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Martha joined Apex Chambers in September 2019 following the successful completion of her pupillage. She was supervised by Jonathan Elystan Rees KC and Alex Greenwood respectively. 

Martha accepts instructions across all areas of criminal, regulatory law and inquests.

Martha regularly prosecutes and defends in the Crown Court. She has experience in appeals from both Courts and has appeared in the Court of Appeal. Her practice also includes representation of interested parties in inquests.



R v Southwood, Cardiff Crown Court (2023 - ongoing) - Defendant charged with murder, Martha is currently led by Jonathan Rees KC. 

R v Mattan & Others 'Operation Soros', Cardiff Crown Court (2023 - ongoing) - Martha is currently led by Christopher Rees in defending the first defendant in an 'Operation Venetic' case.

R v G & Others, Swansea Crown Court (2023 - ongoing) - Defence of one of 12 defendants charged with violent disorder.

R v T, Cardiff Crown Court (2022) - Defence of a man charged with assault by penetration. The complainant was a friend and the trial involved the defendant's daughter giving evidence as a prosecution witness.

R v Smith, Swansea Crown Court (2022) - Defence of a teaching assistant charged with child cruelty for an alleged assault at school on a 4 year old child with autism. Acquitted after trial.

R v Freibergs & Others, Newport Crown Court (2022) - Prosecution of three defendants in a 5 week trial for Modern Slavery offences. Martha was led by Lowri Wynn Morgan.

R v Davies & Others 'Operation Carina', Swansea Crown Court (2022) - Led by Lowri Wynn Morgan in the defence of a man in a large Class A drugs conspiracy in one of the 'Operation Venetic' cases. Defendant acquitted after a 9-week trial.

R v Beale, Bristol Crown Court (2022) - Defence of a police staff member charged with misconduct in a public office.

R v Rignall, Cardiff Crown Court (2021) Defence of a man who had pleaded guilty to breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order. Following a successful application to vacate his guilty plea and legal argument, the prosecution offered no evidence.

R v C, Cardiff Crown Court (2021) - Martha was instructed as junior defence counsel led by Susan Ferrier in a case involving allegations of historic child sexual abuse. The case involved review of a significant amount of material. After trial, the defendant was acquitted on all counts.

R v Badman, Newport Crown Court (2020) - Defending in a trial involving allegations of domestic violence. The defendant was charged with false imprisonment by holding his girlfriend hostage at his home. During this time, he was alleged to have made threats to kill, assaulted her and sprayed her in the face with CS gas. The defendant was also charged with perverting the course of justice. 


Independent Counsel -  Martha has been instructed on a number of occasions to act as Independent Counsel to conduct extensive reviews and advise on matters of legal professional privilege. She has been instructed by the City of Bristol Council, Trading Standards (City of York Council) and Newport Council.

Operation B, Reading Crown Court (2021) - Instructed as disclosure junior by West Berkshire District Council in a case involving alleged advance fee frauds in connection with the resale of timeshares. The frauds were investigated by Trading Standards and alleged to have been executed by an organised crime group with members in both the UK and Spain.

West Berkshire District Council (2020 - 2021) - Alongside her practice, Martha was instructed to work on secondment. She was involved at all stages, from pre-charge advice to hearings in Court. Martha has experience in prosecutions for a wide variety of offences including those under The Licensing Act 2003, The Housing Act 2004, The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015, the Food Hygiene Regulations (in both England and Wales), The Animal Health Act 1981, The Education Act 1996 and Taxi Licensing offences.

R (The City of York) v BMM and AMM, Leeds Crown Court (2020)Martha was led by Christopher Rees in defending the first defendant. The defendants were charged with fraudulent trading and an offence contrary to the Consumer Protection and Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. The case required consideration of over 35,000 pages of evidence served by the prosecution and involved legal argument relating to the power of the prosecuting authority to issue proceedings.


JB, Swansea Coroners' Court (2021 - ongoing) - Instructed to represent a care home nurse at an inquest.

DW, Gwent Coroners' Court (2022) Represented a care worker at an inquest into the death of a resident at a care home.

TO, Pontypridd Coroners' Court (2021 - ongoing) - Instructed to represent an employee at an inquest (with a jury) into the death of an apprentice at work.

AB, Pontypridd Coroners' Court (2022) - Martha was instructed to represent an employee at an inquest (with a jury) into the death of another employee at a work. 


SW, Bristol Coroners' Court (2020)Represented a senior nurse at an inquest into the death of a care home resident.

Martha Smith-Higgins



General crime

Regulatory law



Grade 3 CPS Prosecutor

CPS Serious Crime Panel Advocate - Level 2

Member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple

Member of the Criminal Bar Association

Middle Temple Wales Circuit Society Committee Member


LLB Law, Cardiff University (2017)

Jules Thorn BPTC Scholarship (Middle Temple 2017)

BPTC (Outstanding) Cardiff University (2018)

Certificate of Honour (Middle Temple 2018)

For any enquiries, please contact the clerking team:


Phone: 02920 23 2032

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