Nicola Hall is an extremely experienced Solicitor/Advocate. She has been a criminal solicitor practising in South Manchester for over 25 years. She has extensive experience of representing in all types of criminal cases including those accused of the most serious of offences including murder, conspiracy, fraud and serious sexual offences. She has represented people both in the Magistrates and in the Crown Court as a Solicitor Advocate and has successfully appeared on a number of occasions at the Court of Appeal.
Nicola is one of the most experienced practitioners in Manchester in civil liberties, complex cases, extradition and international criminal law. She has taken cases successfully to the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court.
Nicola is a tenacious fighter on behalf of her clients and has been commended by Chambers and Partners for her “fantastic client care”. She is well known for her commitment to clients who may be at a disadvantage in the criminal justice system either through mental or physical disability, age, and ethnicity or for any other reason.
Nicola has a particular interest in civil liberties having been at the forefront of cases defending protestors, challenging discriminatory legislation & practice and fighting oppressive policing.
She is known in the legal community in Manchester as an articulate, committed and intelligent lawyer.
She has worked with some of the leading barristers in the country and has strong connections with chambers both in Manchester and London. She has prepared cases involving complex forensic issues and has worked with leading experts on mental health, telephone communications, accountancy, forensic medicine & pathology, voice recognition and body mapping.
She has been an advocate at the Crown Court since 2003 and appears regularly at the Crown Court. She brings to her Crown Court advocacy the thorough preparation and tenacity that is a feature of all her work.
Notable Criminal Cases
R v RA (Operation Coda) – represented in multi handed murder involving complex issues on voice recognition and cell site analysis.
R v OB – defended in a murder involving a history of domestic violence
R v AM – defended in murder involving the death of a child. Represented mother who had significant psychiatric difficulties. The matter went to the Court of Appeal and a successful appeal resulted in the substitution of a murder conviction with one of manslaughter. Nicola also represented in the subsequent public enquiry into the Local Authority failures.
R v AW – allegation of murder where there was a “point blank” shooting and the issue was self-defence. An original murder conviction was successfully set aside at the Court of Appeal and a conviction for manslaughter substituted.
R v AW (Operation Tunsgten) – a northwest wide investigation into top level drug dealing.
R v SS – as Advocate, successfully obtained the dismissal of charges in relation to a widespread conspiracy to burgle.
R v MS – as Advocate, obtained a highly successful outcome in relation to a widespread allegation of conspiracy to handle stolen goods.
R v DR – successfully represented animal rights activists charged with criminal damage to hunting estates.
Serious Sexual Offences Cases
R v JW – successfully represented young defendant in relation to allegation of rape and serious sexual assault.
R v SH – represented defendant in relation to allegations of serious historic sexual assault
Vulnerable Defendant Cases
R v AK – successfully overturned a plea of guilty in the Magistrates Court to an allegation of indecent exposure by demonstrating that the Defendant had entered an equivocal plea due to previously undiagnosed mental health issues. Successfully represented the matter and secured an acquittal.
R v CT – complex case involving allegation of neglect of mentally disorder adult living at home. Case involved novel and complex medical issues leading to an acquittal.
R v AW – Defendant with complex Asperger’s and neurological difficulties successfully obtained a non-custodial sentence for importation of significant quantities of drugs following submission of detailed medical evidence
Cases Involving Protest
Operation Geraldton – Represented a number of people involved in allegations of unlawful protest in relation to fracking leading to a number of acquittals at trial.
R v SP – obtained acquittal in relation to s.14 A Protests (Breaches of dispersal orders.)
R v AW – successful appeal against murder conviction
R v AM – successful appeal against murder conviction.
R v MNA – successful appeal against attempted murder conviction.
R v LM and ES – successful appeal against conviction under the Identity Cards Act following erroneous advice by former representatives.
European Court of Human Rights
At her previous firm, Nicola represented a group of gay men charged under discriminatory legislation with having consensual intercourse in a group. The matter proceeded to the European Court of Human Rights. Nicola secured a successful outcome and her clients were offered compensation.
Extradition / International Law Cases
R v EN – Nicola has represented in the ongoing attempt by the Rwandan government to seek the extradition of 5 Rwandan men to stand trial for offences of genocide. The matter first commenced in 2006-9 when applications were heard before the Magistrates and High Court. These were successfully defended. A second application was made in 2013 and is being vigorously defended. The matter has been before the Supreme Court to consider complex issues on anonymity for defence witnesses. During the course of the investigation witnesses have been interviewed from across the globe and Nicola travelled to Africa to obtain important witness testimony. The case is one of the most complex cases to come before the extradition courts and demonstrates Nicola’s capacity for innovative investigation as well as her ability to deal with the most complex aspects of legal practice and procedure.
Guantanamo Bay –At her previous firm (Partner & Head of Criminal Dept. at Lizar’s Solicitors) Nicola was instructed by a relative of a detainee at Guantanamo Bay. Despite the novel challenges this presented Nicola was able to follow leads to try to ascertain what had happened and to gather a legal team to offer assistance and protection.