I am probably the only solicitor in the country who specialises almost exclusively in sexual offences. I developed an interest in this area of law some years ago, and am now in considerable demand from those who face sexual and related allegations. My practice includes internet and indecent image offences as well as ‘contact’ offences and allegations of historic abuse.
My clients are sometimes well-known individuals and are often professional people: doctors, lawyers, teachers and police officers among many others.
I fight hard for my clients, but I recognise that people in this situation don’t just face a legal problem; I try to deal with their cases holistically: being charged with a sexual offence is a trauma with associated family, employment and even mental health consequences. We try to take all these factors into account and I will often work on your case with one of my colleagues who specialises in professional conduct, employment, family or civil litigation. Its important also to get the right non-legal support and advice from a number of therapists or doctors I can refer you to.
In 2014 I co-wrote one of the main legal textbooks relating to sexual offences – Richardson and Clark: Sexual Offences – A Practitioner’s Guide published by Bloomsbury Professional Publishing and am currently working on a second edition. This sealed my reputation as the expert in sexual offence cases.
I am named as a Leading Individual by the Legal 500 and have been described as “technically brilliant” and “arguably the leading solicitor for sexual offence work”. I am recommended by Chambers as being “calm and reassuring with clients, very good at putting them at ease and helping them feel confident.” In Chambers & Partners 2019 I was described as deeply experienced in the field, with “encyclopaedic knowledge” of the law surrounding sexual offences. Sources say: “He really commands confidence in every situation.”
I am one of the few criminal solicitors in the Legal 500 ‘Hall of Fame’, which highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence and are at the top of their profession.
As well as dealing with mainstream sexual offences, I also deal with allegations around prostitution and the sex industry and I have dealt with a number of high profile cases of women accused of perverting the course of justice by making false allegations of rape. I have a specialised interest in the law relating to sexual freedoms and obscenity and have a somewhat niche practice advising commercial or professional organisations on their potential criminal liability for materials they may publish or have in their possession.
I have the benefit of being both an Advocate and a District Court Judge, a distinct advantage which brings with it an in-depth knowledge of law and procedure. I regularly represent my clients’ interests in both the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts.
I have also acted successfully in a number of complicated appeals against conviction, tracing fresh evidence and rectifying errors made in the original preparation of the case for trial.
- “…calming and reassuring. I felt that you were always on my side and always in control of what was happening in my case.”
- “I was very fortunate that Nigel was my brief. His specialist knowledge and diligence ensured I had the best advice on how to plead; and he chose a very capable barrister. Between them I was preserved from a custodial sentence, and I cannot thank them enough. I would recommend him without reservation to anyone unfortunate enough to be in my shoes.”
- “My family and I selected Nigel Richardson to represent me having visited and ‘interviewed’ 6 other high-level London solicitors, and I am pleased to say that we made the correct choice. Very personable, knowledgeable and with the essential qualities of listening compassionately and communicating clearly, Nigel left me in no doubt that I was in safe legal hands. Over the 18 months or so of my case, I came to regard Nigel and Lauren as supportive friends who helped me face the full reality of my situation – not wrapped in cotton wool, for which I am most grateful. They produced a far more favourable outcome than I should have expected.”
- ‘[We] are extremely grateful for your hard work, commitment and dedication and your kindness and, no matter what the outcome, we always will be.’
- “Nigel achieved the best possible result by being cool, calm and collected throughout the whole process. No question was ever too much trouble to answer and he gave his time and expertise to reassure me and making sure I understood each stage that my case progressed. He was tactful when dealing with the CPS while being sensitive to my situation; and his non-judgemental demeanour meant it was easy to open up and talk to him about the details of my case.”
- “I cannot put in to words how amazing Nigel Richardson was I don’t think I can do him justice with anything I write. He was kind and calm and kept me very well grounded as I suffer with anxiety and depression. His level of professionalism was tremendous and he kept me updated with absolutely everything. He supported me every step of the way. Hodge Jones & Allen are truly amazing solicitors who are very passionate about getting justice and they got justice for me.”
