Nick Johnson QC

Call 1994
Silk 2016

"He's extremely thorough, has tremendous attention to detail and is extremely talented."

Chambers and Partners 2019
Photo of Nick Johnson QC

Practice Overview

Nick began to specialise in criminal fraud cases in 2001 and soon went on to appear as leading counsel in some of the largest fraud jury trials in the UK, concerning MTIC carousel, pharmaceutical, NHS, boiler room, diversion, tax and property frauds prosecuted by agencies such as the SFO, HMRC, MHRA and Trading Standards. Many such cases had an international dimension and Nick first became involved in multi-jurisdictional work in 2008, when he was instructed to act for a former VP finance in relation to an international corporate bribery and corruption case, investigated civilly and criminally in three separate jurisdictions. This in turn has led to him being retained by companies and individuals, both advising on preventative measures such as Bribery Act compliance, wider strategic advice in civil fraud, DPAs and civil recovery at a pre-arrest and charge stage, and also acting in UK trials or as part of an expert legal team in other jurisdictions. Such advice, strategy and advocacy from an early stage can make a considerable difference.

He has experience of corporate investigations brought by the DOJ in the US and investigations in Europe and the Middle East. He is also retained by specialist fraud prosecuting agencies.

Alongside his fraud specialism, Nick continues to act for individuals charged with serious and organised criminal offences, from murder and firearms cases to serious sexual offences and drug conspiracies. Since taking silk in 2016, Nick quickly received instructions to lead significant murder trials, including prosecuting a joint enterprise shooting and defending in the murder case involving 7-year old Katie Rough. He is skilled at appellate work, having appeared twice in the House of Lords and argued successful appeals against conviction in the Court of Appeal.

When acting in such cases, particularly those involving different jurisdictions, Nick had to address a number of extradition and asylum issues, whether to or from the UK and concerning the US, Russia and the CIS, the EU and the Middle East. He began to develop a separate practice in these areas. For example, in 2013 he acted for a Russian client called M in Part 2 Extradition Act proceedings regarding an alleged high profile murder in Russia of a police officer, who had allegedly raped a child. The case involved ECHR objections relating to Russian prison conditions, evidence obtained through torture and unfair trial procedures. Nick was required to travel to Moscow and liaised with Russian lawyers and authorities. He now acts for Russian and CIS nationals on a regular basis, assisting them with extradition, asylum claims and claims for humanitarian protection, alongside providing advice on related commercial and financial issues.

Nick also has extensive experience of regulatory and professional misconduct proceedings, acting for individuals, directors and companies. These proceedings often overlap with his criminal fraud practice. He has also represented police officers, teachers, solicitors and other professionals over the years, whether in the Crown Court, before their disciplinary body or at inquests.

Nick is qualified to accept instructions by direct access as well as working closely with other UK and foreign lawyers.