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Emma is a specialist criminal practitioner.

She is regularly instructed as both leading and led junior counsel in trials of a high profile, complex and sensitive nature. She has extensive experience of acting in cases involving serious sexual offences, homicide, drug trafficking and fraud. Emma also advises upon criminal appeals where she did not act at first instance and in Judicial Review proceedings.

Throughout her practice Emma has developed a loyal following amongst solicitors due to her meticulous approach to law and case preparation and her reputation for outstanding client-care. She is extremely skilled in dealing with vulnerable and mentally disordered clients and is experienced in conducting fitness to plead cases.

In 2012 Emma was appointed as a criminal Recorder of the Crown Court and sits in London and the South-East.  Emma is qualified to accept direct access instructions. She appears as a ranked barrister in Chambers and Partners.

Serious Criminal Offences


Emma has a particular expertise in the increasingly complex law relating to sexual offences, including allegations of historic abuse, applications to admit previous sexual conduct, bad character, third-party disclosure and sentence. She has extensive experience in cases involving the use of special measures including intermediaries.

  • R v EB – Emma is currently representing an eighty-six year old defendant alleged to have sexually abused four of his biological children. The allegations date back to the early 1970s.
  • R v PD – Emma represented a defendant charged with systematic sexual abuse within the care system during the 1970s. The case gave rise to complex legal issues relating to abuse of process and the admissibility of previous convictions.
  • R v TT – The defendant, who was charged with child sex offences, was assaulted and rendered unfit to plead. Emma has been appointed by the Court to represent the defendant in the fitness to plead proceedings.
  • R v AO – Emma acted for a defendant, who appeared before the Central Criminal Court, indicted with eight other defendants with offences of rape. Disclosure requests led to the discovery of the complaint's archived Twitter account which substantially undermined the case and caused the prosecution to offer no evidence.
  • R v AG  - Emma was instructed to represent a fourteen year old defendant charged with the gang rape of a twelve year old school friend.  The defendant transferred his representation after having made admissions against interest in his police interview.  The proceedings were stayed as an abuse of process due to serious failings in the police investigation. 
  • R v AT - The defendant was charged with multiple counts of rape, sustained domestic violence and witness intimidation.  The complainant was an exceptionally vulnerable individual who suffered from mental health issues. The defendant was acquitted of all counts after a contested trial. 
  • R v SP - Emma, led by Queen's Counsel, represented a defendant charged as a serial rapist. The offending persisted for in excess of a decade against woman associated with the sex industry. The defendant had been tried and acquitted of two previous allegations of rape. The case involved complex legal issues relating to joinder and severance and the admissibility of previous acquittals.


For more than a decade Emma has been instructed in homicide cases, including murder, attempted murder, manslaughter and death by dangerous driving.  Through this work she has developed extensive forensic skills in dealing with a range of expert evidence.

  • R v LG – Emma, led by Orlando Pownall QC, represented a female defendant in a high profile 'honey trap' murder. After a lengthy trial, involving conflicting defence cases, the defendant was acquitted of murder.
  • R v KF - Emma was privately instructed to defend a senior civil servant charged with causing the death of an elderly man by dangerous driving.  In what proved to be an extremely sensitive and emotionally-charged case, the defendant was acquitted after trial. 
  • R v ZM - Emma acted alone in this case of attempted murder at the Central Criminal Court, in which the defendant stabbed an alleged intruder multiple times.  After substantial legal argument concerning disclosure of intelligence material and non-defendant bad character applications, the prosecution accepted a plea to the offence of unlawful wounding. The defendant received a suspended sentence. 
  • R v PA - This case involved a single allegation of parricide in which Emma was led by Andrew Campbell-Tiech QC.  There was a multitude of eye-witness evidence and the case involved complex pathological and toxicological expert evidence. The defendant was acquitted of murder.
  • R v GG - Emma, led Queen's Counsel, was instructed to represent a defendant charged with murder and arson with intent to endanger life. This case required the extensive cross-examination and calling of multiple expert witnesses. The defendant was acquitted of murder.
Regulatory and Financial Crime

Emma’s practice has, for more than fifteen years, encompassed the full range of “white-collar” offences, from complex fraud through to regulatory breaches.

  • R v PA – Emma is currently instructed to advise upon pre-charge restraint proceedings.
  • R v LC – Emma is currently instructed to act in a multi- handed company fraud.
  • R v MG - Emma was instructed to defend a complex trading standards prosecution alleging fraud and malpractice under the Companies Act 2000 and Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
  • R V H - Emma defended in a multi-million pound boiler-room investor fraud. The case had an international dimension and involved multiple defendants.
General Crime
  • R v T - Emma was instructed in the first ever Judge-only criminal trial under the 2003 Criminal Justice Act at first instance and on appeal. This case involved multiple defendants alleged to have perpetrated a high value armed-robbery at Heathrow Airport.  The case raised numerous novel and complex matters of law relating to disclosure, PII and trial procedure. Emma’s client was the only defendant to be acquitted of any charges. 
  • R v MH – Prosecuted by Queen's Counsel and Junior Counsel, Emma acted for a defendant alleged to have assisted the notorious killer, Dale Cregan. After repeated disclosure applications, during the course of the trial, material was exposed which caused the prosecution to offer no further evidence.
  • R v ND – Emma represented one of seven defendants alleged to have participated in a series of armed robberies at betting shops involving inside assistance. After a seven week trial her client was found not guilty.
Judicial Review
  • R. (on the application of Taffs) v Chelmsford Crown Court [2014] EWCH 899 (Admin) - Emma acted for the Claimant whose convictions for benefit fraud were quashed due to the unlawful findings of the Crown Court.
  • R. (on application of James) v Tower Bridge Magistrates’ Court [2009] EWHC 150 - Emma successfully reviewed a decision of the Magistrates Court to try an unrepresented defendant in his absence after his legal representative withdrew at the commencement of the trial.
  • R. (on the application of Morsby) v Tower Bridge Magistrates’ Court [2008] 172 J.P. 155 - Emma was instructed to challenge the refusal of a District Judge to set aside a conviction entered in the defendant’s absence. The application to rescind the conviction was granted.