- City of London Polytechnic, CPE and Law Society Finals, 1983 – 1985
- St Edmund Hall, Oxford University, MA English, 1977 – 1980
- Partner, Hodge Jones and Allen, 1992 – 2020
- Assistant solicitor, Hodge Jones and Allen, 1989 – 1991
- Assistant solicitor, Young and Solon, 1987 – 1989
- Articles, Hodge Jones and Allen, 1985 – 1987
- R v D : successful defence of writer accused of historic sexual offences who had written about the events in one of his novels
- R v HN : acquittal of Arab prince accused of rape who did attend for his trial which proceeded in his absence. Jury acquitted although they never heard from the defendant
- R v M : non-custodial sentence for elderly ex-headmaster who admitted historic offences against his very young pupils
- R v S (G) : the case that extended the ambit of the Obscene Publications Act to cover communication between two individuals in an internet ‘chat-room’.
- R v Peacock: successful defence of Michael Peacock for alleged publication of ‘obscene articles’ in which the jury concluded that hard-core gay DVD’s were not ‘obscene’ (case prepared with Myles Jackman). I was cited in ‘Lawyers from Hell’ for my robust defence of this man – something I regard as a professional commendation.
- R v Walsh : successful defence of barrister and GLA member Simon Walsh in his #PornTrial prosecution for the alleged possession of ‘extreme pornography’ under s63 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.
- R v M and J: defence of owner of Surrey escort agency who called police in an emergency and was then charged with brothel-keeping. Defence involved allegations of police impropriety.
- R v L : defence of owner of largest sauna and massage parlour in London from brothel-keeping and money laundering charges.
- R v E : successfully opposed cash confiscation proceedings for woman running a central London escort agency.
- R v S : successful defences (in two separate trials) of airline pilot accused of rape by deceiving the complainants as to the nature of what he was doing.
- P: persuaded the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute a historic sexual abuse case on the basis that the old doctrine of doli incapax would have applied at the time.
- R v Ahmed: rough justice-style appeal: sexual assault, kidnap and false imprisonment resulting from failed marriage. Issues relating to legal professional privilege of the victim, bad and good character and fresh evidence emanating from legal documents seized from the victim.
- R v T : thirteen-ground appeal for defendant convicted of historic sexual assaults, including numerous points of fresh evidence and legal argument on delay and abuse of process.
- R v Mahmood: successful fresh evidence appeal based on ineptitude of defendant’s original solicitors and their failure to prepare the case properly and gather crucial evidence. Case went twice to the Court of Appeal, successfully on both occasions.
- R v M (2016) : persuaded the prosecution to drop charges of murder against my client – a young woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend – on the basis that the forensic evidence could be interpreted as suicide.
- R v Silcott : assisted (as a trainee) in the defence of Winston Silcott following the death of PC Blakelock in the Broadwater Farm riots.
- R v Chindamo : murder of headmaster Phillip Lawrence by young gang.
- R v O’Connor: prosecution for corporate manslaughter of owner of fishing boat which sank with the loss of 7 lives. Conviction overturned on appeal.
- R v G : acquittal of defendant charged with attempted murder following stabbing of pregnant woman to prevent her unborn child’s inheritance.
- R v Beck : Camden football related stabbing case involving diminished responsibility defence.
- R v Stewart: junior counsel in alcohol-induced beating to death. Trial, successful appeal, retrial and further appeal, redefining the law on alcoholism and diminished responsibility.
- R v Taylor: junior counsel in gang killing. Defendant acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter.
- R v Sir Gavin Gilbey: acted for the son of the Gilbey’s gin family in his appeal against a conviction for assaulting his mother. The conviction was overturned on appeal.
- R v V : well-known soap star accused of racially aggravated public order offence. Acquitted after trial in the magistrates court.
- R v Hart: conspiracy case involving, at that time, largest ever cannabis importation into the UK.
- R v Tore: defence of alleged leader of Turkish gang importing huge quantities of heroin into the UK. Defendant was extradited from France to face trial.
- R v M : ‘society’ escort accused of money-laundering – acquitted after two trials.
Articles and Publications
- Blackstones Guide to the Human Rights Act 2000
- Richardson and Clark : Sexual Offences : A Practitioner’s Guide, Bloomsbury Professional, 2014
Membership & Appointments
- 2009 : Deputy District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts)
- 2007 : Rights of Audience in Higher Criminal Courts
- Solicitor’s Association of Higher Courts Advocates (former committee member and head of practice committee)
- London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association
- For a number of years, visiting lecturer in criminal law at Oxford Institute of Legal Practice