Nicola Finnerty


Criminal Litigation

"…a force to be reckoned with, she's a fighter and a thinker who relishes new law and the toughest of challenges. She is destined for the top"

Legal 500 UK 2020

"one of the great lawyers of her generation"

Legal 500, 2018

Nicola is a leading criminal defence expert in both business and general crime.

She has experience of fraud, corruption  (including the Bribery Act) and cartel matters, financial compliance, money laundering, asset seizure and confiscation cases, through to sexual offence cases, drugs, murder and offensive weapon crimes. She also advises on matters relating to mutual legal assistance, extradition and European Arrest Warrants as well as representing individuals and families in public inquiries and inquests. She also has experience of internal investigations

Nicola has acted for many high profile individuals who have needed advice on criminal matters. She has also represented corporate clients, financial institutions and professional firms in investigations and proceedings brought by the SFO, CPS, FCA, HMRC and other prosecuting bodies. She is routinely instructed in judicial review and appeal cases. 

Nicola was previously a partner at Corker Binning for 13+ years (2000-2014) and started her career at Peters & Peters (1992-2000). In 2014 she took a career break during which time she was appointed by the Secretary of State for Justice to the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Pentonville and by the Lord Chancellor as a Magistrate.

outstanding ability to guide clients through extremely stressful processes of investigation and prosecution... praised for her ability to manage large-scale complex litigation."

Chambers UK

Notable cases

Nicola has been instructed by many high profile clients in well publicised cases. In recent years she has:

  • acted in a number of FCA prosecutions for insider dealing (including Operation Tabernula – the FCA’s largest insider dealing case to date);
  • acted in the first case prosecuted by the SFO under the Bribery Act 2010;
  • advised a participant in the Leveson Inquiry;
  • advised a number of corporates (including credit unions) and individuals in respect of FCA investigations;
  • advised a number of suspects in Operations Weeting and Elveden (the police investigation into journalists for hacking and corruption);
  • acted for a director of Madoff Securities International Ltd;
  • acted for various clients in SFO investigations/prosecutions including Achilleas Kallakis, the high profile SFO prosecution in respect of Allied Irish Bank and HBOS;
  • acted for suspects in a number of overseas corruption investigations;
  • acted for a peer in the parliamentary expenses scandal;
  • advised in relation to the LIBOR investigation in the UK and US;
  • acted for a number of professionals accused of fraud for criminal wrong doing including a barrister cleared of VAT fraud and a London solicitor acquitted of a multi-million pound mortgage fraud;
  • acted for a defendant acquitted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs;
  • advised families or other interested parties in inquest proceedings;
  • acted for Anne Darwin, in the 'missing canoeist' fraud case.


what clients and directories have said

International Who’s who of Business Crime Defence Lawyers, the Guide to the World’s White Collar Crime Lawyers and the Guide to the World’s Leading Woman in Business Law 2013. In the 2013 inaugural UK edition of Super Lawyers, Nicola is featured as a leading lawyer for fraud and is in the London Top 50 Women.

"…a fierce defender who’s utterly client-focused"

Chambers UK

Nicola Finnerty is “Well established” and noted for being able to quickly pick up a case and “achieve results” without getting intimidated.”

Chambers UK

“Sources admire Nicola Finnerty for her “excellent client management skills,” “great understanding of the issues and ability to identify weak spots in the prosecution’s case.”

Chambers UK

Nicola Finnerty is applauded for the strong rapport that she builds with clients. Sources are impressed by her commitment, noting “her efforts to secure the right result were exceptional.”

Chamber UK

Nicola Finnerty garnered votes for her “sound commercial judgement “ and “client friendly manner”.

Who’s who legal, Business Crime Defence Lawyers

Nicola Finnerty is strongly acclaimed for her “fabulous tactical sense, and extremely good client skills.” She advised a high-profile peer in relation to the fallout from the UK parliamentary expenses investigation, and is also involved in major SFO prosecutions.”

Chambers UK

Nicola Finnerty’s “work rate is phenomenal” and she is “unflappable”.

Legal 500

…(Nicola) has arrived in a major way: the quality of her work is superb and she is very bright, with exceptional people and organisational skills.”

Chambers UK

…a practitioner with a wealth of experience; who leaves no stone unturned; her preparation and understanding is impeccable.”

