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Barrister Profile

EMMA MCILVEEN

Year of Call: 2016

Main Areas of Practice

Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Commercial Law
Employment Law
Immigration

Biography

Emma has experience in public law, with particular experience in employment, immigration and judicial review. She is keen to develop her planning law practice. Emma is a member of both the Government Legal Services Panel and the Attorney General’s Junior Counsel Panel. She is also called to the Bar of Ireland and has passed the New York Bar exam. Outside of the Bar, Emma serves as an Independent Assessor for the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Northern Ireland (CPANI).

Qualifications

LL.B. Law with Politics with First Class Honours, Queen’s University, Belfast (Ranked 1st in Class)

Kennedy Scholar, Harvard University

Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Studies with Distinction (Ranked 1st in Class)

2016; Called to the Bar of NI

2016; Admitted as Attorney of Law, New York

2019; Called to the Bar of Ireland

Professional Memberships & Accreditations:

Accredited Mediator, Mediation Forum Ireland

Mediator, Resolution Centre. See mediation profile here

Member of the Government Legal Services D Panel

Member of the Attorney General’s Junior Counsel Panel

Member of Northern Ireland Medico-Legal Society

Member of Employment Lawyer’s Group

Experience

EMPLOYMENT

Emma has extensive employment law experience and has appeared in the Employment Tribunal, Court of Appeal and in front of Regulatory Panels. Emma represents both Claimants and Respondents and has acted as sole counsel in a wide range of matters including complex discrimination matters dealing with disability, age, race, pregnancy and sex discrimination. She also has experience of handling claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination by association, unfair recruitment and selection procedures, TUPE and unlawful deduction of wages. Emma has represented Claimants on behalf of the Equality Commission and successfully secured one of the highest awards for injury to feelings for pregnancy discrimination in Northern Ireland. Emma also has experience of representing vulnerable Claimants and is well versed on Galo adjustments. Emma also serves on the committee of the Employment Lawyers Group.

IMMIGRATION

Emma’s passion for immigration work started when she worked in the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic in Boston. During her time at Harvard, Emma also travelled to Jordan to conduct an assessment of the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Emma now regularly appears before the Immigration Tribunal (both Lower & Upper Tier) in Belfast. Emma provides advice and representation across all areas of immigration and asylum law. She has a wide range of experience in this area and undertakes asylum appeals, deportation appeals, EEA appeals, unlawful detention claims and complex bail applications. Emma attends events organised by the Immigration Practitioners’ Group to keep abreast of developments in this area.

JUDICIAL REVIEW

Emma has been instructed in a number of high profile judicial reviews. Indeed, Emma was instructed by the Department of Justice in relation to the challenge of Northern Ireland’s abortion laws which went to the Supreme Court. Emma was also instructed as Junior Counsel to the Attorney General in JR76 and the Humanist Marriage Case. Emma has also appeared before the High Court as sole junior counsel for leave and substantive hearings. She has particular experience of challenges involving immigration, prison, education, and health issues. Emma has also previously taught public law at Queens’ University, Belfast.

OTHER

In addition to the above, Emma has: