Barristers / Grahame

Nina Grahame

Call Year: 1993
Qualifications: BA (Comb Hons) English & Theatre Studies (1982); BVC – Outstanding / Certificate of Honour (1993)
Areas of Practice: Criminal law
Tel: 0161 817 6377

Leading junior in crime (Northern circuit) 2015: "Utilises pre-trial protocols on disclosure effectively to the benefit of clients."

UK Legal 500 2015

"An extremely able defence practitioner"

UK Legal 500 2014

"focuses on human rights and civil liberties cases"

UK Legal 500 2012

"...a conscientious, capable and committed defender." ...[whose] "preparation work is most comprehensive."

UK Legal 500 2010 and 2011

"...a first class advocate and takes time with the client to listen and fully understand the client's position..."

Instructing solicitor 

"conscientious and ahead of the game"

UK Legal 500 2007



Nina is the Deputy Head of Chambers at Garden Court North.

She is a criminal defence practitioner of considerable experience, instructed as leading and junior counsel in cases involving allegations of murder, manslaughter, drugs (manufacture, importation and supply) serious fraud, computer misuse and cases involving allegations of serious violence (including child cruelty) and sexual impropriety.  She has extensive Court of Appeal and CCRC experience and has also been instructed as junior counsel in the Supreme Court.

Nina has extensive experience and specialist expertise in cases where the complex issues relating to linked criminal and family court proceedings arise, including those which concern Hague Convention proceedings (international child abduction).

Nina has a particular interest in issues arising from the prosecution and detention of young people and those with learning or mental health difficulties or otherwise seen as vulnerable.  She also has experience of defending criminal prosecutions arising from the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Nina is frequently briefed to defend where criminal allegations arise in the course of a defendant’s professional life, including instructions from solicitors retained by unions and professional associations to defend their members.  She has defended numerous teaching and health care professionals in cases alleging violence, sexual assault, negligence and cruelty.

Nina has defended a number of individuals accused of computer misuse, whether motivated by financial, political or idealogical aims. Examples include cases relating to the notorious “Darkmarket” website and the prosecution of computer activist members of ‘Anonymous’.

Nina is also regularly asked to teach and lecture professionals and students on a variety of topics. 

Recent criminal cases 

Nina has recently defended alleged members of OCGs in a number of large scale operations relating to the importation and supply of Class A drugs. These include :

  • Operation Roderigo  (2015) Teesside Crown Court - An investigation into the combined activities of OCGs from the NW and NE relating to conspiracies to supply cocaine and to manufacture and supply amphetamine in quantities that were "off the scale".
  • Operation Tungsten (2015) Manchester Crown Court - A successful application to dismiss the case against a defendant alleged to be sourcing drugs outside the jurisdiction for importation by a NW OCG.
  • Operation Weld (2015) Birmingham Crown Court - In this case, Nina represented a defendant who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine between members of 3 OCGs operating in the NE, the NW and  the Midlands. She successfully challenged the prosecution assertion that her client played a leading role for the purposes of sentence, and he was sentenced as a significant role player maintaining full credit.
  • Operation Cabri (2014) Conspiracy to supply Class A drugs by a Liverpool OCG.

Other recent cases include:

  • R v Garvey [2015] (Criminal Court of Appeal) - sentence reduced where defendant's serious health problems further exacerbated by delays in proceedings news story
  • R v Curran [2015] (Leeds Crown Court) – former teacher; historic allegations of assault and indecent assault  - prosecution case withdrawn after submissions from counsel.  Led Matthew Stanbury (instructed by Paula Porter of Thompsons Solicitors) media coverage  
  • R v Anthony Ellis   (2014) Murder conviction quashed and replaced with manslaughter conviction following re-trial  news story
  • 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.
  • 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 Mitchell  (2012). The defendant, a professional boxer, was convicted of manslaughter but acquitted of the murder of a Leeds University student.
  • R v F  (2012) Leading junior for the first defendant in a large scale drugs conspiracy and money laundering case.
  • R v Robinson  (2012). A “whistleblower” case in which 2 care workers were prosecuted for cruelty to severely disabled residents of a care home.
  • R v Gnango  [2011] UKSC 59 - Supreme Court appeal by the prosecution following the judgment in the Court of Appeal in 2010 quashing Gnango's conviction for murder in the "crossfire shooting" case.
  • R v Clark  (2011) Deputy Commissioner of North Wales Police acquitted of fraudulent salary and overtime claims.
  • R v McHugh  (2010) A prosecution based on the activities of the notorious “Darkmarket” fraudsters.


Leading junior in crime : Northern (2015)  " Utilises pre-trial protocols on disclosure effectively to the benefit of clients ." UK Legal 500 2015

Leading junior in crime : Northern (2014)  " An extremely able defence practitioner’. " UK Legal 500 2014 edition

Leading junior in crime: Northern (2012)   "...focuses on human rights and civil liberties cases" UK Legal 500 2012 edition 

Leading junior in crime : Northern (2011)   is recommended as a criminal practitioner whose " preparation work is most comprehensive"  UK Legal 500 2011 edition 

Leading junior in crime : Northern (2010)  described as " a conscientious, capable and committed defender" . UK Legal 500 2010 edition more

Leading junior in crime (2007)  described as " conscientious and ahead of the game"   UK Legal 500 2007

Articles, media comment and speaking engagements

Other activities

Has undertaken specialist training in the use of intermediaries for witnesses in criminal trials.

