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Call: 2002

Emma Martin

Albion Chambers

Broad Street Bristol BS1 1DR

  • Overview

    Emma is an extremely experienced and diligent barrister of 20 years’ call; she prosecutes and defends criminal cases with care, attention to detail and effective advocacy. Emma has particular skill in dealing with sensitive cases or cases in which there are defendants, complainants or witnesses with vulnerabilities.

    Emma is often complimented on her ability to explain complex legal issues to clients in simple, understandable language, sometimes using visual aids to assist.

    Emma has the respect of local judges on account of her natural advocacy which is always supported by the extensive preparation of her cases.

    Solicitors who have seen Emma in court and advising clients in conference frequently request that Emma conducts their cases which are either extremely serious or have a particular sensitivity for example, representing people who have never been before a criminal court before.

  • Drugs / Firearms

    R v A [2009]

    Emma was a lead junior in major conspiracy to supply drugs and guns into Bristol case. The 8-week trial involved cocaine being dealt at a wholesale level, netting over £50m annually. It was one of the first cases to have an informant who was subject to a SOCPA (Serious Organised Crime and Police Act) agreement, having previously been a defendant in the case. The case was reported nationally.


    R v B [2019]

    Emma successfully argued that her young client should not be prosecuted for his involvement in a county lines drugs conspiracy He had become involved in dealing Class A drugs through violence, intimidation and slavery. Defendant had all charges discontinued against him.

    R v C [2020]

    Emma defended a young man caught up in a large conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in Taunton. He was the only defendant not to be imprisoned for his part of the case, after Emma successfully argued that he should be given an opportunity to continue to be rehabilitated in the community.

  • Murder / Fatal Violence

    R v H [2010]

    Emma was instructed to represent a 19-year old defendant of previous good character who, together with five others, was charged with the murder of Glynn Rowlands in Yeovil. The case involved a detailed, lengthy police investigation and resulted in a 6-week trial. Emma was complemented for her thorough preparation in the case and her careful, sensitive dealing with the young defendant and his family. Emma’s client was the only defendant to be acquitted of murder / manslaughter after trial.


    R v I [2011]

    Emma was instructed to represent a 20-year-old defendant charged with the murder of James Hewlett in Cheddar, Somerset during an incident at New Year’s Eve celebrations in the town. The case involved complex medical information with evidence from a neuropathologist and two pathologists. The judge who dealt with the case remarked on Emma’s thorough understanding of the complex medical issues and compassionate mitigation conducted in the presence of the deceased’s family members. Unusually, Emma conducted this case without Leading Counsel, as approved by the Judge.


    R v J [2021]

    Emma was junior counsel in this case, defending one of the men accused of the murder of Andre Gayle. The case was very highly reported in Bristol at the time of the offence and during the trial and it was a case in which there was considerable local public interest. After a 6-week trial, the defendant was acquitted of murder.


    R v K [2022]

    Emma was junior counsel, representing a man accused of killing his former partner.

    The case required a careful and thorough analysis of the evidence produced by the police.


    R v I [2022] 

    Emma is currently instructed to represent a woman of good character who faces trial for the attempted murder of her husband.

  • Sexual Offences

    R v D [2019]

    Emma was instructed as junior in the prosecution of man at Exeter Crown Court for the rape of 14 women. The case was one of the largest investigations ever undertaken by Devon and Cornwall Police. There were a number of days during the trial when Leading Counsel was absent due to other professional commitments, during which time, Emma led the prosecution team and examined witnesses. The defendant was found guilty of raping the women, having secured their ostensible consent by fraud and the protracted deception of them.

    Emma and her leader in the case received personal commendations from the area Chief Crown Prosecutor for their work on this complex and difficult case.


    Emma is frequently called upon to defend those accused of the most serious sexual offending. Her skill in cross examining young and vulnerable complainants has been particularly commented upon. Emma has undertaken specific training to enable her to effective question young and vulnerable witnesses.

  • Road Traffic

    R v E [2022]

    Emma was instructed to prosecution a driver for causing the death by dangerous driving of a cyclist. The case was resolved by a plea of guilty, but involved extensive technical evidence from collision experts and experts dealing with the angle of sun, which had affected the driver’s visibility at the time of the collision.


    R v F [2021]

    Prosecution of driver for causing serious injury by dangerous driving. Emma prosecuted a driver at trial for a collision with a pedestrian in which the pedestrian suffered near fatal injuries and had a leg amputated, on account of his injuries. The case was defended by counsel who was later appointed King’s Counsel. The case involved extensive expert evidence on the effect of alcohol on driving ability and legal argument to allow the jury to be informed that D was significantly under the influence of alcohol and impaired by it, even if not over the legal limit.


    R v G [2018]

    Defence of a young driver who caused the death by dangerous driving of his close friend. The defendant pleaded guilty and following extensive mitigation given by Emma in writing and in court, the court was persuaded by her not to give him an immediate prison sentence.

  • Court of Appeal

    Emma has appeared before the court of appeal in a number of reported cases in her 20 years of practice at the Criminal Bar.

Emma Martin


‘Emma has a warm and engaging advocacy style, which is persuasive with both juries and judges. She is very sympathetic so always gets the best out of vulnerable witnesses or defendants.’ 

Legal 500 2024


  • LLB (Hons) Brunel University
  • Lord Denning Scholarship and Accommodation Award

Professional memberships

  • Western Circuit
  • CBA