Nicola Davies (judge)

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Dame Nicola Velfor Davies DBE QC (born 13 March 1953)[1] is a British barrister, Queen's Counsel, and judge of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, to which she was appointed on 22 January 2010.[2] She previously had a high-profile medical law practice. When sitting in the High Court, she is referred to as Mrs Justice Davies.

Early life[edit]

Davies was born in Llanelli, Wales, and grew up in Bridgend. Her father, Eric Davies, was a chartered engineer who was employed by the Steel Company of Wales, and she has a younger brother called Jonathan. She was educated at the Bridgend Girls' Grammar School (now closed), where she was the last head girl.[3] In 1971 she moved on to Birmingham University to read law.[citation needed]


After graduating, Davies had a short clerkship in a firm of solicitors before becoming an investment analyst in the City of London.[citation needed] She then decided to become a barrister and did her second six-month pupillage at Carpmael Buildings, which later became 3 Serjeant's Inn. She was called to the bar from Grays Inn in 1976.[3] As a young barrister acting as a junior counsel to the two doctors involved in the Cleveland child abuse cases, she became recognised as a medical specialist. She also became a member of the Treasury Panels.

In 1992, at the age of 39, she became a Queen's Counsel, and in 1998 she was appointed to sit as an Assistant Recorder.[3]

Her medical practice flourished, and she chaired two Inquiries. During 1998 Davies spent six months on the Bristol heart surgeon's case, then took on the defense of the doctor and serial killer Harold Shipman.[4] She also acted for the Department of Health in the BSE inquiry.

In 2003, Davies was made a Deputy High Court judge.

Notable decisions include an application for judicial review in which she quashed a decision to close some National Health Service paediatric surgery units.[5]

In 2013 Davies was appointed to sit as the Presiding Judge of the Wales Circuit between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2017.[6]

Davies is an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University.[7]


  1. ^ "Birthdays", The Guardian, 13 March 2014: 37 
  2. ^ Judiciary of England & Wales, HM Government, 10 Dec 2012, retrieved 14 March 2014 
  3. ^ a b c "Nicola Davies QC made High Court Judge and Dame of The British Empire". News. WalesOnline. 21 Jan 2010. 
  4. ^ "In Defence of Shipman". BBC News. BBC. 31 Jan 2000. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Save Our Surgery Ltd, R (on the application of) v Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts [2013] EWHC 439 (Admin) (07 March 2013)". Retrieved 2013-04-21. 
  6. ^ "Appointment of New Presiding Judges". HM Government. 17 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Honorary Fellowships". Cardiff University. 15 July 2012. 

External links[edit]