Emily Carter


Public Law | GDPR and Data Protection | Public Inquiries and Inquests

...‘can absorb vast amounts of novel and complex information and drill it down to the core issues’...

Legal 500 UK

Emily is a partner within the Public Law team specialising in information law, inquests, inquiries and internal investigations. Her background in criminal and regulatory proceedings, both defending and prosecuting, equips her to fully support clients involved in complex investigative processes. She is described as “precisely the kind of solicitor a client wants when the going gets tough” (Legal 500 UK 2021).

Information law

Emily advises companies, regulatory bodies, charities and individuals upon the application of data protection legislation, especially concerning matters of sensitivity or dispute, including:

  • data protection compliance, including within internal investigations
  • individual data rights, including data subject access requests (DSAR), rectification and deletion of data
  • investigation and enforcement action by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
  • tribunal proceedings involving information rights

Emily has a particular interest in the application of data protection law to children’s data. She also advises those making and receiving applications for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Inquiries, inquests and independent investigations  

Emily has represented individuals and organisations in a number of large scale, high profile inquiries including the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, the Renewable Heat Incentive Inquiry, the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Inquiry and the Baha Mousa Inquiry. She advised individual witnesses within the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) independent investigation into the failure of HBOS and the Davis Inquiry into FCA briefing of business plan in March.

She supports her clients through the inquisitorial process including the management of significant quantities of evidence, advising upon data protection compliance and the protection of legal professional privilege, and responding to criticisms upon the final report.

Her understanding of the coroners’ courts has enabled her to guide families and other individuals through inquest proceedings, including within the fields of healthcare and military service. 

Internal investigations

Emily is a member of the firm’s internal investigations team with experience conducting sensitive internal investigations on behalf of corporates as well as representing individuals with respect to intellectual property theft, corruption and LIBOR-fixing. She has acted on behalf of individuals in internal interviews ahead of investigatory interviews conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority and Serious Fraud Office.

Regulatory and professional discipline proceedings

Emily has acted on behalf of a range of regulatory bodies:

  • The Financial Reporting Council in proceedings against accountancy professionals in matters of significant public interest.
  • The Security Industry Authority undertaking licensing appeals and conducting one of the first significant criminal prosecutions undertaken by the body in the Crown Court.
  • The Health Professions Council investigating and presenting fitness to practice cases before its practice committees.
  • She also acts for senior police officers of the Chief Police Officer’s Staff Association in connection with disciplinary and criminal investigations, including those conducted by Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Criminal investigation and litigation

Emily has represented clients at every stage of the criminal process from investigation to appeal and confiscation.

Emily qualified as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand in 1999 having studied law and criminology at Victoria University of Wellington. She qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2003.

Key cases

  • Organisations and individuals in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
  • The FCA/PRA independent investigation into the failure of HBOS
  • The Davis Inquiry into FCA briefing of business plan in March 2014
  • Patient safety charities in the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust Public Inquiry
  • Soldiers in the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry
  • Senior police officers in the “Stockwell Inquest” into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes


Professional societies and memberships


Emily Carter is superb, incredibly approachable and precisely the kind of solicitor a client wants when the going gets tough. She is hands-on and firm."

Legal 500 UK 2021

Emily Carter is an immensely able professional. We have been working with her for five years now. What is outstanding is her capacity to manage complex issues in the wider context and to provide excellent legal advice, whilst still acknowledging the human realities which underpin public law issues. She is a consummate and caring professional and human being."

Legal 500 UK 2021

Stand-out partner Emily Carter.... They are market leaders, but maintain a courteous manner in dealing with opponents, all the while protecting their client’s interests to the best of their ability. They are genuinely interested in and impressive contributors to public law."

Legal 500 UK 2021

Is not afraid to provide advice which may be unpopular with the client."

Legal 500 UK, 2019

The ‘highly professional and knowledgeable.’ 

Legal 500 UK, 2016

...‘can absorb vast amounts of novel and complex information and drill it down to the core issues’...

Legal 500 UK, 2012

Sources say she is 'very bright' and praise her 'good clients skills'...

