Emma Zeb

Emma Zeb

Call 1998 (Inner Temple)
Qualifications LLB. Kings College, University of London – Law Degree (1996); Inns of Court School of Law – Bar Vocational Course (1998); Inner Temple Scholar 1997/1998.
Professional Memberships Personal Injury Bar Association
Appointments Recorder (Western Circuit), Junior Counsel to the Crown 2018


Emma has experience in civil fraud matters acting both for defendant insurance companies alleging fraud, and claimants who are accused of making fraudulent claims. Emma has dealt with a number of these cases to trial but can also provide tactical advice upon how best to defend or make fraud arguments at an early stage.

Emma also deals with low velocity claims, cases where malingering may be suspected, exaggerated claims, cases where interim payments have needed to be clawed back, and she has successfully obtained vexatious litigant orders in matters where a litigant in person has brought numerous suspicious claims.

Following a specialist clinical negligence and personal injury pupillage in London Emma has continued to undertake clinical negligence work with experience in both clinical and dental negligence cases, acting for both claimants and defendants. She deals with claims at all level of value and recent notable cases include:

  • A number of failure to diagnose cancer cases.
  • Claims for psychological distress of parents following difficult / tragic child birth.
  • Failure to diagnose DVT.
  • Surgical negligence causing damage to internal organs and in particular bowel trauma / gynaecological injury.
  • Lethal injection of chemicals during routine root canal treatment.
  • Failure to treat pressure sores to an elderly man with spina bifida – complex evaluation of care needs.
  • Emma regularly handles multi-expert conferences where she is experienced in testing and drilling down the opinion of experts.


  • “She is very good, particularly in tricky issues such as those concerning limitation problems.” “Excellent, thorough and readily contactable.” “She is super bright.” Chambers UK, Clinical Negligence (2018)
  • “Emma undertakes an array of clinical negligence claims for claimants and defendants, including those concerning complex issues of breach of duty and causation. In addition, she is skilled in dental claims and has an ample caseload of personal injury and inquest work. ‘A formidable and impressive advocate. She has a detailed approach to evidence in conference and a realistic approach to strategy in difficult cases.’ ‘She’s very thorough and good on her feet; very in control.’ ” Chambers UK, Clinical Negligence (2017)
  • “Emma has a masterful command of cross-examination.” Legal 500, Personal injury and clinical negligence (2016)
  • “Emma’s experience in medical law is complemented by expertise in personal injury and inquest work. She is at home in conferences involving multiple medical experts, particularly those discussing issues of breach of duty and causation. ‘Excellent, thorough and readily contactable.’ ‘I would certainly turn to her for inquest work.’ ” Chambers UK, Clinical Negligence (2016)
  • “Emma is good with clients and witnesses, whether in conference or court.” Legal 500, Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence (2015)
  • “Emma focuses on dental negligence and medical negligence work, particularly on those cases where breach of duty and causation are concerned. Her practice also comprises personal injury cases and inquests. ‘She has a commonsensical approach – her ability to strip down complex matters and convey them in a user-friendly way is impressive. ‘She is good in conference and has a nice way of handling the client.'” Chambers UK, Clinical Negligence (2015)

Emma has experience acting for both claimants and defendants in industrial disease cases. Her practice in this area has included dealing with numerous claims for repetitive strain, vibration-related injuries, noise induced deafness, occupational asthma and dermatitis.

Emma has also dealt with asbestos related claims including inquests involving such issues. She also understands the importance of careful pleadings in relation to such claims and the importance of dealing with the preliminary issue of limitation in many of these cases.

Emma has a wealth of experience in all types of inquests with particular expertise and knowledge of article 2 inquests. She has been instructed in a number of long running and high profile inquests with multiple lay and expert witnesses. The inquests Emma has acted in have often been extremely complex involving arguments of consent and capacity in relation to refusal of medical treatment / care. She is a confident inquest jury advocate.

Emma represents the interests of bereaved families as well as public / private bodies (private prisons, various ambulance services, NHS Trusts and health boards, private and local authority care home, large construction companies, medical practitioners).

Emma is also often instructed to handle an inquest at the PIR stages which requires an understanding of disclosure requirements, whether article 2 is engaged and whether a jury is mandated.

Notable Inquests:

  • Re: Buyoya – 6 week article 2 inquest into the death of a young prisoner on remand. Acting for the private prison.
  • Re: Allsopp – 2 week article 2 inquest into the death of a prisoner with severe epilepsy who died in prison following a fit. Acting for the private prison.
  • Re: Jones – 10 day article 2 inquest into the suicide of an inmate at Parc Prison. Acting for the private prison.
  • Re: Gould – 2 day article 2 inquest into the death of Mr. Gould who jumped from the 5th floor of Gloucester Royal Hospital. Acting for the bereaved family.
  • Re: XX – 3 day inquest into the shooting of an ex marine working in Iraq as a private security guard. Acting for the bereaved family.
  • Re: Paul Jenkins and Re: Sean Turner – acted for the BRI at PIR stages of the inquests.
  • Re: Yapp – Acting for private care home following he death of an elderly resident in their care.
  • Re: Shaun Phillips – instructed for Bristol City Council in the case of Sean Phillips who died when he had a cycling accident at the harbourside near to M-Shed. Inquest was held in March 2014. More details can be found here.
  • Re: Bernard – acted for CAMHS in the inquest into the death of a looked after child who took her own life.
  • Re: Hussain – acted for the mother of a 2-year old child who died of an undiagnosed brain tumour.
  • Re: Rogers – acted for Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board into deceased’s death following failure to deliver defibrilation at the required energy level.

