Nigel Lithman, leading criminal appeals barrister
Nigel works regularly as a criminal appeals barrister in the Court of Appeal, increasingly instructed in place of the original trial counsel due to being one of the UK’s leading appeal barristers. These can be of the most serious and technical nature , but just as likely to be where an individual seeks to correct what he views as a miscarriage of justice, whether the case be grave or not.
In 2015 one such case involved an appeal against a serious domestic rape allegation whilst another POCA finding, within which the novel point of law he argued, found favour in the Court of Appeal. In 2014, he was instructed in the appeals of two cases of murder and rape where he was not the original trial counsel.
In R v P.S. , P. S.appealed against a murder conviction of 2004 allegedly committed when he was a 17 year old suffering with Aspergers Syndrome. His family believed him wrongly convicted and Nigel agreed to take this particularly complex case to the Court of Appeal and to seek to resurrect it 9 years later. He argued before the Court that there should have been proper evidence from a psychiatrist as to the impact of Aspergers on the appellant’s ability to form an intention to kill as well as obtaining new evidence from an eminent pathologist as to the cause of death. As part of his commitment to client care, Nigel spent time with the family in conference before seeing the appellant and helped them every step of the way before actually presenting the case.
R v O.  was one of the most serious of cases Nigel agreed to take to the Court of Appeal, this for a husband charged and convicted of the double shotgun murder of his wife and 2 year old child. The original court sentenced him to imprisonment for the whole of his life. The appeal, before the Lord Chief Justice, argued that whole life sentences were wrong in law as well as in fact. The principle of whole life sentences was then considered by the European Court of Human Rights in June 2013, who claim that the principle is unlawful.
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