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2013

Related Services

Data Protection

We help negotiate this complicated area of law, ensuring personal data is protected and helping to manage the consequences when it is not.

Dealing with a Data Breach

Our specialist data breach solicitors can assist you from the moment that a breach is first identified to the conclusion of the legal processes which may follow.

GDPR Compliance

Our specialist GDPR compliance team can provide your organisation with commercial, properly targeted, expert legal advice so you can meet the requirements of data protection legislation.

Dealing with an Investigation

Under investigation? We ensure you have the specialist, strategic advice to help you manage.

Defending an Allegation

Someone has made an allegation against you. What is the first thing you do?

Internal Investigations

Corporate clients require sophisticated and sensitive advice when they encounter internal crises which have the potential to escalate.

Public Law

Our 'exceptional' team has over 25 years' experience, acting in the most significant public law cases.


Our team has an established record of representing families, organisations, other interested persons and witnesses at inquests.

Public Inquiries

The team is consistently recognised for its public inquiry expertise, with over 25 years experience in all the major inquiries.

Judicial Review

We are known for our notable strengths in judicial review litigation and our incisive and pragmatic advice.

Public Policy and Governance

We have expertise in administrative and public law, together with our real enthusiasm for the work we do.

Select Committees

Our team is experienced in representing senior professionals, public figures and major corporations before Parliamentary Select Committees.

Directors and Officers

In the current economic climate, directors and officers are under more scrutiny than ever before in their duties to companies, shareholders and employees.

Charities - Litigation, Crisis & Investigations

Our highly experienced team of litigation lawyers offer specialist advice covering a range of issues affecting charities.

Political Affairs

Our international work includes dealing with the suite of issues that may arise from politically motivated persecutions.

COVID-19 Inquiry

On 12 May 2021 Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an independent public inquiry into the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, to be held in Spring 2022.

Insight from Emily

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More to do on cyber-security: half of UK businesses suffer cyber-security breach

Further chinks in the armour? EU-US Privacy Shield and the concerns of MEPs

The end of the duty of candour double standard?

European Parliament demands legal communications are protected from surveillance

Watch this space: Domestic CCTV cameras and public areas

eBay and the biggest hack in history - what can the Information Commissioner do now?

The publication of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry report: a time to pause

A Chief Coroner at long last... but what difference will he make?

London Metropolitan University: Any chance of challenging the UKBA?

The Post-Legislative Review of the Freedom of Information Act: A vote of confidence in the ministerial veto

The Operator: Watching out for CCTV - premises licence conditions and data protection obligations

Disclosure of government documents and the ministerial veto: When will the Information Commissioner take up the challenge?

The Freedom of Information Act: Exposing the Inner Workings of Government?

The E-Regulator: New guidance on the “regulatory activity” exemption in the Data Protection Act

The Regulator: When personal data is lost, stolen or falls into the wrong hands

ICO enforcement – key considerations for businesses and organisations in 2020

Environmental Information Regulations - a potential shift in approach by the ICO

In deep water: High Court decides on level of compensation for interference with fishing quotas

“WhatsApp” with Dominic Grieve’s motion for Brexit communications?

London Climate Action Week: Cutting through the London smog - the big question still to be answered about the death of Ella-Kissi Debrah

KN Green Week: Climate change and the individual: Where to begin… by starting to ask the right questions

How to respond to a subject access request: a step by step guide for organisations

GDPR Compliance for US Companies

Judicial review and secondary legislation: What power does the court have to fix broken legislation?

GDPR: The significance of the new principle of accountability

The ICO’s Regulatory Action Policy: What to expect in the new GDPR era

Dog walker successfully challenges local authority’s PSPO in High Court

Data protection: A new board room priority

GDPR & Brexit: Data transfers from the EU and the UK’s new status as a “third country”

The real impact of the GDPR… new notification obligations

A bitter pill: Hard lessons learnt by online pharmacy fined for selling customer data

Effective data security: The time to act is now

The new Duty of Candour: The first priority for NHS managers

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