Colette Renton

Year of Call: 2015, Middle Temple

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Colette is an established and versatile practitioner, specialising in Regulatory and Criminal work.



Colette is instructed by regulators, public bodies, insurers, companies and individuals. She has a specialised regulatory practice in the following areas:

  • Inquest – represented local authorities, individuals such as a prison officer, medical professionals and companies at inquests across a broad spectrum of issues. She is familiar with making submissions on the question of Article 2 inquests and with dealing with juries.
  • Health and Safety – particular experience in Fire Safety prosecutions including a wide range of issues under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. In her fire safety practice Colette is accustomed to the instruction of experts and subsequent presentation and challenge of said evidence. She represents the HSE as part of her appointment to the Specialist Regulatory Advocate at list C. In addition she has represented a local authority in an appeal against an improvement notice relating to crowd control outside of a large music venue in Manchester.
  • Environmental – particular experience defending in matters of water regulation and prosecutions. Additionally, she has advised a national fast food chain on matters relating to the Water Industry Act 1999 and a utilities company on matters relating to their business.
  • Licencing - Experienced in providing advice and representation to Local Authorities, companies and individuals, on any licensing issue. These include Taxi, alcohol and entertainment, firearms and dangerous animals.
  • Professional discipline – Colette regularly acts for the GMC in cases before the fitness to practice panel in all aspects of professional discipline. These all involve the close analysis of detailed and complex material. She has defended nurses in the NMC, and represents individuals before the British association of sport and exercise sciences, and in SIA prosecutions. She has also presented for Social Work England in cases involving sexual misconduct, performance issues, abuse of trust.

Colette is recognised for her ability to deal with expert evidence and has provided training to HSE experts and investigators. Colette takes a detailed approach to regulatory proceedings and is noted by clients for her written and oral advocacy.



Colette is an experienced defence counsel and prosecutor.

She represents clients across a wide range of offending with specialised experience in:

  • Serious violence
  • Sexual offences – including cases with vulnerable individuals, historic matters, illegal images cases involving expert evidence.
  • Large scale drugs matters – county lines conspiracy cases, large scale production matters.
  • Fraud
  • Domestic matters – violence, controlling and coercive behaviour
  • Driving cases - Colette has represented a number of high profile individuals including premiership footballers and rugby league players in relation to driving offences. She has also experience defending death by careless driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Colette is known for establishing an excellent rapport with clients and her technical legal ability. She accepts both legally aided and privately paying instructions.

Colette has a successful prosecution practice, regularly prosecuting CPS panel 3 cases. This includes cases of multi-handed violence, drugs offences and general crime. She is familiar with addressing a wide range of evidence including the use of sequence of events, cell-siting, DNA experts and forensic examination of computer devices.



Notable Cases

  • Inquest into the death of K


    Represented a local authority where teenager from the orthodox Jewish community had suffocated himself in his bedroom. The teenager had received treatment for ADHD within his community and under the NHS. The inquest concluded with a finding of misadventure.


  • Inquest into the death A

    Represented a prison officer in a 3 week jury inquest into the death of a serving prisoner following known mental health difficulties and movement in the prison system.

  • Inquest into the death of E

    Represented a company offering care services to the elderly and vulnerable in an inquest looking into the death of an elderly service user following a fall.

  • Inquest into the death of M

    Representing a local authority in an inquest concerning the death of a care leaver who attended at hospital, before leaving shortly thereafter with his whereabouts unknown.

  • Inquest into the death of L

    Represented local authority in a case where a woman had suffocated by use of a plastic bag, whilst subject to a voluntary section under the Mental Health Act.

  • Representation of Medical professionals at inquest:

    Represented GP at inquest into an elderly lady who had died following an accident with an electric fire. Prior to her death she had been receiving compression treatment to her legs which affected mobility.

  • Represented hospital doctor in a case of an apparent sudden death of a lady with an undiagnosed brain tumour.

  • Represented GP following a death by overdose of a lady following long standing mental health issues.

  • Represented a nurse following the death of a young man in hospital diagnosed with meningitis who fell whilst on the ward.

  • Represented GP following death of a young man who took an overdose of prescribed medication, he had experienced issues with drug misuse and chronic pain.

  • Represented Band 6 nurse following death of oesophageal cancer patient. Inquest centred around the use of dilatation and a biodegradable stent placed by the nurse who was an expert in the field.

  • Welsh Water v SGC


    Represented a construction company accused of interfering with a water main contra to the Water Industry Act 1991.

  • Leicester Fire and Rescue Service v Riyat

    Multiple breaches of the fire safety order resulting in a fire at an HMO.

  • Leicester Fire and Rescue Service v X, Y&Z

    Currently instructed in prosecution relating to long standing fire safety issues and fires at a high rise tower block. Case involves prosecution of both the responsible person (free holder) and persons with responsibility under Article 5(3) of the “Fire Safety order” (managing agents). Expert evidence has been obtained regarding breaches of the various article of the order including issues such as compartmentation, risk assessment, principles of prevention, firefighting and detection.

  • LCC v RG

    Represented individual accused of offences under the Environmental Protection 1990 regarding the storage and disposal of waste on a flatbed truck. Required to consider statutory definitions of “mobile plant” and feasibility of obtaining environmental permits.

