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Nigel Power QC

Queens Counsel: 2010

Call: 1992

For Nigel Power’s Data Protection Policy PLEASE CLICK HERE

Practice Areas


  • Fraud
  • Murder & Manslaughter
  • Confiscation
  • Regulatory
  • Terrorism
  • Firearms
  • Appeals
  • Baby Shaking
  • Motoring
  • Drugs conspiracies
  • Sexual Offences
  • Cybercrime and Digital Currencies
  • Courts Martial

Nigel Power QC is a specialist criminal and family barrister. He is a lawyer who has gained extensive experience  since 1992. He became a QC (Queens Counsel) in 2010. In the 2016 Chambers and Partners Guide to the Bar, he was described in the following way: “He’s an excellent barrister; he’s massively experienced and also thoroughly likeable, which is important to making client relationships work.”

This year he has appeared in two high-profile murder trials in Liverpool and successfully prosecuted Darren McKie, an inspector in the Greater Manchester Police, for the murder of his wife, also a police officer (see here He also appeared for the Maternal Grandmother who was completely exonerated in the two week “finding of fact” hearing in Medway CC v K.

Last year he has represented Mark Ennis, charged with three others of murdering a rival drug dealer in Rhyl. Despite admitting being a career drug dealer and getting out of a car with the co-accused, two of whom had knives and stabbed the three rivals in a van, the defendant was acquitted of two section 18 assaults upon two of the men and was acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter in relation to the front passenger who was stabbed 22 times. He also represented a 16-year-old defendant charged with the murder of his mother’s neighbour. He fractured the deceased’s skull with a wooden pole and stabbed him twice to the heart, but was acquitted of murder and manslaughter on the basis of self-defence. He successfully prosecuted Phillip Daniel’s for the murder by a single stab wound of a love rival, and obtained a sentence of just 6 years’ detention for the manslaughter and assault of an alleged drug rival; that 15 year old defendant had been charged with Murder.

In 2016, Nigel successfully represented Stephen Clarke in a very substantial three-week confiscation case (report here) and prosecuted Kandyce Downer in the high profile murder of 18-month-old Keegan Downer, to whom she was special guardian (report here). In June he obtained an acquittal in a pipe-bomb conspiracy for Jason Buckley at the Birmingham Crown Court (report here) and in August an acquittal for Stuart Shears, charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, blackmail, assault and perverting the course of justice (report here). Nigel represented John Hore in the Court of Appeal in one of a series of “Post-Jogee” test cases, leading the submissions about exceptional leave to appeal out of time where murder convictions were based on the old law of joint enterprise (judgment here).

In 2015 he was successful in the murder trials of Christopher Spendlove (see report here) and Wayne Erskine (see report here) and the serious assault case of Ryan Melia (see report here).

He has a proven track record in the most serious of criminal cases and is available to help now. He is regularly recommended in the leading legal directories for his work in court (recent recommendations are at the bottom of the page). He has been involved in many high-profile criminal cases, including having the case against his client dismissed in the Millennium Dome Fraud and representing the only defendant to be acquitted of conspiracy to defraud and fraudulent trading in the Lord of Fraud Boiler Room Fraud. He appeared in the trials of the racist killing of Anthony Walker in Huyton, the “Gangland” shooting of Michael Wright at the East Lancashire Road Retail Park and the murder of mother-of-three Lucy Hargreaves.

Nigel has also in recent times obtained Not Guilty verdicts in a gangland shooting murder with three associated attempted murders and in a case of the alleged murder of a 65-year-old woman during a burglary in her own home. He has appeared in terrorism cases and successfully appeared in the Court Martial for an Irish Guardsman charged with the manslaughter of an Iraqi Looter in Basra.

Nigel is well regarded for his work in confiscation cases where his IT skills can help to analyse and present the most complex financial evidence to his clients’ advantage. He represented John Conroy in the confiscation proceedings of Operation Inertia, a large scale MTIC fraud involving contra-trading. The prosecution claimed that the benefit was £90m and that there were substantial hidden assets, but the eventual order was for benefit and assets of just £200,000. See the article about that case here. In late 2017 he successfully applied to vary a restraint order which allowed a business with a £50m per annum turnover to trade.

