Nicola Talbot Hadley

Year of Call: 2007
Email Address:
Telephone: 01962 868 884

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Sexual offences

Nicola has defended and prosecuted in serious cases both as junior alone and led junior. She is able to establish a rapport with and gain the confidence of the most difficult and vulnerable of clients and has particular experience of the youth court and defendants with anxiety and mental health difficulties. She is valued by those who instruct her for her empathy, client handling, diligent preparation and dogged perseverance to ensure the best outcome. She is able to deal with extremely sensitive cases with compassion and care.

Case experience includes sexual offences (serious sexual assaults, grooming/incitement through social media and indecent images) and sexual harm prevention orders, violence, drug supply, dishonesty and fraud, road traffic law, extradition law, proceeds of crime/civil forfeiture, local authority regulatory work, mental health disposals and cases under Dangerous Dogs and Animal Welfare legislation. She has been instructed as led Junior in cases of particular complexity involving historic sexual abuse of children and multi-handed frauds running to millions of pounds.

Nicola is also a Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Facilitator (training established practitioners in the new form of questioning vulnerable witnesses), which has been of real value in cases involving sexual abuse of children and vulnerable witnesses.

Notable cases include:

  • R v Rai, Winchester Crown Court, successful prosecution of a vulnerable male who was unfit to plead, but had engaged in sexual touching of vulnerable female work colleague
  • R v Polak, Isleworth Crown Court, successful defence of a Polish man accused of physical and sexual assaults upon his partner
  • R v Johnston, St Albans Crown Court, defending in sexual touching of a 14 year old girl by another teenager at a festival
  • R v Foreman, Snaresbrook Crown Court, defending in incitement of a child to engage in sexual activity, using electronic media
  • Junior defence counsel in R v Slade, Ipswich Crown Court; historic sexual and physical abuse dating back to the 1980s by headmaster of boarding schools in Norfolk and Suffolk, involving multiple buggeries and sadistic physical punishment of young boys (led by Gregory Perrins)
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Academic qualifications

  • Christ Church, Oxford, BA/MA Hons Modern History (Upper Second Class Honours)
  • Bath University, Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (Secondary History)
  • London School of Economics, MSc International Relations (Distinction)
  • College of Law (York), Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction)
    • Winner of end-of-year prizes in EU Law and Public Law, and ‘Best Student at York’
    • Winner (jointly with mooting partner) of York College of Law GDL Mooting Competition
  • College of Law (London) (now The University of Law), Bar Vocational Course (Very Competent)


  • Lincoln’s Inn Lord Haldane Scholarship for Graduate Diploma in Law
  • Lincoln’s Inn Hardwicke Scholarship
  • Lincoln’s Inn Sir Thomas More Bursary for Bar Vocational Course
  • Pegasus Scholar to European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (May to July 2011)

Professional qualifications & appointments

  • Trustee of Disability Law Service (since February 2018)
  • Member of the panel of Chairmen of the Valuation Tribunal for England (since June 2017)
  • Legally Qualified Chair for Police Misconduct Hearings (since January 2016), for the Police Crime Commissioners and Authorities of Thames Valley, Sussex, Kent, Hampshire and Surrey
  • Volunteer Panel Member for Youth Offending Service, Referral Orders (since 2009); formerly at Southwark and now for Tri-borough YOS (Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea); trained in Youth Rehabilitation Orders and Restorative Justice


Professional bodies

  • Lincoln’s Inn
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Education Law Association
  • National Association of Legally Qualified Chairs for Police Misconduct Panels