Emma Harris

Call 2008

Emma Harris

Practice Overview

Emma read Politics at Cardiff University prior to completing the GDL and the BVC where she was graded ‘Very Competent’. She was Called to the Bar in 2008 and cross-qualified as a Solicitor in 2011. Emma transferred to the Bar in 2017, after a successful career as a Solicitor-Advocate at a leading criminal law firm. 

​Emma is regularly instructed in complex and high-profile cases, for both prosecution and defence. She specialises in matters involving fraud, ‘white collar’ and business crime and matters involving serious criminal allegations. She is trained in the use of NUIX and can utilise those skills in disclosure-heavy matters. She has experience representing individuals and businesses prosecuted by a number of organisations, such as the FSA, Natural Resources Wales, the Environment Agency and the HSE. 

​Her experience also extends to professional disciplinary cases, and she is regularly instructed to represent individuals before various professional tribunals. Emma can provide advice and representation from interim orders through to fitness to practise proceedings. 

​Emma has an interest in Coroner’s Inquests and has experience of representing organisations and families in such matters.

Emma has extensive experience of matters which proceed to confiscation and other applications under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

She has experience in prosecuting and defending regulatory matters, including those relating to trading standards and licencing. 

Emma has quickly ascended to Grade 4 on the CPS General Crime Panel. She has also been appointed to the Serious Crime Panel, POCA and Specialist Fraud Panel (SEOCID), she also prosecutes on behalf of other organisations.

Emma is praised for her straightforward advocacy style and her client care skills. Her background provides her with a deep understanding of every aspect of the criminal investigation, from police station through to trial. ​

Emma frequently provides training to solicitors, local authorities and prosecuting agencies on a range of topics. Emma also guest lectures at Cardiff Metropolitan University

Away from court, Emma has an active role on circuit and is the current Cardiff Circuit Junior. She has assisted in the development of the Women in Criminal Law (Wales) group and is an active participant in the Wales and Chester Women’s Form, acting as the Cardiff representative.

Notable and Reported cases

  • Crime
    • R v N - Emma is instructed to prosecute a registered nurse accused of fraud across several NHS trusts.
    • R v F & M (Operation Leadtree) - Emma is instructed to prosecute allegations of fraud involving the creation of ‘phishing’ website which emulate popular consumer websites.
    • Cardiff Council v M  - Emma is instructed to defend in allegations of trading standards offences and fraud relating to the commission of building works.
    • R v P Emma prosecuted serious multiple allegations of fraud across a number of complainants valued at £400,000. Emma was instructed as leading counsel in this case which attracted significant press attention.
    • R v S & Others (Operation Bridport) Emma prosecuted members of an OCG for offences of modern slavery which related to the use of children as drug runners within a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. The convictions resulted in the imposition of Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders
    • R – v- D Emma was led by David Elias KC, defending in allegations of rape and facilitating the sexual assault of defendant’s daughter.
    • R -v – D & Others (Op Grey Arcadia) Emma was led by Mark Cotter KC,  prosecuting allegations of bribery and corruption in relation to recycling and waste management at a local authority.  
    • R -v- T (Operation Arbus)-  Emma was led by Ruth Smith, defending a semi-professional footballer accused of serious allegations of blackmail, kidnap and firearms offences. Emma’s client was one of the few acquitted of all offences. The trial spanned 2022 and 2023 and involved 14 defendants.   
    • R – v- P - Emma successfully defended in matter involving 8 allegations of rape against a family member.
    • R – v- H & M Emma prosecuted teachers accused of child cruelty against pupils at a special school. 
    • R-v-O (Operation Clement)- Emma was junior prosecution counsel in a case involving multi-complainants under the age of 13 and allegations of sexual assault against their teacher. The case involved lengthy s.28 pre-recorded cross-examination and extensive third-party disclosure matters.
    • R-v-J - Emma is instructed to prosecute a former solicitor accused of conveyancing fraud.
    • R-v-P - Emma successfully defended a Lithuanian national accused of growing cannabis across a number of sites in South Wales. He was the only defendant acquitted at trial.
    • R-v-Price [2020] EWCA Crim 1832 - Emma successfully appealed sentence in a matter involving theft from an employer. The Court of Appeal agreed that the Judge had erred in double counting aggravating features to raise the starting point and in not considering personal mitigation.
    • R-v- B - Emma successfully defended the steward of a Welsh Rugby Club, accused of theft via a complex system of refunds through the club’s EPOS. A successful ‘half time submission’ of no case to answer was made and the defendant acquitted of all charges. 
    • R -v – DL (Operation Empire) – Emma was instructed as junior defence counsel in a multi-handed conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in the Newport area. The matter involved a large volume of mobile phone evidence and cell-site data. 
    • R – v – M & Others (Operation Midas) – Emma was instructed as Disclosure Counsel, led by Shane Collery KC (now HHJ Collery KC) in a matter involving allegations of fraud against the Welsh Government relating to applications for European funding. The trial is due to last for 4 months at Cardiff Crown Court. Emma has been trained in using the NUIX system as a result of her involvement in this matter.
    • R – v – B (Operation Dino) – Defending in conspiracy to defraud. One of the biggest “Cash for Crash” scam investigations in the UK.
    • R – v – Q & Others – Emma successfully prosecuted members of a family in allegations of fraud against an elderly family member. The case was widely reported in the national media.
    • Surrey & Bucks – v – C – Prosecuting on behalf of local authority in matter involving sale of counterfeit high-value watches and jewellery via Facebook.
    • R – v – R & Others – Defending in matter involving “rogue trader” allegations committed against vulnerable individual.
    • R – v – D – Representing prison officer accused of expenses fraud valued at over £100,000.
    • EWC - v - S - defending in a complex matter before the EWC where both defendant and complainant were registered deaf, successfully defending against an application to strike-off.
    • HCPC - v - R - defending in a complex matter involving a consultant paramedic contracted to provide disaster and emergency planning advice. The matter involved issues of national security and allegations of fraud.
    • R v Mouncher & Others – As a solicitor, Emma represented a civilian in what became known as the UK’s biggest ‘police corruption’ case. The case related to the murder of Lynette White in the 1980s and the wrongful convictions of the ‘Cardiff Three’.
    • SFO v Eric Evans & Others – As a solicitor, Emma was instructed in this case which involved allegations of fraud relating to solicitors and businessmen. The fraud pertained to open cast mining sites across South Wales. The case involved complex planning law and significant legal argument.
    • R v M (Operation Elveden) – As a solicitor, Emma was instructed to represent the Night News Editor of The Sun newspaper, who was accused of payments to public officials. Her client was acquitted after a lengthy trial at the Old Bailey.​
  • Education & qualifications
    • Cardiff University, Bar Vocational Course – Very Competent
    • University of Glamorgan Graduate Diploma in Law
    • Cardiff University – BscEcon(Hons) Politics
    • Qualified Lawyer’s Transfer Test (Solicitor)
    • Gray’s Inn Graduate Diploma in Law Scholar
  • Memberships
    • Wales and Chester Circuit (Cardiff Circuit Junior)
    • Criminal Bar Association
    • Women in Criminal Law (Wales)
    • Wales and Chester Women’s Forum
    • The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn