Nicholas is a barrister with both a scientific and legal background, having read medical biochemistry as an undergraduate before converting to law, where he studied public and human rights law to Master’s degree-level and was called to the Bar. He has also completed the Academy of Forensic Medical Science’s course (Cert FMS).
Nicholas has wide-ranging experience in providing an advocacy and advisory service to clients and currently practises primarily in the area of coroner’s inquests and related medical and public law matters. He advises the full-range of NHS, private healthcare and emergency service organisations and clinicians and appears as their counsel in court. Nicholas has a particular interest in homicide and suicide investigations and inquests arising out of deaths following psychiatric detention and/or treatment, deaths in prison and where there has been police involvement. Nicholas regularly appears in these types of case, often heard over a number of weeks by a coroner sitting with a jury, and is also regularly instructed in medical malpractice cases usually involving emergency and intensive care medicine, paramedic response, anaesthesia, obstetrics and sensitive matters involving complex ethical and treatment considerations.
Prior to joining Capsticks, Nicholas regularly represented defendants at trial in serious criminal cases, particularly homicides, other violent and sexual offences, often at the Old Bailey and usually involving complex forensic and medical evidence. Nicholas frequently appeared in mental health tribunal hearings, particularly those involving hospital and restriction orders, and was accredited on the Law Society’s mental health panel for representing some of the most vulnerable detained patients. Nicholas also represented lifer and IPP prisoners before the Parole Board.
Nicholas also regularly provides pro bono advice in a wide-range of areas of the law to individuals through his work at the South-West London Law Centre and the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
Recent Inquest Cases
- Re: RW - four-week death in custody jury inquest; numerous IPs; provision of psychiatric services at police station/high-security Category A prison.
- Re: PW - hypoxic brain injury when anaesthetic ventilator machine not properly connected; design features of machine/issues regarding training of anaesthetists by NHS Trust.
- Re: AH - emergency CS delivery; issue as to whether there had been a still or live birth; expert evidence about obstetric/neonatal care and mothers’ right of choice for mode of delivery.
Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
Affiliate Member – Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine (of the Royal College of Physicians)