Nicola Shannon prosecutes and defends as a Leading Junior.
Her practice is focused on Serious and Complex Crime, with an emphasis on organised crime, fraud, modern slavery and serious sexual offences. Many of her cases involve intelligence-led investigations and international mutual legal assistance.
A highly skilled advocate, she is also valued for her expertise in dealing with complex points of law in both general crime and related regulatory matters. She is further sought for her calm and insightful approach to case tactics and preparation and her extensive experience with vulnerable witnesses.
Nicola has experience in criminal courts at all levels, including the House of Lords. She was Junior counsel to Ivan Krolick in R v Saik (2006) UKHL 18, a leading case on the mental element in offences of money-laundering. She continues to deal with high-value fraud and financial crime and is on the SFO’s ‘A’ Counsel Panel.
Nicola advises the CPS and police investigators at an early stage in Organised crime and Serious Sexual cases, often involving sensitive political or cultural issues. She led the Prosecution team in a rare prosecution of social media-based Child Sexual Exploitation within the Orthodox Jewish communities in London and Manchester (Op. Shelduck, leading Max Hardy (9 Bedford Row)). Convictions were secured in July 2019 after the first use of ‘Magnet’ disclosure review software to search an exceptionally high volume of electronic material which had been identified internationally. More recently, she led Patrick Duffy (23 ES) in prosecuting a youth worker charged with the rape of an exceptionally vulnerable young person with multiple physical and mental difficulties whom he groomed while working as a specialist play centre. A conviction was secured in December 2020 after additional forensic evidence was sought and communication specialists engaged to assist in the presentation of the complainant’s evidence.
In the sphere of organized crime, Nicola led Natasha Dardashti (Lamb Building) in a series of trials arising out of gangland violence in the context of county lines drugs networks between London and Sussex. The case involved substantial use of prison intelligence and witness evidence called (via international cooperation) from a French prison. She is currently defending in a number of county lines drugs conspiracies and strategic firearms operations.
Nicola prosecutes at Grade 4 (the highest non-QC grading) on the Serious Crime Group panel, and the Counter-Terrorism panel. She is also currently instructed by the complex casework unit to prosecute police officers accused of serious assaults involving the improper use of batons against a member of the public. She often appears instructed against Silks.
She defends those charged with the most serious offences and is known for both her tactical legal judgment and her skillful and attractive advocacy with witnesses and juries.
Recent cases have included child cruelty, sex trafficking, international money-laundering and offences connected with the Supply of Class A drugs and associated violence.
She frequently deals with defences under s45, Modern Slavery Act 2015, and recently secured the acquittal of a client charged with class A drugs dealing on that basis. She is currently representing an international rugby player dubbed ‘the Princeton rapist’ by the press as well as others charged with serious sexual offending, fraud and firearms offences.