Colin Witcher

“Legal 500, 2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022 – Leading Individual”

Year of Call - 2010


Deputy District Judge, appointed 2022

"Colin is extremely bright, with a very calm and engaging manner. He is a fearless court advocate. Clients know they are in safe hands with him"

Legal 500 2022, Ranked as a Leading Junior

"Colin Witcher is incredibly calm and well organised, safe and reassuring with clients, with a superb legal brain which gives great attention to the detail in the most complex of cases"

Legal 500 2021, Ranked as a Leading Junior

"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

Full Profile

Full Profile

Colin Witcher has cemented his position as Counsel of choice for instructing solicitors and Queen’s Counsel in complex and paper-heavy cases. Colin recently acted as Leading Counsel in a high-value fraud trial at Southwark Crown Court, representing the first defendant (Jan – Feb 2022). Colin now begins (March 2022) as Leading Counsel the defence of a former director who faces an indictment arising out of the high-profile collapse of an investment company.

Alongside a busy court practice, Colin is presently retained by the Bank of England assisting in a complex investigation.  Prior to that, Colin spent three years assisting a Regulator with an EU competition procurement matter.

In 2020 and 2021, despite the pandemic, Colin defended in three murder trials, appeared in two new authorities before the Court of Appeal, and defended in the high-profile Vietnamese lorry death case over a ten-week trial at the Central Criminal Court where the defendant faced 39 counts of manslaughter

Current instructions include:

R v E: Leading Counsel (Leading Michael Polak of Chambers) on behalf of the first defendant in a large-scale sporting event fraud; Trial fixed Jan 2022;

R v L: Sole Counsel on behalf of defendant charged with kidnap with intent to commit rape; Trial fixed for February 2022;

R v D: Leading Counsel (Leading Fiona McAddy of Chambers) in high profile fraud concerning £2m mismanaged investment fund; Trial fixed March 2022;

R v T: Led by Kate Bex QC in unusual and sensitive historic sex case concerning deception as to gender; trial fixed May 2022;

R v E:  Sole counsel defending mother in allegation of baby-shaking; trial August 2022;

R v E: Led by Michael Mather-Lees QC in allegation of baby-shaking; trial fixed October 2022

Recently concluded instructions of note:

R v D: Sole Counsel successfully defending in historic sexual abuse case (2021)

R v W: Led by Alisdair Williamson QC in high profile perverting the course of justice concerning a missing body murder trial (2021)

R v H: Led by Alisdair Williamson QC in high profile manslaughter case in which 39 people died (2020)

R v O: Leading Counsel before the Court of Appeal (VP) in appeal against conviction and subsequent application for leave to the Supreme Court (2020).

R v E: Led by Michael Mather-Lees QC in unusual murder trial prosecuted with the consent of the AG (2020)

R v S: Led by Kerim Fuad QC in sensitive cut-throat Murder Trial (2020)

Recent International Matters Include:

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)


Profile Overview

Colin routinely acts on behalf of companies and directors in the full spectrum of regulatory 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).

Colin is 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 has lectured on this topic and was a recent invited speaker at the PPNL Association conference 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. Colin spent three years assisting a Regulator on the first ever investigation.

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. 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 conference and in December 2018 Colin assisted in arranging a conference for The Rule of Law & Anti-Corruption Centre in London.



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

Seminars and Lectures

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)

Memberships and Appointments

Deputy District Judge, Appointed 2022

Member of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA)

Inns of Court: Pegasus Scholar 2014

Grade Two Crown Prosecution Panel Member

SFO: LPP Disclosure Counsel

Scholarships and Education

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



Cases of note

  • criminal law
    R v C

    Appeal against conviction; judicial conduct in VAT fraud.

    R v D

    Appeal against conviction; cross territorial jurisdictional of document fraud offences.

    R v G

    Appeal against sentence in respect of manifestly excessive sentence; drugs.

    R v P

    Appeal against conviction in cold case review; murder, fresh evidence.