Nigel also has a niche practice in civil fraud and cybercrime. He has specialist knowledge of digital currencies and has lectured on the subject.

Until recently you needed to instruct a solicitor to access Nigels services, but now you can come to him directly, cutting out unnecessary duplication and costs where appropriate. However if your case requires a solicitors input, Nigel can put you in touch with a network of excellent and highly regarded lawyers to help.

Nigel accepts work on both a private and legally aided basis.

Although his chambers are at 7 Harrington Street in Liverpool, Nigel appears in courts all over the country and is prepared to travel to wherever you are to give you the help you need. He appears in quasi-criminal cases too, such as Civil POCA cases and disciplinary tribunals.

For Nigel Powers Data Protection Policy, Please Click Here


Nigel has expertise in both Children and money cases.

Most recently in May 2018 he appeared for the Maternal Grandmother in a two-week contested finding of fact hearing involving allegations by the local authority that the child had suffered deliberately inflicted injuries to the brain, as well as a number of rib fractures and other injuries.

His client was completely exonerated of all allegations and the child was returned to his parents after a delay of 18 months.

Recommendations From Leading Legal Directories

A superb advocate with a real attention to detail.’ Ranked: Tier 2
(Legal 500 2021) (Crime, Leading Silk)

“A superb advocate with a real attention to detail” (Legal 500 2020) Ranked Tier 2 (Crime, Leading Silks)


Chambers and Partners 2022

Crime -Northern Bar Band 3

Knowledgeable across the full spectrum of serious crime, Nigel Power QC exhibits notable strength in homicide cases, as well as large-scale fraud and criminal confiscations. He regularly appears at trial and in appellate proceedings.
Recent work: Defended a man accused of two arsons, one of which led to a fatality.


Chambers and Partners 2020

Crime – Northern Bar Band 3

Knowledgeable across he full spectrum of serious crime, Nigel Power QC exhibits notable strength in homicide cases, as well as large-scale fraud and criminal confiscations. He also acts in serious sexual offences cases.

Strengths: “An excellent and genuinely fearless advocate. He has a strong belief in his own judgement, allied with a remarkable capacity for hard work” “He is extremely pugnacious in his approach to defending prosecutions of all types, and is just as skilful in general crime as he is in complex fraud investigations. His client service and document preparation are at the highest level”

Recent work: Represented the lead defendant in the drug-based kidnapping, torture and murder of Joseph McKeever, whose body was found completely burnt in a car in Everton.

“A very hardworking silk” (Legal 500 2018) Ranked tier 1

“Knowledgeable across the full spectrum of serious crime, Nigel Power QC exhibits notable strength in homicide cases, as well as large-scale fraud and criminal confiscations.”

Strengths: “Nigel is an excellent trial QC and, due to his speedy analysis of evidence, he runs the trial effectively and controls the impact of the prosecution evidence well.” “He is extremely conscientious, prompt with his advice and a tireless force when it comes to preparation.”

Recent work: Successfully acted for a defendant charged with kidnapping, blackmail, assault and perverting the course of justice.

(Chambers 2018)


“Knowledgeable across the full spectrum of criminal law, Nigel Power QC exhibits notable strength in homicide cases, as well as large-scale fraud and criminal confiscations.”

Recent work: Successfully represented the defendant in R v Erskine against charges of murder, manslaughter and death by dangerous driving.

(Chambers 2017)

“Impressive technical ability” (Legal 500 2016)

“An experienced criminal advocate with a broad practice covering matters such as homicide, fraud and confiscations. He is noted for his niche expertise in cases concerning cybercrime and digital currencies.

