Emma Fenn

Year of Call: 2010

"She robustly represents her lay client and advances precisely-argued legal submissions."

Legal 500, 2020

"Unfazed in court, showing tenacity and quick thinking on her feet."

Legal 500, 2019

"Outstanding with her paperwork and case preparation, which is reinforced by her advocacy."

Legal 500, 2018

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Emma Fenn is a specialist criminal defence barrister with a particular interest in financial crime, serious violence and child abuse cases. She is regularly instructed in a wide range of criminal cases in courts across London and throughout the rest of the country.

She also conducts advisory work in relation to appeals and CCRC applications. Emma is ranked tier 3 in the Legal 500 (2018 and 2019).

Criminal Defence

Overview

Emma is a criminal defence barrister who specialises in serious criminal cases including financial crime, serious violence and "baby-shaking". Emma acts as a led junior and junior alone. She is an author of Miller on Contempt and The Disclosure Referencer and is the secretary of the Criminal Bar Association.

She also returned from two months as a Pegasus Scholar working with the Ugandan Supreme Court in March 2018. Prior to the Bar, Emma gained experience of serious cases including "baby-shaking" working for Hickman and Rose. Emma also brings her experience at the Criminal Cases Review Commission referring miscarriages of justice to the Court of Appeal to her practice.

Notable Cases

Child Abuse - Non-Accidental Injury and 'Baby Shaking'

Defendant Acquitted after challenge to medical evidence
R v JS, Isleworth Crown Court (2017)
Led by Anya Lewis in four-week baby shaking trial at Isleworth Crown Court dealing with novel medical evidence relating to fractures and brain injuries.

New medical evidence in baby shaking case leading to CCRC application
R v BS, (2018)
Application to the CCRC in relation to a murder conviction given new medical evidence available

International Child Abduction Case with novel compensation argument
R v SA, Norwich Crown Court (2016)
Child abduction case with international and cross-disciplinary elements including Brussels II and Hague Convention civil proceedings and enforcement proceedings in America and Lithuania. Prosecution tried to recover legal fees in civil proceedings via criminal compensation.

Court of Appeal quash conviction in shaken baby case
R v JS, Court of Appeal (2016)
Led by Anya Lewis. Court of Appeal quashed the conviction of a shaken baby case involving finely balanced medical evidence.

Parents exonerated after medical evidence challenged
R v Karissa Cox and Richard Carter, Guildford Crown Court (2015)
Led by Michael Turner QC in trial at Guildford Crown where parents innocent of child abuse three years after baby was removed from their care and subsequently adopted. This case was extensively reported in the press, including by The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Mirror, ITV, The Daily Mail and The Independent.

Complex medical evidence in shaken baby syndrome trial
R v JS, Isleworth Crown Court (2015)
Led by Anya Lewis in case where the Crown alleged injuries caused by baby shaking.

Foster carer acquitted after trial
R v CD, Bexley Magistrates' Court (2013)
Secured acquittal of a foster carer accused of assaulting her autistic foster son. Main prosecution witness was a social worker with no connection to the family.

Violence

Allegation of gang-related murder
R v JA, Central Criminal Court (2018)
Led by James Scobie QC. Instructed to represent young defendant charged with joint enterprise murder with a hunting knife.

Cold Case review leads to trial for historic assassination
R v TB, Blackfriars Crown Court (2017)
Led by Stephen Kamlish QC. Conspiracy to murder in historic East End gang murder where Crown alleged sophisticated planning and disposal of evidence following daytime assassination with a firearm

Determinate sentence in robbery using an imitation firearm
R v DC, Central Criminal Court (2016)
Determinate sentence in the context of an armed robbery of a cash converters using an imitation firearm

Prosecution offer no evidence after defendant shown to have alibi
R v DK, Harrow Crown Court (2017)
Case revolved around the time delay on CCTV which the defence were able to show meant that DK could not have been at the scene of an aggravated burglary

Non-custodial sentence in serious assault allegation
R v CM, Isleworth Crown Court (2016)
Non-custodial sentence imposed for allegation which began as a grievous bodily harm with intent charge