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Nina Grahame

Name: Nina Grahame
Call Year: 1993

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16/8/16 Manchester Peterloo Massacre anniversary - GCN and others challenge UAE Human Rights record

15/8/16 Landlords behaving badly - damages for dispossession

15/8/16 Pete Weatherby QC on renewed critique of IPP sentences

27/7/16 3-Judge Upper Tribunal panel allows Tax Credit Appeals test case

26/7/16 Tribute to Bryan McGuire QC 

20/7/16 Tenants and borrowers subjected to unlawful evictions (defective N325 forms)

8/7/16 LALY16 outstanding achievement award for GCN Hillsborough team

29/6/16 Tom Royston speaking at LAG Housing Law Conference

24/6/16 Certifying asylum and human rights claims as “clearly unfounded”  

17/6/16 GCN immigration team response to MoJ consultation on tribunal fees

GCN sponsors PLP JR North conference 14.7.16 Manchester

Immigration and EU law for housing lawyers - the new Immigration Act, Brexit and more | Housing seminar | 6.7.16

The Immigration Act 2016 | Immigration seminar | 1.7.16

GCN to host INQUEST Conference and fundraising quiz 16.6.16

Mark George QC speaking at YLAL North meeting 15.6.16

20/5/16 Joe Markus shortlisted for LALY Legal Aid Newcomer Award

GCN Criminal Law update May 2016

26/4/16 Truth Justice Accountability | Hillsborough 22 Families Press Conference

26/4/16 A landmark day in legal history - Hillsborough Inquests

11/4/16 Recompense for the wrongfully convicted (Nealon)

22/3/16 Supreme Court grants permission in Kiarie

18/3/16 Not guilty verdict for Chetham violin teacher

4/3/16 GCN wins Barristers' Chambers of the Year at MLA 2016

29/2/16 Permission to appeal in relation to adult dependent relative rule

17/3/16 GCN launches new Appeals and Miscarriages of Justice Team

18/2/16 Considering Jogee: Joint Enterprise, Retrospective Effect and Fresh Appeals - Mark George QC and Matt Stanbury

11/2/16 CART-style JR of Upper Tribunal succeeds  

9/2/16 Appeal allowed in "police officer on jury" case after CCRC referral  

8/2/16 Permission granted in best interests (grandchild) immigration appeal

5/2/16 Repeated acquittals in historic cases

3/2/16 Housing allocation scheme - discrimination challenge by Irish Traveller

27/1/16 Bedroom Tax victory

GCN barristers present PLP "How to JR"

Matt Stanbury presents "JR for criminal practitioners"

25/1/16 SSHD failure to apply own policy to Victim of Trafficking

5/1/16 Important statelessness JR (Semeda)

5/1/16 GCN members elected to BHRC Exec Committee

18/12/15 GCN remains totally committed to first class representation through legal aid

17/12/15 Permission granted in trafficking JR

16/12/15 Natalie Wilkins writes in  Family Law

15/12/15 Gary Willock on delay in obtaining Legal Aid

12/12/15 Extension of Workers Registration Scheme 2009 Appeal now listed for Feb 2017

11/12/15 Court of Appeal quashes extended sentence

23/11/15 Sentence reduced (serious health problems and delays)

12/11/15 GCN Housing Bulletin: disrepair and injunctions

3/11/15 Chambers UK Bar Guide ranks GCN in Band 1

Tom Royston speaking at CPAG seminar

30/10/15 Transgender prisoners

26/10/15 Successful out of time sentence appeal

Anti-Slavery Day event

30/9/15 Acquittal in Operation Pallial

28/9/15 Immigration FTT recognizes appellant as Victim of Trafficking (VOT)

24/9/15 Immigration FTT relies on Trafficking JR

17/9/15 Legal 500: Counsel "easy to work with and quickly engage"; Clerks "consistently very helpful"

11/9/15 FGM Protection Order to safeguard 13 year old taken to Sudan

9/9/15 Ben McCormack Court of Protection talk for YLAL North

14/7/15 GCN crime team support Rally to Save Criminal Legal Aid

30/6/15 GCN crime team "It's time we took action"

12/6/15 Mark George QC on IPCC Orgreave report

Kate Stone chairs PLP "Private Law for Public Law Practitioners"

4/6/15 Art 8 defences for Canal and River Trust  

Lucy Mair speaking at "Contemporary Issues in Refugee Law" 7.7.15 (Lancaster)

28/5/15 Lucy Mair discusses Eve Ensler's "Avocado" human trafficking monologue

27/5/15 Lucy Mair on trafficking JR (Free Movement)

13/5/15 Abuse of process argument succeeds

Pete Weatherby QC  at Haldane "Child Sex Abuse Inquiry" Lecture 

Pete Weatherby QC at Prisoners' Advice Service panel discussion

20/4/15 Matt Stanbury on Bad News for Good Character

20/3/15 Sex Offender Notification Reviews Guidance

4/3/15 Joe Markus appointed to EHRC Panel of Counsel

26/2/15 S222 injunction to restrain begging in Leeds City Centre

16/2/15 Extension of Workers Registration Scheme was unlawful

13/2/15 Rory O'Ryan appointed as Deputy Upper Tribunal Judge

27/1/15 Permission granted in homelessness affordability appeal

13/1/15 Kate Stone on Human Rights and Arms Trade Treaty

5/1/15 GCN move to Blackfriars House profiled in M.E.N

15/12/14 Gudanaviciene (exceptional funding)   

10/12/14 Landmark Supreme Court decision on ISP Prisoners

5/12/14 UT decision on Bereavement Benefits and telephone marriage

13/11/14 Permission to appeal granted in benefits case

10/10/14 Pete Weatherby QC wins Legal 500 Regional Silk Award 2014

3/10/14 Clerks  "first class " in Legal 500 2014