Chambers UK


Honours and awards

  • Ranked in Band 1 for Crime: London, Chambers & Partners 2014
  • Ranked in Band 1 for Fraud:Criminal - UK wide, Chambers & Partners 2014
  • Listed as one of the world’s leading Women in Business, under the category of White Collar Crime, EuroMoney 2013
  • Ranked as a leading individual in Fraud, Legal 500 2013
  • Shortlisted for the European Women in Business Law Awards for Best in White Collar Crime, EuroMoney  2013
  • Super Lawyers - ranked in London Top 50 Women and a leading lawyer for fraud, Thomson Reuters Mar 2013
  • Ranked in Band 2 for Crime: London, Chambers & Partners 2013
  • Ranked in Band 1 for Fraud:Criminal - UK wide, Chambers & Partners 2013
  • Ranked as a leading individual in the Guide to the World's Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers, 2012
  • Recommended for Crime, fraud and licensing, Legal 500 2012
  • Ranked in International Who's Who of Business Crime Defence Lawyers, 2012
  • Ranked as a leading individual in the Guide to the World's Leading Women in Business Law, 2012


Publications, Press Highlights, Speaking Engagements & Blogs


excellent client management skills, great understanding of the issues and ability to identify weak spots in the prosecution’s case.”

Chambers UK

immensely experienced” and “excellent.”

Legal 500

applauded for the strong rapport that she builds with clients... her efforts to secure the right result were exceptional.”

Chambers UK

Terrific with the most demanding of clients, incisive and tactically very astute”

Legal 500

…admired for her strong commitment to her client’ s best interest.”

Chambers UK

Related Services

Bribery and Corruption

We have a long track record of defending corruption investigations for individuals. Our expert lawyers can also advise on internal investigations.

Business and Financial Crime

Our experienced lawyers provide strategic and pragmatic advice in complex business crime cases and situations.

Corporate Crime

Corporate crime is under the spotlight more now than ever before with an increasing appetite for corporate prosecutions.

Fraud and Financial Crime

Defending complex white collar cases successfully is what we are known for. The firm has the largest team of specialist criminal lawyers in the UK.

Criminal Defence and Police Investigations

From police station representation and advice to restraint and confiscation proceedings, we are proactive in achieving the best outcomes.

Internal Investigations

Corporate clients require sophisticated and sensitive advice when they encounter internal crises which have the potential to escalate.


When an individual or company is faced with a criminal or regulatory investigation we manage every step of the process.

Money Laundering

The UK’s anti-money laundering (AML) regime is amongst the most stringent. We represent both individuals and organisations in AML matters.

Mutual Legal Assistance

Robustly defending requests from foreign jurisdictions is not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced. Our lawyers are recognised leaders in the field.

Police Station Representation and Advice

Our team includes specialist police station advisers. We are proactive in achieving the best outcomes for our clients.


When fraud occurs the first steps are critical. Our unparalleled expertise will show you how to act.

Cartels, Competition and Price Fixing

Our top ranked cartels team is extremely well placed to provide advice to individuals and companies who are caught up in cartel activity.

Directors and Officers

In the current economic climate, directors and officers are under more scrutiny than ever before in their duties to companies, shareholders and employees.

Proceeds of Crime

Recent years have seen considerable growth in this practice area, following the introduction of new measures designed to tackle illicit finance and the increased attention of enforcement agencies.

Account Freezing and Forfeiture Orders, and Cash Seizure

Tackling illicit finance and the proceeds of crime is a government priority and law enforcement focus.

Money Laundering Regulation and Compliance

Ensuring that the UK financial system is an increasingly hostile environment for illicit finances is a key government priority.

Restraint Orders, Confiscation and Third Party Rights

We advise individuals and corporates in relation to restraint orders and third party applications in respect of property caught by restraint orders.

Unexplained Wealth Orders

UWOs are used by law enforcement agencies to require an individual to prove that a particular asset was obtained through legitimate means.

Extending Moratorium Periods

Another feature of the Proceeds of Crime Act that can have the unwelcome effect of freezing property is the 'moratorium period'

Insight from Nicola

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Canada relaxes cannabis laws: what this might mean for the UK investor

AML: reforming the suspicious activity reporting regime – have your say

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Contact Nicola

+44 (0)20 7566 5270

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