Strengths: “He is an excellent barrister, he’s massively experienced and also thoroughly likeable, which is important to making client relationships work”

(Chambers and Partners 2016)

“Has an extensive practice covering all areas of serious crime. He is highly regarded for his expertise on complex and high-profile cases such as gangland murders” (Chambers and Partners 2014)

“Admired for his busy practice that covers all areas of serious crime. He is described as hard-working. His distinguished track record includes acting in gangland shootings, serious fraud and drug trafficking offences.” (Chambers and Partners 2013)

“Nigel Power QC excels in cases involving complex technical, medical or scientific evidence” (Legal 500 2013)

“Nigel Power QC experienced in cases involving complex DNA evidene’ (Legal 500 2014)

“Always brings a new dimension to any conversation about strategy in a complex case” (Legal 500 2015) Ranked: Tier 1

“Impressive technical ability” (Legal 500 2016) Ranked: Tier 1


Notable Cases

Fraud, Money Laundering and Confiscation:


R v Andrew Mitchell (2015)

Non-custodial sentence obtained for Company Director who arranged a large number of high value false invoices in order to inflate his salary and bonuses.

R v Emma R (2014)

Non-custodial sentence sentence obtained for a mother who failed to reveal that she co-habited with a wealthy businessman and was an active horse-rider and claimed benefits over a protracted period on a false basis.

R v John Conroy (2013)

Confiscation following an enormous MTIC fraud known as Operation Divert. The prosecution alleged benefit and assets of £90m, ultimately the order made was for £200,000.

R v Anthony Lowry – Huws (2013)

Five month mortgage fraud trial involving than 320,00 pages of served material. (Defending)

R v Phillip Dennett (2012)

Ten week boiler-room fraud where shares worth more than £14m were sold in companies that did not trade in any meaningful sense. (Defending)

R v Brian McAtavey (2010)

The Defendant was first on the indictment and said to be the leading organiser of a multi-million pound VAT and Duty fraud. The ten week trial involved the enquiry into multiple shell companies and a complex audit trail of monies over a 6-year period. (Defending)

Murder / Manslaughter:

R v Dabbs and Scragg (2017)

Two young defendants were alleged to have stabbed to deatha 63-year-old man who had caused trouble for one of their mothers. The case involved the marshalling of bad character evidence from 12 witnesses. (Prosecuting)


R v Bilsborough (2017)

Represented defendant alleged to have been part of a 4-man team who shot dead a rival drug dealer. The case involved complex mixed profile and gun shot residue evidence. (Defending)


R v X (2016)

Represented a 15 year-old defendant who when drug dealing was charged with the murder of a customer but was acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter. (Defending)


R v John Martin (2016)

Represented a defendant charged with the point blank shotgun shooting of 16-year-old Lewis Dunne by the canal in the Eldonian Village in Liverpool. (Defending)


R v Christopher Davies (2016)

Represented a defendant who drowned his friend at a fishing lake near Bebbington, Wirral after his cannabis pipe was spike with the psychoactive drugs known as “spice”. His plea to manslaughter through loss of control was accepted and he was sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment. (Defending)


R v Dwayne Turner and Kevin Darbyshire (2016)

Defendants pleaded guilty to manslaughter of a defenceless man in Leigh Town Centre in May 2016 (report here ) (Prosecuting)


R v Ryan Bate and Luke Kendrick (2016) 

Defendants were convicted of the shooting of Vincent Waddington in Garston in July 2014 (report here ) (Prosecuting)


R v Kandyce Downer (2016)

Defendant was convicted of the murder of an 18-month-old baby to whom she had become Special Guardian (Prosecuting)


R v Ian Gordon (2016)

Defendant was convicted of murdering his partner in their flat in Southport, pleaing guilty to murder after 4 days of the trial. (Prosecuting)

R v Wayne Erskine (2015)

Defendant was accused of the murder of Vincent Holligan, with related alternative charges of manslaughter and causing death by dangerous driving. He was acquitted of all charges. (Defending)

R v Christopher Spendlove (2015)

Defendant was accused of murdering an off-duty police officer and seriously assaulting his two colleagues.  The defendant, a professional football coach in the USA, was acquitted of all charges. (Defending)

R v John Hore (2015)

Defendant was accused of luring a drug dealer to an ambush where he was stabbed to death by other drug dealers. The case involved complex arguments about withdrawal from joint enterprise and bad character. (Defending)

R v Michael Haigh (2015)

Defendant drove a 4.7 litre Jeep Cherokee at his friend after an argument over obtaining the telephone number for a “bent” vet to treat a dog injured when badger baiting. The defendant pleaded guilty to manslaughter but was convicted or murder after trial. (Prosecuting)

R v John Dyer (2015)

