Nicholas Hearn

A “brilliant” practitioner with defence and prosecution experience across a variety of complex extradition matters. He is an expert on European Arrest Warrants and the human rights aspects of extradition cases. Market commentators praise his “tactical and methodical approach.”
Strengths: “Very strong technically and applies a very high standard of skill and care to all his cases.” “Displays an economy of effort that should not be mistaken for a lack of preparation. He has the ability to make succinct submissions that get to the heart of an issue, and prove very welcome to the judge.”

 (Chambers and Partners 2018)

 “Tier 1” Leading Junior in the field of “International Crime and Extradition”

 “A very capable and effective advocate”

 (Legal 500 2018)

 “Impressive junior instructed as both prosecution and defence counsel in a number of complex extradition matters. He is an expert on European Arrest Warrants and the human rights aspects of extradition cases.”

 “Very experienced and very technically sound.” “Imaginative in the issues he raises,” “he has a deep understanding of the law and can properly evaluate issues as they arise.”

 (Chambers and Partners 2017)

Nicholas is a criminal barrister who enjoys complementary practices in extradition and crime (with an emphasis on fraud and cases with an international dimension).

Current caseload and recent cases:

Operation Fort (Birmingham CC)

Nicholas is currently instructed, with leading counsel, in an investigation concerning over 70 complainants of human trafficking for the purposes of labour exploitation. A number of defendants have been made subject to Slavery Trafficking Risk Orders. Nicholas successfully prosecuted a number of suspects for breaches of those orders securing the first ever convictions under this legislation.

Operation Brickhill

Nicholas is currently instructed, with Queen’s counsel, to prosecute an individual accused of deliberately infecting 10 complainants with the HIV virus.

Nicholas’s criminal practice also encompasses large scale fraud. In 2015, he was instructed on behalf of a former CEO of a multi-national charity (“Shelterbox”), accused of dishonestly showing favour to his son’s company in relation to the award of procurement contracts. In 2016, he was instructed as junior counsel to the Crown in multiple trials arising from allegations of corruption within the Royal Household.

Nicholas’s extradition practice includes regular appearances before the Divisional Court both as a leading junior and a junior alone. He is frequently instructed to appear against Queens Counsel. In 2016, he appeared before the Supreme Court in Goluchowski & Sas [2016] UKSC 36.

Some of his recent reported extradition cases include:

As leading junior

Vasilev v Bulgaria [2016] EWHC 1401 (Admin) (leading junior), and GS v Hungary [2016] 4 W.L.R. 33,

As junior alone

Geleziunas v Lithuania [2016] A.C.D. 53, Poland v Celinski [2016] 1 W.L.R. 551 (junior alone), Miraszewski v Poland [2015] 1 W.L.R. 3929.

Nicholas also advises individuals who are (or fear they may be) the subject of Interpol Red Notices. Nicholas can provide comprehensive advice regarding the procedure for obtaining information held by Interpol and applications for the deletion of such material and the lifting of Red Notices.

Nicholas accepts Public Direct Access instructions.


Nicholas is a dedicated extradition barrister with many years’ experience of acting in complex extradition proceedings both on behalf of Governments and requested persons. Nicholas is one of the busiest juniors at the extradition bar. He is frequently instructed to advise in cases that involve new legislation, novel points of law or “class action” litigation where a group of individuals have sought to raise human rights challenges against a particular requesting State.

Nicholas is currently instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service to advise in “class action” litigation arising from human rights concerns regarding the Russian Federation, Hungary and Romania. Nicholas has also been instructed in many of the first appeal cases to consider the recent amendments to the Extradition Act 2003 (e.g the forum bar, the proportionality bar and appeal time limits).

Nicholas is available to provide advocacy and advice in anticipation of extradition proceedings and from the Initial Hearing right through to appeal proceedings in the Administrative Court, the Supreme Court and the ECtHR.

Nicholas also advises individuals who are (or fear they may be) the subject of Interpol Red Notices. Nicholas can provide comprehensive advice regarding the procedure for obtaining information held by Interpol and applications for the deletion of such material and the lifting of Red Notices.



Sas and Goluchowski v Polish Judicial Authorities – Nicholas is currently acting for an appellant in proceedings before the Supreme Court on the issue of the correct interpretation of section 2 (4)(c) of the Extradition Act 2003. (link Nicholas is lead in this appeal by Mark Summers QC and oral argument was heard on the 14th March 2016 and judgment is currently reserved.

GS and ors v Hungary [2016] 4 WLR 33 – Nicholas was instructed by Crown Prosecution Service as leading counsel to represent Hungary before the Divisional Court in linked appeals concerning the sufficiency of assurances offered by the Hungarian Authorities in relation to prison conditions.


Geleziunas v Lithuania [2016] EWHC 16 (Admin) – Nicholas was instructed in this appeal by Kaim Todner Solicitors. He successfully appealed the lower court’s decision to order extradition with the court finding culpable delay on the part of the National Crime Agency in certifying the European Arrest Warrant.

Horvath v Hungary [2015] EWHC 3018 (Admin)– Nicholas appeared in this s.26 appeal lead by Mark Summers QC. This appeal concerned the impact of a pilot judgment of the European Court of Human Rights regarding systemic failings within the Hungarian prison estate.

