Nicholas Whitehorn


Nicholas is a highly skilled and persuasive criminal defence advocate who is regularly instructed in the most serious criminal offences including murder, rape, fraud and offences linked to organised crime. He has been instructed in high profile cases attracting media attention. He featured and was interviewed in a 4 part series on the jury system in the i Newspaper in 2019: This piece won the 2019 Bar Council Legal Reporting Award. He is fiercely passionate about defending in criminal cases but has an open and approachable manner.

Nicholas also has particular expertise in criminal appeals. He has provided secondary advice on appeal against conviction and sentence for numerous appellants who have been given no or negative advice from their originally instructed counsel.

Nicholas is ranked in the 2022 edition of the Legal 500 where it says...Nicholas is quite frankly my ‘go-to’ barrister. Intelligent and articulate, yet able to communicate with the most difficult of clients he provides robust advice and advocacy in the most challenging of cases. 

In the 2021 edition of The Legal 500 it says of Nicholas...Nicholas is a charming and natural advocate who is always very pleasant to deal with. He has very good client care skills. A superb junior and first-class cross-examiner.' 

Recent Notable Cases:

2021 - This year Nick has been instructed in the following cases:

R v H - attempted murder

R v S - successful dismissal argument on charges of possessing firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and perverting the course of justice

R v P - led by Queen's Counsel in case involving conspiracy to supply over 1 tonne of cocaine and possession of firearms including Uzi sub machine gun

R v R - large scal conspiracy to supply drugs involving encrochat devices

R v E - as above

R v I - kidnapping 

2020: R v Kushnirenko & Ors:  Represented defendant acquitted of large scale money laundering following 2 ½ month trial at Isleworth

2019: R v Walker: Appeared for mother accused of conspiring with others to cause her own abortion. Secured dismissal of charges at the end of prosecution case. All other defendants were convicted.  (

2019: R v Curd: QC-Led in case involving Murder of an 18 month-old child. (

2018: R v White: Successfully argued to dismiss charges in case of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

2017: R v Marley and others: Defendant acquitted of conspiracy to convert firearms at Harrow Crown Court in multi-handed trial.

2016: R v Mason and others: Defended in high profile case of attempt to effect prison escape using imitation firearms at Wood Green Crown Court where Jermaine Baker was fatally wounded by a police officer. (

2014: R v Charles Bronson aka Salvador: Represented defendant often referred to in the media as 'Britain's most dangerous/notorious prisoner' ( who was facing his first criminal matter since 2000. Defendant pleaded guilty to assaulting prison governor at HMP Woodhill, after his mail had been improperly interfered with by prison authorities. Judge agreed to order enquiry into the mail issue.

Criminal Appeal/reported cases:

R v Wright (Amato Charles) [2019] EWCA Crim 342. Instructed alone to represent appellant who had pleaded guilty to murdering his mother. Case involving complex psychological issues.

R v Youlden (2019). Successful appeal for young defendant. Sentence reduced from 3 years imprisonment to a 1 year suspended sentence.

Cecil Scott [2017] EWCA 3038 (QB). Tariff review matter. Written submissions made to the High Court relating to the appropriate tariff to apply to a person convicted of Murder in Canada in 1997 upon his repatriation to the UK. Mr Justice Nicol agreed with the submissions made.

R v Johncock [2016] EWCA Crim 2218. Sentence for drugs supply reduced 4 years, 8 months to 4 years. Successfully argued that the sentencing Judge placed undue reliance on police evidence as to ‘local prevalence'.

R v Lingurar, Lingurar, Rostas [2015] EWCA Crim 2285, Represented all 3 defendants. Sentences reduced from 2 years to 18 months.

2014 R v Woolastone - 2 years for Robbery reduced to 12 months.

R. v R (N)[2012] EWCA Crim 3090 - Conspiracy to Burgle Sentence reduced from 4 years to 3 years 4 months. Negative advice from original representatives.

R v Whalley (Paul) [2012] EWCA Crim 2700 - Challenge to sentence following renewed application for leave for dwelling burglary offence. Sentence being reduced from 6 to 5 years.

R v Akinsete (Marcel) [2012] EWCA Crim 2377; - Challenged conviction on basis of there being no direct evidence of actual supply where the defendants were charged with being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

R v La-Croix (2012) - Commercial supply of Heroin and Cocaine. Sentence reduced from 7 years to 5 years 4 months. Negative advice from original representatives.

Additional Qualifications and Training:

Vulnerable witness training (Approved Internal 3TG)
Direct Public Access qualified (Bar Council)
Equality, Diversity and fair recruitment training (Bar Council)
Qualified pupil supervisor (Bar Council)
Current member of chambers Pupilage Committee











Memberships & Associations

Gray's Inn
Criminal Bar Association
British Association for Sport and Law (BASL)
Disciplinary Panel Member for the Hertfordshire County FA
Gray's Inn Golf Society
Member of chambers Pupillage Committee

Areas of work

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Nicholas Whitehorn

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