Emma Dixon is a highly rated public law, regulatory and EU practitioner with especial expertise in equality law.

Emma specialises particularly in public law, equality and human rights challenges relating to charities; civil liberties and human rights; commercial JR; covid-19; discrimination and equality; end of life issues; EU law and Brexit; financial services; healthcare; NHS issues; regulatory and professional disciplinary matters; religious organisations; social security; and the regulation of broadcasting and telecommunications.

Emma is frequently instructed to appear on her own against Queen’s Counsel. She has extensive experience of advising central and local Government, having been a member of the Attorney General’s panels for a number of years earlier in her career. 

Emma’s clients include a broad range of private, third sector, and public bodies, the latter including: the Bar Standards Board, the Canal & River Trust, the Charity Commission, the Environment Agency, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the General Medical Council, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, the Human Dignity Trust, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, Ofwat, the Royal College of Pathologists, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Emma is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (‘EHRC’) A panel of counsel.

She is recognised as a leading junior in the latest editions of both the leading legal directories, Chambers UK and Legal 500, for her expertise in administrative and public, civil liberties, environment, European law and professional discipline and regulatory matters.

Experience

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Public & Regulatory

Emma acts for both claimants and defendants in a wide variety of cases, ranging from commercial and regulatory judicial review to discrimination law challenges before the Administrative Court and in specialist tribunals. She represents individual and corporate claimants and public body defendants, as well as charities and NGOs. 

Emma’s public law practice covers a wide range of areas and interests including in particular: charities; discrimination and equality; environment; financial services; freedom of information; health; police/criminal law; social security; and telecommunications.

In the regulatory law field, Emma has particular expertise in the following areas: charities (including appearances before the Charity Tribunal and Upper Tribunal both for and against the Charity Commission); environment; EU law; healthcare (including cases involving the GMC and other regulators in the field such as the PSA, as well as a number of Royal Colleges); financial services (including enforcement action by the FCA); HFEA issues; legal affairs (including cases for the BSB, the SRA and the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal); police (Emma has acted for both HMIC and the IPCC); pharmacies regulation; and internet/telecoms regulation (including cases relating to action by the ICO, Ofcom, the Phone Standards Authority and in relation to the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 and the Phone-Paid Services Authority Code of Practice under the Communications Act 2003 as well as in relation to asset-freezing in this field).

Emma has a particular interest in cases involving the NHS, including NHS funding of commercial activities and end-of-life treatment and care.

Cases

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Professional Discipline

Emma has many years’ experience acting for and against regulators, particularly in the medical/healthcare and legal professional fields. She is an Equality and Diversity Law Adviser to the Bar Standards Board as part of its 'APEX' panel of experts.

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EU & Competition

Emma is an EU law specialist with many years of experience of EU law in diverse fields including discrimination law, environmental law, mutual recognition of qualifications, freedom of establishment, free movement and State Aid. Emma has also been involved in a number of cases concerning general principles of EU law including the landmark case of Cooper v Attorney General [2011] QB 976, which considered the extent of Francovich liability on the part of a UK court. Emma has also been instructed by the UK Government in a number of ECJ cases.

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Financial Services

Emma's background as a mathematician means that she particularly enjoys undertaking financial services work and she is currently instructed in a number of financial services cases in the regulatory and public law field. She has recently undertaken work relating to: the collapse of BHS; the alleged mis-selling of structured products; and the standards applicable to financial auditors. Her work includes cases of actual or proposed regulatory action by the FCA and by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) against both financial institutions and third parties.

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Civil Liberties & Human Rights

Emma is a human rights practitioner who has appeared before the ECtHR and the ECJ as well as arguing human rights and discrimination law points before a wide variety of domestic courts and tribunals. Emma has particular breadth and depth of experience in cases involving the right to a fair trial (under Article 6 ECHR) and the right to non-discrimination in the enjoyment of human rights (under Article 14 ECHR), including in relation to:  disability discrimination and reasonable adjustments; transgender rights; religious equality; pregnancy and surrogacy; and the right to a fair trial without discrimination. She takes a particular interest in cases involving the balancing of competing rights (such as, for example, in the case of religion and sexual orientation). She is also interested in, and has written on, topics relating to the human rights implications of public health restrictions during the covid-19 pandemic (both as to restrictions in general and on the particular issue of the wearing of masks).

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Discrimination

Emma has for many years specialised in equality law, with significant expertise in all areas of this subject including challenges relating to discrimination on grounds of disability, pregnancy and surrogacy, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation and transgender status, under the Equality Act 2010 as well as under relevant provisions of EU law and under the ECHR. She takes a particular interest in new and developing areas of discrimination law, for example in relation to digital exclusion and the discriminatory impacts of the pandemic. Emma also has significant experience of mentoring junior discrimination law practitioners, including through the Advocate Discrimination Law Mentoring scheme.

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Employment

Emma has longstanding and very extensive experience of employment law and was in the early years of her practice an almost daily visitor to Employment Tribunals around the country.  She is a member of the ELAAS (Employment Lawyers Appeals Advice) scheme (providing pro bono representation to appellants in the EAT) and the ELIPS scheme (providing ‘clinic’ style pro bono advice and assistance at the Central London Employment Tribunal). She has particular expertise in discrimination law (including sex discrimination; equal pay; disability discrimination; gender reassignment and trans issues; sexual orientation (and civil partnerships); and religion or belief).

