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Emily Formby KC

She is very good, very intellectual and has a very warm and engaging character. She is extraordinarily good with experts.” Chambers and Partners 2024

“Emily is always measured and has an exceptionally thorough approach. Where Emily is involved, a client’s case is stronger for it.” Legal 500, 2023

Emily, ranked for over 20 years in the Directories and nominated for Legal 500 Clinical Negligence Silk of the Year in 2023, is renowned for her extensive personal injury and clinical negligence practice and is involved with the most complex cases of the highest value. She has wide experience acting for both claimant and defendant in all types of claims, both public and private, with clients appreciating her ability to think cases through in the round.

She is adept at absorbing and understanding complicated clinical and factual issues which she subjects to an incisive forensic legal analysis.  Praised for her keen intellect and ability to work with experts, she is also well known for her warm manner and ability to involve and engage her clients in the litigation process.

Her work often overlaps disciplines – thus she can be instructed in an Inquest at an early stage and then advise and lead on any subsequent claim.  She has extensive Inquest experience including Jury and Article 2 Inquests.  She also works in related areas such as Court of Protection and has particular expertise in Fatal Accident Act claims, multiple causation claims and has long been instructed in numerous bicycle accidents.  She co-hosts Wheel Life – a podcast looking at legal issues affecting vulnerable road users.

She is a CEDR qualified mediator and a Recorder sitting in the Crown and County Court for more than 10 years. She is Vice Chair of the Personal Injuries Bar Association (PIBA) and has sat on the Bar Council as PIBA representative.

Areas of expertise

Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury

“She is very determined, committed, robust and empathetic." Chambers and Partners 2022

"She has incredible forensic skills, great attention to detail and patience in the face of all sorts of obstacles." Chambers and Partners 2022

“Emily cuts to the issues and is sensible and pragmatic.” The Legal 500 2021

Emily is instructed in the full range of clinical negligence and personal injury cases, and is always happy to speak about prospective instructions to see where she can help. Specialising in high value and catastrophic claims, she is long experienced in managing claims so as to cut quickly to the heart of the issue, she is adept at managing large multi-personnel and expert conferences as well as remaining empathetic and attuned to the fine detail of any case. Able to master a wealth of complex forensic and clinical detail, Emily can analyse cases so as to focus on the key issues. Conscious of the human element inherent in injury work, Emily strives to provide the best outcome possible for those for whom she is working and is imaginative and creative in her approach to team work. Formidable and fierce when required, Emily can lead but is not afraid to listen. Her persuasive advocacy wins plaudits and brings success but her compassion and humanity is never hidden. She has growing recognition for her work in fatal accident claims. 

Cases of note

  • Acting for the claimant where failure to bring mother to early assisted delivery led to significant injuries for mother and baby.
  • Representing the claimant where a doctor had been struck off for inappropriate surgery.
  • Acting for defendant where claimant alleged failure to admit to hospital let to suicide attempt
  • Acting for the claimant in a complex claim. Delayed diagnosis of cerebral bleed leading to significant but subtle permanent symptoms. Complex causation issues.
  • Acted for claimant where failure to monitor baby at birth led to avoidable oxygen starvation and injury.
  • Acting for claimant where failure to administer and monitor anti-coagulation treatment led to undiagnosed clotting and death.

Employers Liability

Emily is instructed in high-value employer liability claims ranging from stress at work and bullying issues to accidents in the workplace, including schools, prisons, hospitals and more usual office claims.

Cases of note

Alleged injury to worker due to lifting and threading heavy machinery. After fully fought trial, claimant lost claim. Emily represented the defendant employer.


Often highly complicated and contested cases where emotions run high, Emily has a wide ranging and broad inquest practice including many years of experience with jury inquests. She has represented government departments, particularly the prison service and many parties in a large number of suicide cases. She works with clients who have fatal accidents and represents them at the inquest before moving into the damages claim, being particularly experienced in accidents involving cyclists. In the clinical negligence sphere, she represents doctors and patients when there is an investigation into how death arose and is fully conversant with article 2 of the Human Rights Act and human rights arguments and the interplay of European and domestic law. She represents those in care homes, particularly vulnerable adults, and has also been involved in a number of health and safety inquests. An adjunct to her inquest work is the number of fatal accident claims that follow.

Cases of note

  • Acting for family where failure to admit or react to deceased’s condition led to completed suicide. 
  • Acting for mother where failure to monitor baby at, during and after birth led to avoidable death.
  • Acting for hospital where alleged failure to monitor and admit patient led to death.
  • Acting for family raising concerns over lack of access to primary care leading to developing avoidable conditions in vulnerable adult living in residential care leading to avoidable death.

Animal Claims

Emily has animal claims experience, in particular with dogs causing accidents by knocking people over and causing injury in public places, animals causing claimants to fall off bikes and also accidents involving horses in public spaces including road traffic accidents.

