Practice Profile


  • BPTC, Nottingham Law School
  • GDL, Nottingham Law School, Distinction
  • PhD Medieval Spanish, University of Cambridge
  • MPhil European Literature and Culture, University of Cambridge, Distinction
  • BA (Hons) Modern Languages (Spanish and Italian), University of Durham, 1st class



Before converting to Law in 2012, Dr Emma Gatland enjoyed a successful career in academia as a Fellow and Lecturer in Modern Languages, first at the University of Oxford and then at the University of Cambridge. She published books and over a dozen journal articles in her field of research.


During her legal studies, Emma received major scholarships from Lincoln’s Inn, and won numerous awards, including the Nottingham Law School prize for best advocate, the St Mary’s Chambers Family Law Prize, and the Ropewalk Chambers advocacy prize.



Emma joined Harcourt Chambers in 2013. 


She is recognised by those who instruct her as having experience and ability considerably beyond her year of Call.


Public Children Law

Emma has a wealth of experience representing Local Authorities, parents, children, and interveners in public law proceedings. Her cases have covered the most serious of issues, including neglect, drug and alcohol misuse, mental health, fabricated or induced illness, sexual and physical abuse, and non-accidental injury. 


Emma has been led by both John Vater Q.C. (2019) and Frances Judd Q.C. (2015) in public law fact find hearings involving allegations of sexual abuse. She went on to represent the local authority and the mother, respectively, as sole counsel at the welfare stage. 


Private Children Law 

Emma has a strong private law practice. She is regularly instructed in matters involving parental alienation, alcohol and substance abuse, mental health issues, sexual and other domestic abuse, and internal relocation. 


Emma has been led by John Vater Q.C. in a private law children case involving allegations of sexual abuse and assisted him in drafting successful grounds of appeal and skeleton argument in a Court of Appeal public law children case. 


Reported Cases

The Local Authority v BA & Ors [2015] EWFC B62 (18 May 2015 ) - representing the second respondent father




  • Emma is an affiliated member of the Family Law Bar Association (FLBA) and Lincoln’s Inn. She is a member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit.



2 Harcourt Buildings
Dx 373 LDE
Tel 0207 353 6961


Churchill House
3 St Aldate's Courtyard,
38 St Aldate's, Oxford
Dx 96453 Oxford 4
Tel 01865 791559


0207 353 6961


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