    R v N

    Appeal against sentence in respect of error of law and manifestly excessive sentence.

    R v G

    CCRC Appeal in respect of cold case review; bank robbery, fresh evidence.

    R v M [Maidstone Crown Court]

    Led Junior in five day final hearing; confiscation sought for £152million; awarded £500,000.

    R v P [Warwick Crown Court]

    Privately retained on behalf of company directors in patent/trade mark offences.

    R v G [Harrow Crown Court]

    Privately retained on behalf of multimillionaire property developer; confiscation sought for £1million; awarded £190,000.

    R v E [Snaresbrook Crown Court]

    Privately retained; successfully opposed an application by the Crown under section 22 to increase available amount.

    R v D [Harrow Crown Court]

    Successfully made section 23 application.

    R v R [High Court]

    Application for Certificate of Inadequacy.

    R v O [Leicester Crown Court]

    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.

    R v D [Central Criminal Court]

    Led Junior in four week murder trial.

    R v R [Leicester Crown Court]

    Led Junior in multi-million pound conspiracy to supply Class A and B Drug, value in excess of £5million.

    R v S [Maidstone Crown Court]

    Led Junior in two month conspiracy to supply / import class A Drugs trial, value in excess of £7million.

    R v N [Luton Crown Court]

    Led Junior in a five week conspiracy to murder trial.

    R v D [Southwark Crown Court]

    Led Junior in £1m fraud against the Government (deaf defendants).

    R v S [Maidstone Crown Court]

    Led Junior in a seven week multi-million pound money laundering trial.

    R v P [Central Criminal Court]

    Led Junior in £1.5m fraud against HMRC.

    R v G [Kingston Crown Court]

    Led Junior in three week attempted murder trial.

    R v E [Croydon Crown Court]

    Gang rape by young males of drunk complainant.

    R v D [Reading Crown Court]

    Multi-Count familiar rape (24 alleged occasions of rape); cross-examination of young complainant.

    R v P [Northampton Crown Court]

    Violent rape in the context of domestic violence.

    R v W [Woolwich Crown Court]

    Knife point repeated rape of prostitute.

    R v C [Inner London Crown Court]

    Assault allegation jointly charged with codefendant facing attempted murder; cross examination on premises of fabrication and “stitch up”.

    R v X [Woolwich Crown Court]

    Successfully defended in Section 18 and Threats to Kill matter.

    R v O [Woolwich Crown Court]

    Successfully acted at trial on behalf of a defendant (a victim of domestic violence) who stabbed her husband four times in self-defence.

    R v D [Central Criminal Court]

    Secured not guilty verdict for lifer charged with aggravated burglary.

    R v E [Isleworth Crown Court]

    Defence of company accountant; three separate trials resulting in acquittal.

    R v X [Kingston Crown Court]

    Six week 17 handed conspiracy to rob trial (69 separate high value robberies). Secured one of two only acquittals.

  • business crime
    R v E [Southwark Crown Court]

    Led by QC in high-profile and unusual fraudulent trading case.

    R v B [Central Criminal Court]

    Led by QC in cheating public revenue matter.

    X v X [Advisory]

    Together with QC advising on an international injunction case for LA based clients.

    MYE [Advisory]

    Retained privately by the European subsidary of an international finance company (with $2.5billion holdings) to advise on insider trading (both FSMA and CJA).

    SFO [Advisory]

    Retained as LPP Counsel by SFO in respect of international bribery case.

    HMRC [Advisory]

    Retained as LPP Counsel by HMRC in respect of £400m tax fraud.

    R v S [Canterbury Crown Court]

    Defence Counsel on behalf of an accountant charged with fraudulent trading.

    R v P [Nottingham Crown Court]

    Instructed defence Counsel in 12 handed trading standards trial, prosecuted by Queen’s Counsel.

    R v M [Kingston Crown Court]

    Privately retained in a five day fraud trial concerning misrepresentation to induce and retain building contracts.