Accidents involving animals are often complicated and poorly understood. From horses in the New Forest to dog bites and incidents in public parks, Emily understands the particular elements of animal claims and all that they can entail.

Her extensive injury practice ensures she is also ideally placed to advise on and continue any damages claim that may arise.

Road Traffic

Emily has particular expertise in road traffic accident claims. She has long worked in cycling claims and has an unparalleled experience in such cases ranging from accidents involving pot holes to the most catastrophic incidents involving bicycles and HGVs in conflict, multi-vehicle incidents and a wide range of claims. She has growing recognition and expertise in the developing world of e-scooter and micromobility claims and has lectured widely on the topic. She is also the co-presented of popular podcast Wheel Life, which looks at cycling and vulnerable road users from a legal perspective.

Cases of note

  • Cyclist killed by cycling into van while exit way trapped by passing cars.
  • Cyclist involved in catastrophic road traffic accident leading to long term harm and needs.
  • Multiple vehicle accidents when deceased was struck by number of vehicles in succession.
  • Pedestrian injured when struck by car when walking on road at night.

Public Liability

From an accident perspective, Emily has been instructed in a wide range of public liability claims from incidents on the highway, accidents with rights of way/liability issues, road design, ownership, trespass, occupiers’ liability and accidents at events.

Product Liability

Accidents where products are involved from shearing of forks on a bicycle to the collapse of a bar stool chair or a product found in an apple pie are all instances of product liability claims where Emily has been involved.

She also has experience in complicated claims looking at the failure of mechanical items leading to catastrophic accidents from helicopters to cars.


Injuries in contact sport and accidents involved bicycles are particular areas of claim where Emily has considerable experience.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

A CEDR qualified Mediator, Emily is able to bring significant ‘coal face’ experience as an injury litigator to her alternative dispute resolution work.

Her mediation training also assists her in all forms of dispute resolution when she is representing one of the parties. Instructed by all parties, Emily has extensive experience and a track record of success in all forms of ADR, where joint settlement meetings (JSMs) form a bedrock of her litigation practice.

Her role sitting as a Crown and County Court judge means she is able to bring her judicial training to bear on all aspects of ADR. She is used to balancing needs, listening to argument, taking an objective overview and managing matters with calm authority, thereby assisting the parties to reach a conclusion that is satisfactory to all concerned.

Emily is delighted to be one of the founder members of the 39 Essex Chambers ADR panel for fixed-fee arbitrations and adjudications.


Personal Injury

  • “Emily is thoughtful and thorough in her approach to cases, she is able to cut through complex facts to identify key legal arguments.” Legal 500 2024
  • "She is very good, very intellectual and has a very warm and engaging character. She is extraordinarily good with experts." Chambers and Partners 2024
  • "An excellent practitioner with strong client care skills and an eye for the detail." Chambers and Partners 2024
  • "She is exceptionally good at what she does and has a very detailed and brilliant advocacy style. She is friendly, pleasant and very effective." Chambers and Partners 2022
  • "She is very determined, committed, robust and empathetic." Chambers and Partners 2022
  • “An impressive junior. Very personable and thorough, as well as being a good strategist.” The Legal 500 2021
  • “She is brilliant with clients, and has a forensic mind and excellent attention to detail.” “Very pragmatic and sensible.” “Very thorough, clever and a good tactician.” Chambers and Partners 2021

Emily Formby KC brings a comprehensive understanding of technical legal and medical issues to her personal injury cases. She is well versed in catastrophic and fatal injury claims and demonstrates particular strength in cases concerning human rights law. She has developed an excellent reputation for her handling of road accident and occupational stress claims. (Chambers and Partners 2024)

Clinical Negligence

  • “Emily is an intellectual heavyweight. She is calm, inspires confidence, and is always extremely well prepared.” Legal 500 2024
  • “Her experience in the field is quite clear. She can navigate clients through very difficult circumstances.” Chambers and Partners 2024
  • "She is able to manage expectations very well and is creative in terms of resolving issues." Chambers and Partners 2024
  • "She's exceptional in terms of forensic ability in complex cases while having great interpersonal skills." Chambers and Partners 2024
  • “Shows an ability to digest very complex medical concepts and problems which is second to none.” The Legal 500 2021
  • “Has excellent attention to detail and can quickly pick apart a case to get to the key issues.” 
  • “She is very experienced in this field and well respected. Her manner with often vulnerable and traumatised clients is excellent – she is thorough but comforting.”
  • “A powerful advocate.” Chambers and Partners 2021

Emily Formby KC is an acclaimed barrister with extensive experience of clinical negligence litigation. She handles a diverse caseload on behalf of both claimants and defendants, including matters relating to birth trauma injuries, failed diagnoses and wrongful treatment. She is a qualified mediator as well as a litigator. (Chambers and Partners 2024)