Andrew Finlay


Andrew’s 21 years of experience as a criminal advocate has allowed him to develop particular expertise in some of the most serious criminal cases. He has built this expertise on the cornerstones of high levels of professional and lay client care, sound judgement, detailed preparation and working hard to find an innovative angle where necessary.

He is insightful, with a particular ability to advise on and manage the strategic direction of a case from an early stage, in order to secure the best outcome. He has been a registered pupil supervisor since 2010. Some of his recent notable cases include:

Sexual offences

Cases involving children

R v H: successfully defending a 16-year-old charged with rape of 14-year-old girlfriend. Analysis of telecommunication and social media evidence to secure material to assist in defence. Heightened tension due to the defendant and his family being harassed in the local community as a result of the allegation. The case required sensitive handling of a defendant and the complainant due to their respective ages, but also compassionate client care of the defendant’s family.

R v W: a teenage defendant charged with rape of child under 13. The complainant was not legally able to consent due to age. The Court of Appeal indicate that instances where custodial sentences would not be passed in such cases are “vanishingly rare”. The in-depth understanding of sentencing principals and advice from an early stage as to type of mitigation material to obtain, together with the presentation of such material secured a non-custodial sentence and a strong judicial commendation as to standard of representation.

Historic abuse

R v HH: successfully defended an elderly defendant charged with historic sexual abuse. Obtaining disclosure that undermined the prosecution case from antiquated Local Authority material, following independent research into local authority record keeping practices leading to identification of alternative perpetrator in vicinity at time of offending.

Vulnerable adults

R v S (rape):– Indictment stayed as an abuse of process (case thrown out) by establishing, through use of expert psychological and psychiatric evidence, that the defendant’s learning difficulty had caused his memory of the incident to deteriorate during the court process.

Homicide and Serious violence

R v M and M (Manslaughter): Representing a defendant after a nightclub doorman died of a ruptured pulmonary aneurysm after an altercation. Sourcing internationally renowned expert to establish that the rupture was spontaneous and not due to the defendant’s actions.

R v C (Shaken Baby Syndrome): Using evidence from multiple expert sources to establish that the injuries the prosecution used to establish evidence of shaking may have been as result of an accident, leading to no evidence being offered against defendant.

R v PH: successfully defending attempted section 18 involving issues re mechanism of offence, requiring sourcing of joint opinion from a biomechanical and textile expert to undermine the complainant’s account of being hung by her leggings.

Serious organised crime and undercover operations

R v B, Z and others, R v S, B and others: Large scale police operations in relation to supply of controlled drugs, involving undercover operatives, sensitive handling of informant based disclosure issues and detailed analysis of communication data from mobile telephones and social media accounts.

R v B: defendant hired an under-cover police officer posing as a contract killer to murder estranged wife.


Andrew has developed particular experience in regulatory work where his ability to give strategic advice from an early stage, including charging advice has been used effectively by a number of prosecuting authorities. Cases include:

HSE v SCNH (fatal accident in the workplace) successfully repelling defence expert evidence and abuse of process argument when an elderly lady was asphyxiated after being caught in a set of defective bedrails.

NHS Protect (fraudulent prescriptions) acting alone against leading counsel at trial to successfully prosecute an optician charged with issuing a large volume of fraudulent prescriptions.

Trading Standards: sales of counterfeit goods, neighbourhood/environmental offences and actions against rogue traders.

Environment Agency v RE and CTPC: (inappropriate use of chemicals on farmland).

Food Standards Agency v SB: successfully prosecuting abattoir for breaches for food safety regulations by securing guilty pleas after successfully repelling defence legal arguments.



Practice Areas

Criminal and Regulatory

Print Details


Criminal Bar Association