As the day approaches for silk interviews, Billy hands Martha a juicy case to impress the selection panel. Her client: CPS (the Crown Prosecution Service). Her assignment: secure an attempted murder conviction against a young schoolteacher who severely beat a student. Martha thinks that justice would be better served by a lesser charge of unintentional GBH (grievous bodily harm). But CPS disagrees.
Meanwhile, Nick’s latest case is a drunk driving hearing, in which he aims to get a suspended sentence for his client. Martha preps Nick on the standard arguments for mitigation, but he loses his cheat sheet. After a disastrous start, he rises to the occasion and wins mercy for the hapless driver.
Back at the attempted murder trial, Martha is scoring point after point against the defendant. “I’m going to get him burnt at the stake at this rate,” she mutters, disgusted with herself and with fellow chambers member Noah Ziegler for failing to mount an effective defense for the accused. Noticing inconsistencies in witness testimony, she pursues a theory of the crime that brilliantly explains the teacher’s outburst, prompting the jury to return a mixed verdict: not guilty for attempted murder but guilty for the lesser crime of GBH—exactly the result Martha had wanted to pursue from the start. CPS is furious with her for undermining the case and cuts off her chambers from further prosecution work.
Martha’s next trial is the biggest of her career, the murder of a crown court judge during a burglary. Her client is none other than Mark Draper, whom she previously got acquitted on a morals charge. Mark claims he had to defend himself when the judge went “mental” during the break-in, but there is no evidence that the judge attacked Mark. Mark’s codefendant is his girlfriend, Emma, who he says handed him the murder weapon: a knife. But Martha discovers that Mark is protecting Emma, the real killer, who stabbed the judge as he was clubbing Mark with a golf iron. The judge’s wife hid the club before police investigators arrived, fearing it would aid the intruders’ defense. It further develops that the judge had been paying hush money to Mark to keep him quiet about his son’s sexual liaisons with Mark. These events plant enough doubts in the jury that Mark and Emma are convicted for burglary only, not for attempted murder.
Outside of court, Martha is accosted by her former client Gary Rush. Agitated that Martha doesn’t have time to represent him in his latest brush with the law, he attacks her causing her to miscarry.
Another drama unfolds as Nick and Niamh are thrown into a moot court competition—a bake-off—to determine which of the two will stay on at chambers. Each has five minutes to study a brief before presenting a lawyerly argument to the members of chambers. Secretly, Clive has given Niamh an advanced look at the brief, allowing her to make a more studied, less emotional presentation than Nick. Guilt-ridden, she returns to confess, but Clive deftly stops her.
Before a vote can be taken, Billy reveals Kate’s brewing coup to set up separate chambers with disaffected members, headed by Clive, who is expecting to get silk. Billy breaks the news that Clive has been turned down for silk (perhaps thanks to Billy, who has covertly sabotaged his chances), while Martha has won the prize. Martha’s first act is to quell the bitter feud so they can all get on with their next cases.