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Emma Fitzsimons

  • Call: 2011


Emma joined chambers in October 2016 following completion of her pupillage under the supervision of Mark Symes and James Scobie QC. She gained valuable advocacy experience in the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts, as well at the First-tier and Upper Tribunal.

She is keen to pursue a broad public law and human rights practice, building on her experience as a legal specialist in the House of Commons and her time at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland, as well as developing her existing immigration practice. Her background in international law assists in making well-supported human rights based arguments, particularly in international protection cases.

During pupillage, she assisted Mark Symes in Khaled v Secretary of State No 1 [2016] EWHC 857 (Admin), a judicial review test case challenging Dublin III removals to Bulgaria. The case raised complex public law and human rights arguments about reception conditions on return, non-refoulement and unlawful detention.

She regularly appears in the Asylum and Immigration Chamber and has experience representing vulnerable clients, including unaccompanied minors, victims of domestic and sexual violence, and former immigration detainees.

Emma welcomes pro bono instructions.

Recent cases

RK v SSHD [2016] Birmingham Upper Tribunal
Pro Bono Fresh Claim Permission Hearing for Destitute Failed Asylum Seeker on sexual orientation grounds. Successfully resisted application for costs.

MJ v SSHD [2016] Newport IAC
Successful asylum appeal for 15 year old unaccompanied Afghan minor.

CA v SSHD [2016] Newport IAC
Successful asylum and human rights appeal for vulnerable single mother returning to Nigeria with three children, raising s 55 BICA and Article 8 ECHR outside the Rules.

MH v SSHD [2016] Newport IAC
Successful asylum appeal for torture victim, Uganda. Client was acutely vulnerable.

MN v SSHD [2016] Newport IAC
Successful asylum appeal for religious minority, Iran.

MD v SSHD [2016] Birmingham IAC
Successful bail application for immigration detainee with previous convictions for attempted murder and rape, and dispute over competence for accommodation between Home Office and Scottish agencies.


Before coming to the Bar, Emma worked at the House of Commons as a legal specialist, advising select committees during their legislative inquiries. She authored five Parliamentary reports, and assisted the Joint Committee on Human Rights in its 2010/11 Report on the UK’s Compliance with decisions of the ECtHR.

Whilst at the House of Commons Scrutiny Unit, she was seconded to the Office of Speaker’s Counsel. She advised on parliamentary privilege, contract, crime, employment and tort law, and had responsibility for the handling of employment law litigation.

Emma also completed an internship in the Legal Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, during which she worked on an international agreement between the UK and Ireland, ECtHR cases, Ireland’s compliance with international humanitarian law and law of the sea. She also undertook extensive work on the preparation of a draft bill, implementing the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

In addition, Emma has volunteered at the National Centre for Domestic Violence, the Big Voice London project, Free Legal Advice Centres (Ireland), The Immigrant Council of Ireland, Bail for Immigration Detainees and the Bar Pro Bono Unit.


  • Bar Council Law Reform Essay Prize 2015
  • Finalist, European Court of Human Rights Mooting Competition 2014
  • Dean’s Roll of Honour, Trinity College Dublin 2014
  • Asbury Scholarship, Middle Temple 2010
  • McFarlow Bursary, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge 2009
  • Winner, Lovells Land Law Moot 2008