Ann Cotcher QC

  • Year of QC 2000
  • Year of Call 1980



Ann was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2000 and for the past 18 years has been in constant demand in complex, sensitive and often high-profile cases. She is an exceptionally able and committed advocate who is known for her grasp of detail without ever losing sight of the larger issues and thrust of a case. She is respected by judges and is able to engage juries however complex and/or detailed the evidence. Clients value her approachability and client care skills. She is noted as an inspiring and focused leader with inclusive team working skills. 

Ann has an excellent reputation and extensive expertise in representing clients across the spectrum of criminal law offences, particularly murder, child abuse, sexual offences and drugs cases along with serious fraud (including carousel tax fraud, mortgage and housing fraud and related confiscation proceedings)

Ann's recognised standing has been built over many years generated in part from her strong prominence as a junior in representing women, children and clients with special needs, mental health difficulties and other vulnerabilities. 

Ann also represents professionals on very serious matters, including sexual offences/violence and financial crime. She has been retained by the National Union of Teachers to act on behalf of teachers alleged to have committed the most serious sexual offences. She has both prosecuted and defended in cases involving the church and higher educational establishments. She has an expertise in false memory syndrome and is known for her skill in dealing with complex expert medical and psychiatric evidence.

Ann's expertise in sexual offences and cases involving child protection issues led to an invitation by the UK Government's Department for International Development to assist in the setting up of a legal system in Sierra Leone to protect and assist women and children who have been subjected to physical and sexual abuse. This involved regular visits to Sierra Leone over a four-year period to advise on the setting up and the implementation of this project. 

Ann's range of work includes having been retained in an early stage to advise in the high-profile extradition case of Julian Assange, a case that continues to generate substantial international publicity.

Prior to joining 33 Bedford Row, Ann was head of Chambers at Farringdon Chambers,  London.

Notable Cases

Notable Cases

R v LT (Gibraltar Supreme Court): largest ever fraud in Gibraltar involving solicitors

R v MM (Southwark Crown Court): 2/3 months high profile fraud

R v S and Otrs (Southwark Crown Court): two-month money laundering charge

R v R: Three-month, multi-handed sex/child abuse case 

R v DS and Otrs  (Southwark Crown Court): high-profile attack in London on former Indian General involving anti terrorist branch

R v D M C (Southwark Crown Court): money laundering

R v P (Reading Crown Court): attempted decapitation of Gurkha soldier

R v T& Otrs (Central Criminal Court): five-week gang war murder

R v L (St Albans Crown Court): -three-week high profile murder

R v G (Northampton Crown Court): high-profile sexual assault case

R v S & Otrs (Central Criminal Court) – seven-week murder case

R v W & Ors (Reading Crown Court) – four-week firearm conspiracy

R v R P (Birmingham Crown Court): mortgage fraud

R v L A (Kingston Crown Court): VAT fraud lasting sixmonths, resulting in acquittal

R v McK & Otrs (Birmingham Crown Court): 11-week conspiracy to murder - a contract killing of a retired couple

R v T & Otrs (Hove Crown Court): Six-week murder case

R v G& Otrs (Birmingham Crown Court): large-scale drugs conspiracy

R v O (Luton Crown Court): rape involving complicated legal issues

R v P& Otrs (Kingston Crown Court): five-week drug conspiracy

R v E & Otrs (Central Criminal Court): five-week murder case

R v H B (Southwark Crown Court): fraud

R v D B (Southwark Crown Court): police computer fraud

Re: R (Manchester Crown Court): four-week paedophile case

R v S & Otrs (Central Criminal Court): eight-week murder case

R v M & Otrs (Luton Crown Court): eight week murder and perverting the course of justice



LLB  Southampton University



Criminal Bar Association

Association Women Barristers  [past chairperson]

Direct Access

Direct Access

Ann accepts instruction by Direct Access (also known as Public Access) in suitable cases.