Year of Call
Catherine is a personable but tenacious advocate who is particularly adept at dealing with vulnerable and young witnesses.

Member of Lincoln's Inn & Criminal Bar Association

CPS Panel Advocate: Level 3


Fraud Panel: level 3

Midlands and South Eastern Circuits.

Women in Law Forum.

British and Spanish Lawyers Association.

Fraud Lawyers Association.

Committee Member of “New Hall Society” Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.

Cambridge Union Society.


High Pavement Chambers

Catherine has a thriving and balanced Defence and Prosecution practice. She is on the RASSO (Rape and Sexual Offences Panel) at Grade 3 and is a Fraud Panel member.

She has been a lawyer for over 20 years and became a Duty Defence Solicitor in 2003 after an early career in the City as a Corporate Lawyer. She then became a Crown advocate in the East Midlands after 8 years with the Crown Prosecution Service and her background means that she has in-depth knowledge of the criminal process involved for both sides.

She has been led for the Prosecution in large scale and complex drugs Operations of Class A and B (County Lines) and defended in muti-handed cases where the value has run to millions. Catherine regularly prosecutes cases involving drug production (cannabis farms) and the defence of human trafficking and Modern Slavery.

Her practice spans serious violence (S18 and S20), rape and sexual offences, Firearms, bomb hoaxes, blackmail, kidnap, aggravated burglary, robbery, death by dangerous driving, complex fraud and white collar crime. Catherine both defends and prosecutes cases involving the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, including money laundering and confiscation. She is confident and approachable and especially adept at dealing with those with vulnerabilities and children who require intermediaries and S28 hearings. She will defend fearlessly, no matter how challenging, the more experienced client and give firm advice. She has acted for murderers serving life sentences and dealt with patients detained under the Mental Health Act and Hospital Orders. She is a natural, persuasive and articulate jury advocate.

Catherine has given seminars and training to Therapists and Counsellors dealing with sexual offences and the criminal justice system. She is a mentor to undergraduates wishing to pursue a legal career at her former college at Cambridge University. She is fluent in Spanish and French.

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. She is a member of Stonewall and prosecutes Homophobic and Transgender crimes. She has prosecuted and defended cases involving the RSPCA and Animal Rights. Catherine has prosecuted and defended nurses, midwives and Care workers who have faced disciplinary hearings at the Nursing and Midwifery Council in London.

Catherine secured multiple convictions against all defendants prosecuting a multi-handed spate of robberies at knife-point in Nottingham.

Led in a complex multi-handed HMRC, mortgage and insurance fraud prosecution (Operation Mickey.)

She has defended in a multi-handed Counterfeit tobacco and identity fraud case – (R v NA et al.)

Catherine was seconded to the SFO (Serious Fraud Office) and used her experience in shipping law and French to interpret unused material in a high profile complex case of international fraud involving Bribery and Corruption.

Catherine’s legal career started in the City of London where she qualified as a Corporate Commercial Lawyer and used her languages in international cases and was seconded to the Paris Office. She is familiar with banking, tax, pensions and company law, mortgage fraud and is on the Fraud Panel.


Modern & Medieval Languages MA (Cantab) 1996

Roll of Solicitors 2001

R v TN. Nottingham CC

Catherine defended a convicted murderer serving life in a S18 jury trial involving a knifing of an inmate in prison. The defence was mistaken identity.

Wood Green CC

Catherine prosecuted the Sentencing of this imitation firearms case in a climate of terrorism owing to the Islamic dress of the defendant. News Article

Rape & Serious Sexual Offences
R v RK Nottingham CC

Catherine prosecuted an historical familial rape against a Silk.

R v SP Derby CC

Catherine secured an acquittal in a rape at knifepoint which included digital penetration and a background of domestic abuse.

R v TR Wood Green CC

Catherine successfully defended a step-father accused of rape and sexual assault.

R v MO Basildon CC

Catherine secured an acquittal in a multi-handed rape trial for her Romanian client who was jointly accused with his friend of gang-rape.

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 an intermediary.

Vulnerable witnesses
R v 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.

R v L-F. Cambridge CC

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

CPS East Midlands

Catherine regularly prosecutes cases involving drug production (cannabis farms), Class A and B supply and the defence of human trafficking and “Modern Slavery.”


Led in a successful prosecution of a 9-handed Class A and B County lines Operation (Operation Nampa) in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

R v DB Nottingham CC

She secured a 32 month sentence for her adult client facing between 6 and 9 years in a PWITS Class A and Human trafficking case which involved teenagers in Nottingham.

Related News
Congratulations to Catherine Picardo and Tom Welshman

Both Catherine and Tom have been accepted on the RASSO panel at Grade 3. They both have a strong interest in this area of work. We are delighted that they are joining our specialist RASSO team in Chambers

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