  • HSE v JL

    Represented HSE in case involving a gas fitter prosecuted for offences under s.2 of Health and Safety at work act.

  • Local authority matters

    Represented claimant and defendants in civil committal proceedings regarding breach of noise related orders. Represented local authority in trading standards matters relating to the sale of counterfeit and duty evaded goods, as well as intellectual property matters.

    Respondent in appeal by way of case stated in the High Court– [2019] EWHC 420 (Admin). Appeared in front of Higginbottom, LJ and Pepperall, J. The court considered the meaning of ‘unavoidable cause’ under s.444 (2A) of the Education act 1996.

    Taxi licensing: represented local authorities and individuals in taxi licencing appeals, has extensive knowledge of cost rules.


    GMC v Dr. de Almeida – represented GMC at fitness to practice proceedings arising out of the doctor’s conviction for fraud. The fraud related to the writing of prescriptions for a close friend in a false name.

  • GMC v Dr Hyaw Ktin - represented GMC at fitness to practice proceedings arising out of the doctor’s conviction under the Cremation Act 1902.

  • British association of sport and exercise sciences v C – defended individual regarding allegations of misconduct arising from twitter use. No findings made.

  • CQC v X – represented CQC in appeal against decision to suspend registration to carry out regulated activity under s.31 Health and Social Care Act 2003. Case concerned a fertility clinic’s adherence to Covid19 regulations.

  • SIA v NCS – Represented security company at 3 day trial – acquitted. Offence concerned use of an unlicensed operative.

  • Social Work England

    Presented a case in which the SWE panel made findings of dishonesty and misconduct. The panel were concerned with the registrant’s actions relating to one particular case involving a child in the care system. The registrant was found to fail to pass key information regarding a disclosure of sexual assault, failed to comply with her statutory requirements re. visiting, had inappropriately taken the child to events with her family and friends, failed to adequately assess risk and had dishonestly omitted details from the child’s notes.

  • Social Work England

    Presented a case in which a social worker had convictions for a care working wilfully mistreating/ neglecting an individual and as a holder of a public office wilfully neglecting to perform duty. The registrant had engaged in a sexual and personal relationship with a teenage service user in the service the registrant managed, causing the service user extreme distress when ending the relationship. The registrant was erased from the register.

  • Social Work England

    Acted as “special counsel” in a case involving multiple allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment made by a colleague.

  • Represented a specialist nurse at interim conditions of practice hearing. Client permitted to continue practicing with restrictions.

  • ICO v X

    Represented the ICO in writing in appeal against their decision to the first-tier tribunal.



    Operation Rumble: acquitted in a 4-week trial at Carlisle Crown court in relation to alleged conspiracy to steal and burgle in locations all over Cumbria. The Defendant was accused of being involved in a conspiracy to remove ATM machines from shops and supermarkets using heavy plant machinery.

  • Operation Quebec: represented female defendant in county line drugs operation, resulting in a suspended sentence.

  • Operation Horizon: represented defendant in a county-lines drugs conspiracy spanning Barrow in Furness, Coventry and London.


    R v P – allegation of assault by penetration by stepfather on teenage stepdaughter

  • R v W – allegation of causing a child to engage in sexual activity

  • R v MP – allegation of online grooming resulting from engaging with “paedophile hunter” group.

  • R v S – allegation of download of illegal images involving complex analysis of devices


    Specialist fraud instruction: prosecuted case regarding extensive sale of illegal goods. Instructed in complicated 2 year Proceeds of Crime Act matter worth half a million pounds which included issues regarding tainted gifts and property held on trust. Matter completed after 2 years.

  • VHCC Fraud: disclosure Junior in a VHCC fraud. She was required to read and consider disclosure of 15,000 emails in 3 weeks, applying a strict rubric to dip sampled emails. The fraud related to a department- head at a University who had a personal relationship with a contractor who provided services to his department.


    R v M - sentence for s.18 GBH appealed to the Court of Appeal.

  • R v C- represented a 15- year old female charged with s.18 GBH who struck another 15- year old female to the face using broken wine bottle.

  • R v S – represented female in reckless Arson matter. Significant fitness to plead and psychiatric issue.

  • R v P –controlling and coercive behaviour matter involving a number of recordings


    R v D,D,W,C - Prosecuted 4 handed production of cannabis matter, involving commercial grow at former stately home

  • R v Leo Darcey - stalking case involving a number of high profile individuals in show business.

  • Prosecuted 3 handed street robbery involving a weapon

  • Prosecuted 4 handed supply of Class A drugs out of apartment in Salford. Case involving lengthy sequence of events and cell siting evidence.


    Joint instruction between Financial Conduct Authority and Official receiver as legal privilege counsel, project undertaken for 3 months.

  • Attended search with FCO as legal privilege counsel.


  • CPS Level 3 prosecutor
  • Specialist Regulatory Advocate in Health and Safety and Environmental Law list C

Professional Associations

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • ARDL Member
  • Northern Circuit
  • South Eastern Circuit


  • BPP London – BPTC: Very Competent
  • Trinity College, Dublin – LLB 2:1
  • ERASMUS Year at Uppsala University, Sweden


  • Junior of the Northern Circuit September 2017- March 2018
  • Middle Temple Harmsworth Scholar
  • BPP Advocacy Scholarship