Nicola Shannon KC

Nicola Shannon KC

Call: 1997 | Silk: 2023


Appointed as King’s Counsel in 2023, Nicola practices in serious and complex crime as well as fraud, regulatory offences and Sports Law, both prosecuting and defending.

Her recent instructions include homicide, organised crime, fraud, modern slavery and serious sexual offences.  She has particular expertise in intelligence-led investigations involving international mutual assistance and those involving vulnerable witnesses.  She has pioneered creative approaches to the presentation of evidence by both defendants and witnesses with learning and communication difficulties and has appeared in cases of the utmost cultural sensitivity. She regularly appears in cases attracting considerable media interest.

As junior counsel she was instructed to appear before the House of Lords Judicial Committee (the precursor to the Supreme Court) in R v Saik (2006) UKHL18, which remains a leading authority on the mental element in conspiracy and offences of money-laundering.

She undertakes high-value fraud casework and is a member of the Serious Fraud Office’s ‘A’ Panel of Counsel.

Nicola also sits as a Recorder in the Crown Court, with authorisation to try serious sexual offences.

In 2024 she was appointed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport as a Board Member of UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), the body responsible for protecting and promoting clean sport in the UK.

She is a member of the Safeguarding Case Management Panel for Sports Resolutions.

Nicola is a champion of diversity and wellbeing at the Bar, having chaired the Bar Council’s Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group from 2023 – 2024.

She is a co-founder of ‘Kindness at the Bar’, researching and promoting positive working practices in the legal profession.

She is also senior member of a Women in Criminal Law (WiCL) Judicial Mentoring Circle.

“Nicola is a hard-working advocate who clearly knows the brief backwards.“-Legal 500, 2023

R v RM and DW (Op. ‘Hankcom’) (Harrow C C, 2023) Conspiracy to murder following shooting of a young man in broad daylight in North London.   Attempted execution with firearm by alleged members of an organised crime group investigated by Operation Trident. Prosecuted as leading counsel, securing convictions for both defendants.  Advised on international arrest warrant for third who left the jurisdiction shortly after the incident. Awaits sentence. Prosecuted, leading James Thacker. News stories here (BBC), here (Evening Standard) and here.

R v TJ (Reading C C, trial March 2024) Murder.  Currently instructed, leading Jon Swain, to defend in stabbing, said by prosecution to be in the context of drugs dealing. News stories here (BBC) and here.

R v WS-M and EJ (Op Brier) (Winchester C C, trial May 2024) Murder and Fraud.  Currently instructed, leading Lisa Bald, to prosecute female defendant who stabbed an acquaintance before posting videos explaining her actions on TikTok.  News stories here (BBC), here (The Sun) and here.

Serious and Organized Crime

R v AL and others (Op Correspond) (Snaresbrook C C, 2023): People-smuggling and high-value money laundering by Albanian Organised Crime Group.  First case in which the Met Police charged the new offence of Facilitating a Breach of Immigration Law by a Non-UK National. Defendants convicted following trial in relation to a sophisticated international network of lorry routes from Europe using corrupted Romanian drivers to bring in Albanian economic migrants to work in cannabis factories across the UK. Also advised on applications for Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders. Prosecuted, leading Kemi Fapohunda.News stories here, here, here and here.

R v DL (Lewes C C, 2019): Prosecuted high-profile defendant for drugs offences relating the death of a celebrity victim who fell out of a window at a party in Brighton having ingested class A drugs. The criminal prosecution followed on from an Inquest in the Coroner’s Court. Following guilty pleas to Possession with Intent to Supply the drugs found at the flat, the sentence imposed was successfully appealed as being unduly lenient. (R v DL) The investigation was the subject of an ITV documentary ‘The Death of Aimee Spencer’ presented by Katie Piper. News stories herehere and here

