Catherine Picardo

Called: 2008

MA, Cambridge University (New Hall) 1992-1996

PGDL and LPC, Nottingham Law School 1996 -1998

Catherine is a personable but tenacious advocate who is particularly adept at dealing with vulnerable and young witnesses. She is familiar with ground rules hearings and deals sensitively with clients and witnesses with special needs. She is equally at ease defending as she is prosecuting and has a vast experience at all levels from the magistrates/youth court to the Crown Court and Court of Appeal.

Catherine became a Crown advocate after 8 years with the Crown Prosecution Service and was lead reviewing lawyer on a drugs test purchase operation, Operation Stratum, which involved witness anonymity orders. Catherine has experience of cases involving the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, including money laundering and confiscation.

Catherine regularly prosecutes at the Crown Court on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, the Probation Service, the Secretary of State for Transport (DVLA), British Transport Police, Transport for London, the Department for Work and Pensions.  She has also defended clients facing charges by these authorities.

She has appeared as prosecution Counsel in all areas for level 2 and prosecuted jury trials of drugs supply, violence, theft, fraud and burglary and multi-handed cases. She has covered all Sentencing/POCA hearings for the Crown including firearms. She has defended jury trials beyond this including rape, sexual assaults and S18.


R v JH Lincoln YC

She successfully prosecuted a 14 year old who had sexually assaulted his siblings aged 4, 8 and 9. The case required a Ground Rules Hearing and use of the intermediary.   

R V TN. Nottingham CC

She defended this convicted murderer serving life in a S.18 jury trial alleged to have knifed an inmate in prison. The defence was mistaken identity.

R v Anon. Wood Green CC.

She prosecuted the Sentencing of this imitation firearms case in a climate of terrorism owing to the Islamic dress of the defendant. sac.html  

R v L-F. Cambridge CC

She successfully prosecuted a defendant facing drugs charges with learning disabilities who required an intermediary.

Serious Fraud Office:

Catherine was seconded to the SFO and used her experience in shipping law and French to interpret unused material in the complex case of international fraud involving Bribery and Corruption. 


Rv J E-K. Portsmouth CC 

Catherine advised instructing solicitors and the client who had severe MH and autism and was deemed unfit to plead who faced charges of supplying Class A in a “cuckoo case” involving County Lines. Her advice and later Basis of Plea were acceptable.  

R v GA. Nottingham Youth Court

Catherine advised and made representations re: this alleged rape by a 15 year old of a 12 year old. I read the guidance on Child Sexual Abuse. Plea was acceptable to the Crown and the defendant was able to return to school and complete a non-custodial sentence. 



Catherine has experience of prosecuting and defending nurses and midwives who have faced disciplinary hearings at the Nursing and Midwifery Council in London. 


Catherine gives seminars dealing with sexual offences and the criminal justice system and how it affects families. The seminars held in London and Cambridge are for Sexual Behavioural Therapists and Counsellors: CORST. 


Catherine has experience in Extradition and has appeared at Westminster MC and obtained evidence from abroad including France and Spain. She has advised on Appeals against Deportation. 

I have prosecuted and defended cases involving the RSPCA and Animal Rights.  



R v O and another

She successfully co defended a gang rape trial which had disclosure issues and the client was acquitted after a week long trial.            

R v X – successfully defended a 54-year-old man of previous good character, charged with attempted rape of his 12-year-old step-daughter and earlier sexual abuse allegations. Successful section 41 and bad character applications;


R v P – appeal against conviction at Southwark Crown Court – successfully acting for the respondent in a serving Met Detective Constable’s appeal after he had been convicted of stalking a Harrods shop assistant. This case had media interest as well as presence from the Police Disciplinary Team. Appeal dismissed;

R v O – prosecuting a stalking offence in which there were threats to murder the victim and burn her house down. Guilty verdicts;


Indecent images:

R v X – secured a suspended sentence order for a defendant facing multiple charges of possession and making indecent images of children (categories A and C.)




R v O-P – defending a contested confiscation hearing in which the realisable asset was the matrimonial home and the client faced deportation.

Dangerous dogs:

R v M – defence case was that the dog was a cross-breed, not a Japanese Tosa, and so it was necessary to counter the Crown’s opinion of the characteristics of ‘type’.

Persuaded the court that the dog was not a danger to the public and a contingent destruction order was imposed.  The case was reported by the BBC.



            •           Fraud Lawyers Association

            •           British & Spanish Law Association

            •           South Eastern & Midland Circuits

            •           Life Member of the Cambridge Union

            •           Committee Member of the New Hall Society


Catherine trained at international City firm Eversheds LLP. She then practised at Dentons and Clyde & Co and has a solid commercial background, working on two public inquiries: Bloody Sunday and Lockerbie. Due to her background in commercial law she is undaunted by fraud whether it be small scale or complex.

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