Nicola Kohn

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Nicola Kohn has a broad practice spanning public and human rights law and general common law including, personal injury and regulatory and disciplinary law. She also has a substantial Court of Protection practice.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Nicola spent eleven years as a political news journalist at the BBC where she worked as a programme producer on the BBC1 Politics Show and Radio Four’s Today, and as a senior producer on Newsnight.

Administrative & Public

Nicola has a broad public law practice. She is frequently instructed by the Financial Ombudsman Service for whom she has successfully resisted a number of judicial review challenges. Between 2013 and 2014 she spent a year acting in-house on a weekly basis as counsel to the Financial Ombudsman Service, assisting with legal and jurisdictional queries.

She has a particular interest in parliamentary law, stemming from her many years as a political journalist. She has successfully represented the Labour party on a number of occasions and welcomes instructions from all political parties.

Historic Sexual Abuse

Nicola has developed a particular interest in historic sexual abuse which spans her public and private law practices. She represented the claimant pro bono in the case of JT v (1) FTT & (2 (AAC)) CICA [2015] UKUT 0478 (AAC), a judicial review of the so-called “same roof rule” under which certain victims of crime are prevented from recovering compensation from the CICA. As sole counsel Nicola gained permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal, whereupon legal aid was granted. Led by Fenella Morris QC, Nicola appeared in the successful appeal of this case in June (JT v FTT [2018] EWCA Civ 1735) resulting in the government’s historic announcement that it intended to overhaul the entire CICA scheme and scrap the same roof rule. Nicola has been nominated as Bar Pro Bono Young Barrister of the year for her work.

In addition to this, Nicola has provided legal advice for one of the three investigations carried out into the behaviour of Jimmy Savile at various NHS establishments. She is also currently instructed as one of a number of juniors providing assistance to insurers in the ongoing Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). She has also recently assisted a major regulatory body in reviewing files and advising on liability for potential claims arising out of allegations of historic sexual abuse.

Nicola has experience acting for both claimants and defendants in claims for personal injury arising out of historic sexual abuse, having recently succeeded in having judgment in default entered in the High Court against a charity for child abuse committed 30 years ago set aside. The claim was valued at over £100,000, a criminal conviction had been secured and judgment had been entered almost a year prior to Nicola’s instruction.

Nicola particularly welcomes instructions that allow her to draw on her dual expertise in public and common law.

Mental Capacity and Mental Health

Nicola has a substantial Court of Protection practice, specialising in health and welfare cases and serious medical treatment although she also accepts instructions in matters concerning property and affairs. She is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor, family members, local authorities and NHS bodies to conduct work in both the county court and the High Court. She has dealt with cases concerning a wide number of issues on capacity and best interests including capacity to consent to medical treatment, determine contact, consent to sex, contraception, manage food intake and the best interests of Ps with a wide range of conditions including dementia, alcohol-related Korsakoff’s syndrome, acquired brain injury, personality disorder, schizophrenia and Prader-Willi syndrome.

She is one of the co-authors of the 39 Essex Chambers Mental Capacity Report and is a contributor to the 4th edition of the Assessment of Mental Capacity (Law Society/British Medical Association).


Nicola has a substantial and growing inquest practice. She has appeared for both family members and public authorities on a number of occasions and has dealt with matters involving Article 2, Article 8, Article 10 and the need for reporting restrictions. Nicola’s media background makes her uniquely suited to dealing with issues combining privacy and freedom of speech and she particularly welcomes instructions in this area.

National Security

Nicola has DV Clearance and has been instructed in a number of cases regarding areas of national security. Drawing on her academic background in International Relations and the Middle East Nicola is able offer her expertise in all areas of the law relating to national security and foreign policy.

Civil Liability

Nicola has a fast-growing common law practice encompassing personal injury, clinical negligence, insurance and professional negligence. She acts for both claimants and defendants in fast track and multi-track cases in the High Court and County Courts. Nicola drafts pleadings and advises on liability and quantum. She is particularly interested in fraud work and also has experience of the use of surveillance in proceedings.

Nicola assisted Charles Cory-Wright QC in the Court of Appeal in Taylor v A Novo [2013] EWCA Civ 194, a case concerning whether a secondary victim could recover damages for the shock of witnessing a loved one’s death a number of weeks after the initial injury was sustained. Damages for psychiatric injury remain a particular interest.

Nicola has experience of complex clinical negligence claims including the drafting of high-value schedules and counter-schedules. She has worked on cases involving catastrophic brain injuries, amputations, impaired lives, cauda equina and bariatric surgery. She welcomes instructions from both claimants and defendants.

Nicola is currently instructed by the Police Federation, assisting Sadie Crapper in a large number of claims for payment of a statutory debt arising out of the Court of Appeal judgment in Vincent, Allard & Buckley v Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall [2015] EWCA Civ 42.


Nicola has a growing regulatory practice. She has appeared before the GCC and on behalf of the HCPC and is currently engaged in providing training in mental capacity law to the GMC alongside Peter Mant. She is a contributor to the ninth edition of Disciplinary and Regulatory Proceedings.


Before coming to the Bar, Nicola had a lengthy career in journalism. During the eleven years she spent at the BBC, she gained experience as a journalist of defamation disputes, electoral law and parliamentary privilege, staff and agency contracts and the most important skill in media work: handling the ‘talent’.

As part of her commercial work, Nicola is developing a media-related practice. She has recently been involved in advising on potential defamation claims arising out of the publication of one of the many reports into Jimmy Savile. She has also recently been instructed in a successful application to strike out a defamation claim as well as advising on a potential defamation claim arising out of a long-running dispute between a landlord and tenant.

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