Poland v Celinski [2016] 1 W.L.R. 551- Nicholas was instructed by Gordon Shine & Co. as a junior alone to represent an appellant before specially convened Divisional Court presided over by the Lord Chief Justice. The appeal concerned the correct standard of review in appellate cases concerning Convention rights and also provided guidance to the lower courts regarding the structured approach that must be adopted when conducting a proportionality assessment in cases where extradition is challenged on the basis that removal would amount to a disproportionate interference with an individual’s rights pursuant to article 8 of the Convention.


Wojciechowski v Poland [2014] EWHC 4162 (Admin) Nicholas was instructed by David Siebler of Leslie Franks solicitors to represent an individual who had been discharged by the Deputy Chief Magistrate who had concluded that the EAW issued for the appellant did not contain sufficient details of the underlying jurisdictional basis for the EAW and thus did not comply with section 2(6)(c) of the Extradition Act 2003. The Divisional Court overturned the Deputy Chief Magistrate’s decision and Nicholas has successfully applied to the court to certify a question of general public importance.

 Czech Republic v Paul Moritz – Nicholas was instructed by Edward Grange of Hodge Jones & Allen to represent an individual sought in relation to tax offences that occurred between 1997 and 2001. Nicholas successfully persuaded the District Judge that extradition would be both “oppressive” and “unjust” and Mr Mrotiz was discharged from the EAW.

 Polish Judicial Authorities v Mirazewski, Kaginowski & Flusniak [2014] EWHC 4261 (Admin) – These linked appeals were the first cases to be heard by the High Court concerning the recently introduced “proportionality bar”. Nicholas appeared with Edward Fitzgerald QC on behalf of the appellant Flusniak. The appeal was heard by Lord Justice Pitchford and Mr Justice Collins. The court’s judgment provides important guidance on this significant legislative development. Nicholas and Edward Fitzgerald QC were instructed by Alison Fon Sang Pin of Lawrence and Co. Solicitors to represent an appellant whose appeal was heard alongside a number of other cases to provide guidance on the correct application of the Extradition Act 2003 s21A(1)(b), which provided for a new freestanding proportionality test in accusation cases.

 Agardi v Pentientiary Judge of the Metropolitan Court, Budapest [2014] EWHC 3433 (Admin) – Nicholas appeared in this s.26 appeal lead by Mark Summers QC. The appeal was heard by a three judge Divisional Court presided over by Aikens LJ and concerned whether the court’s discretion to allow UK nationals to appeal out of time, as a result of the Supreme Court decision in Pomiechowski [2012] UK SC 20, could be extended to EU citizens who are non-British nationals. The court heard detailed submissions regarding the applicability of the EU Charter of Fundamental Human Rights to extradition proceedings.

 Brazuks and Ors v Latvia [2014] EWHC 1021 (Admin)– Nicholas and Alun Jones QC were instructed by Michael Evans of Kaim Todner Solicitors, to represent an individual suffering from Hepatitis C and HIV whose extradition was sought by the Government of Latvia. The appellant’s case was heard alongside a number of other Latvian requests by a Divisional Court consisting of Moses LJ and Collins J.

 USA v ZH – Nicholas was instructed by Fadi Daoud of Lawrence and Co. Solicitors to represent a former employee of NASA whose extradition is sought by the US government in respect of allegations of commercial espionage.


 Brodziak v Poland [2013] EWHC 3394 (Admin) – Nicholas appeared in this s.26 appeal led by Peter Caldwell of Dyers Chambers. The appeal concerning “speciality” and the correct approach to be taken to European Arrest Warrants issued for multiple offences where one or more of the offences failed to satisfy the “dual criminality” requirements of the 2003 Act.

Government of Australia v WM – Nicholas successfully represented the Government of Australia in relation to a request for the extradition of an individual accused of corporate manslaughter.

Poland v Wolkowicz [2013] EWHC 102 (Admin) – Nicholas appeared in this s.26 appeal led by Ben Watson of 3 Raymond Buildings. The appeal concerned the approach that should be taken by courts when dealing with individuals facing extradition who are at a high risk of suicide.

  • Kusnierski v Poland [2013] EWHC 250 (Admin)
  • Wisniewski v Poland[2013] EWHC 302 (Admin)
  • Nesukaitis v Lithuania[2013] EWHC 304 (Admin)
  • Malinowski v Poland[2013] EWHC 314 (Admin)
  • Hamvas v Baranya County Court Hungary[2013] EWHC 318 (Admin)
  • Fridenberga v Latvia [2013] EWHC 317 (Admin)
  • Mikolajczak v Poland[2013] EWHC 432 (Admin)


Barron v Spain Central Trial Court 2, Audiencia Nacional Madrid [2012] EWHC 3479 (Admin) – Nicholas was instructed by the Special Crime Division to appear, as a junior alone, for the Government of Spain in this appeal under s.26 of the 2003 Act. The appellant’s extradition was sought in relation to “carousel fraud” with a loss to the Spanish Revenue of over €50m. Nicholas successfully responded to the appellant’s contention that he was sought only for investigation and not prosecution.

