She combines excellent legal knowledge with incisive legal analysis and fearless advocacy.


Nina is the Deputy Head of Garden Court North Chambers and was appointed QC in March 2019. She is a senior criminal defence practitioner of considerable experience and as a newly appointed QC Nina will continue to practice in the area of criminal defence.

As a junior she was regularly instructed as in the most serious of cases, particularly those cases involving allegations of murder, manslaughter, drug trafficking, money laundering, serious fraud, computer misuse, allegations of serious violence (including child cruelty), sexual and Mental Capacity Act offences. She has extensive Court of Appeal and CCRC experience and has also been instructed in the Supreme Court. Her cases frequently involve complex evidence of the use of ‘cutting-edge’ technology and sophisticated anti-surveillance techniques by OCGs. She also has extensive experience in cases involving vulnerable witnesses and defendants involving issues of mental health or capacity, often in combination with concurrent Family Court or Court of Protection proceedings.

Nina has specialist expertise in dealing with linked criminal and Family Court/Court of Protection proceedings, including those involving Hague Convention proceedings (international child abduction).

Nina is frequently briefed to defend education and health care professionals in cases alleging violence, sexual assault, negligence and cruelty.

Nina worked as a professional theatre administrator in London and was an active member of the Greater London Council’s first Community Arts Committee prior to the abolishment of the GLC. She later qualified for the Bar, obtaining an Outstanding classification and receiving the ICSL Certificate of Honour. She joined Chambers in 2008 after 15 years as a busy criminal barrister in London. She is a committed campaigner for animal as well as human rights.

Criminal defence and appeals

Nina’s busy criminal defence practice in the Crown Court reflects her commitment to representing defendants considered ‘vulnerable’. In addition, a large proportion of her cases relate to criminal prosecutions where defendants are also party to linked concurrent proceedings in the Family Court or Court of Protection and she regularly lectures and writes about the complexity of cross-disclosure between these vastly different jurisdictions.

Nina has also published written articles on the subject of vulnerable witnesses and defendants and has been interviewed on Woman’s Hour.

Notable cases

  • R v Cooper (2018) “Operation : Joint enterprise shooting of a member of a rival Salford Organised Crime Group;
  • R v Pickering (2018): The 80 year old defendant, detained under the MHA 1960 for 45 years following his conviction for the manslaughter of a teenage girl in 1972, attended his trial by videolink in relation to an allegation of rape dating back to 1972;
  • R v Colecozy (2018) “Operation Zieba” : The defendant was acquitted of the murder of a Liverpool drug dealer who had been kidnapped, falsely imprisoned and ultimately killed over a dispute concerning missing a missing importation;
  • R v Islam & others (2018) : A group of friends and relations were accused of ‘taking the law into their own hands’ by the kidnap, false imprisonment and beating of a teenage community member. Detailed, repeat submissions related to significant disclosure failures by the prosecution in this case who eventually offered no evidence against the defendants;
  • R v Hughes (2017) “Operation Granose” : Case involving the supply of large quantities of Class A and B drugs by a Warrington-based Organised Crime Group;
  • R v Anderson (2017) “Operation Vertex” : Case involving the supply of large quantities of Class A drugs by a Manchester Organised Crime Group.
  • R v C (2017) : Prosecution of parents alleged to have concealed a birth and subsequently murdered their newborn baby. The defence challenged the sufficiency of the evidence of cause of death and a successful submission of no case to answer resulted in an expedited application by the prosecution for leave to appeal this terminating ruling. The application to the CCA was refused and the defendant acquitted of murder. 
  • R v Ricketts (2017): Attempted murder trial of 3 males who had been armed with and used a shotgun and knives at the Leeds Carnival in 2017;
  • R v Wagner (2017): Murder trial where an individual previously convicted gave evidence against the defendant as to his participation in the murder and entombment of a housemate;
  • R v N (2017): Prosecution of parents for systematic sexual and physical abuse and neglect of their 6 children over a period of several years, involving linked Family Court proceedings;
  • R v Hardy (2017): Case involving the prosecution of a mentally ill inpatient who caused really serious harm to a mental health worker in his psychiatric unit;
  • R v F (2017): Attempted murder of a shop proprietor;
  • R v Adams (2016): Murder trial representing a defendant with learning difficulties who required an intermediary and the ‘translation’ of the complex evidence into pictograms to assist him throughout his lengthy trial;
  • R v Thorp & Thorp (2015): Abuse of process submissions led to the discontinuance of a prosecution under the MCA of the elderly parents of an adult daughter with undiagnosed ASD who was discovered near to death in the family home. Concurrent Court of Protection proceedings;
  • R v Wen Zhou Li (2015): The prosecution of Professor Li (Cheethams Music School) was discontinued following detailed submissions relating to the character and credibility of the complainant;
  • R v Curran (2015): Successful submission of no case resulted in the acquittal of a priest and member of the De La Salle Order relating to serious sexual assaults against a boarding school pupil in his care in the 1970s-1980s. Leading Matthew Stanbury;
  • R v Stanton; R v Williams; R v Dilworth; R v Leigh; R v Jones (2015-2017): Multi-million pound drug trafficking prosecutions concerning supplies between organised crime groups operating on a national and European scale;
  • R v Ellis (2014): Murder conviction quashed resulting in conviction of a lesser offence at re-trial;
  • R v Smith (2014): The defendant police call handler was unanimously acquitted of misconduct in public office;
  • R v Lattlay-Fottfoy (2013): The prosecution for offences of rape and false imprisonment was eventually discontinued after documents from the Family Court were obtained revealing significant concerns about the credibility of the complainant. Click here  for press coverage;
  • R v Burns (2013): A prosecution for child cruelty was discontinued by the prosecution as a direct result of the disclosure of Family Court documents in related proceedings;
  • R v Heatley (2013): A “whistleblower” case in which a care worker was acquitted of cruelty to a number of elderly dementia sufferers resident in a North Wales Care Home; and
  • R v Ashley Rhodes & ors (2013): One of four defendants accused of distributed denial of service (DDoS) internet offences carried out by Anonymous “Hacktivists”.


