David Horne

Head of Family

Specialising in all aspects of criminal and family law, appearing in a range of courts on the North Eastern and Midlands circuits as well as the Court of Appeal.

David Horne undertakes a broad range of criminal work, primarily in the Crown Court. He is a Grade 2 prosecutor and has established a substantial prosecution practice involving offences of theft, fraud, serious assault, burglary, the possession and supply of drugs, and non-fatal road traffic offences.

He also has a considerable defence practice, and is frequently instructed in cases that would ordinarily be considered to be beyond his year of call. These include cases involving serious acts of violence, the production and supply of drugs, sexual assaults, and a variety of dishonesty offences.

His busy practice takes him to a range of courts both on the North Eastern and Midlands circuits, making him a popular choice of advocate for local and regional solicitors.

When appearing in the Court of Appeal, he has been commended by senior judges for his well-structured and well-presented submissions.

Significant Cases


R v Pyke [2016] – Led by Katherine Goddard on a 3-week trial in a high-profile case concerning child cruelty. The child had died whilst in the care of the defendants, and the case involved a vast amount of complex medical evidence concerning possible causation of death and the incorporation of drugs into a child’s system. The case attracted significant national media coverage.

R v England [2016] – Defending an individual charged with possession with intent to supply Class-A drugs. The trial involved police surveillance where the defendant was found to have been in a known drug-dealing property and found with significant quantities of cash upon arrest. The defendant was acquitted after 3-day trial.

R v Maikhel [2016] – Defence counsel for the lead defendant in a multi-defendant 2-week trial involving charges of human trafficking, false imprisonment and sexual assault.

R v J [2014] – Defending a 15-year-old boy charged with sexual offences against a 4-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy. The case involved complex legal argument regarding hearsay evidence and the right of a defendant to cross-examine a complainant pursuant to Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

R v Bradley [2013] – Defending a young man charged with numerous offences, most notably possession with intent to supply Class-A drugs known as ‘Death’ or ‘Dr Death’ (due to the high mortality rate associated with the drug). The case involved legal argument regarding the appropriateness of a basis of plea, which was ultimately argued at the Court of Appeal.

R v Gray [2012] – Defending a young woman charged with Section 18 grievous bodily harm. The defendant pleaded guilty to an offence involving a weapon in the day of the trial. The sentence was limited to 3 years 6 months in custody.

David Horne has developed a strong reputation for his family law practice. He is instructed in both public and private law matters, having particular strengths in representing parents and other family members in relation to residence and contact cases.

His sensitive and considered approach makes him a popular choice with instructing solicitors and lay clients alike. He is often instructed in cases that require delicate and careful handling of vulnerable clients or clients who have difficulties because of their personal circumstances.

He is frequently involved in cases involving allegations of serious sexual abuse or substance misuse, complex medical issues, and cases involving issues outside of the jurisdiction. He has also developed particular experience in allegations of domestic violence, and frequently undertakes finding-of-fact hearings involving serious and complex allegations.

David has also gained experience in a number of appeal hearings, including appeals at the Court of Appeal and successfully applying for a stay of final order of a lower court before successfully challenging the decision previously reached.

Significant Cases

Family law

NCC v H v H v P [2019] – Representing the sister and her partner of a child in which the child’s father had killed the mother in the presence of the child. The case involved the question of with whom the child should now live, and the ongoing role of other family members. The matter was heard before Mr Justice Keehan.

S v A [2018] – Representing a father at a 3-day finding-of-fact hearing. The mother had made allegations of sexual, physical, emotional and financial abuse. No findings were made against the father.

NCC v P v P [2017] – Represented the local authority on a 4-day finding-of-fact hearing, and thereafter in final care proceedings. Following the finding-of-fact hearing, the father was found to have raped his own daughter and encouraged her to perform sexual acts on other children. Final care and placements order were made in favour of the local authority at the conclusion of proceedings.

SCC v H v P [2017] – Represented a mother at a final hearing on issues concerning Slovakian culture and the ability to provide care for a child with an illness which medical professionals had not been able to diagnose.

DMBC v S v S [2017] – Led by Nkumbe Ekaney QC on 3-day case involving significant disclosure from Scotland, including concerns regarding the practice of satanic rituals and child abuse.

SCC v D v A [2016] – Represented the mother in a 7-day contested final hearing involving substantial cross-examination of a psychiatrist, an independent social worker, and foster carers, and involving issues as to the appropriateness of cessation of contact during the final hearing itself.

SCC v B v L [2016] – Represented the child in a 5-day finding-of-fact hearing involving allegations of serious sexual abuse perpetrated by the father against his own daughter. Significant findings were made following the hearing.

How much will David’s services cost?

David mostly works under the Legal Aid scheme, but also does fixed-fee work. This will depend on the type of work you request. If you’d like a quotation for his 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 David offers?

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; David’s availability and that of any third parties; the volume of documents David needs to review or must request; and the court’s availability.

Can you have confidence in David’s work?

He is regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

How can you contact David Horne?

In the first instance, please contact our senior clerk, Wayne Digby, on 0114 275 1223 or email him at w.digby@bankhousechambers.co.uk.

Public Access Work

Can you contact David without going through a solicitor first?

Yes, he’s qualified and registered to offer services under the Bar Council’s Public Access scheme. You can find out more about our own Public Access work, and for more about the scheme in general please refer to the Bar Standards Board’s Public Access guidance for the public.

David provides Public Access services in matters including:

  • Private family law work, including issues pertaining to contact (spending time with), residence (living with), and any prohibited steps order or specific issue orders.
  • Motoring matters, including totting-up, speeding, and special-reasons arguments.

Public Access fees

For Public Access cases, David works on a fixed-fee basis. The sort of fees you might pay are shown below, but they can vary. This can be for a range of reasons, but commonly might include the complexity and urgency of the matter, additional hearings, the need to instruct one or more expert witnesses, a change in the nature of the case, new issues emerging, and travel costs if the case is moved (by the court or tribunal to a new venue). To discuss costs or to obtain a quotation, please contact our clerk using the details above.

Public Access – Family law

David Horne can advise and represent clients on a range of private family law matters. These include arguments over with who a child should live with, the time that the child should spend with a parent, any prohibited-steps orders sought, or any specific-issue order sought (such as which school a child should attend).

Timescales – Timescales for your case may vary, as explained above.

Fees – David’s fixed-fee basis means you will be charged a pre-determined amount of money for the services provided. The table below shows indicative price ranges, reflecting the complexity of the case. Please note that these are estimates and not quotations, and that VAT will be added at 20%.

Estimated range of fixed fees based on stage of case

Written advice on an application

Preparation of case, including meetings with you and assistance with drafting any witness statements

Court hearing (listed for up to 1 hour)

Court hearing (listed for 3 hours/half-day)

Court hearing (full day)
£1,000–£1,500 (per day)

Public Access – Motoring law

David Horne can assist you at any court hearing dealing with motoring matters. This may include offering mitigation for motoring offences such as speeding or driving whilst over the prescribed limit. He can also advance arguments concerning exceptional hardship when you have become a ‘totter’ (12 points or more on your licence), or special-reasons arguments.

Timescales – Timescales for your case may vary, as explained above.

Fees – David’s fixed-fee basis means you will be charged a pre-determined amount of money for the services provided. The table below shows indicative price ranges, which reflect possible variations in the complexity of the case. Please note that these are estimates and not quotations, and that VAT will be added at 20%.

Estimated range of fixed fees based on stage of case

Conference to provide general advice

Court hearing – mitigation or other short hearing

Court hearing – half-day trial or case

Court hearing – full-day case
£1,250 – £1,750