Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Emma has a varied civil practice and has appeared before a range of courts and tribunals. She is qualified to practice in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and GB and has experience of disputes with cross border elements.
Employment, Discrimination & Equality Law
Emma is regularly instructed by Claimants and Respondents across the full spectrum of employment law. She has particular expertise in complex discrimination, equal pay, whistleblowing and cases requiring ground rule hearings. She is the current Vice Chair of the Employment Lawyers Group in Northern Ireland and publishes a monthly newsletter known as McIlveen on Employment. Outside of the Tribunal, Emma is also regularly instructed in employment related civil litigation as well as other cases which involve elements of discrimination/unfair treatment. She has experience of church disputes and advising charities on how to comply with equality legislation. Emma also has a keen interest in sports law and has represented a number of Irish League clubs.
Mental Health/Court of Protection
Emma has a particular interest in cases which involve mental health/capacity issues. Between 2018-2022, Emma was junior counsel on the Independent Neurology Inquiry. Alongside her inquiry experience, she has experience of cases involving neurodiverse and vulnerable clients. She has been instructed in several cases where Registered Intermediaries have been appointed to assist clients to give evidence. She has also completed the vulnerable witnesses course at IPLS. Outside of the courtroom, she serves on the committee of the Northern Ireland Medico Legal Society.
Emma has been instructed in judicial reviews for applicants and respondents. She has particular experience and interest in cases involving children with special educational needs, healthcare and disabled applicants. Emma also serves on the committee of the Public Law Bar Association.
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
2020; Called to the Bar of England & Wales
Emma is also a Door Tenant with Broadway House Chambers and has experience of appearing before Employment and Immigration Tribunals in England.
Professional Memberships & Accreditations:
Accredited Mediator, Mediation Forum Ireland
Mediator, Resolution Centre. See mediation profile here
Member of the Government Legal Services B Panel
Member of the Attorney General’s Junior Counsel Panel
Member of the Coroners Service C Panel
Independent member of Appeals Committee for Irish Football Association
Member of the Football Association’s National Serious Case Panel
Vice Chair of Employment Lawyer’s Group
Member of Northern Ireland Medico-Legal Society
Member of Immigration Bar Association
Member of Public Law Bar Association
Member of Pro Bono Committee
Outside of The Bar
Independent Assessor for the Commissioner for Public Appointments (CPANI)
Non-Executive Lay Member of the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery (NIPEC)
Independent Assessor for Diversity Mark
A selection of published cases
In the matter of an application by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland)  UKSC 27:Represented Department of Health in challenge to Northern Ireland’s abortion laws
Smyth, Re Application for Judicial Review  NICA 25: Represented the Attorney General in a challenge regarding the recognition of humanist marriages in Northern Ireland
JR76, Re Judicial Review  NIQB 103: Represented the Attorney General in a challenge to the decision of the PPS to prosecute a mother for procuring abortion pills online
Li, Re Judicial Review  NIQB 99 (2 December 2019): Represented Applicant who challenged a decision of the Secretary of State to remove him from the United Kingdom.
The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (abortion services)  NIQB 91: Instructed on behalf of the Department of Health in a case concerning the provision of abortion services in Northern Ireland.
Crowter & Ors, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for Health And Social Care  EWHC 2536 (Admin) - Represented Heidi Crowter in respect of her challenge against law which
permits abortion of children with Down’s Syndrome until birth (GB case)
SPUC Pro-life Ltd, Re Application for Judicial Review  NIQB 9 (08 February 2022)- Instructed on behalf of the Minister of Health in a case which concerned the provision of abortion services in Northern Ireland
Gruzdaite v McGranes Nurseries Ltd 17421/18IT- Successfully represented woman who was unfairly dismissed because of her pregnancy.
Rice v Dignity Funerals Limited  NIIT 02651/16IT- Made application to enable the Claimant to rely upon material obtained as a result of a covert recording. Respondent alleged this material was “without prejudice”. The Tribunal disagreed and admitted the material into evidence
Wahab v Four Seasons (No7) Limited (Discrimination - Race Breach of Contract Unfair Dismissal Other)  NIIT 24540_19IT (18 November 2021)- Successfully defended a claim of race discrimination on behalf of a Respondent
McEldowney v Randox Farming Limited trading… (Breach of Contract Unfair Dismissal)  NIIT 17412_18IT (26 March 2021)- Successfully represented Claimant in unfair dismissal case. First case in Northern Ireland where Tribunal appointed a Registered Intermediatory to assist the Claimant as a reasonable adjustment for hearing
Lendrum v Northern Excavators Ltd & Ors NIIT/2019/01863_18IT (04 April 2019): Successfully made an application to allow Claimant to amend his claim form and extend time
Percy v Lenelea Electronics Ltd (Discrimination - Age Discrimination - Disability Discrimination - Sex Unfair Dismissal)  NIIT/2021/06347_20IT: Successfully defended company facing allegations of age & disability discrimination
Represented parents of child with Down’s Syndrome who alleged disability discrimination before Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. Case report can be assessed here