Claire Holmes LL.B. (Hons) Open University, LLM (International Law & Criminology) Hull, Call 2009 (admitted as a Solicitor 2008)

Professional Reputation

  • Claire Holmes specialises exclusively in criminal law in the Magistrates’ and Crown Court and acts for both the Prosecution and the Defence.
  • Prior to the bar, Claire trained as a Solicitor at Myer Wolff Solicitors and thereafter practised at Payne and Payne Solicitors before transferring to the Bar in 2009.
  • Claire is a Level 3 Crown Prosecution Service Panel Advocate and is also a Rape and Serious Sexual Offences specialist Prosecutor.  She has recently accepted an invitation to the 2016-2020 Panel.
  • Claire’s practice encompasses the wide range of criminal offences including:

            Attempted Murder
            Serious violence
            Child Sexual offences

  • Claire is highly regarded for her thorough approach to case preparation and her ability to engage well with clients.
  • Claire has a well established reputation for being a capable advocate and has a wealth of experience in conducting jury trials.
  • Claire is familiar with advising on and drafting applications in relation to bad character and hearsay evidence, section 41 issues, third party material and disclosure issues.

Notable Cases

  • R -v- Staves: Attempted Murder – Defence Case. Multiple stab wounds to ex partner.  Prosecution accepted a plea to section 18 offence.
  • R -v- M: Rape – Defence case. Prosecution offered no evidence after first jury discharged.   M did not attend court and could not be found.  Prosecution applied to try in M’s absence.  Trial Judge agreed to do so despite Defence objections that Defendant may be unwell.  M was arrested at close of Prosecution case and remanded in custody to give evidence the next day.  Prison then stated he was too unwell to be brought to court and would be for some time.  Jury had to be discharged and Crown subsequently offered no evidence.
  • R-v-Mark: Assault by penetration [child under 13] - An early example where a sentence was passed as an offender of particular concern.
  • R -v- Daniels: Rape – Prosecution trial.  Complainant accepted having taken amphetamine and alcohol but stated penetration took place without consent whilst she was asleep.  The Defendant stated penetration was with consent.  He had learning difficulties and required the use of an intermediary.  D was convicted.
  • R -v- Tomasek: Foreign driver found in possession of a stun gun / torch.  Issue was whether it was a ‘disguised’ firearm or not.

Qualifications & Appointments

  • Admitted to the Roll of Solicitors - 2008
  • Inn of Court – Gray’s Inn
  • CPS Level 3 Prosecutor and rape specialist panel member
  • Chambers' Equality and Diversity Officer (2011 to present)
  • Chambers’ Management Committee (2015 to present)


  • North Eastern Circuit