Emily James

Year of Call: 1999

Practice Overview

Emily is a specialist family law leading junior who acts in a wide range of complex and sensitive cases relating to private and public law children. She regularly appears in the High Court and has acted in a number of very significant cases in the Court of Appeal.

Emily is Directory Ranked as a Leading Junior. She has a loyal following of excellent solicitors, many of whom are top ranked, with whom she works closely.

  • Children (Private Law)

    In private children law Emily's practice includes especially complex cases which require separate representation of children or involve domestic abuse and/or parental alienation. Emily has a particular interest in the application of Practice Direction 12J to cases which involve allegations of domestic abuse, including coercive or controlling behaviour as well as national and international relocation.

    Emily's work in Family Law Act proceedings including representing those seeking or responding to applications for injunctive relief or occupation orders relating to the family home.

    Emily is frequently instructed on behalf of vulnerable adults or children and is particularly sensitive to clients with learning disabilities, special needs or mental heath difficulties. She has frequently been instructed to act through the Official Solicitor when a client lacks litigation capacity.

  • Children (Public Law)

    In public Law matters Emily's work involves care, placement and adoption proceedings acting on behalf of guardians, parents, other family members and local authorities. Emily’s cases often involve non accidental injury or death, sexual abuse or fabricated and induced illness.

    Emily has a particular interest and specialism in Human Rights and has repeatedly secured Declarations and Damages on behalf of parents and children.

  • International Family Law

    Emily's work often involves an international element such as international child abduction or issues around inherent jurisdiction & wardship.

  • Notable Cases

    B (A Child) (care proceedings) [2018) EWCA Civ 20

    H (A Child – Hair Strand Testing) [2017] EWEFC 64

    Re T (a Child) (Early Permanence Placement) [2015] EWCA Civ 983

    Adoption – early permanent placement, child placed with prospective adopters at birth. Care plan altered to SGO in favour of paternal grandparents. Whether the adopters ought to have been joined to the proceedings, whether the adopters should have been granted leave to apply for an adoption order

    Re SSM (A Child) [2015] EWHC 327 (Fam)

    Re R (a Child) (2014) EWCA Civ 1625
    Appeal by mother following care and placement orders. Consideration by the President of wider implications of Re B-S and the post Re B-S ‘landscape’.

  • What the Directories Say

    Fully invested in every case. She knows every page of the brief, every nuance of the case and can predict all the avenues the case might take.’ Legal 500, 2022

    'Is tenacious, very well-prepared and you really feel that she cares about the client and the case. Emily's advice is drawn from her significant experience in children law and you know you are benefitting from real wisdom when you hear her views' Legal 500, 2021

    She is hugely experienced; commands gravitas with client and judge; is straightforward and manages expectations well.’ Legal 500, 2020

Legal 500

Leading Junior

2022