Lithman QC


Leading Criminal Barrister &
past Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association

Nigel Lithman QC is one of the UK's leading criminal defence barristers. With nearly 40 years experience at the top of his profession and 18 years as a QC, he is regularly recommended as one of the UK’s leading criminal QCs by the Chambers and Partners Guide to the Legal Profession.

A highly respected jury advocate, Nigel has been described as a "gutsy fighter", "a great all-rounder whom juries clearly love", and "the go-to man when you need someone to cut to the chase and make things accessible to the court".

Referred to as "hardworking" and a "robust defence advocate" by the Legal 500, his successful reputation has been built on his outstanding advocacy skills and client care. Nigel also has extensive experience of sitting as a part-time judge in criminal cases, primarily at the Old Bailey, and uses the insight this provides to inform the way in which he advocates on his clients' behalf.

Approachable and engaging, Nigel is "at home" in the courtroom, adopting a unique blend of energy, enthusiasm and persuasive skill with his trademark sense of humour to communicate effectively with the jury on behalf of every client. A master tactician with an encyclopaedic knowledge of forensic science, his approach is the antithesis of the stereotypical image of a "remote, stuffy" legal representative. He puts client care and commitment at the top of his agenda and describes himself as "robust and determined but with a friendly character." The Chambers UK Directory notes that he is able to "rule the roost without crowing too loudly about it".

In 2014, Nigel was elected by his peers as the Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association to represent the interests of its 5000 members. At a time of unrivalled threat to the future of the criminal bar due to proposed government cuts, he led the dialogue with the most senior Judges in the land as well as the Lord Chancellor, Attorney General and the representatives of the Ministry of Justice. In his dealings with government, he showed the same strength of purpose and determination that he brings to every case and achieved the goal of making the government reverse its stated position, whilst retaining the respect of the Judiciary.

In the last year alone Nigel has been engaged in two Joint Enterprise murder trials which culminated in acquittal and an appearance in a long and complex film Tax Fraud. Nigel also spends a great deal of time in the Court of Appeal and the breadth of cases he takes on is a testament to his extensive knowledge across all areas of criminal law as a leading criminal defence barrister.
The go-to man when you need someone to cut to the chase and make things accessible to the court.
Hardworking...a robust defence advocate
Popular jury advocate
Nigel is an exceptionally popular and entertaining after dinner speaker, and public speaking engagements have formed a prominent part of his life both at and outside of the Bar.

Whilst his wit comes from his clever use of language and a wealth of jokes and anecdotes, his content is based on his involvement in some of the most prominent trials in the country. Fact is larger than life, and the way Nigel tells it, it is most certainly stranger than fiction!

From his experiences at the Bar to hilarious and terrifying moments in court, he now adds dealing with the government to his rich storyline - as Nigel lead the Criminal Bar out on strike for the first time in 400 years!

Nigel's wit, affability, and charm have made him a very attractive guest speaker at Societies’ Dinners, as well as a popular choice for hosting weddings and as compére for charity events. He tailors his speeches to the event and the audience, and his speeches are rarely forgotten.