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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926 - 2022

Portrait of Emma Willing
Areas of expertise: Family law, Private wealth


Emma is a partner and a member of the firm’s private wealth group. She joined Penningtons Manches Cooper in September 2022 and previously spent over 12 years at Mishcon de Reya in London where she became a Partner in 2021.

With over 15 years of experience, she offers a depth and breadth of expertise in all aspects of family law, and has developed particular capabilities in the resolution of complex and high value financial issues on divorce, private children law matters, cohabitation disputes and the drafting of marital and cohabitation agreements. Her extensive international experience sees her draw regularly on her network of international contacts across her caseload. She works for clients from a wide range of backgrounds including entrepreneurs, family business owners, city professionals, celebrities and the independently wealthy.

The Legal 500 2022 lists Emma as a Next Generation Partner and notes that she “impresses with her hard work and dedication to her cases”, and that she has “extraordinary tact and patience with clients". It further states that "Emma is a really accomplished, classy family lawyer who fights hard for her clients" and "is calm, with a razor-sharp intelligence." She also features in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2022, in which one source described her as being "one of the most talented lawyers I know."

Emma also has extensive expertise in advising in respect to modern family building whether through surrogacy, assisted reproduction, donor conception, co-parenting and adoption (both domestic and international). She has worked on numerous complex surrogacy cases involving overseas jurisdictions and for clients with international connections and is an ambassador for Fertility Network UK, the UK's leading charity supporting those suffering with fertility issues. Emma is listed in the Tatler Address Book, Pathways to Parenthood.

As a qualified mediator, she can also assist clients in seeking to resolve issues outside the context of court proceedings. Emma frequently contributes to the legal press and is a member of Resolution.

Recent work highlights

  • Negotiating and preparation of a pre-nuptial agreement for an international client in a case with assets worth in excess of $100M, which were situated offshore and in corporate and trust structures.
  • Representing a parent in a high conflict Children Act matter where there were allegations of parental alienation and controlling and coercive behaviour. The case involved the appointment of a guardian in the proceedings.
  • Acting for a spouse in financial proceedings in a reported High Court case in which arguments arose relating to the significance of the spouse’s pre-marital wealth.
  • Acting in numerous international surrogacy cases for intended parents. Assisting intended parents in considering alternative routes to legal parentage (including international adoptions) where the criteria for a parental order in England were not met. Working closely with colleagues in the immigration and private client team in advising intended parents in their surrogacy journeys.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP