[photo] Catherine Picardo (2008)Catherine Picardo (2008; Admitted to the Roll 2001)






Cambridge University (New Hall) 1992-1996, Joint BA Hons (French and Spanish) Joint 2:1
MA (Cantab) 1998
PGDL and LPC Nottingham Law School 1996-1998



Catherine was sponsored and trained by international City firm Eversheds LLP. She then practised at City firms, Dentons and Clyde & Co and has a solid commercial background, working on two public inquiries: Bloody Sunday and Lockerbie. She therefore possesses a solid background in Civil Law and is undaunted by corporate fraud.

Catherine is a personable but tenacious advocate who is particularly adept at dealing with vulnerable and young witnesses. She has dealt with sexual offences involving very young children who have needed an intermediary. She is familiar with Ground Rules Hearings and has dealt with clients with severe special needs on the autistic spectrum, or learning difficulties. She is equally at ease defending as she is prosecuting and has a vast experience in all cases from the Magistrates/Youth to the Crown Court and now the Court of Appeal. Catherine deals sensitively with cases of domestic violence, sexual assault including rape and Hate crimes: racially aggravated and homophobic offences.

Catherine is a Direct Access barrister.


Catherine regularly prosecutes at the Crown Court on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, Probation Service, The Secretary of State (DVLA), British Transport Police, Transport for London, and DWP and she has defended clients facing charges by these authorities. She has experience of drafting Sexual Offences Prevention Orders.

Catherine became a Crown Advocate after over 7 years at 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.

Catherine is currently seconded to the Serious Fraud Office on a sensitive bribery and corruption case but continues to receive instructions from both the Crown and the Defence.

Notable cases for the prosecution include:

R v Harris – Prosecuting a youth, aged 15, charged with multiple sexual offences against his younger siblings aged 4, 8 and 9. Ground Rules Hearing and use of an intermediary. Convicted of all 5 charges.

R v Petevinou - 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.


As a former Duty Solicitor, Catherine can explain the process simply to jurors and will challenge the police if PACE procedures have been breached. She works as a Consultant for a top national criminal defence practice. She has advised clients charged with rape, murder, firearms offences and drugs importation.

Notable cases for the defence include:

R v Everton – Successfully defending 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 S41 and Bad Character applications.

R v Finn – Defending a young man at Kingston Crown Court facing a charge of GBH reduced to ABH in which a night club attack caused serious injuries to the complainant’s teeth. Acquittal.

R v Olivares-Penroz – Defending a contested confiscation hearing in which the realisable asset was the matrimonial home and the client faced deportation.

R v Garrick Ali – Defending a youth charged with 3 charges of rape of a female under 13. Certificate for Counsel. Drafting a Basis of Plea and making representations to the RASSO charging lawyer. The client received a Youth Rehabilitation Order.

R v Humayun – Securing a Suspended Sentence Order for a defendant facing multiple charges of possession and making indecent images of children (Categories A and C).

R v Newton - Defending multiple high value thefts at Paddington and King’s Cross Train Stations. Repeat offender.

Haringey Borough Council v Boneri & Others (Fatlum Shala) - 9-handed, 10 day contested ASBO application.

R v Matacchiere - Dangerous Dog. Instructing an expert on the Japanese Tosa. Defence case was dog was a cross-breed 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 DO was imposed. For press coverage of this case, see here.

R v Tajik - Affray and ABH. The defendant, a refugee with mental health issues after torture for his homosexuality in Iran, was arrested for a fight at a party. Acquittal.

R v Rocha - Aggravated burglary, robbery and theft. Crown accepted a Basis of Plea to an alternative count of affray. Deferred Sentence.

Romania v Checheres-Oros – Defending a Romanian national facing extradition to Romania and advising on his appeal.



Catherine led a seminar in November 2014 at the Oxford & Cambridge Club entitled 'Whose Side are you on?', designed to assist new practitioners in understanding and applying case theory and strategy in criminal proceedings, as well as guidance on hearsay, bad character and hostile witnesses.

Mock trial for trainee police officers held at Inner Temple on trial procedure and how to give evidence before a jury.

Catherine is due to appear on a legal television programme in collaboration with Azam & Co.



Fluent in Spanish, French to degree level, Italian.



British & Spanish Law Association & South Eastern & Midland Circuits
Lincoln’s Inn
Committee Member of New Hall Society, Cambridge University, Murray Edwards
Life Member of the Cambridge Union since 1992