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Call: 1994

Nikki Coombe

Albion Chambers

Broad Street Bristol BS1 1DR

  • Overview

    Private children’s cases; representing parents in applications for Non-Molestation Orders, Occupation Orders, Child Arrangement Orders and Specific Issue Applications.

    Public Care cases; acting for Parents, the Local Authority and Children’s Guardians at all stages of proceedings.

    Criminal Law

    Nikki has over 25 years’ experience at the Bar. She is a well – respected barrister, having practiced in London and Oxford. Following a move to the Western Circuit, Nikki joined Octagon Chambers in 2015 and was invited to join Albion Chambers in 2018.

    Nikki has built a strong criminal practice, successfully prosecuting and defending a wide range of serious cases in the Crown Court. She is used to assimilating a large volume of material quickly, identifying key issues and advancing the interests of those instructing her.

    She has undertaken numerous cases involving deliberately inflicted or non – accidental injuries to both adults and children, from child neglect and cruelty, grievous bodily harm to attempted murders. She has both called and cross – examined expert witnesses in the fields of Paediatrics, Forensic Pathology, Radiology, Neurology and Forensic Odontology. This has required a detailed understanding of those areas of expert evidence, and how best to adduce or challenge them.

    Nikki is a persuasive advocate, who has prosecuted and defended sexual abuse trials for many years, including rapes of infant children. She is well known for building a rapport with victims of sexual or domestic abuse, and assisting them to give their best evidence.  When dealing with the evidence of sometimes very young child witnesses, she has been praised for her thorough preparation and due regard to the recommendations of Intermediaries and the Advocates Toolkit.

    Nikki has frequently represented clients with challenging backgrounds or vulnerabilities; including those with psychiatric or mental health problems, addictions issues, or experience of domestic violence / coercive behaviour. She is easily able to empathise and effectively communicate with them people with them, helping to develop good working relationships and reassure them that the client’s best interests are paramount.

    Nikki has conducted cases with proceedings in both the criminal and family jurisdictions, involving disclosure applications and joint hearings.

    Nikki has developed many skills in advocacy, drafting, legal analysis and negotiations, which are cross transferrable between criminal and family work.

  • Child Law Public

    Recent Family Cases:

    DCC v. T and D (Exeter): successful application in Care Proceedings on behalf of a mother with mental health issues, for contact to be resumed with her children in foster care.

    D v. H (Taunton): representing a father and persuading a District Judge to dismiss an application for a non-Molestation Order.

    GCC v. F-H and others (Bristol): Care Proceedings, representing a competent child with many challenging issues, opposed to being placed in a residential school away from his family.

    BANES v. R and L (Gloucester): Final Hearing acting for the Local Authority, in a case involving drug abuse and allegations of domestic abuse towards the mother and child.

    C v. D (Bristol): representing a father opposed to the mother’s application to move the child to a different school, which would have mean that the child was no longer in 50 / 50 shared care.

    DCC v. C and A (Exeter): acting for the Children’s’ Guardian, in care proceedings issued at birth, due to serious concerns about both parents’ drug abuse, mental health issues and allegations of domestic violence.

    GCC v. C (Gloucester): representing a mother recently sectioned with schizophrenia, in Care proceedings where she seeks the return of her baby.

    Family Clerks

    Julie Hathway

    E: julie.hathway@albionchambers.co.uk

    T: 0117 311 0305

    Michael Harding

    E: michael.harding@albionchambers.co.uk

    T: 0117 311 0302

    Grace Northeast

    E: grace.northeast@albionchambers.co.uk

    T: 0117 311 0315

  • Crime

    Cases of note:

    Sexual offences:

    • R v G: Successfully defended a young man accused of multiple rapes and serious sexual assaults against three recent girlfriends. One complainant’s case was dismissed following legal argument, D was then acquitted on all other counts following a seven-day trial.
    • R v P: Prosecuted at trial and upheld on appeal against convictions (on the grounds of fresh evidence and flawed legal rulings), a man who had committed numerous historic sexual offences against his younger sister in the 1970s.
    • R v S: Instructed as a late return (on the day of trial) to defend a man accused of a recent rape. He was acquitted following a five-day trial.
    • R v J: Successfully prosecuted a six-day rape trial involving very vulnerable witnesses, who were physically and sexually abused by their father in the 1970’s.

    Drugs cases:

    • R v A and Others: Successfully defended in a long multi-handed trial, a man accused of conspiracy with 10 others to import and supply £7 million of heroin. One of only two defendants acquitted. Others received sentences exceeding 20 years’ imprisonment.
    • Regularly instructed to prosecute and defend in multi-handed County Lines dealing trials, often involving vulnerable witnesses and sometimes with associated offences of violence.

    Cases involving serious violence or death:

    • R v C: Prosecuted at trial a man accused of attempted murder, using a car as a weapon. Defendant sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment.
    • R v O: Successfully prosecuted a man who had committed very serious offences against his partner, including threats to kill, false imprisonment, attempted GBH and penetrative sexual assaults.
    • Current: Regularly instructed to both prosecute and defend in cases of causing death by dangerous or careless driving, often requiring sensitive dealings with the family of the deceased.

    Frauds and kindred offences:

    • R v D and Others: Successfully prosecuted a multi-handed Complex Crime Unit case involving a conspiracy to rob around 20 elderly victims in their homes. One of the complainants died as a result of her injuries.
    • R v L: Defended a woman accused of defrauding over 30 victims by selling them non-existent holidays, with complicated POCA proceedings.
    • R v L and L: Prosecution counsel in a Complex Crime Unit case of a husband and wife running brothels in six towns, with complex POCA proceedings following convictions as the scheme had generated over £6 million profit over several years.
    • R v K: Prosecuted at trial a woman convicted of stealing over £50,000 from a wealthy lady with dementia. Circumstantial evidence as the victim was incompetent to give evidence.
Nikki Coombe


“Nikki was one of the most diligent barristers I had the opportunity of working with…I received a great deal of positise feedback from clients….She was well suited to represent all clients, regardless of their age or sex or the nature of the offence because she recognised and addressed the individual needs of each client at a very early stage. I would not hesitate to instruct her on future cases and would highly recommend her to other instructing solicitors.”

“I have instructed Nikki as Defence Counsel for around 15 years. Nikki is known very much to fight for her client and has been well liked by all she has acted for. I have never received any criticism of her work. I would have no hesitation in instructing her in the future… She comes highly recommended.”

Crown Prosecution Service Reference: “Mrs. Coombe is a highly efficient and effective advocate who produces work of an excellent standard. She has been regularly instructed in cases of increasing complexity over a number of years. Recent cases include a multi-handed fraud, a s.18 stabbing, a brothel keeping case, armed robberies of small shops and associated firearms offences. Mrs. Coombe has dealt with all of these cases competently and to the full satisfaction of those instructing her.”


  • LLB Exeter

Professional memberships

  • Western Circuit
  • CBA