Nicola is a partner in the fraud and criminal litigation team. She specialises in white collar crime and fraud and has over 18 years of experience in this area.
Nicola has a large amount of experience in dealing with high profile cases and allegations of the most serious nature. Many of her clients have never been involved in the Criminal Justice System previously; many are professionals and upper level management or directors in organisations for whom even being arrested can cause difficulty with their employment and the embarrassment of informing their professional body.
Sources in Chambers UK (2019) describe Nicola as "a very hard-working solicitor who really strives to get the best results for everyone and is never happier than when the client is happy".
Nicola is also listed in The Legal 500 (2019) in which she is described as having ‘excellent client management skills’ and she ‘remains focused in a pressurized environment’.
Nicola advises individuals in relation to money laundering legislation, confiscation proceedings, restraint orders and also those facing investigation by HM Revenue & Customs. She works closely with colleagues in our civil departments to provide advice to individuals and organisations in relation to the criminal aspect of proceeds of crime legislation and asset recovery. Nicola can also advise and assist individuals and organisations wishing to pursue private prosecutions.
She regularly advises and represents organisations and individuals summoned for breaching planning enforcement notices. Nicola also represents individuals and organisations facing prosecutions brought by Local Authorities for regulatory breaches by landlords. These include illegal eviction of tenants and failure to obtain relevant licences such as HMO’s.
She also advises and represents clients facing Trading Standards Prosecutions. These range from selling alcohol to underage customers to those charged with selling counterfeit goods. Nicola is also instructed by farmers facing prosecutions by local councils and Trading Standards for breach of animal movement regulations, non-registration of livestock and animal welfare offences.
Nicola has provided lectures to other professional bodies and organisations to assist them in dealing with investigations by HMRC in relation to clients. Accountants and other professionals can be the subject of 'dawn raids' when papers are being sought in relation to clients under investigation. Nicola has given lectures to assist organisations to prepare for such an incident and also to provide advice and representation when those searches are actually taking place.
Nicola provides lectures and workshops for organisations to try to ensure that they do not breach health and safety legislation. Nicola has also represented those alleged to have breached such legislation in interviews under caution and in court if proceedings are ultimately brought against them. However, the aim is to work with client organisations to try to ensure that such breaches do not occur in the first place. Nicola has also represented individuals working for organisations under investigation for corporate manslaughter who face interviews by police. She understands how intimidating and worrying this process can be for clients who are unlikely to ever have been interviewed under caution previously. View further information on the sentencing guidelines which came into force on 1 February 2016 in relation to health and safety, corporate manslaughter, food safety and hygiene offences.
Nicola is regularly contacted for advice on all aspects of the criminal justice system by the BBC, and has appeared as an expert guest on radio and television programmes on BBC1, Radio 2, Radio 5 Live and local BBC radio stations.
- R v Smith: successful defence of farmer charged with fraud following a multi agency prosecution by Trading Standards, RPA and Crown Prosecution Service. The defendant was accused of falsifying cattle ID tags and passports in an attempt to admit animals into the food chain which would not have been otherwise accepted. Through an exhaustive study of the Prosecutions own evidence we were able to show that the Prosecution was ill founded and that there was no evidence to suggest a fraud on the scale alleged. As a result of the media attention of this case Russell-Cooke have received a number of instructions from the farming community facing similar allegations
- R v Y: successful representation of a defendant charged with a multi million pound VAT fraud
- R v C: defendant charged with fraud by abuse of position of over £600,000
- R v A: defendant charged with a multi million pound conspiracy involving the theft of plant equipment and exportation to the Middle East
- R v S: defendant facing confiscation proceedings following his conviction for importation of class A drugs (he was represented by other solicitors at trial)
- R - S: Nicola successfully persuaded authorities not to extradite defendant to France when it became clear that his solicitor had failed to notify him of the date when he was required to attend Court
- R v B: Nicola successfully assisted a company director accused of failing to provide company accounts to Companies House
- R v B: Nicola successfully persuaded HMRC not to charge a client with tax evasion following a lengthy investigation which included undeclared property and income from other jurisdictions
- Sources in Chambers UK note that Nicola "has a very considered and tactical approach" (2018) and commend her "wonderful way with clients" and "enviable rate of success" (2017)
- Recognised as a 'key figure' and "formidable opponent" in The Legal 500 (2017)
- Listed in the Thomson Reuters 'London Super Lawyers' list (2015)
- Praised in Chambers UK (2015) for "her ability to advise and assist clients in a way that inspires confidence and progresses cases quickly and successfully"
- Great deal of experience in fraud cases and is recommended in The Legal 500 (2012) who note that she is "extremely capable" and that she is "very dedicated" (2013)
- Member of the Female Fraud Forum
- Member of the Financial Services Lawyers Association