    R v G [Warwick Crown Court]

    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.

    X v D [High Court, QBD]

    Junior Alone in a £3million Freezing Injunction arising out of a breach of fiduciary duty.

    HSE v F [Bromley Magistrates Court]

    Successfully secured not guilty verdicts in a health safety prosecution in respect of contractors working at height.

  • civil law
    U v S [High Court, QBD]

    Led by Damien Brown QC in a high-value Employment/Commercial Dispute involving high profile clients and media coverage.

    X v X [Bournemouth County Court]

    Successfully acted at trial in respect of defending liability for valuable cargo which was damaged during transportation.

    P v P [Advisory]

    Led by Kerim Fuad QC in advising a leading commercial firm in respect of private prosecutions and injunctions due to conduct by former employee.


  • Michael Mather-Lees QC and Colin Witcher Secure Dismissal in Complex Baby-Shaking Case
  • Colin Witcher Appointed Deputy District Judge
  • Colin Witcher and Claire Anderson Present Sexual Offences and Awareness Seminar at Alleyn’s School.
  • “A Criminal Practitioner’s Guide to Baby-Shaking and Non-Accidental Injuries in Children”
  • Colin Witcher defends in high-profile 39 counts of manslaughter trial
  • Michael Mather-Lees QC and Colin Witcher begin unusual murder trial
  • Colin Witcher succeeds in Gold Bullion confiscation case.
  • Michael Mather-Lees QC and Colin Witcher Instructed to Defend in Unusual and Sensitive Murder Trial
  • New Authority: Court of Appeal Upholds Competition and Markets Authority Decision in Respect to Online Sales Restrictions
  • Kerim Fuad QC and Colin Witcher Secure Another Old Bailey Murder Acquittal
  • A ‘Law Check’ of Conservative Party HQ’s Fake Twitter ‘Fact Check’
  • Colin Witcher Enjoys Back-to-Back Court of Appeal Success.
  • Colin Witcher Secures “Certificate of Inadequacy” in Unusual Historic Confiscation Case
  • The Prosecution of Mr Boris Johnson MP by Private Prosecutor Marcus Ball
  • Colin Witcher Secures Old Bailey Acquittal in Unusual Perverting the Course of Justice Trial.
  • Lewis Power QC and Colin Witcher Kick Off Chambers’ Financial Crime Lecture Series
  • Boris Johnson MP : Private Prosecution Press Statement
  • Colin Witcher secures acquittal in 2kg cocaine distribution conspiracy case
  • Church Court Chambers Members ranked by Legal 500, 2019.
  • Draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill released: Colin Witcher and Fiona McAddy
  • Colin Witcher secures dramatic rape acquittal in less than an hour.
  • Kerim Fuad QC and Colin Witcher secure back-to-back murder acquittals
  • Kerim Fuad QC and Colin Witcher secure acquittal in sensitive and unusual Attempted Murder case.
  • Colin Witcher negotiates HMRC settlement
  • Colin Witcher to present keynote address in Seattle, USA at 30th Anniversary Inn Celebrations
  • Colin Witcher secures a clean sweep of acquittals in multi-count historic rape case
  • Colin Witcher, after six week trial, secures acquittal in 17 handed armed robbery conspiracy
  • Kerim Fuad QC and Colin Witcher conclude representing the lead defendant in a long running benefit and charity fraud
  • Colin Witcher secures only acquittal in multi-handed Money Laundering trial
  • Colin Witcher and Michael Polak appointed to the Exec Committee of South Eastern Circuit
  • Colin Witcher enjoys success in the Court of Appeal
  • Colin Witcher instructed in £150m Confiscation Case.
  • Kevin Molloy and Colin Witcher instructed in high-profile fraudulent trading case
  • Colin Witcher presents USA Pegasus Scholarship Report
  • Shortlist ( )

    Criminal Law

    Business Crime


    Immigration Law

    Regulatory and Disciplinary Law

    Sports Law