Emma Satyamurti > Leigh Day > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Leigh Day

Work Department



Emma represents individuals on the full spectrum of cases. She heads a team of two junior solicitors, with full and very varied caseloads involving many different jurisdictions and highly vulnerable clients. Emma’s current and recent work includes a number of high-value discrimination claims (including sex, maternity, disability, race and sexual orientation) for clients across a range of sectors from financial services, retail and real estate as well as a number of senior public sector professionals. She also regularly advises pre-litigation and has a strong track record of achieving favourable settlements for her clients both before and during legal proceedings. Her pragmatic and creative advice also often enables clients to resolve issues themselves without a breakdown in relations, which can be extremely advantageous reputationally and professionally. Very recent highlights include Van Straaten v Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in which her client succeeded in her claims of maternity discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal against a complex factual background. (The hearing is due to be listed to determine remedy shortly.) Emma is also currently acting for a BAJ member (a photographer of 18 years) in his breach of contract claim against the Daily Telegraph. Emma also leads her team in a broad range of complex and/or unusual cases; recent / on-going examples include claims alleging indirect sex discrimination in provision of higher education, victimisation in recruitment, and high-level maternity discrimination in the legal profession. Emma’s successes in 2014 / 2015 include: acting in a sensitive unfair dismissal and sexual orientation claim (successfully settled on confidential terms); negotiating substantial exit packages for a number of senior professionals; publication of the well-received ‘Purple Workforce’ report on the experiences of disabled people in relation to work http://www.leighday.co.uk/Asserting-your-rights/Employment-law/Employment-law-resources/The-purple-workforce; organising and leading a highly successful roundtable discussion with key disability charities and other relevant organisations to discuss the findings of the research and how to take this work forward. Emma is regularly asked to comment on topical issues and widely quoted, eg on ET fees (The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/aug/17/workers-cant-fight-employment-tribunals); interviewed for Lexis Nexis on the recent Court of Appeal ruling in FirstGroup v Paulley; recently interviewed for an editorial feature in the disability magazine Able. Emma is also an accredited ADR Group workplace mediator having successfully completed the intensive training (October 2013). Emma regularly provides training internally and externally. She was a speaker on a live LexisNexis webinar on disability discrimination, and has also recorded a podcast on discrimination remedies for CPDcast (with a colleague). In 2014 she provided training on disability discrimination to the spinal injuries association, and has recently presented a session to the Law Centres Network on the Purple Workforce research and related recent roundtable she led. She also recently participated in a training and mentoring workshop on motivation in work run by the charity Scope, and she is due to be speaking at Westminster Employment Forum’s seminar on disability in the workplace in October 2015.



Trained Russell Jones & Walker, qualified 2002, partner 2015. Emma trained and qualified at Russell Jones & Walker (now Slater & Gordon) where she worked as a qualified solicitor for 9 years. She had a varied practice and developed extensive experience in litigation, and regulatory and advisory work for trade union, police and private clients. She represented employees and claimants in a wide range of claims and forums, including discrimination (she obtained one of the highest tribunal awards in a disability discrimination claim), flexible and part time working, dismissals (including involving TUPE issues), whistleblowing, data protection, terms and conditions, judicial review and complex county / high court litigation including representing multiple claimants. She also undertook a wide range of advisory work for trades unions and staff associations in relation to their members’ legal entitlements. From 2003 to 2010, in addition to her full time legal work, Emma was a non-executive Director at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. The Tavistock and Portman is a specialist provider of NHS mental health services, and is also a major training institution in the field of mental health. Emma was one of six non-executive directors sitting on the trust’s board of directors. Along with the other board members she was ultimately responsible for the running and strategic direction of the trust. In addition to her role as board member, she was an active member of the trust’s audit committee for the full duration of her service, chaired and participated in the appointments panels for a number of key senior appointments, and also took a non-executive lead on equality, HR issues, adult services, remuneration of doctors and child protection. She was also a panel member / chair for disciplinary and grievance appeals. The Trust nominated her for a Non-Executive Director of the Year award in late 2009. She was also appointed to the role of senior independent director on 1 March 2010 and in this role was responsible for carrying out a 360 degree appraisal of the trust chair in consultation with the board of governors. Emma writes frequently on employment law and related subjects, contributing the regularly updated entries on victimisation and whistleblowing in the Westlaw UK online encyclopaedia Insight and a number of articles, guides and blogs in 2014/2015: The loss of accessible justice for workers, March 2014 (http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/The-loss-of-accessible-justice); Guidance booklet Flexible Working for Carers (with Camilla Palmer), April 2014 (http://www.leighday.co.uk/LeighDay/media/LeighDay/documents/Brochures/FleixbleWorkingForCarers_Final(rev2).pdf); Early Conciliation factsheet, May 2014 (with Elizabeth George) (http://www.leighday.co.uk/LeighDay/media/LeighDay/documents/Factsheets/Early-Conciliation-Factsheet_12may2014.pdf); Settlement Agreement factsheet, May 2014 (with Elizabeth George), (http://www.leighday.co.uk/LeighDay/media/LeighDay/documents/Brochures/SettlementAgreements_final.pdf); Disability, employment and the law, May 2014 (guest blog for Scope) (http://blog.scope.org.uk/2014/05/02/disability-employment-and-the-law); Mental Health: We’re all in it together, October 2014 (http://www.leighday.co.uk/Blog/October-2014/Friday-was-World-Mental-Health-Day-2014,-and-it-go); Discrimination against disabled people in the workplace still common, November 2014 (http://www.leighday.co.uk/Blog/November-2014/Discrimination-against-disabled-people-in-the-work); International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2014: some reflections on luck (http://www.leighday.co.uk/Blog/December-2014/International-Day-of-Persons-with-Disabilities); Room for all to get on board? FirstGroup plc and Paulley [2014], February 2015, article for Discrimination Lawyers Association Briefings publication.


Oxford University (University College); double first class degree in Classics (1996), CPE (1999), LPC with distinction (2000).



Music, literature.