Leigh Nisbet

Leigh Nisbet

Leigh Nisbet


Leigh is Head of Road Traffic and specialises in all aspects of road traffic law.  She acts for both private clients and in cases where legal aid is available. She provides pragmatic advice on the law after considering the facts and circumstances of each case. She is a Trial Advocate and Higher Court Advocate, conducting her own trials, representing clients at court on guilty pleas to put forward mitigation and regularly appears in the Crown Court.

Area of Specialism: Road traffic work and serious crime.

Accreditations: Duty Solicitor and Higher Rights Advocate.

Notable cases:

  • Road Traffic

    R –v- K 2017:  Consultant hospital doctor charged with driving when unfit through alcohol.   The charge was kept as a charge of driving when unfit through alcohol rather than driving with excess alcohol, which on the level of alcohol in his breath would have been a sentence of high level community order and mandatory period of disqualification from driving of 23-28 months.   After plea in mitigation the Judge sentenced client to a fine and 15 months disqualification from driving, to be reduced by one quarter as attendance on drink/driving awareness course was agreed. 

    R –v- D  2016;  Dangerous driving case where CCTV showed client apparently driving his van deliberately at the victim.  Ran defence of necessity as client trying to escape attack from the person he hit with his vehicle; acquitted at contested trial. 

    R –v- F  2016;  Client originally charged with driving without due care and attention and failure to stop after accident, subsequently changed to dangerous driving.  Allegation of client deliberately ramming her car into a learner driver and then driving off.   Acquitted after trial. 

    R –v- A 2016;  Case where driver was charged with driving without due care and attention, causing serious injury to a motorcyclist.  Client performed a U-turn on dual carriageway to get out of stationary traffic and collided with a motorcyclist whom the Defence alleged was driving too fast on wrong side of road.    Client acquitted after contested trial.

    R v M  2015;  Professional footballer charged with failing to return a ‘section 172’ notice to identify the driver of a vehicle who had committed a speeding offence.  The client had been the registered keeper of the vehicle.  The vehicle was a lease car that had been returned to the lease car company but the company had failed to change details of the registered keeper on the log book.  The lessor committed a speeding offence in the vehicle and the s.172 notice was sent to the client.  He was under the impression that the lessor had dealt with the offence and did not return the notice. Was summoned to court for the offence of failing to return the notice.  After oral representations made to the prosecution at court the case was discontinued on the grounds that it was not in the interests of justice to pursue the prosecution against the client. 

  • R v V 2014; Speeding offence at 116 mph in a 70 mph zone, off the scale of the sentencing guidelines.  Client was a bus driver and relied on his driving licence for work.  Even a short period of disqualification would have resulted in the loss of his livelihood.  Magistrates persuaded to impose 6 points on the licence rather than disqualify.

  • R v A 2014; Allegation of driving without due care and attention.  Car seen to be out of control on the North Circular Road by off duty Murder Squad Detectives who alleged the client was driving erratically, swerving between the lanes and thus crashing into the barrier causing his wheel to shear off.  The client instructed that his tyre had burst and the driving observed was him trying to control his car to prevent an accident.  Acquitted at contested trial.

  • R v H  2013; Allegation of driving a motor vehicle when its condition (cracked windscreen) was such that it involved danger of injury to any person.  Prosecution witnesses all police officers who alleged that the crack to the windscreen was large and could have caused the driver to be dazzled in sunlight.  Defence argued that the size and position of the crack was not dangerous.  The client was stopped early morning on a March day when the chances of dazzling by sunshine was remote.  The remote possibility (rather than the likely possibility) of the danger of injury is not enough for the prosecution to prove case.   Acquitted at contested trial.  

  • R v H 2013; Case involving multiple pile-up on M1 motorway.  Client’s hired Bentley aquaplaned across the carriageway, crashed through the central reservation, flipped onto its roof and hit 6 oncoming vehicles.   Charged with driving without due care and attention, no insurance, no licence.  Prosecution discontinued case after written representations from Defence about hazardous driving conditions due to the weather and lack of any witness statements specifically stating that the client was driving without due care; all statements from the victim drivers were based on supposition rather than actual observation.  The client had never renewed his British driving licence after it was revoked following the receipt of 6 penalty points as a new driver, but he then lived abroad and was visiting the UK using the driving licence from his own country and was insured. 

  • Serious Crime

    R –v- F   2018;  Client acquitted at contested trial of historical sexual abuse of stepdaughter.

    R –v- M 2017;  Client a serving prisoner.  Magistrates persuaded to pass sentence of 6 months for possession of drugs and mobile phone in prison when prosecution argued starting point for sentence 18 months

    R –v-A   2017;   Road rage GBH case where complainant suffered broken bones in face after a fight between drivers when wing mirrors clipped  -  client  acquitted at trial

    R –v- T & others  2016;  Represented two defendants in prison riot where inmate was attacked and  slashed to head with broken china – both acquitted of affray

     R –v- E  2016– client acquitted of rape of ex-partner at contested trial

    R –v- A & others  2015;   Represented two defendants in multi-handed gang rape of same complainant over a number of occasions;  both acquitted of rape at trial.

Without the help and advice of Leigh I don't know if I could have done this. Once we were with Leigh everything was explained and sorted out. She did an excellent job.