Nicholas Johnson QC
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Nick Johnson QC is a recognised expert in complex financial and business crime disputes, together with a cross-over regulatory and civil practice. He is ranked at Silk Band 1 for Financial Crime by Chambers & Partners 2021, described as “an exceptional advocate and a highly experienced fraud lawyer” and as a Leading Silk for Business & Regulatory Crime by the Legal 500 2021, which praises him as, “a phenomenal advocate, both in his written and oral presentation… A master tactician with a wonderful court presence, he manages the team expertly – simply the real deal.” He is joint head of the OTC Business Crime & Regulatory Group.
Nick has developed a specialism in corporate bribery and corruption cases, including cross-border investigations and trials. In addition to the UK, Nick has experience of investigations brought by the DOJ and SEC in the United States and similar litigation in Europe and the Middle East. His practice includes cross-over work such as civil fraud, civil recovery and corporate regulation. For example, he recently acted in an LCIA arbitration worth over £115m, between two parties in a former Soviet Republic involving high value commodities, and currently acts for the former CEO of a private bank in a tortious deceit claim. He also has considerable experience in areas such as tax evasion, AML, corporate compliance, private prosecutions, DPAs, economic sanctions, cross-jurisdictional issues, privilege, search, production and freezing orders, providing strategic advice and representation to corporate clients and senior managers alike. Nick is also retained by specialist prosecution agencies, often at a pre-charge stage. He is appointed to the SFO QC Panel.
Nick developed his advocacy skills and specialisms over many years conducting general criminal trials, from organised drugs conspiracies to gangland murder, alongside carousel, pharmaceutical, property and other fraud cases. His practice has included jury inquests, professional discipline, cybercrime, cryptocurrencies, the protection of and rewards for whistle-blowers and environmental crime.
When acting in 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.
Nick was appointed 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 a contributing author on Lissack & Horlick on Bribery and Corruption (LexisNexis 3rd ed.2020). 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
- SFO QC Panel (2020)
- Bar Council International Committee (2018), North America Group Lead (2019)
- Silk (2016)
- International Bar Association
- Fraud Lawyers Association
- Inner Temple
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.
“He is an exceptional advocate and a highly experienced fraud lawyer.” Financial Crime, Chambers and Partners 2021
“He is absolutely brilliant and really good on his feet – a very gifted advocate.” Crime, Chambers and Partners 2021
“He is a phenomenal advocate, both in his written and oral presentation. I would wish him to represent me if I were in trouble-the best guarantee of a favourable outcome.” Business Crime, Legal 500 2021
“A master tactician with a wonderful court presence, he manages the team expertly – simply the real deal.” Crime, Legal 500 2021
“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