Rachael Hughes

A mixed practice of crime and family law, particularly where the two areas overlap. An approachable and friendly manner, able to be especially sensitive with vulnerable clients.

Rachael Hughes has a mixed practice of crime and family law. Before being called to the Bar, she was an investigator for the Serious Fraud Office.

Her approachable and friendly manner ensures she is able to provide clear advice to both solicitors and lay clients alike. She is confident representing clients with a range of vulnerabilities.

“Rachael recently undertook a numbers of review hearings and the final hearing in a protracted private law matter. It was the first case I had instructed Rachael on (having previously been on the other side) and it will not be the last.”
– Instructing solicitor

“Rachael was clear and robust in her advice to the client and was always on the end of the phone. She was fully prepared on the day and both the client and I were extremely pleased with the outcome.”
– Instructing solicitor

“Rachael is a strong advocate, has a good understanding of the law and is keen to achieve the best results.”
– Instructing solicitor

Rachael Hughes prosecutes or defends in the Crown Court in equal measure. She appears in all types of cases involving violence, drugs, sexual offences, and offences of dishonesty.

She is a Grade 2 Prosecutor and is regularly asked to advise the CPS with regard to charging decisions and evidential matters.

She was involved in Derbyshire’s biggest investigation into people trafficking and modern slavery, involving significant volumes of material obtained following a joint investigation between officers based in Latvia and the UK. She has also participated in an attempted murder trial.

She has considerable experience in financial crime. As a former investigator for the Serious Fraud Office, she regularly advises on disclosure issues. She has been instructed in cases involving significant bribery and corruption offences.

Rachael has developed a particular expertise in representing young and vulnerable defendants and is regularly instructed to represent clients suffering with serious mental illnesses.

Significant Cases

Attempted murder, violence, public order and other offences

R v Yunus and Others, Derby Crown Court [2018] – Led by a senior member of chambers in representing a defendant charged with being the getaway driver for the main defendant charged with attempted murder.

R v Stanley, Sheffield Crown Court [2018] – Defending a young man facing allegations of child neglect. Representations in mitigation permitted him to avoid an immediate custodial sentence.

Exploitation and people-trafficking

R v Pelcis and others, Nottingham Crown Court [2018] – Led by a senior member of chambers in a 6-week trial, representing the second of eleven defendants.

Fraud, money laundering and similar offences

R v McDonald, Sheffield Crown Court [2018] – Representing a client charged with fraud and theft of £25,000 from a vulnerable family member.

Sexual offences

R v. Osgathorpe, Sheffield Crown Court [2017] – An application by South Yorkshire Police to impose a SHPO against the defendant, which was contested. Hearings held in the magistrates’ and Crown Court resulted in the successful imposition of a SHPO.

Rachael Hughes appears in both public and private children law matters in the family court, and handles Family Law Act injunctions.

She is regularly instructed to represent parents where there are disputes over child arrangements, including residence and contact disputes, applications for prohibited steps orders, and specific issue orders. She also has experience with enforcement proceedings.

Rachael regularly acts in public law proceedings, representing local authorities, parents, children, wider family members and interveners.

She has advised and represented parties on cases involving:

  • Parents who misuse substances
  • Parents with learning difficulties
  • Non-accidental injuries
  • Neglect
  • Sexual and domestic abuse
  • Fictitious illness
  • Psychological and psychiatric evidence
  • Jurisdictional issues

Significant Cases


2018 – Successfully represented a mother facing allegations that she had physically chastised her children, which had caused their father to unilaterally remove them from her care and cease all contact with her. During a lengthy finding-of-fact hearing, the father’s credibility was significantly undermined following Rachael’s thorough and precise cross-examination. In accordance with Rachael’s client’s position, the court found that the father had manipulated the children into making false allegations of violence against their own mother, which had resulted in over a year’s suspension of her contact with them. As a result of the court’s finding, the mother’s contact and relationship with her children was reinstated.

How much will Rachael Hughes’ services cost?

Rachael 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 Rachael offers?

Rachael 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; Rachael’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 Rachael’s work?

She is regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

How can you contact Rachael Hughes?

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