Emma has delivered a number of seminars on Inquests both in Chambers, Solicitor’s offices and for AvMA and APIL.

Should you wish for any further training on any issues please let Emma know.


  • “A very staunch advocate.” Legal 500, Inquests and inquiries (2017)

Emma has 17 years experience acting for both claimants and defendants. In January 2015 Emma qualified as a mediator and has since observed a number of mediations within the areas of personal injury and clinical negligence, probate matters, insurance disputes, neighbourhood issues and landlord / tenant conflicts.

In practice, Emma has acted for her clients in mediations including multi party mediations and has also advised the use of mediation in cases where it has led to very positive outcomes.

Emma appreciates the commercial merit of using a process which seeks to offer a swifter resolution at less cost and importantly the chance to re-inject a human and totally client centred focus to a dispute. As a new mediator she can offer a fixed fee at competitive rates to assist in any type of mediation. She has a realistic, fair and no nonsense approach to cases and a proven track record for gaining the trust of her clients both lay and professional. The ability of a mediator to gain such trust is one of the key qualities of a good mediator.

Emma can discuss her experience and what she can offer as a mediator at your convenience and can run a short lunch time session on the benefits of mediation at your offices.

Download brochure: Mediation by Emma Zeb

Emma is a highly experienced and well respected personal injury barrister with a balanced practice acting for both claimants and defendants. Her preparation of cases is extremely thorough and she is a fierce advocate with a realistic and no-nonsense approach.

Emma has experience in all types of injury work but her seniority and experience commands work at the more complex end of personal injury litigation, including:

  • High value catastrophic injury cases including: complex brain injury, spinal injury and multiple internal injury cases.
  • Pain cases
  • Accidents in care homes to staff and service users, including those with severe learning disabilities.
  • Claims for sexual abuse against family and non family members.
  • Claims for damages following death.
  • Employer’s liability claims, including complex industrial injury accidents and claims with multiple possible defendants.

Emma also specialises in inquests and clinical negligence and these areas complement and often overlap with her personal injury practice. She regularly deals with all types of procedural and costs arguments and frequently handles very high value costs budgeting hearings dealing with costs over £1 million.

Current notable personal injury cases:

  • Acting for a nurse injured in an explosion at the RUH with severe permanent PTSD, effect on her nursing career and the quantification of her claim.
  • Acting for the claimant injured in a motorcycling accident with severe TBI, subtle cognitive deficiencies effecting his employment, and loss of chance of promotion issues.
  • Junior Counsel to Christopher Sharp QC in a long running TBI case (acting for defendant) in complex rehabilitation and care needs.
  • Emma is regularly instructed to represent local authorities at trial in public liability matters.
  • Complex fatals case involving provision of care for dependent child where surviving father has terminal illness and future caregiver is the tortfeasor.


  • “A real superstar.” “Very well prepared and a good advocate.” “She has a pragmatic approach to her work and a good grasp of the law.” Chambers UK, Personal Injury (2018)
  • “She is great with clients, particularly in sensitive family cases.” Legal 500, Personal injury and clinical negligence (2017)
  • “Emma continues to impress the market with her skill in the personal injury field. She often handles cases involving catastrophic brain injuries. She also has strong expertise in Highway Act claims. ‘Very knowledgeable, approachable and great with clients.’ ‘She cross-examines with extreme skill.’ ”  Chambers UK, Personal Injury (2017)
  • “Emma has a masterful command of cross-examination.” Legal 500, Personal injury and clinical negligence (2016)
  • ” ‘Emma has the ability to build an excellent relationship with clients from all walks of life.’ ‘She has great attention to detail when reviewing papers and drafting documents.’ ” Chambers UK, Personal Injury  (2016)
  • “Emma is good with clients and witnesses, whether in conference or court.” Legal 500, Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence (2015)
  • “Emma handles a wide range of personal injury disputes encompassing fatal accidents and severe injuries. She is also known for her skills in handling RTA fraud claims on behalf of major insures. ‘She is very accurate in writing and performs well in conferences.’ ” Chambers UK, Personal Injury (2015)

Practice Overview

Emma joined St John’s Chambers from a specialist personal injury and clinical negligence chambers in London in 1999, and now sits as a Recorder on the Western Circuit. She is a highly experienced and well respected barrister who has successfully balanced a practice acting for both claimants and defendants in inquests, personal injury and clinical negligence cases.  Emma has always possessed a user friendly yet no-nonsense approach and is a fierce and fearless advocate who is always meticulously prepared.

Emma deals with all types of personal injury and clinical negligence cases required of her but her level of call and experience lends her to catastrophic injury and fatality cases and she regularly deals with high value complex claims running into seven figure sums.

As head of the serious and complex inquests team, Emma is a sought after and very experienced inquest advocate and regularly represents the interests of the bereaved family as well as public / private bodies and agencies (including private prisons, police, providers of medical care, care homes, social housing providers, local authorities, employers).  Her experience is wide ranging involving high profile and complex inquests ranging from one day infant deaths to 6 week Article 2 matters before a jury.

Emma is a qualified mediator and her experience in this regard complements and enhances her approach to compromising cases through all forms of ADR as she recognises the importance of practical and commercial approaches to litigation.

Consistently ranked by both Chambers UK and Legal 500 as a leader in her practice areas since 2008, Emma elicits reams of praise from professional and lay clients alike.

Emma is qualified to undertake public access work in appropriate cases, for further information, please visit our Public Access page.

Emma regularly holds seminars and delivers lectures for Solicitor and Insurer Clients on a wide range of topics. She is happy to tailor her lectures to the specific demands of her clients.