Defendant stabbed his friend to death outside a relative’s house. Successful opposition to the reading of the statement of an eyewitness despite the live evidence of two consultants who said that she was unfit to attend court. (Defending)

R v Jamie Hughes (2015)

Defendant killed his friend in his own home. He had a complicated psyhchiatric background  but diminished responsibility was defeated and he was convicted of murder. (Prosecuting)

R v Annie Kennedy (2015)

Defendant alleged to have killed a 64-year-old-man in her flat. There were complicated difficulties with causation, a consultant having missed the fatal injury when the deceased first went to hospital. She was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 9 years’ imprisonment. (Prosecuting)

R v Wayne Smith (2014)

Defendant alleged to have killed his wife’s new lover by stabbing him to death in his own home then creating a false alibi. (Defending)

R v David Dempsey (2014)

Defendant alleged to have stabbed to death a pensioner in his own home in order to steal his money for drugs. The defendant was convicted following a retrial in October 2014. (Prosecuting)

R v Reese O’Shaughnessy (2014)

Defendant was one of six teenagers (some as young as 13) alleged to have murdered Sean McHugh in the back room of the Liver Launderette, Anfield, with a sword-stick. (Defending)

R v Michael Cope (2014)

Defendant pleaded guilty to assaulting and murdering Linzi Ashton, in a high-profile Manchester case of domestic violence. (Defending)

R v Christopher Curran (2013)

Defendant acquitted of murder and manslaughter of a 65-year-old pensioner despite planning a professional burglary at her house and entering to remove the safe. (Defending)

R v Kevin Jones (2013)

Defendant convicted of murdering a man he had met for the first time on the day of the fatal incident, both were alcoholics. (Prosecuting)

R v Ijah Lavelle – Moore (2013)

Defendant alleged to be part of a wide-ranging gangland joint enterprise to kill four men in a car on a night-club car park in Nottingham. He was acquitted of the single murder and three attempted murder charges that he faced. (Defending)

R v Maureen Smith (2012/2013)

12 -week murder trial in which this first defendant on the indictment was alleged to have organised the robbery and killing of her partner in order to take £40,000 of his drug trafficking proceeeds. (Defending)

R v Dean Brennan (2012)

The 20-year-old defendant was convicted of the murder of a 71-year-old man who had made sexual advances towards him. (Prosecuting)

R v Aaron Ward (2012)

The defendant was convicted of manslaughter through loss of control rather than murder after using a pickaxe handle to cause massive head injuries to his friend who was attacking his brother. (Defending)

R v Paul Holmes (2012)

The defendant was charged with the murder of his wife after breaking into her house and inflicting multiple injuries with a kitchen knife. (Defending)

R v Neil Johnson (2012)

The defendant was convicted of murder after attacking his wife with a hammer, using a screwdriver to cause neck injuries and trying to suffocate her with a tea towel. (Prosecuting)

R v Stephen Thomas (2012)

The defendant was charged with the murder of a former inmate of a Salvation Army Hostel but ultimately was convicted of manslaughter by virtue of lack of intent to cause really serious harm. (Defending)

R v David Butler (2012)

The Defendant was charged with the murder of a sex worker in 2005 in Liverpool. The case involved live evidence from 6 experts and involved standard SGM+, Low Template, SenCE, Y-STR and Identifiler DNA and the statistical analysis of the evidence by David Balding, Professor of Genetical Statistics at UCL. (Prosecuting)

R v Darren Laird (2011)

The Defendant was a drug user and alcoholic who suffered schizophrenia and personality disorders. He was charged with the murder by strangulation of his former best friend. The case involved expert evidence from three consultant psychiatrists and was one of the first cases to be tried involving defence of diminished responsibility and loss of control. (Prosecuting)

R v Gordon Harding (2011)

The Defendant was charged with murdering his girlfriend’s father by stabbing him to death in his own home, following arguments over missing jewellery. The co-accused were his girlfriend, her sister and her sister’s boyfriend, all of whom blamed Mr Harding. The case involved controverial pathology and scientific evidence about the number of knives used and the mechanism of the fatal struggle. (Defending)

R v Kelvin Wilhelm (2010)

