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Nicholas Johnson  QC

Nicholas Johnson QC

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Nick Johnson QC specialises in complex financial and business crime disputes, together with cross-over regulatory and civil work. He is ranked at Silk Band 1 for Financial Crime by Chambers & Partners 2020, described as “A truly impressive silk with very strong attention to detail…assiduous in his preparation…especially good in international fraud cases.” He is ranked as a Leading Silk in the Legal 500 2020, praised in particular for his compelling advocacy, strategic skill and affinity with clients – “Exceptional on his feet and displays excellent client care skills.

Nick has developed a particular expertise in bribery and corruption cases, including large scale multi-jurisdictional investigations. In addition to acting as leading counsel in many high-profile criminal trials, companies and individuals retain him for advice on corporate compliance in areas such as bribery, tax evasion and money laundering, and for advice and representation regarding deferred prosecution agreements and negotiated settlements, economic sanctions, jurisdictional issues, privilege, search, production and freezing orders, SARs, civil fraud and civil recovery, often at an early stage. He also acts for specialist prosecution agencies, often from a pre-charge stage. In addition to acting in many of the major trials and disputes in this area in the UK, Nick has experience of corporate investigations brought by the Department of Justice and SEC in the United States and similar litigation in Europe and the Middle East. For over 10 years he has represented a former Financial Director of De Puy/J&J in a multinational corporate bribery investigation. He represented the former Managing Director of Skansen Interiors Ltd, the first ever jury trial of the corporate failure to prevent bribery offence.

Nick developed his skills and specialisms over many years of conducting general criminal trials, from organised drugs conspiracies to gangland murder, alongside carousel, pharmaceutical and property fraud. Through this, he developed expertise in private prosecutions, extradition, asylum, inquests, professional discipline, cybercrime, the protection of and rewards for whistle-blowers, environmental crime and the criminal and regulatory aspects of cryptocurrencies.

Nick became a Queen’s Counsel in 2016. He is a member of the Bar Council International Committee, within which he leads the North America Working Group.  He is Direct Access accredited and, in appropriate circumstances, is happy to accept instructions on this basis.


Asylum & Extradition

When acting in financial and business crime 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 has developed a separate practice in these areas, often acting for high net worth individuals and their families.

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.

Appointments & Memberships

  • Bar Council International Committee (2018)
  • Silk (2016)
  • Category 4 Prosecutor (2008)
  • Specialist lists for Complex Crime Unit and Fraud Unit
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Council North American Group
  • International Bar Association
  • Fraud Lawyers Association

Nick Johnson QC is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

Areas of Law


Chambers & Partners UK Bar guide has ranked Nick as Band 1 for Financial Crime since 2012.

“A first choice for complex criminal matters.” “He’s very hard-working, and is one of the finest advocates you’ve ever seen – his ability to cross-examine is excellent.” “A truly impressive silk with very strong attention to detail. He is assiduous in his preparation and he’s especially good in international fraud cases.”
Chambers and Partners 2020

“Exceptional on his feet and displays excellent client care skills.”
The Legal 500 2020

“He is exceptionally good and his pedigree in fraud is second to none.” “He’s extremely thorough, has tremendous attention to detail and is extremely talented.”
Chambers and Partners 2019

“Recent work includes high-profile murder trials.”
The Legal 500 2018/19

“He is an exceptional advocate who controls a courtroom.”
Chambers and Partners 2018

“He has an excellent courtroom manner and affinity with clients.”
The Legal 500 2017

“Lots of people say they can do white-collar crime, but he is a real expert in it.” “He took silk recently, which was deserved definitely. He is very busy but always on top of everything.”
Chambers and Partners 2017

“A fantastic courtroom advocate.”
The Legal 500 2016

“A class act.”
Chambers and Partners 2016

“His ability to digest and retain information is phenomenal.”
The Legal 500 2015

“He is tactically phenomenal; he’s fantastically focused on each and every case.” “His attention to detail is particularly impressive.”
Chambers and Partners 2014

“A pleasingly able and personable operator with plenty of gravitas, who is especially good at cross examination.”
Chambers and Partners 2012

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