See also

Practice Groups

  • Family

Areas of Expertise

  • Family
Emma Southern

Emma Southern

Call 2006

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Emma is an experienced family law barrister, who advises and represents clients in all aspects of family law with a particular emphasis on cases involving children. Emma regularly appears in complex public and private children matters representing local authorities, children (through their Guardian), parents and extended family members, including grandparents.

Emma has experience in cases at all court junctures from First Appointment to Final Hearing. Such cases have involved:

  • emergency contested hearings (EPO, ICO, interim residence and contact)
  • placement applications and applications to revoke placement orders
  • supsected NAI, related risk assessments, fact finds
  • chronic neglect
  • sexual abuse including rape and incest
  • violence, threats to kill, domestic abuse, injunctions
  • drug and/or alcohol addiction
  • s38(6) applications
  • complex DNA evidence including in respect of monozygotic twins
  • implacable hostility and change of residence
  • removal from the jurisdicution and internal relocation and contact arrangments
  • Brussels II Revised and related transfer between Member States issues (Article 15)
  • varierty of experts

Emma has worked with a broad spectrum of clients including those who have mental health, learning disability and resulting capacity issues which have on occassions necessitated instructions via the Official Solicitor.

Emma also receives instructions concerning ancillary relief, divorce and claims under the Trusts of Land and Trustees Act 1996. She has experience of FDAs, FDRs and final hearings on ancillary relief matters.

Emma also has experience in Education law and has represented clients at SENDIST.

Direct Public Access

Emma accepts instructions on a direct public access basis.

Recent notable cases include

18 day Fact Find hearing in the High Court, led by Paul Storey QC regarding allegations of serious sexual abuse, incest and rape during which the complainant child gave evidence and was cross-examined. Client had a learning disability and Communicourt were engaged to interpret throughout. Complex DNA evidence in respect of monozygotic twins explored (2016)


“Emma is very personable and highly skilled in her area of practice.  She has an acutely keen eye for detail, is always well prepared, her written work is of exceptional quality and she has a sound knowledge of the law.  Emma has tremendous client care skills, and is a real pleasure to work with whilst always fighting hard for her clients.  She works incredibly well with both instructing solicitors and opposing advocates, and is highly regarded by all concerned.  She is the whole package” (2016)

See also

Practice Groups

  • Family

Areas of Expertise

  • Family

Academic Qualifications

LLB (Hons) University of Bristol

Professional Qualifications and Appointments

  • Member of the Western Circuit
  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Denning Society