Emma Shafton

Emma joined Chambers in 2011. She has since developed a busy criminal practice, prosecuting and defending both as a led junior and a junior alone, conducting cases far beyond her level of call. She is known for her meticulous preparation, attention to detail and tenacity.

Organised crime

Emma is regularly instructed in cases of a serious, complex and often multi-handed nature. Recently, Emma has spent three months as a led junior representing a client alleged to be the head of a heroin and cocaine racket operating in Merseyside, and two months appearing as led junior for the defence in a case concerning a nationwide conspiracy to cause explosions. She has developed a reputation for her expertise in dealing with complex telecommunications evidence.

Financial crime

Emma has particular experience in financial crime and the proceeds of crime. As a led junior, Emma appeared for the defence at the Isleworth Crown Court in confiscation proceedings arising from £42 million money laundering convictions and at the Blackfriars Crown Court for one of ten defendants charged with multi-million-pound money laundering offences. In the Magistrates’ Court, Emma defends in civil enforcement and cash forfeiture proceedings. Emma completed a secondment at the Serious Fraud Office between July 2015 and March 2016 as disclosure counsel, providing assistance with an investigation into liquidity auctions held by the Bank of England during the financial crisis.

Serious sexual offences

Emma has defended clients charged with serious sexual offences. She has been involved in cases involving vulnerable defendants, complainants and intermediaries.

 

Emma was appointed to the CPS Panel of Advocates at Grade 2 in early 2015 and regularly appears on behalf of the prosecution at trial in the Crown Court. She accepts instructions from the Specialist Fraud Division of the CPS.

Emma also has a Court of Appeal post-conviction referral practice where she has advised applicants convicted of charges of murder, kidnap, and rape.

Emma accepts direct instructions from the public under the Bar Direct scheme.

Notable Cases

R v NM ‘Operation Sydney’ (Liverpool Crown Court, 2017)

 Appearing as led junior for one of eight defendants charged with conspiracy to cause explosions and commit commercial burglaries. The charges relate to a nationwide campaign of thefts from ATMs (automatic teller machines) employing either ‘gas attack’ or ‘drag out’ methods. The case involves complex telecommunications evidence.

Press reports here

 

R v Mark Chandler (Southwark Crown Court, 2017)

Appearing as junior alone for a defendant charged with possession of two kilograms of heroin with intention to supply.

R v Tony Hackett ‘Operation Cygnet’ (Blackfriars Crown Court, 2016)

Acted as junior alone for a defendant in a thirteen-handed football violent disorder concerning Arsenal and West Ham supporters. Emma’s client was the only defendant to be spared an immediate custodial sentence.

Press reports here

R v JO (Brent Youth Court, 2016)

Appearing on a certificate for counsel for a 15-year-old defendant, (13 at the time of the allegations), charged with three other male juveniles with serious sexual offences against a female classmate on school premises. The defendant was acquitted of two of the three charges against him and avoided notification.

R v Kyle Sheils ‘Operation Supola’ (Liverpool Crown Court, 2016)

Led by Tarquin McCalla for the lead defendant in a multi-handed conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine. The case last for three months and the papers served exceeded 150,000 pages. The case involved extensive and complex telecommunications evidence.

Press reports here

 

R v JLM & ors (Central Criminal Court, 2016)

Instructed by the CPS Homicide Unit as disclosure junior for the Crown in a South London gang-related murder trial.

Press reports here 

R v SK (Basildon Crown Court, 2016)

Appeared as junior alone instructed by the CPS Specialist Fraud Division in a VAT fraud concerning the sale of a commercial property.

R v JA and another ‘Operation Okha’ (Isleworth Crown Court, 2016)

Acted for the second defendant alleged to have acted in joint enterprise with his brother by stabbing a young male twice. The offence was gang-related. Successful submission of no case to answer in respect of the section 18 GBH charge.

 R v LO (Blackfriars Crown Court, 2016)

Defended in a nine-handed conspiracy to handle stolen goods. High value goods from Louis Vuitton, Sloane Street were stolen during a ‘smash-and-grab’ burglary.

Press reports here

 R v AT (Wood Green Crown Court, 2016)

Acted as junior alone for the defendant charged with assault by penetration and sexual assault. The case was particularly sensitive, with both defendant and complainant residents in a supported-living care home for adults. Both had a variety of mental health conditions and learning disabilities. The complainant was assisted by an intermediary at trial. The defendant was unanimously acquitted of all charges.

R v IY ‘Operation Gravati’ (Wood Green Crown Court, 2016)

 Acted as junior alone for the second defendant charged with possessing and discharging a Skorpion submachine gun with intent to endanger life. The Prosecution offered no evidence two weeks prior to trial.

R v TD (Wood Green Crown Court, 2015)

Acting as junior alone secured the acquittal of a defendant charged with arson with intent to endanger life (setting fire to a residential home with occupants inside). The case involved extensive legal argument.

R v PFH (Wood Green Crown Court, 2015)

Acted as junior alone for a defendant charged with carrying out an ammonia attack. The defendant was acquitted of the assault.

R v AR & ors ‘Operation Kelpie’ (Basildon Crown Court, 2015)

Appeared for the third defendant in a nine-handed prosecution concerning the organised criminal activities of a group of men from Essex. The defendants faced charges of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Press reports here

R v Anthony Moran (Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, 2014)

Successful appeal against sentence on the single ground of disparity in sentence between co-defendants in a case of attempted domestic burglary. Four years’ imprisonment reduced to three years’ on appeal.

R v Sherrine Xavier [2014] EWCA Crim 50

Successful appeal against sentence in a three-handed case of conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. The defendant received a non-custodial sentence. The case was reported, the Court of Appeal revisiting the definition of ‘vulnerable victim’.

 R v OO (2014)

Represented a 15-year-old boy charged with a series of sexual offences against a girl under the age of 13 including rape. The defendant was sentenced to a twelve-month Referral Order.

 R v Solmaz Jalali ‘Operation Distraction’ (Blackfriars Crown Court, 2013)

Led by Kieran Galvin in a nine-week multi-handed money laundering trial. The case centered around two money exchange businesses in North London, which the Crown said acted as a front to launder millions of pounds throughout the indictment period in 2011. The case papers were voluminous, exceeding 12,000 pages, and the defendant received a suspended sentence of imprisonment.

 Press reports here

R v Naveed Ahmad (Isleworth Crown Court, 2012)

Led by Lisa Freeman in confiscation proceedings following a conviction for multi-million-pound money-laundering offences.

Press reports here

R v Gary Dobson (Central Criminal Court, 2011

As Stephen Moses QC’s pupil, assisted the defence team for Gary Dobson, who was charged with the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Regulation & Discipline

Aside from crime, Emma also has a thriving civil regulatory practice. She frequently appears before the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Health and Care Professions Council in fitness to practise proceedings. She has also, unusually, appeared before the Association of Child Psychotherapists on two occasions and is often approached by solicitors to deal with proceedings before smaller, more niche regulators. Emma acts for registrants at all stages of proceedings, from interim order to post-adjudication review and her experience means that she is familiar with the legal principles underpinning all healthcare regulators and equipped to deal with any case.

Notable cases:

NMC v AS (2016)

Represented a nurse charged with lack of competence. She had been suspended by her Trust and the NMC for two years pending the conclusion of the referral. Several successful submissions of no case to answer were made and several of the charges found not proved. The registrant was allowed to return to work with an unrestrictive conditions of practice order in place.

NMC v PW (2015)

Secured a Conditions of Practice Order at the outcome of proceedings for a registrant who had been suspended for two years by the NMC pending the conclusion of the proceedings. The case involved the deaths of two patients.

 NMC v SH (2015)

Represented a nurse working in an NHS hospital who was charged with assaulting a patient by forcibly bathing her. Misconduct was not found on any charge after a three-year process from Disciplinary Proceedings at Trust level until the conclusion of the NMC proceedings. The case raised important issues relating to a patient’s capacity to consent when not subject to admission under the Mental Health Act.

HCPC v RL (2015)

Represented a social worker employed by West Sussex County Council who faced various conduct charges alleging that she became too personally involved with a family who had a young child under a Special Guardianship Order. Exceptionally, Emma persuaded the panel to take ‘no further action’ at the sanction stage of proceedings arguing that the public interest component had been satisfied by a finding of impairment under that head and making submissions as to proportionality. The registrant had been unable to find work for over two years pending the resolution of proceedings and was able to reapply for jobs without any restriction or caution attached to her pin.

 NMC v AB & another (2015)

Successfully persuaded the NMC screening team not to proceed with referrals made against two members of staff at a private nursing home by use of ‘early engagement’.

 NMC v DA (2014)

Represented a nurse who was the manager of a private BUPA care home. Charged with a series of medication errors and conduct charges. Successful submissions of no case to answer at both facts and misconduct stages. Misconduct not found on any of the eight charges.

 

Road Traffic

Emma is frequently called upon to advise and represent defendants in complex road traffic matters. She is known for her success in advancing arguments of exceptional hardship and special reasons. Emma has dealt with cases involving laced drinks, emergencies, necessity/duress of circumstance, and calibration of speed cameras and has extensive experience of instructing expert witnesses to assist in the preparation of the defence case.

Education, prizes & awards

LLB (Hons.) Law (First Class)

The College of Law, Bloomsbury, London (2011)

Bar Professional Training Course (Outstanding)

The College of Law, Bloomsbury, London (2011)

Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction)

The College of Law, Bloomsbury, London (2010)

BA (Hons) History

University of York (2009)

Lincoln’s Inn Cholmley Studentship (2011)

Buchanan Prize (BPTC Result of ‘Outstanding’) (2011)

Lincoln’s Inn Lord Denning Scholarship (2010)

Lincoln’s Inn Lord Brougham Scholarship (2009)

Lincoln’s Inn Hardwicke Entrance Award (2009)

 

Professional memberships

Criminal Bar Association

Young Fraud Lawyers Association

Free Representation Unit

Amicus (Assisting Lawyers for Justice on Death Row)

The Denning Society

Articles

‘Cash Forfeiture: A Practical Guide’ (2015)

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