Lyall Thompson

  • Year of Call 1995

Lyall has a reputation as a committed and fearless advocate, determined to achieve the optimum outcome for his clients. His high acquittal rate is due to his strategic approach to advocacy, incisive cross-examination and powerful closing speeches.

Career Overview

Lyall’s career has been notable for its variety, albeit with a constant focus on jury advocacy and criminal law. Having obtained a degree in Scots Law, Lyall completed a conversion course and qualified at the English Bar. After pupillage, he successfully built up a self-employed practice over 14 years.

An opportunity presented itself to join the CPS as a senior crown advocate and work with the police on some of the most high profile and serious prosecutions in London (including the largest case to come out of the 2011 London Riots involving 23 defendants). Then, in 2015, Lyall joined the barristers’ team in a nationwide firm of criminal defence lawyers. This led to him defending in long multi-handed conspiracy trials, including as leading counsel in a 5 month, 11-handed child sexual exploitation trial. As well as vast experience in court therefore, Lyall also has a fairly unique insight into the workings and practices of both the prosecution authorities and defence solicitors.

Throughout his years of practice, Lyall has been keen to take on jury trials and appellate advocacy at all levels. Although he has extensive experience in multi-handed cases, and has frequently led other advocates in such cases, he also achieves much satisfaction in acting for defendants in shorter trials. Lyall never forgets that every case is the most important one taking place in the country for that defendant, and always keeps client satisfaction at the forefront of his priorities.

Above all, Lyall loves persuading juries that the most unlikely stories may have a grain of truth in them.

Areas of Expertise

  • Organised crime, firearms and gang violence
  • Attempted murder, kidnapping, false imprisonment and torture
  • Drug offences, including large-scale importations involving Encrochat evidence.
  • Rape and other serious sexual offences
  • Child sexual exploitation and other child abuse and neglect
  • Causing death / serious injury by dangerous driving
  • People smuggling and other immigration offences (including Article 31 defences)
  • Lower-level fraud / money-laundering
  • Proceeds of Crime and Cash Seizure
  • Road Traffic law (especially drink/drug driving and failing to provide a specimen)
  • Regulatory work (especially healthcare)
  • Disciplinary proceedings / Police misconduct
  • Local authority prosecutions / Military Law
  • Analysing cell-site evidence
  • Working with intermediaries

Notable Cases


R v MH Oxford CC Attempted murder Ongoing

R v JP Oxford CC Rape Not Guilty verdict

R v TN Isleworth CC Kidnap Not Guilty verdict

R v LP St Albans CC Sexual Assault / Burglary Suspended sentence (transgender client)

R v PJ Oxford CC Drugs conspiracy Plea on a restricted basis (Encrochat case)

R v CH Reading CC Drugs supply Not Guilty verdict

R v ED St Albans CC Conspiracy to defraud 18-handed case. Crown offered a favourable basis on 3rd day of trial after others pleaded.


R v TS Oxford CC Rape Not Guilty verdict (client with intermediary)

R v DW Oxford CC Rape x2 Mixed verdicts

R v SD St Albans CC GBH with intent , False Not Guilty verdicts Imprisonment, Drug supply

R v JR Guildford CC Causing serious injury by dangerous driving Guilty verdict

R v JM Isleworth CC Drug importation Not Guilty verdict

R v SW Oxford CC False imprisonment / Torture Mixed pleas and verdicts

R v MA Oxford CC Sexual assault Hung jury – no retrial


R v MC Reading CC Historical child abuse 2 trials – mixed verdicts

R v DA Reading CC Rape Guilty verdict

R v JP Oxford CC Rape Not Guilty verdict

R v NT Aylesbury CC Historical child abuse Not Guilty verdicts

R v LB Oxford CC Robbery Not Guilty verdict


R v AG Huntingdon CC Rape Guilty verdict

R v PB Oxford CC Historical child abuse Not Guilty verdict

R v NM Luton CC Firearm conspiracy Guilty verdict


  • High School of Glasgow
  • University of Aberdeen 2:1 (Scots Law)
  • City University, London
  • Inns of Court School of Law

Other Information

Lyall is a pupil-supervisor and a mentor for the Inner Temple.

In his spare time, Lyall enjoys refereeing football and watching cricket and theatre. He is an Associate Member of the MCC and a Patron of the RSC.

Latest News

Lyall Thompson Secures Two Acquittals In Quick Succession Since Joining Chambers

November 10 2023

Lyall Thompson has settled into chambers quickly with two not guilty verdicts in short trials at Oxford CC.  In a blackmail...

Tenancy News - Lyall Thompson joins the team at Farringdon Chambers

November 01 2023

Since 2015 Lyall has exclusively practiced criminal defence as in house counsel at Hines Solicitors. His specialisit areas include fraud. Lyall...

Tenancy News - Lyall Thompson joins the team at Farringdon Chambers

January 01 1970

Lyall has been practicising criminal defence exclsuively in-house at Hines Solicitors since 2015. Lyall has a reputation as a committed and...

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