Purcell v High Court in Dublin Ireland [2012] EWHC 3325 (Admin) – Nicholas was instructed by the Special Crime Division to appear, as a junior alone, for the Government of the Republic of Ireland in this appeal under s.26 of the Extradition Act 2003. The appellant’s extradition was sought for the offence of Assisting an Offender in relation to a Murder that took place in Ireland in October 2008. The appellant had previously been acquitted by the High Court in Dublin on a charge of Murder. Nicholas successfully responded to the appellant’s contention that her extradition to Ireland was barred by the rule against double jeopardy.

R(on the application of Klimeto) v Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2012] EWHC 2051 (Admin); [2013] 1 W.L.R. 420 – Nicholas was instructed by the Special Crime Division, as a junior alone, to resist an application for judicial review in relation to the application of s.142 of the Magistrates’ Court Act to the Extradition Act 2003. Claimant represented by Helen Malcolm QC and Myles Grandison.

Ramona Dobrea v Romania (unreported) – Nicholas successfully appealed a District Judge’s decision to refuse bail to an 18 year old individual who had been convicted in her absence of drug trafficking and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. Mrs Justice Gloster acceded to Nicholas’s submission that there was sufficient uncertainty regarding the provision of retrial rights in Romania to justify the granting of bail notwithstanding the seriousness of the appellant’s conviction and length of her outstanding sentence.

  • Michniacki v Poland[2012] EWHC 1502 (Admin)
  • Gesiewski v Poland[2012] EWHC 1765 (Admin)
  • Zientara v Poland[2012] EWHC 2194 (Admin)
  • Bras v Poland [2012] EWHC 2799 (Admin)
  • Wasylenko v Poland [2012] EWHC 2620 (Admin)
  • Wasilewski v Poland[2012] EWHC 2814 (Admin)
  • Stafford v The Netherlands[2012] EWHC 2869 (Admin)
  • Coton v Ireland[2012] EWHC 3874 (Admin)
  • Jackowski v Poland[2012] EWHC 3935 (Admin)
  • Kaczanowski v Poland [2012] EWHC 2872 (Admin)
  • Biro v Romania[2012] EWHC 2986 (Admin)
  • Dabrowski v Poland[2012] EWHC 3487 (Admin)
  • Borowski v Poland[2012] EWHC 3568 (Admin)
  • Zielinski v Poland [2012] EWHC 3987 (Admin)


Ernest-Francisc Bohm v Romanian Judicial Authority [2011] EWHC 2671(Admin) – successful appeal against extradition order – adequacy of retrial rights for those extradited to Romania.

Kyastutis Musikyavicius v The Government of the Russian Federation [2011] EWHC 1549 (Admin) – successful challenge of District Judge’s decision regarding article 3 mistreatment in Russian prison estate. Appellant later discharged by the lower court.

Zoltan Varga v Szolnok City Court, Hungary [2011] EWHC 318 (Admin) – Discrimination against Roma within the requesting state.

Ayaz v Court of Milan [2010] EWHC 2650 (Admin) – Double jeopardy in an extradition context.

General crime

Nicholas is an experienced criminal barrister with many years’ experience of jury trials. He both prosecutes and defends and has been appointed to the Crown Prosecution Service’s list of external counsel at Grade 4. In recent years the focus of his criminal practice has been serious crime with an emphasis on fraud.

Recent Cases:


R v Murray & Ors (Operation Lee) Harrow Crown Court – Junior counsel for the Crown in a multi-handed trial concerning a large scale conspiracy to supply firearms.

R v Henderson & Ors (Operation Battenburg) Central Criminal Court – Junior counsel for the 1st defendant, a former CEO of a multi-national charity (“Shelterbox”), accused of dishonestly favouring his son’s company with procurement contracts. Defendant acquitted of all counts.

Proceeds of crime

Nicholas is a member of Chambers’ Proceeds of Crime team. Nicholas is regularly instructed in applications in the Crown Court (in relation to restraint and confiscation proceedings) and the Magistrates’ Court (prosecuting and defending enforcement of confiscation orders and applications for cash forfeiture).

In 2012 Nicholas was instructed by the following prosecuting bodies in this technical area of criminal law: The Crown Prosecution Service, The Metropolitan Police and The London Borough of Southwark.


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. He has advised and settled grounds in support of application for permission to judicial review and has appeared in oral applications to renew before the High Court.

Judicial review

Nicholas’ specialisms in extradition, proceeds of crime and immigration have equipped him with a thorough understanding of judicial review practice and procedure. He can provide thorough and practical advice to solicitors contemplating the launch of judicial review proceedings.

In addition to the judicial review cases mentioned above, in 2012 Nicholas has been instructed to advise in relation to contemplated judicial review proceedings arising out of decisions of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, the Security Industry Authority and numerous decisions arising out of immigration and extradition proceedings. He has experience of advising both individual claimants and defendant public authorities.


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 1 billion (R v Bright & Others).

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.

Professional memberships
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Extradition Lawyers Association
  • Reprieve
  • Chambers & Partners 2019 Leading Barrister
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