Barrister Profile


Year of Call: 2016

Main Areas of Practice

Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Commercial Law
Employment Law


Emma is currently accepting instructions in all practice areas.

In particular, Emma has experience in employment, immigration and judicial review.

Emma has also advised on licensing matters and has successfully secured a number of Protection Orders.

Emma was recently named as one of Forbes “30 under 30” for Law and Policy in Europe for 2018.

Published Decisions:

The Secretary of State for the Home department v MA AA/12224/2015 - Successfully defended an asylum appeal before the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).

Case Ref 4127/17IT: Represented Respondents at Pre-Hearing Review.

James Richard McGerrigle v Robert Barnett, Elizabeth Barnett, Mark Barnett & Wendy Barnett (Case Ref 2869/17): Represented Claimant at Pre-Hearing Review.

Christine Duncan v DKY Hair Ltd (Case Ref:01806/17IT): Represented Claimant before Industrial Tribunal (Unfair Dismissal & Unauthorised Deduction of Wages)

In the matter of an application by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) [2018] UKSC 27: Reference by the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland pursuant to Paragraph 33 of Schedule 10 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (Abortion) (Northern Ireland): Provided research assistance and support to Department of Justice legal team.

Smyth, Laura; in re application for judicial review [2018] NICA 25: Instructed on behalf of the Attorney General for Northern Ireland

SM v Secretary of State for the Home Department 08/04/2019: Represented Appellant at hearing before First Tier Tribunal. Appellant and dependent were granted asylum


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)

Accredited Mediator, Mediation Forum Ireland

Attorney at Law, New York

Member of the Attorney General’s Junior Counsel Panel

Member of the Government Legal Services D Panel


Emma graduated top of her class from Queen’s University, Belfast with a 1st Class Honours degree in Law and Politics. During her law degree, Emma completed an internship with the Office of the Lord Chief Justice for Northern Ireland.

Following graduation from Queen’s, Emma was selected to participate in an Irish American Bar Association programme in Los Angeles. Subsequently, Emma was awarded a Kennedy scholarship to enable her to study at Harvard University. During her time there, she focused on international law, human rights and conflict resolution. Highlights of her time there include representing clients in the Refugee & Immigration Law Clinic, travelling to Jordan to assess the Syrian Refugee Crisis and managing a mock Presidential campaign.

While at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Emma represented the Institute at the International Mediation Competition in Chicago and the International Negotiation Competition in Lucerne. Emma subsequently graduated as the top Bar trainee and was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in September 2016.

I was also admitted to the New York Bar in July 2016 and called to the Bar of Ireland in October 2019.

During her pupillage, Emma gained experience in a broad range of civil work including representing the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Equality Commission, Northern Ireland Housing Executive and numerous government Departments.

Emma has also completed a number of mini pupillages with chambers in London including 4 New Square, 4 Pump Court and Blackstone Chambers.

Alongside the Bar, Emma teaches Contract Law and Rights and Accountability at Queen’s University.

In her spare time, Emma serves as an independent member on Mid & East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP).