Mon - Fri 09:00 - 18.00
Second Floor Goldsmith Building Temple London EC4Y 7BL
Tel: +44 020 7936 3637
Fax: +44 020 7583 2061
DX 458 London Chancery Lane
Chambers provides an out of hours service. If you call Chambers main number you will be diverted to the clerk on call who will be able to deal with your enquiry.
Year of Call - 2010
"Juries warm to him; he approaches the cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses with care and skill."
Legal 500 2020, Ranked as a Leading Junior
“A very fine Advocate”, “an impressive knowledge of law and procedure”
Legal 500 2019, Ranked as a Leading Junior
“Incredibly bright. Superb in cross-examining difficult witnesses”
Bellamy Forde, Partner, McMillan Williams, London
“Corporate clients appreciate his focused practical advice on insider trading and his ability to always hit time sensitive deadlines”
Shamina Chowdury, Solicitor, 3HR Corporate Team, Paris
Colin Witcher has cemented his position as a Junior of Choice for instructing solicitors and Queen’s Counsel, having being Led by five different Silks at trials during 2019. Described as “dependable”, “extremely bright” and “engaging” Colin is a highly regarded Jury advocate, ranked by the Legal 500 where commentators note his advocacy ability and his legal knowledge. He has acted as a Led Junior, Leading Junior and Junior Alone.
Colin both prosecutes and defends, often entrusted with cases of the highest sensitivity acting in high-profile and high-value matters. He is sought after to defend in financial crime cases and is highly experienced in confiscation and assest restraint, routinely acting on behalf of third parties. In 2019. Colin acted as Junior Counsel in the high profile FA Bribery and Corruption Trial at Southwark Crown Court.
Colin has extensive experience in Private Prosecutions, both on behalf of the prosecution and defence. Colin acted at first instance in the most high profile Private Prosecution of recent times, successfully securing a summons against Boris Johnson MP. Colin did not acted in the subsequent Hight Court appeal but was thereafter instructed to act in respect to leave to the Supreme Court. Colin has lectured on this topic and was a recent invited speaker at the PPNL Association conferencce advising on Private Prosecutions.
Colin has a diverse and varied advisory practice, and is often instructed to act as part of a larger team working on corporate investigations. The same means that Colin is well placed to advise companies facing an investigation from relevant regulators. Recent examples include advising a FTSE100 company on compliance with Environmental Regulation and a Japanese Finance House on insider trading.
Current Instructions for 2020
R v L (Led by QC, unusual Murder Trial prosecuted with the consent of the AG)
R v D (Leading Counsel, appeal concerning Identification Evidence – Court of Appeal)
R v B (2 month fraud trial, Peterborough CC)
R v E (3 month Conspiracy to Supply trial, Nottingham CC)
HMRC v D (£12m account freezing matter)
Recent Example Instructions from 2019
R v E (Led by QC: Bribery, Southwark CC
R v D (Led by QC: Baby Shaking, Luton CC)
R v E (Led by QC: Murder, Central Criminal Court
R v D (Led by QC: Costs & Leave to the Supreme Court, QBD)
R v D (Junior Alone: Perverting the Course of Justice, Central Criminal Court)
R v P (Junior Alone: Trading Standards, Croydon CC
Recent Advisory Matters:
Re: BB (Food Hygiene)
Re: ED (Ofgem)
Re: DB (Bribery)
Re: DE (Environmental)
Re: AA (International Fraud)
Recent International Matters Include:
Re: DR: Kosovo (war crimes)
Re MW: Nigeria (freezing injunctions arising in cross-border fraud)
Re BW: Japan (insider trading arising from employee conduct)
Re DN: Hong Kong (injunction arising from share mismanagement)
Re: DB: Dubai (extradition and HMRC settlement)
Colin routinely acts on behalf of companies and directors in the full spectrum of regulation and criminal offending including health and safety, food hygiene and licensing. He has extensive experience of asset forfeiture, restraint and confiscation matters, including acting in one of the largest confiscation cases since the 2002 Act came into force (£154m benefit).
He has developed a reputation for offering excellent client care and for being an engaging and passionate advocate who can adapt to any tribunal, be they lay, professional, corporate or military. He is well versed in dealing with a variety of expert witnesses and has cross examined medical experts, including pathologists, breaking down complex facts and technical matters to get to the heart of the issue for jurors. Colin received high praise in a recent murder case where he cross-examined a pathologist, forcing concessions highly advantageous to the defence. He, unusually for his level of call, has experience in baby-shaking cases.
In general crime, Colin has developed a specialism in defending in paper heavy, complex, criminal matters including murder, drugs and fraud which require thorough and effective case preparation. Colin has been led in a number of high-profile and complex criminal matters but is also a confident Jury advocate in his own right. He has appellate advocacy experience in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal, in addition to advising in CCRC matters.
In addition to his domestic practice, international law and military law has long been a passion for Colin both professionally and academically. As a former intern at the Special Court for Sierra Leone during the War Crime trial of Charles Taylor, the ex-president of Liberia, and as a Pegasus Scholar in Washington, Colin often brings an international perspective and approach to his cases. Colin has also discussed cross-boarder legal perspectives with experts, both legal and military, at the Pentagon, Qunatico and the Military Appeal Court, Washington DC.