The case involved a “cut throat” murder in the Benchill area of Wythenshawe, Manchester between two friends who were involved in gang related incidents. The main witnesses had all been extensively interviewed as suspects and witnesses, resulting in extensive cross examination of each. (Defending)

R v Brent Mott (2010)

The Defendant, a nurse in Southport, raped then murdered his wife on the eve of their final ancillary relief hearing. He then staged a car accident and pretended that the deceased was still alive, and made concerned phone calls to friends and family. There was a very large amount of controversial bad character evidence adduced through hearsay. The case attracted considerable local and national press interest. (Prosecuting)

R v Dean Eastham (2010)

The Defendant was a 16-year-old boy charged with manslaughter where he killed his best friend as they played with a loaded gun. There was associated firearm and perverting the course of justice counts. (Defending)



R v Copplestone (2012)

The Defendant was charged with conspiracies to import and distribute more than 60 firearms which came in luggage hold suitcases from the USA. The case involved a very large amount of phone, Skype and cell cite evidence and detailed financial evidence, together with evidence relating to the Defendant’s alternative scenario of cannabis cultivation and supply. (Defending)

R v Craig Riley (2011)

This case raised considerable publicity when, ten weeks into the trial, two of the defendants escaped from a prison van when travelling to court from HMP Manchester. The case itself alleged two conspiracies which suggested that the defendants had orchestrated more than 20 shooting and 4 military grenade attacks in Merseyside over a 2-year period. The case involved Dutch intercept evidence, detailed firearms and controversial fingerprint evidence and complex phone evidence. (Defending)


Sexual Offences:

R v K

Serious allegations of rape were made by an escort against a prominent Liverpool Businessman. The complainant sought anonymity; a number of technical objections were made to the application, and whilst the prosecution sought unsuccessfully to remedy them the complainant withdrew her support for the prosecution and the defendant was acquitted.

Gail Newland

This nortorious case involved an allegation by the Defendant’s best friend that she disguised herself as a man and used a strap-on dildo to penetrate her a number of times. At trial the defendant was acquitted of some counts but convicted of others; Nigel successfully appealed the convictions that remained and the case is to be retried; see one of the many many press reports on the case here .

Michael Burke

This defendant was tried for the rape of his sister, the so-called “Queen of the Selfies” Karen Danczuk, wife of the Rochdale MP and two other women. The defendant was acquitted of the majority of the charges against him including the most serious “multiple offending” count. Unusually, Karen Danczuk waiver her anonymity post-conviction; see the Sun report here



R v Reuben Carroll (2015)

Successful appeal from large drugs conspiracy in which 15 years’ imprisonment was reduced to 12.


R v Hamblett (2012)

Two day appeal in the Staff of Government Division in the Isle of Man seeking to overturn sentencing policy; involved the consideration of sentencing policy in 13 jurisdictions. (For the Appellant)

R v Z (2011)

The Defendant was charged with a series of serious rapes, the complainant and witnesses from her family all claiming anonymity. Ultimately the prosecution offered no evidence after flaws in their anonymity applications were exposed and the complainant withdrew her complaint. (Defending)

R v William Hurley (2011)

The criminal prosecution of a solicitor for perverting the course of justice alleged to have persuaded a prosecution witnes not to give evidence at a murder trial. Difficult issues of legal professional privilege involved. (Prosecuting)

R v Leslie Inman (2010)

The Defendant was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent of his 4-month-old daughter by shaking, The case involved expert evidence of the conventional “triad” of injuries i.e. encephalopathy, sub-dural haematoma and bi-lateral retinal haemorrhages, but was unusual because the baby had has prominent extracerebral/ subarachnoid spaces which on rare occasions have been reported to predispose a child to sub-dural haematoma even with minor trauma, and because her retinal haemorrhages were subsequently found to have resolved. (Defending)

R v Patrick Smeda (2010)

The Defendant, acquitted of murder in Liverpool, moved to South Wales where he was alleged to have carried out a large number of very serious armed robberies, the majority of which were organised “cash-in-transit” offences but two of which involved the planned robbery in their own homes of prominent local businessmen. The case involved a very large amount of cell-site and other telecommunication evidence (Defending).


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