David Nathan QC

Year of call 1971


Since the early 1980s, David has led in numerous high profile and serious cases, beginning with the multi-million pound robbery of a Security Express vehicle and then in 2 of the trials resulting from the Brinks Matt gold bullion robbery (which were at the time the largest of their kind ever in the UK), went on to lead in a number of further armed robbery cases during the next 10 years involving in particular members of the Arif family and their associates. He also represented Ronnie O’Sullivan (the father) for murder.

Then, in the 1990s, David led at the Central Criminal Court for Kevin Cressey, charged alongside a police officer with drug and corruption offences in what became known as the Panorama Corruption trial, because the client had gone to the BBC with his story. During the course of that decade, however, most of David's leading work involved the very large importation and supply of Class A and B drugs (including one of the many cases in which the super-grass Michael Michaels was a prosecution witness), serious violence, and fraud. Belchamber and Others (Southwark Crown Court) for example was the alcohol diversion fraud which finally exposed the London City Bond as informants and led to a number of successful appeals in other cases.

Notable Cases

Docherty and Others (Northampton Crown Court): for the principal defendant who was acquitted of a fraud on Northamptonshire County Council, cheating the Revenue and money laundering offences.

Shane Johnson (Central Criminal Court): one of two brothers who was acquitted in respect of a gang murder where the two principal victims were attacked by pit bulls and stabbed.

Catalan Hasan and Others (Wood Green Crown Court): principal defendant who was acquitted of trafficking prostitutes both from Romania and within the UK, controlling prostitution, and multiple rape on 3 women.

David Nathan has had extensive experience of dealing with forensic experts, including forensic pathologists, psychiatrists, and accountants, DNA, mobile telephone and cell site, facial mapping, and voice recognition and linguistic experts. Apart from crime, has also undertaken VAT tribunal work and a fact finding hearing in the Family Division of the High Court. His first case in Silk in 2002 was the defence of a survivor from the Paddington Rail Crash on what was ultimately accepted as manslaughter because he had continued to suffer from that experience when he stabbed a complete stranger many times to death.

Since then, other notable cases include:

  • Terence Smith (the author of “The Art of Armed Robbery”) for firearms offences at Woolwich Crown Court.
  • P. Johnson and others (at Preston Crown Court): one of the principle defendants in a gangland murder in which it was alleged that a rival drug dealer was made to drink petrol before being burned to death in a car. The trial was stayed after many months and the Judge ordered an enquiry into the conduct of the police.
  • Trooper Williams (Central Criminal Court) the first soldier to be tried by a civil court rather than by Court Martial for murdering a civilian in Iraq.
  • Newport and Others (Wolverhampton Crown Court) a more than half a ton of cocaine imported from South America where the defence was one of duress from serious criminals originally resident in Southern Spain and later South Africa.
  • Simon Price formerly Steven Raymond (Snaresbrook Crown Court) for a conspiracy to import massive quantities of cocaine through Belgium and Holland
  • Robert Fluke (Blackfriars Crown Court) a string of importations over many years of many tons of cannabis and very large quantities of cocaine from South Africa into the UK.

Other cases during this period have involved most aspects of serious crime, including gangland and domestic murder, firearms, armed robbery, drug trafficking, counterfeit steroids, serious sexual offences, fraud, revenue offences and money laundering.