Emily Wilsdon

Year of call:
2011
Email:
emily.wilsdon@39essex.com

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“Emily is an exceptionally bright barrister who seems to take even the most knotty of instructions in her stride. The speed with which she can unpick tortuous legal problems is highly impressive. A strong, confident barrister – definitely one to watch.”
The Legal 500 2023

Emily practices in administrative and public law, inquiries and inquests, and commercial and construction.

Within commercial and construction disputes she has experience of arbitration, shipping disputes, construction adjudication and banking fraud. She is currently instructed as a member of the legal team from 39 Essex Chambers offering legal advice and support to the Foskett Panel. Further information is available online here: www.foskettpanel.com.

An experienced public lawyer, she acts for claimants, government and public bodies across all areas of public law. She regularly appears in a wide range of courts and tribunals, including the High Court and Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC). She is a member of the Attorney General’s B Panel.

She represents the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and the Home Office in the Brook House Inquiry. She advises and represents a range of interested parties at inquests, including Article 2 inquests with a jury. She is ranked in Legal 500 2023 as a Leading Junior in Inquests and Inquiries.

Administrative and Public


Emily has significant experience in a broad range of administrative and public law matters, and acts both for and against the government in judicial review proceedings, claims against public bodies and other proceedings with a public law element. She also acts in a range of national security cases before the High Court, Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), the Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission (POAC) and the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT). She advises across a wide range of areas including unlawful detention, curfews, trafficking, asylum accommodation, sanctions, consultation, and judicial reviews against professional bodies.

Cases of note

  • Singh v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] SN/93/2020 – A review of a refusal of a naturalisation application, because of the applicant’s involvement in a proscribed organisation.
    Judgment
  • EOG and KTT v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] EWCA Civ 307 – Linked appeals heard over three days, concerning aspects of policy about the grant of leave to remain to victims of trafficking, and the interpretation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.
    Judgment
  • Binder and others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2022] EWHC 105 (Admin) – Considered whether the Secretary of State failed to consult lawfully, via the ‘UK Disability Survey’, before publishing a National Disability Strategy.
    Judgment
  • Jalloh v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] AC 262, [2020] UKSC – The Supreme Court decided that an unlawful curfew is detention for the purposes of the tort of false imprisonment;
    Judgment
  • Kaitey v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 1861 (Admin) – Considered whether the Secretary of State has the power to place a person on bail under paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 10 to the Immigration Act 2016 in circumstances where it would be unlawful to detain them; involved core principles of statutory interpretation.
    Judgment
  • DMA & others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 3416 (Admin), [2021] 1 WLR 2374 – A systemic challenge which concerned the secretary of state’s discharge of the duty under section 4(2) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 to provide accommodation and subsistence support to eligible destitute refused asylum seekers with disabilities.
    Judgment
  • Arumugan & Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] PC/04/2019 – An appeal against the refusal to remove the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers) from the list of organisations proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000.
    Judgment

Alternative Dispute Resolution


Emily has experience within both adjudication and arbitration, both domestic and international. As an Inner Temple Pegasus Scholar, Emily gained experience working on a wide range of commercial and arbitration matters as an Associate at Al Tamimi & Co, and at the DIFC Court in Dubai. Her work included advising and drafting on matters such as disputes about jurisdiction and the enforcement of arbitral awards and issues of contract, tort, financial regulation and civil procedure.

Commercial


Emily accepts instructions in all areas of commercial law. She has experience of advising on and appearing in a range of contractual disputes and litigation involving allegations of fraud.

She is currently instructed as a member of the legal team from 39 Essex Chambers offering legal advice and support to the Foskett Panel.

As an Inner Temple Pegasus Scholar, she gained experience working on a wide range of commercial and arbitration matters as an Associate at Al Tamimi & Co, and at the DIFC Court in Dubai. Her work included advising and drafting on matters such as disputes about jurisdiction and the enforcement of arbitral awards and issues of contract, tort, financial regulation and civil procedure.

Cases of note

  • Marine Accident Investigation Branch in Ocean Prefect Shipping [2019] EWHC 3368 (Comm), [2020] Bus LR 712 – Concerned the admissibility of a Marine Accident Investigation Branch report into a private shipping arbitration.
    Judgment
  • The Foskett Panel – Advising and supporting the independent re-review panel (also known as the Foskett Panel) to reassess the direct and consequential losses suffered by victims of the fraud committed at the HBOS Impaired Assets Unit based at Reading and Bishopsgate.
    Judgment

Construction


Emily has a detailed knowledge of building regulation and policy, the construction industry, building products and the testing regime as a result of her work on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. She has experience of construction adjudication.

She is used to dealing with document heavy matters and disclosure platforms; advising on sensitive issues of disclosure and procedure; assisting witnesses from the highest level of seniority down with the drafting of witness statements; and drafting detailed submissions dealing with large amounts of evidence and both technical and sensitive topics, and engaging with large client teams in order to do so.

Cases of note

  • Grenfell Tower Inquiry – Emily represents the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (formerly MHCLG), led by Jason Beer QC.

