Barrister Ayanna Nelson

Ayanna Nelson

Year of call: 2009  


Ayanna specialises in Crime and Regulatory & Professional Discipline matters.

A compelling advocate, Ayanna is well-liked by clients, who often comment on her personable nature, which puts them at ease throughout the challenging court or tribunal process. The same quality has caused her to be well-respected by colleagues, who appreciate her direct and straightforward approach.

Ayanna came to the Bar after practising as an attorney-at-law in Grenada for four years, where she gained a reputation as a fearless and respected advocate. She twice served as Secretary of the Grenada Bar Association and was appointed to sit on the General Legal Council, the Bar regulatory body. In 2014, Ayanna was featured in “Grenada 40”, a profile of 40 rising stars under the age of 40, and regularly featured on local television and radio programmes as a ‘legal expert’.

Ayanna studied the prestigious Double Maîtrise programme at King’s College London, graduating with an LLB in English and French Law and a maîtrise en droit from Université de Paris 1: Panthéon-Sorbonne. She is fluent in French.

A Lord Justice Holker scholar, Ayanna is an active member of Gray’s Inn, and regularly assists with advocacy training and judging moots.

Ayanna is also qualified as a Direct Access barrister and is willing to accept instructions on this basis in suitable cases.


  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Grenada Bar Association
  • Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Bar Association


Ayanna has experience in a wide range of criminal matters in the Crown, Magistrates’ and Youth Courts. She has developed a particular expertise in representing young and vulnerable defendants and is regularly instructed to represent clients suffering with serious mental illnesses. She is equally adept at cross-examining young and vulnerable witnesses with whom she always acts courteously whilst putting her case appropriately.


Crime Cases

  • R v G (2018) – client was charged with a violent robbery and false imprisonment, as part of a joint enterprise. His co-defendant had already pleaded guilty. The client accepted he was present throughout the robbery and false imprisonment but denied taking part. The jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict.
  • R v V (2018) – secured a unanimous acquittal for a client charged with the rape of a 15 year old girl. The client accepted having met the girl on the day in question but denied raping her.
  • R v JW (2018) – JW was charged with s.18 GBH with intent and accepted having been involved in a fight with the complainant but stated that he had left the fight prior to the complainant being stabbed in the back. JW was identified as the stabber by a witness. The jury deliberated for three days before acquitting JW of the s.18 offence and finding him guilty of the lesser offence of s.20 wounding, by a majority verdict.
  • R v E (2018) – E was charged with s.18 GBH and accused of having stabbed his adult daughter. E had a lengthy history of violent offending, all of which was put before the jury. E stated that the complainant’s stab wounds were self-inflicted. The jury retired at lunch time on the final day of trial and returned at 2pm to unanimously acquit E.
  • R v S (2016) – Successfully defended client charged under the new ‘revenge porn’ legislation.
  • R v C (2016) – Secured an acquittal for client charged with assault where the client attempted to use a knife in self-defence against an unarmed attacker.
  • R v R (2016) – Successfully defended a client diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses on a charge of threatening to kill a public servant.
Regulatory & Professional Discipline

Regulatory & Professional Discipline

Ayanna has considerable experience of professional discipline, in particular with healthcare regulators. This experience was honed during a 12-month secondment to the Nursing and Midwifery Council where she gained experience in every type of substantive and non-substantive hearing, including applications for restoration to the Register and registration appeals.

She is now regularly instructed to appear before the NMC and the General Medical Council, both as a case presenter and defending registrants, and has developed expertise in cases alleging sexual misconduct.

Regulatory & Professional Discipline Cases

  • HCPC v B (2018) – represented B, a newly qualified radiographer, charged with lack of competence by the Health and Care Professions Council. Five of B’s colleagues, including managers, gave evidence as to his alleged lack of competence. Dismissing all charges at half-time, exceptionally the Panel commended B for his concern for patient safety and full compliance with practice regulations, and went further by encouraging B to allow the HCPC to publish their written determination as a mark of public vindication.
  • NMC v A, K and N (2018) – represented the NMC in a three-handed case in which the Registrants were alleged to have contributed to the suicide of a 17 year old inpatient in a secure mental health unit.
  • GMC v Dr A (2018) – successfully represented a doctor accused of conducting sexually inappropriate physical examinations on a patient. The case was dismissed after a successful half-time application.
  • NMC v Akano (2017) – represented the NMC in a case where a nurse was found guilty of deliberately sending an indecent image of a child to her colleague and engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a patient. The nurse had claimed the image was sent accidentally. She was ultimately struck off.
  • NMC v Giddings (2017) – represented the NMC against a mental health nurse accused of having a sexually inappropriate relationship with his patient. The allegation came to light after the patient attempted suicide when the nurse ended the relationship. The case involved proving the existence of the sexual relationship through careful consideration of more than 3,000 text messages sent between the nurse and patient as the patient was unable to participate in the proceedings. All charges were found proved and the nurse was struck off.

How to get in touch

For more information please contact our clerks by calling +44 (0) 20 7242 3555 or by email.

Privacy Notice

Ayanna is committed to protecting and respecting the privacy of individuals. In order to provide legal services, including advice and representation services, Ayanna needs to process personal data. This will include client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the course of any matter upon which she is instructed.

Ayanna will process personal data in accordance with her Privacy Policy.

Please click here to see how Ayanna will, absent any other arrangement with those instructing her, fulfil any Joint Controller responsibilities she may have under relevant data protection legislation.

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