3RB Launches the Nicholls Prize for Mooting

20 February 2018

We are pleased to announce the launch of an advocacy prize in memory of Clive Nicholls QC, to be presented annually for the next ten years to the winner of the Gray’s Inn Mooting final.

Clive Nicholls QC died in February 2017, aged 84. He had been a member of Chambers for 60 years and was Head of Chambers from 1994 until 2010. He was still a valued member of Chambers, active in advisory work well beyond his 80th birthday.

Clive was called to the Bar in 1957. He had graduated with his twin brother, Colin, who is still a member of chambers, from Trinity College, Dublin and both became leading lights in their respective fields after joining Chambers. Clive took silk in 1982, he sat as a Recorder of the Crown Court between 1984 and 1999 and became a Bencher of Gray’s Inn in 1989.

Clive’s was a stellar career. He had a wide range of work and was able to apply his mind to legal issues in a number of disciplines. He specialised in extradition and the roll-call of cases in which he appeared speaks for itself – Nielsen (a landmark case which overturned 100 years of extradition law), Pinochet, Osman, and many other high profile matters. He appeared in courts all over the world and was internationally acknowledged as a leader in his field. He was the lead author of “The Law of Extradition and Mutual Assistance” (Oxford University Press), now in its third edition.

While he achieved real distinction in his career, Clive will be remembered for more than just the cases in which he appeared. Throughout his practice, and in his 16 years as Head of Chambers, he was a genuine father-figure and mentor, ever humorous, radiating dynamism and energy beyond his years and always making himself available to help other members of Chambers. He particularly enjoyed leading junior members of Chambers, and they found the experience of working with him invaluable. He embodied and exemplified all the virtues of the Bar as a profession: he was a man of integrity who took great pleasure in his work and whose courtesy to fellow barristers never wavered, even in the most hard fought of cases.

We are proud to associate our new award with the Gray’s Inn Mooting Final, continuing a tradition we started with the DuCann Advocacy Prize, which ran from 2008 to 2017. We look forward to the next ten years honouring the memory of Clive Nicholls QC.

Clive’s memorial service will be held on Thursday 22 February, 5.30 pm at Temple Church.