Colin regularly publishes commentary on current legal issues and has lectured both domestically and internationally. In February 2017, Colin was invited to present a key note speech in Seattle, USA, on cross board perspectives on tackling racial bias within the jury system. In November 2017, Colin was invited to join the delegation in Qatar at an international bribery and corruption and in December 2018 Colin assisted in arranging a conference for The Rule of Law & Anti-Corruption Centre in London.
In 2015, Colin was elected to the Executive Committee of the Criminal Bar Association and in 2016 was elected to the Executive Committee of the South Eastern Circuit. He is the current treasurer of the Herts and Bed Bar Mess. Colin is now in his fourth successive term on Chambers’ Management Committee
Extradition: Old Dogs, New Tricks (published by IFO) Colin co-wrote this article on extradition law with Kerim Fuad QC offering commentary on the separation of powers in the light of recent high-profile cases.
Disabled Children, a legal handbook (published by LAG) Colin was a researcher for this leading textbook on child disability law, focusing on researching and drafting content in respect of Statements of Special Educational Needs.
An Innocent Man’s Parole (Published by Converse) Article co-written with Charles Archer of J4E ltd offering advice for prisoners seeking parole whilst maintaining their innocence
The Value of Legal Learning (Law Conference 2014)
TUPE, an update (Chambers’ Lecture Series)
Contempt of Court (Chambers’ Lecture Series)
Forensic Science (Chambers’ Lecture Series)
Confiscation in drug conspiracies (Chambers’ Lecture Series)
Comparative Trial Advocacy (Stetson Law School, USA abroad programme)
Effective Technology in case presentation (Delaware, USA)
Member of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA)
Inns of Court: Pegasus Scholar 2014
Grade Two Crown Prosecution Panel Member
SFO: LPP Disclosure Counsel
Nottingham Law School, LLB (top 2.5 % in cohort)
BPP Law School, BVC (top 2.5% in cohort)
Nottingham Law School: European Funding Award
Middle Temple: Jules Thorn Scholarship
Middle Temple: Certificate of Honour for performance in Bar Finals
Appeal against conviction; judicial conduct in VAT fraud.
Appeal against conviction; cross territorial jurisdictional of document fraud offences.
Appeal against sentence in respect of manifestly excessive sentence; drugs.
Appeal against conviction in cold case review; murder, fresh evidence.
Appeal against sentence in respect of error of law and manifestly excessive sentence.
CCRC Appeal in respect of cold case review; bank robbery, fresh evidence.
Led Junior in five day final hearing; confiscation sought for £152million; awarded £500,000.
Privately retained on behalf of company directors in patent/trade mark offences.
Privately retained on behalf of multimillionaire property developer; confiscation sought for £1million; awarded £190,000.
Privately retained; successfully opposed an application by the Crown under section 22 to increase available amount.
Successfully made section 23 application.
Application for Certificate of Inadequacy.
Leading Estelle Thornber of Chambers in paper heavy case (150,000 pages) where 11 defendants faced an indictment alleging violent disorder in the context of an attempted murder.
Led Junior in four week murder trial.
Led Junior in multi-million pound conspiracy to supply Class A and B Drug, value in excess of £5million.
Led Junior in two month conspiracy to supply / import class A Drugs trial, value in excess of £7million.
Led Junior in a five week conspiracy to murder trial.
Led Junior in £1m fraud against the Government (deaf defendants).
Led Junior in a seven week multi-million pound money laundering trial.
Led Junior in £1.5m fraud against HMRC.
Led Junior in three week attempted murder trial.
Gang rape by young males of drunk complainant.
Multi-Count familiar rape (24 alleged occasions of rape); cross-examination of young complainant.
Violent rape in the context of domestic violence.
Knife point repeated rape of prostitute.
Assault allegation jointly charged with codefendant facing attempted murder; cross examination on premises of fabrication and “stitch up”.
Successfully defended in Section 18 and Threats to Kill matter.
Successfully acted at trial on behalf of a defendant (a victim of domestic violence) who stabbed her husband four times in self-defence.
Secured not guilty verdict for lifer charged with aggravated burglary.
Defence of company accountant; three separate trials resulting in acquittal.
Six week 17 handed conspiracy to rob trial (69 separate high value robberies). Secured one of two only acquittals.
Led by QC in high-profile and unusual fraudulent trading case.
Led by QC in cheating public revenue matter.
Together with QC advising on an international injunction case for LA based clients.
Retained privately by the European subsidary of an international finance company (with $2.5billion holdings) to advise on insider trading (both FSMA and CJA).
Retained as LPP Counsel by SFO in respect of international bribery case.
Retained as LPP Counsel by HMRC in respect of £400m tax fraud.
Defence Counsel on behalf of an accountant charged with fraudulent trading.
Instructed defence Counsel in 12 handed trading standards trial, prosecuted by Queen’s Counsel.
Privately retained in a five day fraud trial concerning misrepresentation to induce and retain building contracts.
Privately retained on the behalf of a company director of a large-scale importers and distributors in respect of trade description offence arising from EU patent breaches.
Junior Alone in a £3million Freezing Injunction arising out of a breach of fiduciary duty.
Successfully secured not guilty verdicts in a health safety prosecution in respect of contractors working at height.
Led by Damien Brown QC in a high-value Employment/Commercial Dispute involving high profile clients and media coverage.
Successfully acted at trial in respect of defending liability for valuable cargo which was damaged during transportation.
Led by Kerim Fuad QC in advising a leading commercial firm in respect of private prosecutions and injunctions due to conduct by former employee.