Serious Sexual Offences

R v FM (Wood Green C C, 2022)  Campaign of ‘stranger’ rapes at knifepoint by prominent internet Rapper (known as ‘Raverartist’ online).   Reported internationally and dubbed “The Camden Doorstep Rapist” by the press.  The rapes were filmed on his mobile phone.  Considered the most dangerous outstanding sexual offender at the time by Met Police.  Case was legally complex as 4 of the 6 offences were put on a ‘similar fact’ basis in the absence of direct identification evidence. Case required the presentation of sensitive evidence from very vulnerable complainant witnesses.  Def convicted and received life sentence.  Prosecuted, leading Margia Mostafa. News stories here, here, here, here and here

R v BS (Lewes C C, 2022) Instructed to defend young man accused of rape following an outing with friends to a Brighton nightclub and an incident later that evening in their hotel room with a complainant prosecution suggested may have been incapable of consent/ had been ‘spiked’.  Acquitted at trial.

R v CA (Snaresbrook C C, 2022) Prosecuted ‘date rape’ case in which complainant was registered blind and had been subjected to what the trial judge described at sentence as “a night of sexual torture and humiliation” in her own flat, including non-fatal strangulation.

R v PK (Isleworth C C, 2021) Represented International rugby player charged with stranger and ‘date’ rape with serious violence and threats to kill. Evidence of similar allegations while studying at Ivy League US university. Dubbed ‘the Princeton rapist’ amid significant press attention. News stories herehere and here.

R v SS (Canterbury C C, 2022) Represented (leading Oliver Doherty) father accused by two foster daughters and a third complainant of sustained grooming and sexual abuse, one still considering herself his ‘girlfriend’ while at university. News story here

R v MF (Snaresbrook C C, 2021) Rape and sexual abuse of extremely vulnerable complainant with Down’s Syndrome and ADHD, by her carer at specialist play centre.  The complainant had severe communication and cognitive deficits and the case involved specialist psychiatric and psychological evidence of her lack of capacity to consent to sex.  Previous complainants to centre management had been dismissed and the case had previously been rejected by the CPS as being too difficult to present, but Nicola successfully deployed novel approaches to allow the complainant’s evidence to be presented effectively, including the use of a speech therapist called as an ‘expert’ witness to ‘interpret’ her words and gestures in her police video interview as well as the support of an intermediary throughout.  A Charities Commission investigation into the Centre followed the conviction. Prosecuted, leading Patrick Duffy.

R v AI and MI (Op. Shelduck) (Snaresbrook C C, 2019) Sexual exploitation and grooming within orthodox Jewish communities in London and Manchester, distribution of images via international paedophile network, associated witness intimidation/attempts to pervert the course of justice. First such case within the community. Required presentation of evidence by extremely vulnerable witnesses, use of special measures to secure the participation of families and community leaders as well as the calling of expert evidence in respect of specific religious and cultural practices within the community. Prosecuted, leading Max Hardy. News stories here, here and here.

Fraud and Regulatory Crime

Nicola is a member of the SFO ‘A’ Counsel Panel.

Nicola is also instructed in regulatory crime, including infringement of Trade Marks (with particular experience in software cases), and Environmental Protection Act matters.

Sports Law

Nicola is a member of the Sports Resolutions Safeguarding Case Management Panel.

Nicola Shannon KC was appointed in 2024 as a Board Member of UK Anti-Doping by the Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport.  As such she is currently unable to undertake cases investigated or prosecuted by UKAD.  She remains available to accept instructions in all other aspects of Sports Law and is a Member of Sports Resolutions’ Safeguarding Case Management Panel.

Police Misconduct

Nicola also undertakes sensitive cases investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.  One such case involved two police officers accused of a series of baton assaults on a member of the public following which they arrested the victim in an attempt to prevent scrutiny of their conduct.

R v P and W (Hendon MC, 2021) Evening Standard story here.


MA (Cantab) History and Law

Languages – French, Spanish.

  • Legal 500 UK 2024: Included New Silk