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:

  • 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 charged with driving with undue care and attention, no insurance, no licence.  Prosecution discontinued case after written representations from Defence.
  • R v V 2013; Client charged with driving with undue care and attention following accident in which motorcyclist was seriously injured.  Client found not guilty after a contested trial.
  •  R v C 2012; Client charged with drink driving, a strict liability offence.  Successfully ran a defence of driving under duress.  Prosecution discontinued case before trial following written representations from Defence.    
  • R v I 2012.  Successful argument of exceptional hardship.  Client a bus driver who had accumulated 12 points as a ‘totter’.  He therefore stood to be disqualified from driving and hence would lose his job.   The Magistrates found exceptional hardship and exercised discretion not to disqualify, instead imposing further penalty points.  
  • R v U 2012;  Client who self-represented at court for failure to provide details of a driver when required to do so.  He believed the court had erred in ordering a mandatory 12 month period of disqualification from driving and sought legal advice. Successful application to re-open case by Defence for rectification of the court’s mistake. Period of disqualification reduced from 12 months to 6 months.  
  • R v H 2012;   Case of being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle.  Client found not guilty at contested trial.  All prosecution witnesses were police officers.
  • R v G 2011;  Case of driving with no insurance where the driver who was stopped falsely gave the client’s details – a very common occurrence.  Prosecution offered no evidence at trial when full alibi evidence was presented.
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.