Natalie Bird

Year of Call: 2015  


Overview


Natalie prosecutes and defends in the Crown Court, Youth Court, and Magistrates’ Court on a wide range of criminal matters, including trial advocacy, sentences, and confiscation proceedings.

Natalie regularly defends regulated professionals in front of their regulator’s Fitness to Practise Committee. Her experience in this field stems from her 8-month secondment with the Association of Optometrists in 2018, during which she managed a large number of cases and drafted representations to Case Examiners.

Following her secondment, Natalie is regularly instructed to represent professionals when their regulator has seen fit to apply for an interim order to restrict the professional’s continued practice, and/or to refer the matter to the regulator’s Fitness to Practise Committee for a substantive hearing.

Prior to commencing pupillage at 2 Bedford Row, Natalie was employed by Norton Rose Fulbright as a paralegal within their fraud and economic crime team. In this role, she defended cases prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office, the Health and Safety Executive, and the Department of Justice involving allegations of bribery and corruption, fraud by false accounting, and corporate manslaughter.

Now a barrister at 2 Bedford Row, Natalie has been instructed to defend in cases relating to fraud, dishonesty, and tax offences, and she has completed a secondment with the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority, assisting with and advising on investigations into banks and insurance companies.

From October to December 2019, Natalie will be undertaking a further secondment with the Financial Conduct Authority, though she will remain available for Court appearances, conferences, and advisory work throughout this period.

Prosecution


Natalie is a CPS Level 1 Prosecutor, prosecuting in the Crown Court, Youth Court, and Magistrates’ Court.

In Summer 2019, Natalie completed a three-month secondment within the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority. From October to December 2019, Natalie will be undertaking a further secondment with the Financial Conduct Authority, though she will remain available for Court appearances, conferences, and advisory work throughout this period.

Defence


Natalie has developed a strong defence practice in the Crown Court, Youth Court, and Magistrates’ Court, including trial advocacy, sentences, and confiscation proceedings. She is regularly instructed by specialist road traffic firms to defend high profile and high net worth individuals.

In late 2018 she was led by Bill Clegg QC in a two-week trial regarding domestic violence and controlling and coercive behaviour, resulting in the client being acquitted of all charges.

Prior to commencing pupillage at 2 Bedford Row, Natalie was employed by Norton Rose Fulbright as a paralegal within the fraud and economic crime team. In this role, she defended cases prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office, the Health and Safety Executive, and the Department of Justice involving allegations of bribery and corruption, fraud by false accounting, and corporate manslaughter. Now a barrister at 2 Bedford Row, Natalie has been instructed to defend in cases relating to fraud, dishonesty, and tax offences.

CASES:

  • R v L (2019): High-profile client sentenced to a suspended sentence for dangerous driving involving the flipping of a car.
  • R v W (2019): Military veteran client given a conditional discharge having admitted purchasing a disguised firearm.
  • R v R (2019): Client was acquitted by the jury of robbery despite the complainant claiming to have recognised her, and despite the stolen bag containing fingerprints belonging to R and R’s partner.
  • R v R (2019): Client was acquitted by the jury of the most serious of three counts of theft despite the jury seeing text messages purportedly from the client explicitly contradicting his defence.
  • R v S (2018): Led by Bill Clegg QC in a two-week trial regarding domestic violence and controlling and coercive behaviour, resulting in the client being acquitted of all charges.
  • R v T (2018): Acquittal of a man accused of domestic violence following a successful application to adduce the complainant’s bad character (not relating to a conviction). The client’s c.£4,000 worth of outstanding Court fines were then written off due to the time he had spent in custody.
  • R v J (2017): Persuaded the Magistrates to find exceptional hardship, saving J from a 6-month totting ban which would have terminated his employment as a Class 1 HGV driver and forced him to sell his family’s home.
  • R v H (2017): Following legal argument about disclosure failings, the Prosecution were compelled to drop an allegation of assault against a 50-year-old man with no previous convictions.
  • R v B (2017): Acquittal of an ex-police officer accused of a public order offence involving threats of violence against a ticket operator at a train station, despite CCTV footage and the independent eye-witness account of a university professor.
  • N v H (2017): Claimant was persuaded to drop their County Court application to commit H to prison for breaching an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction, on the basis of a written skeleton argument applying to strike out their case.

Professional Discipline


Natalie regularly defends regulated professionals in front of their regulator’s Fitness to Practise Committee. Her experience in this field stems from her 8-month secondment with the Association of Optometrists in 2018, during which she managed a large number of cases, drafting representations to Case Examiners.

Following her secondment, Natalie is regularly instructed to represent professionals when their regulator has seen fit to apply for an interim order to restrict the professional’s continued practice, and/or to refer the matter to the regulator’s Fitness to Practise Committee for a substantive hearing.

CASES:

  • GOC v C (2019): All charges against my client were dropped after successful opposition of the GOC’s application to amend the charges and/or recall the complainant who, during cross-examination, had demonstrated confusion as to what symptoms they had allegedly reported during their eye examination with my client.
  • GOC v S (2019): Client’s conditions of practice were removed leading up to his substantive hearing relating to an investigation of dishonesty.
  • NHS England v C (2018): Client’s conditions of practice were removed following a substantive finding by the GOC of sexual impropriety with a patient.

Memberships


  • CPS Panel Advocate Level 1
  • Government Legal Department “Junior Junior” Counsel Panellist
  • The Criminal Bar Association
  • Women in Criminal Law
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association

Qualifications


  • Ann Goddard Pupillage Scholarship, Gray’s Inn (2017)
  • Bar Professional Training Course, City Law School, graded Outstanding (2014-2015)
  • Denise Pannick BPTC Scholarship, Gray’s Inn (2014)
  • Gray’s Inn Residential Scholarship (2014)
  • MA Law (Cantab) (2011-2014)