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Emma Dowden-Teale

Work 020 7551 7890
Bates Wells Braithwaite

Work Department

Public & Regulatory


Emma advises on all aspects of regulatory and public law, both contentious and advisory, including in respect of equality duties and human rights.

This includes advice to public bodies and quasi-public bodies regarding their establishment and the exercise of their functions; and, also, advice to and representation of private and third sector parties in relation to the exercise of public functions, appropriate compliance with and potential challenges to it. She has considerable experience in statutory drafting, in addition to related codes, guidance, policies and procedures.

She is highly experienced in both bringing and defending public law litigation, including by way of judicial review, regulatory appeals and county/high court litigation.

She has previously undertaken extended secondments to a number of public bodies to provide advice as in-house counsel, as well as acting in public law litigation in a number of Commonwealth countries.

Within her broader practice, Emma specialises in the safeguarding of children, vulnerable adults and the charity beneficiaries nationally and internationally, as well as advising extensively in relation to the duty of care owed by those operating in high risk area. She is also particularly expert in respect of the regulation of education (particularly in respect of qualifications and SEND), health and social care and professional discipline. 

Emma frequently publishes legal updates, both on behalf of her firm and in external journals, and speaks on matters of public law and regulation at conferences.

Emma frequently publishes legal updates, both on behalf of her firm and in external journals, and speaks on matters of public law and regulation at conferences and training events.


  • Trained at Allen & Overy LLP (variously in London and Beijing offices)
  • Admitted as a solicitor in 2006
  • Associate in both the international arbitration and public law groups at Allen & Overy LLP and the public law group of DAC Beachcroft LLP
  • Senior Associate at Bates Wells Braithwaite from 2016
  • Partner at Bates Wells Braithwaite from 2017


  • Member of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Associate Member of Administrative Law Bar Association


  • Oxford University, MA Jurisprudence (Oxon), 2002
  • Legal Practice Course, 2003


Travel, choir, yoga, fitness, live music, theatre, horse riding

London: Dispute resolution

Professional discipline

Within: Next generation lawyers

Emma Dowden-Teale - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Within: Professional discipline

Bates Wells Braithwaite 'provides excellent response terms and is one of the best in terms of acumen and knowledge'. The multi-disciplinary team covers the  breadth of the professional disciplines, including accountancy and health and social care. It is also retained as the sole legal adviser to The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Compliance Officer, which disciplines MPs for abuses of the expenses system; and it recently acted for the Council of the Inns of Court (COIC), the body that regulates barristers, in an application for an injunction brought by a barrister against COIC, seeking to prevent it from disbarring him from the profession. Former deputy registrar of the General Optical Council, Melanie Carter 'has a superb practice and often acts as a legal assessor for various regulators'; and for over 15 years has sat as a legal assessor for The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Emma Dowden-Teale was promoted to the partnership and a significant proportion of her practice relates to the regulation of professionals in the healthcare and education sectors; consultant John Trotter is a former partner of the firm who acts on behalf of accountancy bodies; and promoted to senior associate in 2017 Claire Whittle, is 'a rising star who is extremely bright, hardworking, thorough and a brilliant drafter'.

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London: Public sector

Administrative and public law

Within: Next generation lawyers

Emma Dowden-Teale - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Within: Administrative and public law

Clients find that 'the level of service is excellent' at Bates Wells Braithwaite. The team takes on a broad range of work including inquiries and the safeguarding of vulnerable groups and acts for both public bodies and claimants. The well-regarded team head Melanie Carter  advises the National Audit office on its audits of local government and NHS bodies and other day-to-day matters. Most recently she advised on the Advisory Notice issued by KPMG (for whom it also acts) on the bankrupt Northants Council. In other work it acted for Airport Coordination following the collapse of Monarch Airlines which included defending a judicial review and involved issues of interpretation of two EU Regulations. Both Carter and Jessica Collings are considered to be 'creative, hardworking and imaginative.' Rupert Earle is noted as 'an outstanding advertising and regulatory law practitioner who is flexible, dependable and has a good team to back him up.' Emma Dowden-Teale , who has been promoted to partner and Claire Whittle  are both noted practitioners.

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Education: institutions

Within: Education: institutions

Bates Wells Braithwaite’s education service is headed by Caraline Johnson. It is hailed for 'providing a specialist team of outstanding experts in education backed up by first-rate solicitors in employment, property and public policy'. On the employment side, William Garnett assists colleges; he counts the Association of Colleges among his clients and is considered to have a 'richly deserved national reputation'. Other core team members include Lucy McLynn and recently promoted partner Emma Dowden-Teale, who handles regulatory and safeguarding laws. In a highlight matter, the team advised Bromley College (and Greenwich and Bexley Colleges) on the proposed merger between Bromley and Greenwich, a highly complex matter that included the design of a partnership management model. It is also advising Trinity College London on employment, real estate, IP, governance and commercial matters. Julian Blake has recently moved to Stone King LLP.

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Education: schools

Within: Education: schools

Bates Wells Braithwaite has 'a specialist team of outstanding experts in education backed up by first-rate solicitors in employment, property and public policy'. It provides advice to early years education providers, schools, academies, multi-academy trusts and their sponsors on the full range of practice areas including charity law. Practice head Caraline Johnson assisted the Mulberry School for Girls with setting up the Mulberry Schools Trust and continues to advise on its expansion. Emma Dowden-Teale, who was recently made up to partner, has a focus on the regulatory side, investigations and appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal and Paul Jennings has a wealth of experience advising educational establishments on employment law. Mary Groom has retired from the practice but continues as legal adviser to the secretariat of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nursery Schools.

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