Warring Family in Violent Disorder
R v SR, Stafford Crown Court (2016) Six-week violent disorder trial involving two sides of a warring family culminating in a conviction for attempted murder for one of the members of the opposing family

Causation successfully challenged in Murder case
R v WW, St Albans Crown Court (2015) Working with Icah Peart QC in relation to manslaughter case where jury accepted punch by defendant did not cause the death

General Crime

Extensive drugs conspiracy conducted from prison across West Midlands and London
R v GH, Birmingham Crown Court
Led by Stephen Kamlish QC. Drugs conspiracy where conspiracy conducted from within the prison estate.

Multi-kilogram high purity drugs conspiracy across West Midlands and London
R v SS, Luton Crown Court (2018)
Led by Stephen Kamlish QC. Drugs conspiracy where extensive telephone analysis conducted in relation to prosecution failures to investigate

R v GC, Peterborough Crown Court (2017) Client avoids immediate prison sentence after supplying Class A drugs at the Secret Garden Party festival

Perverting allegations dropped
R v DD, Isleworth Crown Court (2016) Prosecution offer no evidence after legal argument in relation to perverting the course of justice charges

Prosecution unable to demonstrate knowledge of drugs
R v DS, Blackfriars Crown Court (2016) Prosecution offer no evidence in firearms and drugs trial after defence legal argument submitted relating to knowledge and therefore possession of drugs. Co-defending with Alex Rose

Narrow basis of sentence successfully argued
R v NM, Worcester Crown Court (2015) Defendant sentenced to limited prison term after supply of drugs at a festival in breach of suspended sentence. The case was reported here

Successful dismissal argument based as item not adapted to cause injury
R v NB, Newcastle Crown Court (2015)
Successful application to dismiss for possession of an offensive weapon on basis base of champagne glass had not been adapted to cause injury.

Simple possession plea accepted
R v LC, Isleworth Crown Court (2015)
Prosecution accepted plea to simple possession of class A drugs after representations made. This case was reported in The Daily Mail.

Successful application to dismiss after DNA found on moveable object
R v PN, Isleworth Crown Court (2013)
Successful application to dismiss where the allegation was a violent robbery in the home and the only evidence to link the defendant to the allegation was his DNA on an item of clothing found near the getaway car.

Road Traffic Offences

Drug driving
R v GH, Lowestoft Magistrates' Court (2016) Client fined after guilty plea to multiple charges of 'drug driving'

Procedural failure results in acquittal
R v IB, Wimbledon Magistrates' Court (2016)
Client acquitted after Prosecution unable to prove effective service of notice requesting driver information.

Careless Driving
R v UP, Ealing Magistrates' Court (2016)
Client acquitted of careless driving after collision with vulnerable pedestrian

Special Reasons
R v JB, Bexley Magistrates' Court (2014)
Special reasons hearing with charges of dangerous driving and drink driving where defendant received a suspended sentence despite dangerous circumstances and high reading

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Criminal Appeals

Overview

Emma conducts advisory work in relation to appeals and CCRC applications.

Notable Cases

New medical evidence in baby shaking case leading to CCRC application
R v BS, (2018)
Application to the CCRC in relation to a murder conviction given new medical evidence available

Investigating officer convicted of leaking to press leading to CCRC application
R v SI, (2017)
Application to the CCRC in relation to new evidence linked to a gang-related murder in London

Court of Appeal quash conviction in shaken baby case
R v JS, Court of Appeal (2016)
Led by Anya Lewis. Court of Appeal quashed the conviction of a shaken baby case involving finely balanced medical evidence.

Court of Appeal consider whether statistical basis for criminal benefit
R v MN and others (2017)
Court of Appeal decline to interfere with confiscation order where undercover drug purchases were used to calculate criminal benefit

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Financial Crime and Confiscation

Overview

Emma acts as a junior alone and led junior in complex fraud and confiscation matters. This has included a variety of areas of financial crime including VAT evasion, boiler room fraud, mortgage fraud and cases where property and trusts law interact with criminal proceedings.

Notable Cases

Prosecution offer no evidence after extensive disclosure failings regarding cross-border issues
R v CL Kingston Crown Court (2018)
Led by Stephen Kamlish QC. Prosecution offered no evidence in multi-million pound international cigarette smuggling and VAT evasion case after failing to comply with their disclosure duties following detailed defence submissions on abuse of process.

Crown seeks confiscation of tainted gifts
R v VK Isleworth Crown Court (2018)
Instructed in ongoing confiscation proceedings following immigration fraud where Crown seek confiscation order of in excess of £300,000 tainted gifts

Serious Crime Prevention Order application successfully opposed
R v JB Southwark Crown Court (2017)
Led by Henry Blaxland QC. Successfully resisted the imposition of a SCPO and reached a satisfactory agreement with the Crown in a complex confiscation hearing spanning two multi-million pound frauds.

Acquittal after trial of multi-count fraud indictment R v ZL Southwark Crown Court (2018)
Client acquitted of multiple counts of fraud in wide-ranging credit card frauds of high value designer clothing and accessories

Partner's beneficial interest successfully asserted
R v TL, St Albans Crown Court (2016)
Successful argument relating to partner's beneficial interest in a property resulting in extensive reduction to the available amount

Statutory Assumptions Rebutted
R v TA, Reading Crown Court (2016)
Benefit figure reduced to around £250,000 from just under £1million sought on basis of rebuttal of the statutory assumptions and successful argument relating to wife's beneficial interest in a property

Confiscation Proceedings Discharged
R v REK, Southwark Crown Court (2015)
Led by Bernard Tetlow QC. Proceedings discharged after Crown asked for a benefit figure of just under £200 million and an available amount of £7 million. The original case was reported in The Daily Mail

Novel Method of Calculating Criminal Benefit Challenged
R v SR and others, Stafford Crown Court (2015)
Ten-day confiscation hearing dealing with novel arguments relating to the use of a drugs telephone. The case was reported here. The case was subsequently argued in the Court of Appeal.

Legal Argument relating to Third Party Interests of family members
R v DC, Winchester Crown Court (2015)
Led by Bernard Tetlow QC in complex confiscation proceedings dealing with property and trusts legal argument relating to the beneficial interest in a property

Novel argument relating to obtaining pecuniary advantage
R v IA, Manchester Crown Court (2014)
Three-day confiscation hearing arguing novel point of law linked to human trafficking. This case was reported by the BBC and the Manchester Evening News.

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Protest Rights

Overview

Notable Cases

Police Misconduct / Protest Cases

Acquittal following explosive substances allegation at Buckingham Palace
R v MM, Southwark Crown Court (2017)
Client acquitted after discharging a smoke grenade on the roof of Buckingham Palace. Case raised interesting human rights argument relating to the compatibility of the reverse burden of proof with Article 6 ECHR for this type of offence

Financial penalty received after initial allegation of violent disorder
R v AJ, Southwark Crown Court (2017) AJ fined for an offence of section 4 public order after initial violent disorder charge after protest in Brixton

Half-time submissions successful in Trafalgar Square protest
R v LO, Hammersmith Magistrates' Court (2016)
Successful half time submission in relation to alleged assault on a police officer during Trafalgar Square protest

Crown accept caution in fracking protest
R v MGG, Redhill Magistrates' Court (2016)
Crown offers no evidence after caution accepted after fracking protest

Crown offers no evidence after fox-hunting protest
R v AB, Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court (2016)
Crown offers no evidence after alleged assault during a fox hunting protest

Illegal eviction assault acquittal
R v ZM, Stratford Magistrates' Court (2015)
ZM acquitted of assaulting a bailiff after protest relating to illegal evictions

Anti-ISIS protestors acquitted
R v GO and others, Hammersmith Magistrates' Court (2015)
Kurdish anti-ISIS protesters acquitted of assaulting the police after peaceful protest in Parliament Square

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Background

From April 2018 to July 2018 Emma was one of two independent special advisors to the Justice Committee's Inquiry on Disclosure of Evidence in Criminal Cases

From January to March 2018 Emma worked with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Uganda and the Chief Advisor to the Ugandan judiciary in Kampala. Emma received this Pegasus scholarship and worked closely with the University of Pepperdine in seeking to improve the criminal justice system in Uganda.

From September 2013 to June 2014, Emma worked at the Criminal Cases Review Commission during which time she investigated a number of potential miscarriages of justice and referred cases back to the Court of Appeal. Emma brings this experience to her criminal and appellate practice.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Emma worked as a paralegal at Hickman and Rose Solicitors under the supervision of Jenny Wiltshire and Ross Dixon. She was involved in a wide variety of criminal cases including serious fraud, 'baby-shaking' cases, murder, drugs. She has since spent time at Hickman and Rose on secondment in their financial crime and regulatory department.

Publications

Author of the third edition of "Miller on Contempt" published December 2017

Author of the second edition of the "Disclosure Referencer" with Tom Wainwright and Shahida Begum published December 2017

"When exoneration comes too late to keep a family together" writing with Stephen Lue of the Garden Court Family team, Legal Action Group December 2015 edition

Training and Seminars

Conferences and seminars in association with the Bar Council, CCRC, the Law Society, Garden Court Chambers and Innocence UK nationwide conference

Awards

Pegasus Scholar (2017)
Everard Ver Heyden Foundation Prize, City Law School, BVC (2009-2010)
Oxford University Press Prize for Excellence in Advocacy and Procedure, City Law School, BVC (2009-2010)
ICLR Busfield Prize, City Law School, BVC (2009-2010)
Middle Temple Certificate of Honour (2009-2010)
Middle Temple Astbury Scholarship (2009-2010)
Middle Temple Harmsworth Entrance Exhibition (2009-2010)

Latest News

Peter Wilcock QC and Emma Fenn of Garden Court secure acquittal in murder case

Peter Wilcock QC and Emma Fenn of Garden Court Chambers have secured the acquittal of a man who was accused of murdering a leading member of a county lines drug gang.

13 December 2019

Naomi Wiseman and Emma Fenn of Garden Court advising campaign to end child marriage in the UK

Naomi Wiseman of the Garden Court Chambers Family Law Team and Emma Fenn of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team are advising the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO).

25 July 2019

Commons Justice Committee releases damning report on CPS disclosure failings in criminal cases

Emma Fenn of the Garden Court Criminal Defence Team was one of two special advisers to the Committee.

20 July 2018

Acquittal of four men at Kingston Crown Court for money laundering and evasion of duty offences

Stephen Kamlish QC, Brenda Campbell QC, Jacob Bindman, Emma Fenn and Alia Mohammad represented three of the defendants.

28 June 2018

Criminal Disclosure Referencer – Second Edition now published

Criminal Disclosure Referencer, Second Edition written by Tom Wainwright, Emma Fenn and Shahida Begum has been published. 

21 December 2017

Anya Lewis and Emma Fenn secure acquittal in “Shaken Baby Syndrome” case

The defendant was represented by Anya Lewis and Emma Fenn of Garden Court Chambers.

13 February 2017

Court of Appeal quashes conviction in 'baby shaking' case

The appellant was represented by Anya Lewis and Emma Fenn of Garden Court Chambers.

10 May 2016

Garden Court wins Legal 500 crime set of the year award

The winners in these awards are chosen by the Legal 500 as a result of thousands of interviews with firms, sets and counsel.

8 October 2015

Parents found innocent of child abuse after their baby was removed and adopted

The mother was represented at court by her barristers, Michael Turner QC and Emma Fenn of Garden Court Chambers.

7 October 2015

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Education

  • Emma completed her degree in Law and French Law at Worcester College, University of Oxford. As part of her degree she completed a year-long certificate in French Law at University of Paris II Pantheon-Assas. This year involved studying and being examined in French, in subjects such as European Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law.

Professional Membership

  • Criminal Bar Association: Secretary March 2018, Executive committee 2016 onwards

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