  • R v Alam (2016): Successful appeal against convictions for two attempted murders on the basis of prosecution disclosure failures. The appeal was lodged 7 years out of time;
  • R v Garvey (2015): Successful appeal against sentence in a drug manufacturing case founded upon the interrelated issues of the defendant’s age, character and health in the context of delays in the proceedings; and
  • R v Gnango [2011] UKSC 59 Supreme Court: Prior to recent developments, considered to be the leading case on joint enterprise in the context of a murder conviction based on transferred malice.

Publications and seminars

  • Criminal Law Friendly Society Conference 2016;
  • Criminal Law Friendly Society Conference 2015;
  • Criminal Law Friendly Society Conference 2014;
  • 8/2/13 “Recent Statutory and Common Law Developments Relating to Criminal Culpability for Murder” – guest lecture for St Catharine’s Law Society, Cambridge University;
  • 6/1/14 Speaking at a rally in Manchester protesting against Criminal Legal Aid cuts; and
  • 3/5/11 Advocacy: How to Handle Vulnerable Witnesses – LexisNexis Current Awareness.


  • Criminal Bar Association Justice
  • Howard League for Penal Reform; and
  • Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare.

Privacy Notice

Nina’s Privacy Notice may be viewed by clicking here.


Defends some of the most significant matters in the Crown Court and also has a busy practice in the appellate courts. She is regularly instructed for the defence in cases concerning murder, national drug supply, serious sexual offences and child cruelty. She also represents professionals including lecturers and teachers accused of abusive behaviour. "She is amazing - very hard-working and a tenacious advocate." Recent work: Acted in R v Hughes, which concerned the alleged activities of a large organised crime group in Liverpool who traded in huge quantities of class A and class B drugs. Chambers and Partners 2019
She combines excellent legal knowledge with incisive legal analysis and fearless advocacy.The UK Legal 500 2019
Defends some of the most significant matters in the Crown Court and also has a busy practice in the appeals courts. Regularly instructed for the defence in cases concerning murder, national drug supply, serious sexual offences and child cruelty. Also represents professionals including lecturers and teachers accused of abusive behaviour. Strengths: "She takes an extremely robust and thorough approach." "She is an eloquent and experienced advocate." Recent work: Acted in R v Adams, a case concerning an alleged planned assassination.Chambers and Partners 2018
An excellent barrister.The UK Legal 500 2017
Considerable experience defending in Court of Appeal cases.The UK Legal 500 2016
Utilises pre-trial protocols on disclosure effectively to the benefit of clients.The UK Legal 500 2015
An extremely able defence practitioner.The UK Legal 500 2014
...focuses on human rights and civil liberties cases.The UK Legal 500 2012
Recommended as a criminal practitioner whose "preparation work is most comprehensive". The UK Legal 500 2011
... a conscientious, capable and committed defender.The UK Legal 500 2010
...conscientious and ahead of the game.The UK Legal 500 2007
Nina Grahame is a charismatic and persuasive advocate whose success in court comes from a profound understanding of the law, rigorous preparation and a commitment to the welfare of every client.Nicky Hall, Clifford Johnson Solicitors
Hardworking, robust and conscientious; Nina's quality of preparation and delivery is of the highest quality. The ‘go to' to counsel for all serious criminal matters. Helen White, Howells Solicitors


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