Nicholas Hilliard (judge)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

His Honour
Judge Nicholas Hilliard
Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
Recorder of London
Assumed office
Appointed byElizabeth II
Preceded byBrian Barker
Common Serjeant of London
In office
Preceded byBrian Barker
Succeeded byRichard Leon Marks QC
Personal details
BornNicholas Richard Maybury Hilliard
c. 1959
ResidenceLondon, United Kingdom
Alma materBradfield College, Berkshire. Lincoln College, Oxford.

His Honour Judge Nicholas Richard Maybury Hilliard QC (born 1959) is a British judge who was the 80th Common Serjeant of London, an ancient and senior legal post at the Old Bailey second only to that of the Recorder of London. He was appointed to that office in May 2013. Since 6 January 2015 he has served as the Recorder of London, the senior judge at the Old Bailey.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Hilliard was educated at Bradfield College in Berkshire, and Lincoln College, Oxford. He was Called to the Bar in 1981, and was appointed as a Bencher of the Middle Temple in 2003.[2]


In 1995 Hilliard was appointed Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court and served in that capacity until 2008 when he was appointed Senior Treasury Counsel. In 2001 he was appointed Recorder of the Crown Court and in 2003 became a Master of the Bench at the Middle Temple. Hilliard was Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association from 2005 to 2006. Hilliard was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2008.[3][4] In that year he led for the Prosecution against the murderers of Ben Kinsella.


In 2003, he successfully led the prosecution of the case of R v Ingram, C., Ingram, D. and Whittock, T.. In 2011, on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, he unsuccessfully prosecuted Jonathan Rees for the 1987 murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan, who had been examining police corruption. Hilliard acknowledged the police could not be relied upon to ensure access to documents that the defence might require and the prosecution was fatally undermined as a result and Rees was discharged.[5]

Judicial career[edit]

Hilliard was appointed a Senior Circuit Judge in 2012, making him the Resident Judge on the South Eastern Circuit, based at Woolwich Crown Court.[6] He has been a contributing editor to Archbold Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice since 1994.

Honourable appointments and charity[edit]

A Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers,[7] Hilliard is also a Trustee of Crisis, the charity for single homeless people, and the Ben Kinsella Trust, which aims to promote awareness of the effects of knife crime.[8] Hilliard is a trustee of Finding Rhythms, charity that helps vulnerable people find their rhythm in life through music, focusing on those who have been through or are at risk of coming into contact with the criminal justice system.[9] He is a member of the Board of Directors of Association of Commonwealth Criminal Lawyers (ACCL).[3] In May 2017 Hilliard was a speaker at Youth Justice Summit organised by the Youth Justice Legal Centre, which was designed to bring together leading practitioners to share and build expertise in representing children in criminal cases.[10] It was attended by leading criminal practitioners and professionals working in the criminal justice system.[11]

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Brian Barker
Recorder of London
Preceded by
Brian Barker
Common Serjeant of London
2013 - 2015
Succeeded by
Richard Leon Marks QC


  1. ^
  2. ^ 'Masters of the Bar' on the Middle Temple website
  3. ^ a b Hilliard on the Association of Commonwealth Criminal Lawyers website
  4. ^ Legal news: appointments - The Times June 21, 2012
  5. ^ Vikram Dodd and Sandra Laville "Scotland Yard admits Daniel Morgan's killers shielded by corruption - Victim's family attack criminal justice system after admission that defendants could not be guaranteed fair trial",, 11 March 2011, accessed 17 July 2011
  6. ^ Senior Circuit Judge Appointment - Hilliard QC - Ministry of Justice website
  7. ^ Hilliard on the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers website - 2012
  8. ^ Crisis appoints a new chairman and a number of new trustees to its Board - 5 March 2012
  9. ^ "Finding Rhythms trustees: HIS HONOUR JUDGE NICHOLAS HILLIARD, QC, TRUSTEE". 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  10. ^ "The Youth Justice Summit 2017 speakers: Judge Hilliard". 13 August 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  11. ^ "The Youth Justice Summit 2017: Recognising youth justice as a specialism". 13 August 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.