Emma Gilsenan

Call To The Bar: 2008


Emma is an experienced and versatile barrister practising in regulatory law with a particular focus on Professional Discipline. Emma has, for the last six years, practised almost exclusively in Professional Discipline and Regulation, representing regulators and professionals from a variety of industry sectors. She advises and acts primarily in cases arising from the healthcare industry.

Emma is on the General Medical Council (GMC) approved list of advocates and regularly appears in respect of Fitness to Practise proceedings arising from allegations of misconduct, deficient professional performance, conviction, adverse physical or mental health, English speaking, and determinations by other regulatory bodies. In addition, Emma is on the GMC approved list of advocates for providing advice and representation in respect of High Court Extension, Interim Order, Review and Non-Compliance hearings.

In 2017, Emma undertook a 12-month secondment with the GMC where she broadened her knowledge base of the medical regulatory framework. Emma regularly advised on Rule 12 review requests, having regard to complaints raising new information and/or alleged material flaws in the GMC decision making process. In the course of this work, Emma frequently considered and advised on the impact and weight to be attached in the decision-making process to Inquest documents including Coroner Reports/Verdicts, Trust Investigation Reports, independent medical investigation reports and medical records.

During the course of her GMC secondment, Emma frequently advised on applications in respect of whether the public interest criteria had been met to investigate matters outside of the five-year limitation period in accordance with Rule 4(5).

Emma has a background that combines Criminal litigation, Professional Discipline, Regulatory and Public law. Her areas of expertise complement one another, enabling her to provide a comprehensive service to organisations, as well as professional and lay clients seeking advice and representation.

Prior to joining Chambers, Emma was appointed as Assistant Public Solicitor in the British Overseas Territories of St Helena and Ascension Island (in the South Atlantic). During this appointment, Emma was admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan Da Cunha. Emma was asked to return to the Island in this role, following her appointment pre-pupillage, to advise on a specific high profile cross jurisdictional case. In addition to having conduct of a series of high profile and politically sensitive cases, Emma advised and represented clients in relation to general Criminal, Civil, Medical Regulatory and Professional Disciplinary matters. Emma returned to the islands to assist the Public Solicitor’s Office in 2017 and 2018.


Judicial sources have described Emma as:

‘an incisive intellect and robust ability to absorb and focus on the main elements of a case’

‘reliable to elicit cogent evidence from a lay or professional witness, to cross-examine intelligently and to ensure that the jury and/or Tribunal get the main points’

‘excellent grasp of issues in dispute, rules of evidence, relevant principles and authorities’

‘robust facility to grasp the arguments and combine effective analysis of the core issues with enviable speed in preparing her responses’

‘thoughtful and appropriate reflection in her handling of cases, ensures that her client’s case is put robustly and professionally to achieve the required aim’

‘A Judge would trust Ms Gilsenan to act with integrity, making appropriate disclosure, speak clearly and audibly, without being aggressive to witnesses or patronising the jury and/or Tribunal.’

‘first-rate interpersonal skills’

‘clear, succinct and persuasive’

‘engaging, clear and fluent’

‘strong but fair’

‘an engaging, calm and personable manner.’

‘a scrupulously fair attitude, without any hint of prosecutorial zeal’

‘calm and professional at all times, dealing well with issues raised’

‘engaging, thoughtful but robust approach to advancing her client’s case’

‘appears to work collaboratively with instructing solicitors to develop effective strategies’

‘Ms Gilsenan’s approach is to take instructions at the appropriate stages but uses her own judgment and knowledge of the realities of the case to advance her client’s case with proportionate and well measured force and effort.’

Other professional sources have described Emma as:

‘an excellent advocate’

‘clearly a compelling advocate and has demonstrated this through consistent successful results’

‘excels in her advocacy, which is evidenced by her run of good results’

‘able to pick up on complicated legal disputes swiftly, exercise sound judgment and take practical and well-thought out approaches to her cases, always with the best interest of her client in mind’

‘impressive under pressure, able to act quickly in urgent situations and willing to put the long hours in which are inevitable in our area of work’

‘an extremely effective advocate’

‘quickly picks up on issues and runs valid dismissal arguments’

‘not afraid to challenge any decision she felt was unfair or irrational’

‘excellent client care skills, clearly recognised by a number of her clients who return seeking her services’

‘has an ability to build relationships in new and different jurisdictions and cultures dealing with some very sensitive issues’

‘works at the highest level and is invaluable’

‘where cases merit fighting, she is unwavering in her tenacity to fight her client’s corner under what are often hostile and difficult circumstances’

‘a strong working ethic and ability’

‘a very good lawyer. She is extremely hard working and diligent with a good eye for detail’

‘has an excellent manner with the most challenging of clients and represented all clients to a high standard’

‘her client care is impeccable’

‘her commitment to her clients is second to none’

‘her communication with me and members of the firm was impeccable’

‘preparation and attention to detail were second to none’

‘her client care was unquestionable’

‘paperwork is first class’

‘she is passionate about her work and is thoroughly committed to it’