involving the storage of milk and the production of cheese. This highly complicated matter met with success in avoiding findings in relation to the storage and hygiene of the primary functions of the business
  • R v X
    Provided advice on Alcohol licensing requirements for a large international warehousing and packaging company

Recent Non-Sports Disciplinary Hearing

  • R v X
    Successfully representing a nurse before the NMC in relation to fitness to practice allegation

Trading Standards

  • R v X
    Prosecuting on behalf of Trading Standards a nationwide rogue drainage company who targeted and overcharged elderly victims. This significant and successful prosecution required the assistance of a number of drainage experts and the excavation of the victims' properties and gardens but resulted in a successful prosecution that compensated the victims of the companies and resulted in a significant fine
  • R v X
    Currently representing an entrepreneur accused of trademark breaches on his trainer footwear line.

Health and Safety

  • R v X
    Instructed Defence Counsel on behalf of the company in an on going matter alleging the multiple deaths of non-employees within a care home environment
  • R v X
    Representing a company that ran a number of docks on the river Thames. Sadly one of its employees had suffered a terrible accident resulting in the loss of both of his legs. The company was advised quickly on the merits of the case in order to mitigate effectively and productively for both the company and the victim.


  • R v X
    Instructed Defence Counsel in an ongoing matter representing the Master of a cargo ferry being prosecuted under the Merchant Shipping Act (Collisions) for a significant accident in the Humber involving another large cargo ferry
  • R v X
    Successfully representing a Dutch salvage captain accused of removing salvage from historic shipwrecks within British waters without an appropriate license
  • R v X
    Advising an international wreck salvage operation on pre-investigative issues after being boarded by the coast guard supported by the Royal Navy.


'Has a general criminal and regulatory practice, with an emphasis on the Western Circuit and London. He has a track record of acting in cases involving fraud, organised crime, serious sexual offences and murder.'
Strengths: "He has a terrific brain, a formidable work ethic, an unflappable demeanour and his tactical awareness can make the difference in a tricky case."

Chambers UK 2018/Western (Bar) - Crime - 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."'

Chambers UK 2017/Western (Bar) - Crime - Band 3

‘A formidable advocate.’

Legal 500 2017/Regional Bar - Western Circuit, Crime – Leading juniors

“Now this case is over, may I express my significant grateful thanks for the way you have consistently and over a lengthy period handled the complex case of R v O.

This case was never destined to be easy, and indeed it proved to be one of the most difficult cases I have dealt with in the last 30 years. I am in awe of the skill, professionalism, compassion and knowledge that you put into this case, coupled with your ability to look after, control and satisfy a very difficult Client.

Your willingness to see our Client without Solicitor and to promptly report back to myself was an outstanding pathway to enabling us to deal efficiently with a client of the most demanding nature, who barely spent a day off the telephone whilst in prison.

Notwithstanding the sentence passed, I think it is fair to say that without your extremely high level of expertise, the result could have been tremendously less beneficial to the Client.

I think it would be correct in this case to concentrate on the level of acquittals obtained for O, which speak volumes for your ability and dedication."

Instructing Solicitor, Bournemouth, June 2017

Expand recommendations View Full CV

Academic qualifications

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

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

Professional bodies

  • 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

Direct Access

Nicholas Cotter is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.

More Information