Emma Burgess

Emma is Head of Crime, Investigations and Enforcement and was called to the Bar in 2009. She is an experienced and forceful advocate. Whilst direct in approach, Emma is extremely empathetic and able to handle deeply sensitive matters in a calm and clear manner.

Emma is highly experienced in criminal law, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) enforcement and Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigations having gained experience from several years as a lawyer for both organisations. During this time, Emma worked on high profile criminal and regulatory investigations and prosecutions. Emma was part of the investigation team at the FCA in the ‘FX’, or ‘Forex’ scandal. This was a multijurisdictional case involving six banks including Barclays, HSBC, JPMorgan and RBS. The FCA worked closely with other global regulators such as the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). The case concerned the collusion of senior foreign exchange traders using electronic chatrooms to manipulate foreign exchange rates over a five-year period. The six banks collectively paid over £1.4bn in fines to the FCA.

Whilst a lawyer in the FCA and SFO, Emma also worked on high-profile matters concerning insider dealing, offences against the market and serious fraud. She also drafted several internal enforcement policies and has an in-depth understanding of the investigation process.

Emma has also worked as a defence lawyer advising both firms and individuals in serious financial crime and regulatory enforcement at leading UK and US law firms. This covered a wide range of high-profile cases including FCA enforcement matters, SFO investigations, internal investigations, bribery and corruption and deferred prosecutions. Recently, Emma has advised on and carried out internal investigations in the recent global cum-ex trading scandal. The scandal concerns an alleged tax fraud against several European governments by wrongly claiming withholding tax in respect of particular securities. The losses to governments as a result of this scheme are believed to amount to around £50bn.

Whilst at the criminal bar, Emma defended and prosecuted in the full remit of criminal offences in both the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts. In 2014, she successfully appealed conviction in the Court of Appeal on a point of law relating to the admissibility of a Co-Defendant’s bad character: R v Daly (John Joseph) [2014] EWCA Crim 2117.

In addition, Emma is a tutor at BPP Law School teaching criminal litigation and advocacy. She also sits on a board of trustees at a south London legal advice charity called Centre 70.

Head of Crime, Investigations and Enforcement

Areas of Expertise

Education & Memberships