Clive Nicholls QC was a member of Chambers from his call in 1957 until his death on 9th February 2017. He was a leading light in the field of extradition, as can be seen from his profile below. He will be much missed by his friends and colleagues in the legal profession.

Details of practice

Clive Nicholls’ principal, but not exclusive, area of practice was extradition, which he practised worldwide, being a member of the Bar of the Australian Capital Territories and having been specially called and admitted to the Bars of Hong Kong, The Bahamas, Malaysia, Ireland and Fiji.

The factual matrix of his extradition practice included commercial crime, as well as terrorism and drug trafficking. He was particularly experienced (with teams drawn from his Chambers) in preparing and presenting extradition requests for foreign governments, as well as their defence, both in the UK and abroad. These have included the Bank Bumiputra fraud (the Osman case) in which he represented the Attorney General of Hong Kong in the UK, Hong Kong and Malaysia; the Werner Rey case (corporate fraud) in which he represented the Government of Switzerland in The Bahamas; and the ongoing defence of Viktor Kozeny in The Bahamas against his extradition to the USA for offences against the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

He advised and represented many countries and prominent clients including Senator Augusto Pinochet Ugarte and appeared in many of the leading extradition cases in England, including 16 in the House of Lords and Privy Council. Much of his practice was outside the UK and has included advising in Asia, the Middle East, USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, South America and eastern and western Europe on mutual assistance, money laundering, US and UN sanctions, corruption and human rights, as well as extradition.

Directory recommendations

“Well regarded senior practitioner with a wealth of experience in complex extradition proceedings. He is especially recommended for cases involving Australia and Pacific island territories”. Chambers UK 2016 (Extradition)

“A recognised authority in extradition, he is experienced in advising foreign governments and individuals facing extradition requests.”  “He has had a fantastic career and really knows his stuff”.  Chambers UK 2014 (Extradition)

Clive Nicholls QC’s “very good reputation” stems in great part from his extensive extradition work, which is a principal area of his practice.  He has “a real gravitas in court” according to sources, and is a member of a number of International Bar Associations including those of the Australian Capital Territory, Hong Kong, Fiji, The Bahamas, Malaysia and Ireland.  He continues to be involved in USA v Viktor Kozeny, the so-called ‘Pirate of Prague’ extradition case.  Chambers UK 2013 (Crime)

a highly respected senior figure on the legal scene. Enthusiastic sources laud him as an “old-school big hitter when it comes to extradition.” Chambers UK 2012 (Crime)

“At the forefront of the set’s celebrated extradition experts is Clive Nicholls QC, who has been a huge name in the field for years.  ‘Diligent and considered in his approach’, he is a true globetrotter.”  Chambers UK 2011 (Crime)

Education/professional qualifications

  • Educated at Brighton College, Trinity College Dublin, MA, LLB
  • Sidney Sussex College Cambridge, LLM


  • Supplementary Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court (1972 – 1982)
  • Queen’s Counsel (1982)
  • Sometime Recorder of the Crown Courts (1983 – 2000)
  • Master of the Bench, Gray’s Inn (1991)
  • Head of Chambers at Three Raymond Buildings from June 1994 to March 2010
  • Called to the Bar of the Australian Capital Territories
  • Admitted (for specific reasons) to the Bars of Ireland, The Bahamas, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Fiji
  • Patron Fair Trials International

Professional memberships

Member of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, International Law Association, Bar European Group, Criminal Bar Association, European Criminal Bar Association, and Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association


Co-author, The Law of Extradition and Mutual Assistance – International Criminal Law:  Practice and Procedure 1st Edn April 2002, 2nd Edn July 2007, 3rd Edn March 2013 (OUP).  Click here for more info

Reflections on Pinochet – Virginia Jamal of International law 2000

John Thornley Lecture, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge 2007 “Extradition and the protection of Human Rights – Striking the Right Balance”

University of Gelsen – 2004 Lecture “Human Rights and Extradition Law – Menschenrechte and Auslieferungen”