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Emma Dowden-Teale

Work 020 7551 7890
Bates Wells

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 Partners

Emma Dowden-Teale - Bates Wells

Within: Professional discipline

At Bates Wells, 'the attention to detail is quite exceptional, yet the practice manages to work collaboratively and pleasantly'. It recently hired Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's former professional discipline team, including partners Nicole Curtis and Geoffrey Hudson (now consultant), as well as consultant Katrina Wingfield and associate Neil Wilks. Curtis and Wilks recently represented Farriers Registration Council in disciplinary proceedings, including in relation to animal cruelty. The professional discipline practice has particular strength in acting for representative bodies that have professional discipline functions, as well as statutory regulators, and it covers the health and social care, accountancy, veterinary and equine-related professions. Melanie Carter is a former GOC deputy registrar; also key to the group are Emma Dowden-Teale and senior associate Claire Whittle.

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London: Public sector

Administrative and public law

Within: Next Generation Partners

Emma Dowden-Teale - Bates Wells

Within: Administrative and public law

Melanie Carter leads the rapidly growing team at Bates Wells, which has a considerable breadth of expertise across the field of administrative and public law. Of particular note is the team’s experience with public law in the third sector, with Carter and Emma Dowden-Teale advising a number of household names on statutory inquiries and engagements with the Charity Commission. The firm has an established inquiries practice, with Claire Whittle advising a number of non-departmental public bodies on their engagements with the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The team often appears on both sides of judicial review challenges, and regular defence instructions are received by regulatory bodies such as the Advertising Standards Authority; Rupert Earle is currently defending this client against a challenge to its ruling on misleading advertising of broadband technology. The team's extensive list of claimant work includes applications against the NHS and the British Standards Institute and other regulators in the charity, education and healthcare sectors. Notable additions to the team include a number of public law practitioners from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, DAC Beachcroft LLP and Hogan Lovells International LLP.

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Education: institutions

Within: Education: institutions

Bates Wells assists education sector clients with a wide range of matters, from regulatory issues and procurement to post-merger work. Led by Caraline Johnson, the team has brought its cross-departmental expertise to bear in advising on mergers between further education bodies. William Garnett, who leads the employment and discrimination team, is recommended for representing senior executives. Other core team members include regulatory department partner Emma Dowden-Teale and employment head Lucy Mclynn.

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Education: schools

Within: Education: schools

Bates Wells' 'highly responsive, knowledgeable and solution-orientated' education team is led by Caraline Johnson, who has over two decades of experience in the sector. The team's main strengths lie in the restructuring of the state school landscape into academies, the development of multi-academy trusts and contentious matters such as discrimination claims. The firm also offers cross-departmental expertise in areas such as charity law and commercial law to national and international clients. Key names to note include employment lawyer William Garnett, public law specialist Emma Dowden-Teale and Paul Jennings, who is recommended for his expertise in discrimination law.

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Local government

Within: Local government

The team at Bates Wells is well know for its specialisms in advising local government auditors and advising in relation to mutuals. It has advised on audits in relation to over 40 local authorities, including on some high-profile cases such as the budget deficit of Northamptonshire Council. It advises public sector mutuals and spin-out organisations who are using such vehicles to provide key public services. Abbie Rumbold and Melanie Carter are the experts in these areas, together with Emma Dowden-Teale and Augustus Della-Porta, who also bring charity/social enterprise and social care expertise.

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