Emily Rayner

Call: 2009

"Exceptional and empathetic with clients. Impeccable written documents and advocacy. Always delivers - either in court, with the client for advice or even just a quick call for strategy discussions or a 999-type client or similar urgency. Calm, poised, forceful and a commanding presence."
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2022

Emily is recognised as a leading family law junior, listed in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. She specialises in all areas of family law, with an emphasis on family finance matters, and children and finance cases with an international element.

Emily read law at the University of Cambridge and University College London, she was called to the bar in 2009, undertook a successful pupillage at Harcourt Chambers and became a tenant in 2010.

In her early years of practice Emily was awarded a Pegasus Scholarship to New Zealand to undertake work in a public law litigation department and in a family law firm. She has also worked in the Law Officer’s Department of Jersey within the child protection team where she assisted with establishing a Children’s Panel for Jersey.

Emily’s busy practice now focuses on providing sound, practical advice in all aspects of domestic and international family law. She is known for her calm, persuasive advocacy which instils confidence in her clients and hits home with judges.

To instruct Emily or for more information…

Call: 020 7353 6961
Email: clerks@harcourtchambers.co.uk

Practice Areas

Emily has a particular expertise in financial proceedings arising from relationship breakdown. She advises and represents clients with assets from the very small to the substantial in all aspects of financial remedy proceedings as well as proceedings pursuant to Schedule 1 CA 1989 and TOLATA 1996. She often advises and represents clients in CMS matters and regularly provides training on the ever changing landscape of child maintenance. She has wide ranging experience of complex matters including cases involving bankruptcy, third party intervention, family trusts, businesses and international elements. Emily has previously written on the topic of nuptial agreements for the Practical Law Company and on the law of pension sharing for Westlaw.

Emily has considerable experience of cases involving internal and international relocation providing practical and realistic advice from pre-issue enquiries all the way through to contested hearings. She regularly appears in the High Court in matters relating to the international movement of children, including international child abduction (both Hague and non-convention cases), stranded spouse cases, wardship and the inherent jurisdiction.

Emily writes the case law updates in The International Family Law Journal. She has a particular interest in human rights in the family law context and family law cases involving an international element. In addition to having worked in the legal systems in New Zealand and Jersey, prior to pupillage Emily undertook human rights internships with The Carter Centre/Justice and Peace Commission in Liberia, JUSTICE and The British Institute of International and Comparative Law.

Notable International Family Law cases

V v N (Exercise of Jurisdiction Based on Nationality) [2021] EWHC 3109 (Fam)

Represented a mother in the High Court in an application for Forced Marriage Protection Orders and for her two children to be returned to the UK from Pakistan where they had been taken five years previously, initially with her consent.

ES v OS [2017] EWHC 2735 (Fam)

Emily regularly represents parties in parental disputes about where children should live and how much time they should spend with the other parent. Her cases mainly involve serious allegations made by one parent (or the child) against the other parent, including allegations of parental alienation or where contact has become intractable.

Emily frequently represents parties in injunction proceedings under the Family Law Act 1996. She volunteers on the Rights of Women telephone advice line and sits as a legal member on their Advisory Board.

Emily acts for parents, local authorities, children’s guardians and children in care proceedings involving drug and alcohol abuse, neglect, emotional harm, allegations of sexual abuse, fabricated and induced illness and serious non-accidental injuries including child fatalities. She has experience of forced marriage protection orders, secure accommodation orders and deprivation of liberty orders. She is forensic and meticulous in her preparation and advocacy but combines this with a practical and compassionate approach required when dealing with and representing vulnerable clients.

Notable Public Law Children cases

Re L - R [2013] EWCA Civ 1129

Emily is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public under the Direct Access Scheme in appropriate circumstances.


What the directories say

"Her advocacy is calm, focussed and extremely effective with judges."
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2022

"She is good at analysing and digesting instructions, has a good empathetic manner with clients and is able to present her argument in court."
Chambers UK Bar 2021

‘A wonderful advocate who is always immaculately prepared and injects a much-needed level of reassuring calm in any matter.’ ‘She is a rising star in the family field and is very adept at technology.’
Legal 500 UK Bar 2021

"She does exemplary preparation but it's backed up with very clear and concise advocacy. She's laser-sharp and knows when to stop, which isn't something everybody else knows how to do."
Chambers UK Bar

"She offers outstanding client care and the full grasp of legal principles."
Chambers UK Bar 2020

"A calm but persuasive advocate."
The Legal 500 UK Bar 2019

Related News

Emily Rayner appointed as Deputy District Judge

Harcourt Chambers are pleased to announce that Emily Rayner has been appointed Deputy District Judge on the South Eastern Circuit.

Emily specialises in all areas of family law, with an…


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