Emma advises on all aspects of regulatory and public law, both contentious and advisory, including in respect of equality duties and human rights. This includes advice to public bodies regarding their establishment, the exercise of their functions and the defence of judicial review proceedings, regulatory appeals and other public law claims; and, also, advice to and representation of private and third sector entities in relation to the exercise of public functions and potential challenges to it. She has previously been seconded to a number of public bodies to provide advice as in-house counsel as well as acting in public law litigation in a number of Commonwealth countries. Within her broader practice, Emma specialises in education (particularly the regulation of qualifications), safeguarding and health and social care. Emma is particularly adept at advising and litigating in legally and politically dynamic contexts. She is highly experienced in liaising with sponsoring central Government departments and Parliamentary Counsel in connection with the production and passage of draft legislation through Parliament and variously drafting and commenting upon draft statutory instruments and statutory and other guidance.
Examples of Recent Work
- Advice in relation to across the full spectrum of public law duties, including general vires issues, consultation, the public sector equality duty, reasonableness, proportionality, human rights and following appropriate procedure, including in connection with actual and potential judicial review challenges and statutory appeals.
- Extensive advice in relation to the regulation of qualification awarding organisations generally (upon which Emma leads) and the imposition of Ofqual sanctions specifically.
- Advising third sector clients and providers of education and health and social care operating nationally and internationally in relation to safeguarding including devising policies and managing incidents and investigation by local authority safeguarding boards, the Care Quality Commission and the Charity Commission. This has included work in relation to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
- Advising international charities in connection with the safety and security of staff and volunteers that are deployed in high risk areas, alongside safeguarding beneficiaries.
- Conduct of Equality Act claims.
- Advice to the commissioners and providers of health and social care in relation to all aspects of regulation, particularly the innovations in the delivery of Children’s Services in connection with draft legislation.
- Advice, variously, on the establishment and/or re-formulation of public body’s functions and regulatory framework under new legislation, including strategy advice and proposal of statutory drafting.
- Advice to the National Audit Office and public sector auditors on all aspects of public law and audit law.
- Representing parties in the First Tier Tribunal in respect of challenges to various public bodies’ regulatory decisions.
- Advice on the lawfulness of, and potential challenge to, un-commenced legislation.
Qualifications and Career
- Oxford University, MA Jurisprudence (Oxon), 2002
- Legal Practice Course, 2003
- Trained at Allen & Overy LLP (variously in London and Beijing offices)
- Admitted as a solicitor in 2006
- Associate in public law groups of Allen & Overy LLP and DAC Beachcroft LLP
- Senior Associate at Bates Wells Braithwaite from 2016
- Partner at Bates Wells Braithwaite from 2017
Pro Bono, Memberships and Appointments
- Publication in numerous journals
- Frequent speaker on matters of public law and regulation at conferences and at training events
- Pro bono volunteer on the Liberty Advice Line, providing advice on human rights issues to callers
- Member of the Administrative Law Bar Association and Young Public Lawyers’ Group