Consultation


Emily regularly advises on and acts in cases involving the application of the principles of fair consultation, promises of consultation, and voluntary consultation.

Cases of note

  • Binder v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2022] EWHC 105 (Admin) – Considered whether the Secretary of State failed to consult lawfully, via the ‘UK Disability Survey’, before publishing a National Disability Strategy. The issues were whether the secretary of state voluntarily embarked on a consultation with the public to which the common law principles of fair consultation discussed in R v Brent London Borough Council ex parte Gunning (1985) 84 LGR 168 applied; whether there was nevertheless a duty to consult with disabled people and/or disabled people’s organisations; whether the decision not to consult was irrational; and whether there had been a breach of the public sector equality duty.
    Judgment

Equalities


Emily regularly advises and appears in cases which raise equalities issues, including the public sector equality duty. She has experience of systemic challenges to the lawfulness of policies and practices. She was appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s B Panel in May 2019.

Cases of note

  • DMA & others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 3416 (Admin) – A systemic challenge which concerned the secretary of state’s discharge of the duty under section 4(2) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 to provide accommodation and subsistence support to eligible destitute refused asylum seekers with disabilities. It considered the nature of monitoring that ought to take place, the contractual arrangements in place for the provision of accommodation and the distinction between monitoring performance under the contract and discharge of the non-delegable duty.

The court found that the home secretary was in breach of her duties under section 4(2) of the 1999 Act and section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 in failing to provide accommodation to the claimants within a reasonable period of time and in failing properly to monitor the provision of accommodation.

The court also found that operating a system which for cases with specific needs was unlikely to provide appropriate accommodation within the period set by guidance placed severely disabled people at an unfair disadvantage, and that the home secretary was in breach of the public sector equality duty in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 in failing to monitor the provision of section 4(2) accommodation to individuals who had a disability.
Judgment

Human Rights and Civil Liberties


Emily acts in a broad range of areas involving civil liberties and human rights. She has a particular expertise in deprivation of liberty, false imprisonment in tort, and unlawful detention. She advises and acts in a range of cases, including those relating to curfews, bail, immigration detention and imprisonment.

Cases of note

  • Jalloh v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] AC 262, [2020] UKSC 4 – Considered the meaning of imprisonment at common law and whether it should, or should not, be aligned with the concept of deprivation of liberty in article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The Supreme Court decided that an unlawful curfew is detention for the purposes of the tort of false imprisonment. Emily was instructed in this case in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, as well as in a range of related cases including Lupepe [2017] EWHC 2690 (Admin).
    Judgment
  • Kaitey v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC Civ 1875 – Considered whether the secretary of state has the power to place a person on bail under paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 10 to the Immigration Act 2016 in circumstances where it would be unlawful to detain them; involved core principles of statutory interpretation.
    Judgment

Immigration and Business Immigration


Emily has significant experience in all areas of immigration law, including the application of the Immigration Rules and a wide range of policies, and regularly acts in applications for judicial review in the Upper Tribunal (Asylum and Immigration) and the High Court. She is experienced in assisting individuals with applications and submissions, particularly within business immigration and applications outside the Immigration Rules.

Inquiries


Emily has a deep knowledge of inquiries law and practice covering all stages of a public inquiry, having been instructed for core participants in relation to a range of inquiries over a number of years, including the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, the Brook House Inquiry, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the Leveson Inquiry, and the Undercover Policing Inquiry. She is ranked in Legal 500 2023 as a Leading Junior in Inquests and Inquiries.

Cases of note

  • Grenfell Tower Inquiry – Emily represents the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (formerly MHCLG), led by Jason Beer QC, in the public inquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower on the night of 14 June 2017.
  • Brook House Inquiry – Emily represents the Home Office in this inquiry which is investigating the decisions, actions and circumstances surrounding the mistreatment of individuals who were detained at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre shown in the BBC Panorama programme “Under-Cover: Britain’s Immigration Secrets”.

Inquests


Emily regularly advises and represents a range of interested parties at inquests, including bereaved families and public bodies. She is ranked in Legal 500 2023 as a Leading Junior in Inquests and Inquiries.  She specialises in Article 2 inquests with a jury. She has particular expertise in deaths in custody and inquests with complex medical issues.

She has recently represented interested parties in a week-long jury inquest into a death in HMP Swansea; an inquest into a death in custody at HMP Woodhill related to the use of illicit drugs including new psychoactive substances (commonly known as spice); an inquest with complex medical issues arising from a deep vein thrombosis (which included detailed cross examination of the hospital consultant); and an inquest regarding the death of a child in a road traffic incident.

Public International Law


Emily regularly advises on and acts in domestic cases involving the interpretation of international law, including the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.

Regulatory & Disciplinary


Emily is instructed both by individuals and regulators in relation to professional misconduct proceedings. Recent cases include serious allegations of sexual misconduct, and proceedings before the Teaching Regulation Agency, and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Recommendations


“Emily is an exceptionally bright barrister who seems to take even the most knotty of instructions in her stride. The speed with which she can unpick tortuous legal problems is highly impressive. A strong, confident barrister – definitely one to watch.” The Legal 500 2023

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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