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Environment

Emma has longstanding experience of environmental law in diverse fields. She now takes a particular interest in climate change (including the extinction rebellion movement) and in the impact of Brexit upon environmental law.

Recent cases include:

Re: the UK Internal Market Bill 2019-21

Advised in relation to the environmental impacts of the UK Internal Market Bill 2019-21, and how these might be mitigated by legislative means.


Achievements

Education

BA Hons (Cantab)

Other

  • EHRC ‘A’ Panel of Counsel (appointed 2019).
  • Bar Standards Board APEX (Advisory Panel of Experts), Equality and Diversity Law Expert (appointed 2016; reappointed 2020).
  • Completed training as an End of Life Doula with Living Well Dying Well/End of Life Doula UK (2021). 
  • Recent postgraduate studies: Coroners and Inquests (taught by the former Chief Coroner), Kings College London (2019); Bioarchaeology, Birbeck, University of London (2020).   


Selected earlier reported cases

Public & Regulatory

  • R (Tate & Lyle) v Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change [2011] ACD 92
  • R (Medical Justice) v SSHD [2011] 1 WLR 2852
  • R (Age UK) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills [2010] ICR 260
  • Isle of Anglesey CC v Welsh Ministers [2010] QB 163
  • R (Buglife) v Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation [2009] Env LR 18
  • R (Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions) v CCRC [2007] 1 Cr App R 30
  • R (Da Silva) v DPP [2006] Po. L.R. 176
  • Christmas v Hampshire CC [1998] ELR 1

Civil Liberties & Human Rights

  • Green v Independent Police Complaints Commission [2016] EWHC 2078 (Admin)
  • Human Dignity Trust v Charity Commission [2015] WTLR 789
  • President of the Methodist Conference v Preston [2013] ICR 833, [2013] UKSC 29 (Supreme Court)
  • R (Age UK) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills [2010] ICR 260
  • R (Garnham & Harrison) v Secretary of State for Health (2009) 12 CCL Rep 355, [2009] ACD 61
  • Kay v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2008] 1 WLR 2723
  • R (Director of Revenue and Customs Prosecutions) v CCRC [2007] 1 Cr App R 30
  • R (Da Silva) v DPP [2006] Po. L.R. 176

EU & Competition

  • R (ClientEarth) v Secretary of State [2015] 1 CMLR 55 (ECJ); [2015] PTSR 909 (Supreme Court and ECJ)
  • Bollacke v Klaas & Kock (Case C-118/13) [2015] 1 CMLR 4, [2014] ICR 828, ECJ  
  • C.D. v S.T. (Case C-167/12) [2014] 3 CMLR 15, [2014] ICR D26, ECJ
  • Leth v Republic of Austria (Case C-420/11) [2013] PTSR 805, [2013] 3 CMLR 2, [2013] Env LR 26 ECJ
  • Case C-521/12 Briels v Minister van Infrastructuur en Milieu [2014] PTSR 1120, ECJ
  • Seldon v Clarkson Wright & Jakes [2012] ICR 716, [2012] 2 CMLR 50, [2012] UKSC 16
  • Case C-44/12 Kulikauskas v MacDuff Shellfish & Anr [2011] ICR 48 
  • R (Tate & Lyle) v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change [2011] ACD 92
  • Cooper v Attorney-General [2011] QB 976, [2010] 3 CMLR 28 
  • R (Downs) v DEFRA [2009] 3 CMLR 46

Discrimination

  • C.D. v S.T. (Case C-167/12) [2014] 3 CMLR 15, [2014] ICR D26, ECJ
  • Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds) v Charity Commission [2012] EqLR 1119, [2013] 1 WLR 2105, [2012] UKUT 395 (TCC) 
  • R (Tate & Lyle) v Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change [2011] ACD 92
  • R (Age UK) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills [2010] ICR 260
  • R (Garnham & Harrison) v Secretary of State for health (2009) 12 CCL Rep 355, [2009] ACD 61

Environment

  • R (ClientEarth) v Secretary of State [2015] 1 CMLR 55 (ECJ); [2015] PTSR 909 (Supreme Court and ECJ)
  • R (Tate & Lyle) v Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change [2011] ACD 92
  • Cooper v Attorney-General [2011] QB 976, [2010] 3 CMLR 28 
  • Isle of Anglesey CC v Welsh Ministers [2010] QB 163
  • R (Downs) v DEFRA [2009] 3 CMLR 46
  • R (Buglife) v Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation [2009] Env LR 18
  • Kay v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2008] 1 WLR 2723

Employment

  • President of the Methodist Conference v Preston [2013] ICR 833, [2013] UKSC 29 (Supreme Court)
  • C.D. v S.T. (Case C-167/12) [2014] 3 CMLR 15, [2014] ICR D26, ECJ 
  • Seldon v Clarkson Wright & Jakes [2012] ICR 716, [2012] 2 CMLR 50, [2012] UKSC 16
  • Case C-44/12 Kulikauskas v MacDuff Shellfish & Anr [2011] ICR 48 
  • R (Age UK) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills [2010] ICR 260

Media & Entertainment

  • Reynolds v Times Newspapers Ltd [2001] 2 AC 127 

News

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