Amy Earnshaw

Appearing for the defence or prosecution in criminal cases including sexual and violent offences, modern slavery, drugs and more. Formerly a solicitor with higher rights of audience; good with vulnerable clients.

Amy was called to the Bar in 2016, having made the move from solicitor with higher rights of audience to becoming a barrister. After a short period as a temporary tenant with KBW in Leeds, Amy joined Bank House Chambers where she has particular specialisms in crime (including POCA), road traffic issues, and the youth court.

Amy presents her cases clearly and concisely, helping juries to follow the evidence more easily. She blends detailed knowledge of the law with sensitivity, enabling her to more effectively represent clients with learning and mental health difficulties.

Having begun her career as a paralegal, Amy went on to become a trainee solicitor with Bhatia Best in Nottingham. Here, she represented clients at the police station for offences ranging from motoring matters to murder. She qualified as a solicitor 2008 and moved to Oxley and Coward Solicitors in Rotherham, where she represented clients in the magistrates’ court and obtained her duty solicitor status shortly after qualifying.

After gaining her higher rights of audience, Amy joined Howells Solicitors as a higher rights advocate in 2012. She then defended clients daily in the Crown Court, moving into defending more serious sexual cases and cases of attempted murder.

Some of Amy’s more significant successes are listed below.

Significant Cases

Modern slavery
  • R v Pelcis and others [2018] – Amy appeared as junior representing a lead defendant charged with modern slavery offences (along with a large number of family members). The case involved 11 defendants, 22 complainants, a vast amount of evidence, and considerable media attention. The lead defendant was sentenced to over five years’ imprisonment.
Drugs offences
  • R v Henderson and Sage [2018] – Amy prosecuted two defendants accused of producing and supplying psychoactive substances. At trial, expert evidence included the effect of psychoactive substances and how to test for them in humans. The defence argued that in vitro testing for psychoactive substances was not conclusive as to effects on humans; the Crown argued that it was. The lead defendant was sentenced to three years’ immediate custody.
Sexual offences
  • R v Oxley [2018] – Amy prosecuted a defendant accused of possessing indecent images of children, who alleged his girlfriend must have downloaded the images. With the help of the officer in the case, Amy presented such a clear case that the defendant changed his plea to guilty.
  • R v Gilmore [2016] – The 17-year-old defendant was accused of assault by penetration on a 14-year-old girl. He denied the allegation and was acquitted.
  • R v Holmes [2015] – The defendant pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a young female, receiving an immediate prison sentence of over four years. This case received a high level of media coverage due to the significant injuries inflicted on the defendant by the complainant in her own defence.
Violent offences
  • R v Wright [2018] – Amy represented a youth charged with a series of aggravated burglaries with weapons. Both defendants having been found guilty, Amy addressed the sentencing judge and achieved a reduction in sentence from seven and a half years to six years.
  • R v Oberg [2018] – Along with a large number of co-defendants, the defendant was charged with violent disorder. Amy felt there was insufficient evidence for a trial and made a successful application for dismissal.
  • R v Kirby [2018] – The Crown claimed that, in the course of a robbery, the defendant had held a knife to the complainant’s neck and demanded money, which was then transferred electronically. Amy’s defence resulted in a hung jury; on re-trial, the defendant was acquitted.
  • R v Fitzgerald [2017] – Amy represented a defendant who pleaded guilty to Section 20 wounding. Having visited his neighbour over excessive noise, he hen lost his temper and assaulted two of the occupants, rendering one unconscious. Amy submitted to the sentencing judge that although this was a serious assault, it need not merit an immediate term of imprisonment. The defendant received a suspended sentence.
  • R v Sykes [2016] – This was a very sensitive case in which the defendant had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had weeks to live. The defendant pleaded guilty to a bomb hoax, amongst other harassment and threats to kill against public agencies. Amy persuaded the sentencing judge not to impose an immediate prison sentence but to pass a suspended sentence of imprisonment instead.
  • R v Metcalf [2015] – This defendant pleaded guilty to a range of aggravated burglary offences involving chainsaws, including significant injuries to one home-owner. A sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment was imposed, with an extended licence period.
Dishonesty offences
  • R v Bramall [2014] – The defendant was a youth charged, jointly with an adult, with dwelling house burglary. Amy persuaded the sentencing judge to move away from an immediate term of imprisonment, even though the defendant was a prolific offender.
  • R v Herbert and others [2014] – This was a multi-handed cash-for-crash case involving a sophisticated series of insurance claims, which received national coverage. Amy defended the bus driver in this case.


Proceeds of crime
  • R v Court [2019] – The defendant pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and the Crown sought proceeds of crime. The defence argued that it was contrary to the defendant’s human rights to proceed with POCA. The issue of tainted gifts and hidden assets arose. Successfully prosecuted these proceedings and a confiscation order in the region of £166,000.00 was made against the defendant.

How much will Amy Earnshaw’s services cost?

Amy mostly works on a fixed-fee basis for the main hearing, with a daily refresher rate for any subsequent date of hearing, although this depends on the type of work you request. If you’d like a quotation for her legal services in a particular matter, please contact our clerk using the details below and we’ll be very happy to help. Please also refer to Bank House Chambers’ standard terms & conditions.

What might influence the timescales of the services Amy offers?

Amy would normally expect to arrange a preliminary conference with your client within 7 days of first contact from you. After that, despite our best intentions, we can’t always control timescales or the amount of time we spend on a case. These can be affected by factors such as urgency; complexity; your own (or your client’s) availability; Amy’s availability and that of any third parties; the volume of documents she needs to review or must request; and the court’s availability.

Can you have confidence in Amy’s work?

She is regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

How can you contact Amy Earnshaw?

In the first instance, please contact our senior clerk, Wayne Digby, on 0114 275 1223 or email him at