Practice

Emma has a busy commercial chancery practice with experience in commercial litigation and arbitration. She has a particular interest in civil fraud, company law and insolvency.

Emma’s recent work includes a number of high-value commercial claims. Examples of her notable recent work include:

  • Civil fraud: MAD Atelier International BV v Manes (2021) (led by Richard Hill QC and Gregory Denton-Cox) A three-week virtual trial in the Commercial Court concerning claims in deceit and alleged breaches of a joint venture agreement.
  • Banking: Acting for the defendants in proceedings in the DIFC (2021) in relation to a claim brought by a syndicate of banks (led by Sharif Shivji QC and Joe Wigley), raising issues of misrepresentation and duress.
  • Company law: Financial Technology Ventures II (Q) LP and Ors v ETFS Capital Limited and Tuckwell (2020-21) (led by Michael Todd QC and Gregory Denton-Cox) A four-week trial in the Jersey Royal Court and an appeal before the Jersey Court of Appeal. Emma acted for the successful plaintiff shareholders, US growth and venture capital firms, who obtained a share purchase order on the grounds of unfair prejudice.
  • Insolvency: Confidential (2020) (sole counsel) Advising an US airport authority following the liquidation of Thomas Cook.
  • Commercial Chancery: Gaines-Cooper v HMRC (2018-) (led by Jonathan Crow QC, Nicola Shaw QC, Gregory Denton-Cox and Michael Jones) in large tax appeal against assessments to income tax, involving issues of residence and domicile, competence of discovery assessments, transfer of assets abroad, settlements legislation and the effect of EU law.

Emma is equally experienced as sole counsel and she regularly appears unled in the High Court and in the County Court. Recent instructions include unfair prejudice petitions, claims for breaches of directors’ duties, transactions defrauding creditors under s.423 of the Insolvency Act 1986, and injunctive relief including freezing orders.

Emma has experience acting in offshore matters and undertook a Pegasus scholarship working in an international firm in Bermuda.  She has acted in matters in Jersey, the DIFC, the BVI and Hong Kong, and she has full rights of audience before the AIFC Court in Kazakhstan.

Practice areas

Banking & finance

Emma acts in disputes relating to the banking and finance industry, her experience includes:

  • Acting (with Sharif Shivji QC, Joe Wigley and Hossein Sharafi) for the defendants in the DIFC in relation to a claim brought by a syndicate of banks under a loan facility, raising issues of misrepresentation, duress and Sharia finance.
  • Acting as sole counsel in a claim for breach of a facility agreement.
  • Acting (with Daniel Toledano QC, Sharif Shivji, James Goldsmith & ors) in McGraw-Hill International (UK) Limited v Deutsche Apotheker & Ors, a Commercial Court claim by certain investors in CPDO notes against a bank and rating agency alleging negligence and negligent and fraudulent misrepresentations in relation to the rating of those notes.
Chancery: commercial

Emma is regularly instructed in commercial chancery disputes, appearing in the Business & Property Courts (in the Chancery Division and the Commercial Court) as sole or junior counsel, as well as the County Court. Her experience includes:

  • Shareholder disputes
  • Claims for breach of fiduciary duties
  • Construction of commercial contracts
  • Claims in deceit
  • Share purchase disputes
  • Misrepresentation claims
  • Claims bases on equitable principles such as estoppel and constructive trusts

Examples of Emma’s recent instructions include:

  • Acting (led by Richard Hill QC and Gregory Denton-Cox) in MAD Atelier International BV v Manes (2021) for the defendant in a three-week trial with claims in deceit and allegations of breaches of a joint venture agreement in relation to a French Michelin-starred restaurant.
  • Acting (with Sharif Shivji QC, Joe Wigley and Hossein Sharafi) for the defendants in the DIFC in relation to a claim brought by a syndicate of banks under a loan facility, raising issues of misrepresentation, duress and Sharia finance.
  • Acting (with Michael Todd QC, Gregory Denton-Cox and Jersey Advocates Nick Williams and James Angus) for private equity and venture capital firms in an unfair prejudice petition against a majority shareholder following the sale of the company’s ETF business. Emma acted in the four-week trial before the Royal Court in Jersey (Financial Technology Ventures II (Q) LP and Ors v ETFS Capital Limited and Tuckwell [2021] JRC 025) and in the appeal before the Jersey Court of Appeal ([2021] JCA 176).
  • Acting (led by Paul Greenwood) for the claimant involving proprietary estoppel and constructive trusts involving a familial dispute over a parcel of development land.
  • Acting (with Sharif Shivji QC and Karl Anderson) in General Electric Company v Al Alpine US Bidco Inc [2021], a Part 8 claim involving the expert determination under a Share Purchase Agreement.
  • Acting (led by Jonathan Crow QC, Nicola Shaw QC, Gregory Denton-Cox and Michael Jones) in Gaines-Cooper v HMRC a tax appeal against assessments to income tax, involving issues of residence and domicile, competence of discovery assessments, transfer of assets abroad, settlements legislation and the effect of EU law. Emma spent six months working with the team in the London office of Mischon de Reya.
  • Acting as sole counsel in a number of different matters for directors involving allegations of breach of duties, dishonest assistance, knowing receipt and unlawful means conspiracy.
  • Acting (led by Orlando Fraser QC) in a claim in the BVI regarding the beneficial ownership of shares of a multi-million-dollar fund involving allegations of fraud, including numerous applications, e.g. disclosure orders, seeking the removal of receivers and an application by the receivers for access to servers.
  • Assisting Sharif Shivji in Akhmedova v Akhmedov [2018] DIFC CFI 011 a dispute regarding the ability of the DIFC Court to pierce the corporate veil in order to found jurisdiction following the granting of a freezing order obtained to enforce the largest divorce award ever granted by the English High Court against a superyacht.

 

Commercial dispute resolution

Emma is regularly instructed as junior counsel in large commercial disputes and she has experience of litigation and arbitration.  Her experience includes:

  • Large commercial trials
  • Interim injunctions
  • Freezing orders
  • Specific disclosure applications
  • Relief from sanctions
  • Enforcement of judgments (including foreign judgments)

Examples of Emma’s recent instructions include:

  • Acting (led by Richard Hill QC and Gregory Denton-Cox) in MAD Atelier International BV v Manes (2021) for the defendant in a three-week trial with claims in deceit and allegations of breaches of a joint venture agreement in relation to a French Michelin-starred restaurant.
  • Acting (with Sharif Shivji QC, Joe Wigley and Hossein Sharafi) for the defendants in the DIFC in relation to a claim brought by a syndicate of banks under a loan facility, raising issues of misrepresentation, duress and Sharia finance.
  • Acting (led by James Ramsden QC) in a dispute arising from unpaid purchase price under a share purchase agreement, with allegations of breach of warranties.
  • Acting (led by Jonathan Crow QC, Nicola Shaw QC, Gregory Denton-Cox and Michael Jones) in Gaines-Cooper v HMRC a tax appeal against assessments to income tax, involving issues of residence and domicile, competence of discovery assessments, transfer of assets abroad, settlements legislation and the effect of EU law. Emma spent six months working with the team in the London office of Mischon de Reya.
  • Acting as sole counsel in a Part 8 claim seeking declaratory relief and final injunctive relief arising from a defendant’s obligations under a share purchase agreement.
  • Acting (led by Orlando Fraser QC) in a claim in the BVI regarding the beneficial ownership of shares of a multi-million-dollar fund involving allegations of fraud, including numerous applications, e.g. disclosure orders, seeking the removal of receivers and an application by the receivers for access to servers.
  • Acting (led by John Brisby QC and Tom Gentleman) for a group of Hong Kong companies in a claim for negligence brought against their former auditor for failure to detect frauds perpetrated against the companies by the former directors.
  • Advising plant auctioneers on the validity of the retention of title clauses in their contractual documentation and potential claims pursuant to the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977.
  • Assisting Sharif Shivji in Akhmedova v Akhmedov [2018] DIFC CFI 011 a dispute regarding the ability of the DIFC Court to pierce the corporate veil in order to found jurisdiction following the granting of a freezing order obtained to enforce the largest divorce award ever granted by the English High Court against a superyacht.
  • Acting pro bono in a dispute arising from a home renovation involving claims and counterclaims relating to breach of contract, tort of conversion and professional negligence.
  • Acting (led by Daniel Toledano QC, Sharif Shivji, James Goldsmith & ors) in McGraw-Hill International (UK) Limited v Deutsche Apotheker & Ors, a Commercial Court claim by certain investors in CPDO notes against a bank and rating agency alleging negligence and negligent and fraudulent misrepresentations in relation to the rating of those notes.
  • Acting as part of the counsel team in Robert Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton [2018] in the defence of the Commercial Court claim for £2bn alleging unlawful means conspiracy to procure an SFO investigation.
  • Advising on matters arising out of the Data Protection Act and GDPR.

 

Company law

Emma has a wide range of company law experience including directors’ duties cases, and shareholder disputes including minority oppression. She regularly appears in the Insolvency and Companies Court.

Her experience includes matters involving:

  • Shareholder disputes
  • Unfair prejudice petitions
  • Just and equitable winding up petitions
  • Claims for breach of directors’ duties
  • Shadow and de facto director claims
  • Construction of company’s articles

Her recent experience includes:

  • Acting (led by Michael Todd QC, Gregory Denton-Cox and Jersey Advocates Nick Williams and James Angus) for private equity and venture capital firms in an unfair prejudice petition against a majority shareholder following the sale of the company’s ETF business. Emma acted in the four-week trial before the Royal Court in Jersey (Financial Technology Ventures II (Q) LP and Ors v ETFS Capital Limited and Tuckwell [2021] JRC 025) and in the appeal before the Jersey Court of Appeal ([2021] JCA 176).
  • Advising on and drafting unfair prejudice petitions. Currently acting as sole counsel  on behalf of a respondent company in a s.994 petition where the principal allegation alleges diversion of the PPI claims business to the respondent company. In another matter she is acting for a petitioner seeking a just and equitable winding up of the company.
  • Acting (with Sharif Shivji QC and Karl Anderson) in General Electric Company v Al Alpine US Bidco Inc [2021], a Part 8 claim involving the expert determination under a Share Purchase Agreement.
  • Acting as sole counsel in a number of different matters for directors involving allegations of breach of duties, dishonest assistance, knowing receipt and unlawful means conspiracy.
  • Acting (led by James Ramsden QC) in a dispute arising from unpaid purchase price under a share purchase agreement, with allegations of breach of warranties.
  • Assisting Sharif Shivji in a dispute involving lifting/piercing the corporate veil where a company was alleged to be a ‘sham’ in the context of enforcement of the largest divorce award ever granted by the English High Court in the DIFC (Akhmedova v Akhmedov [2018] DIFC CFI 011).
  • Advising on the validity of company actions in accordance with the Articles of Association and statutory provisions.
  • Advising company directors and liquidators of potential claims arising from the insolvency of a company.
  • Drafted pleadings in a shareholder dispute in relation to sums due under a share purchase agreement which resulted in a successful settlement of the claims between the parties.
  • Acting (led by Donald Lilly) in a claim for harassment and trespass against a minority shareholder in a family-run business.
Fraud – civil

Emma regularly deals with matters containing allegations of fraud and dishonesty in the context of insolvencies and as part of her commercial chancery practice.

Her experience includes matters involving:

  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Dishonest assistance
  • Knowing receipt
  • Deceit
  • Fraud
  • Breach of trust
  • Unlawful means conspiracy
  • Fraudulent trading

Examples of Emma’s recent instructions include:

  • Acting (led by Richard Hill QC and Gregory Denton-Cox) in MAD Atelier International BV v Manes (2021) for the defendant in a three-week trial with claims in deceit and allegations of breaches of a joint venture agreement in relation to a French Michelin-starred restaurant.
  • Acting as sole counsel for a director and a company in a claim alleging breach of duties, dishonest assistance, knowing receipt and unlawful means conspiracy.
  • Acting as sole counsel in applications for a charging orders over property transferred to family members involving questions of sham transactions and an application under s.423 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Acting (led by Orlando Fraser QC) in a claim in the BVI regarding the beneficial ownership of shares of a multi-million-dollar fund involving allegations of fraud, including numerous applications, including disclosure orders, seeking the removal of receivers and an application by the receivers for access to servers.
  • Acting (led by John Brisby QC and Tom Gentleman) for a group of Hong Kong companies in a claim for negligence brought against their former auditor for failure to detect frauds perpetrated against the companies by the former directors.
  • Acting as part of a large counsel team in Robert Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton in the defence of the Commercial Court claim for £2 billion alleging unlawful means conspiracy to procure an SFO investigation.
  • Acting (led by Daniel Toledano QC, Sharif Shivji, James Goldsmith & ors) in McGraw-Hill International (UK) Limited v Deutsche Apotheker & Ors, a Commercial Court claim by certain investors in CPDO notes against a bank and rating agency alleging negligence and negligent and fraudulent misrepresentations in relation to the rating of those notes.
  • Acting as sole counsel for a charity seeking an account of profits and equitable compensation in respect of unpaid proceeds wrongfully retained by fundraiser.
  • Acting in a claim for breach of trust regarding the beneficial ownerships of shares.
  • Chesterfield United (in liq) v Deutsche Bank AG – (as a pupil assisting Sharif Shivji) a claim involving dishonest assistance and knowing receipt arising from the sale and purchase of credit linked notes (CLNs).
Insolvency & restructuring

Much of Emma’s work includes insolvency elements and she regularly appears before ICC Judges in the Insolvency and Companies List.  Her experience includes:

  • Anti-avoidance claims
  • Directors’ misfeasance claims
  • Applications for validation orders
  • Contested winding-up petitions
  • Contested bankruptcy petitions
  • Applications to annul bankruptcy orders
  • Disputed debt hearings
  • Applications to set aside statutory demands
  • Charging orders
  • Injunctions restraining the presentation and advertisement of petitions

Emma’s recent instructions include:

  • Acting as sole counsel in applications for a charging orders over property transferred to family members involving questions of sham transactions and an application under s.423 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Advising on the requirements for a moratorium under the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020.
  • Advising an US airport authority on the recourse to security deposits following the liquidation of Thomas Cook.
  • Acting for a defendant director and company in a claim brought by administrators to set aside transactions at an undervalue under s.238 of the Insolvency Act 1986, preference claims under s.239 and claims for breach of duties and constructive trust.
  • Acting (led by Andrew de Mestre QC) in a claim brought by trustees-in-bankruptcy seeking to set aside transactions at an undervalue under s.423 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Acting for a bankrupt in a successful annulment application pursuant to s.282(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Acting (led by Donald Lilly) in an application to remove a supervisor of an IVA.
  • Acting for a judgment debtor in successfully obtaining a final charging order over the debtor’s matrimonial home and subsequently seeking an order for sale pursuant to CPR 73 and TOLATA 1996.
  • Acting for a leaseholder in an application to set aside a statutory demand brought by a tenant where the debt was based on a First-Tier Tribunal determination under s.27A of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
  • Acting in a claim brought by a trustee-in-bankruptcy seeking enforcement of a solicitor’s undertaking and delivery up of the bankrupt’s property under s.312 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Emma is a contributor to Loose and Griffiths on Liquidators (9th ed., 2019), and contributes to Lexis PSL Restructuring & Insolvency and the Insolvency Rules 2016 forms.

International arbitration

Emma has experience acting in international arbitrations. She is familiar with the ICC and LCIA rules. She was involved in an LCIA arbitration claim brought by a private equity firm and she is a member of the LCIA Young International Arbitration Group.

Offshore litigation

Emma has experience of claims with an international element and her work often involves jurisdictional issues. She has been involved in matters in:

  • The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
  • Jersey
  • Guernsey
  • Isle of Man
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Nevis
  • The Cayman Islands
  • Hong Kong
  • Bermuda
  • Kazakhstan

Emma undertook a Pegasus scholarship at the offshore firm Appleby in Bermuda for six weeks in 2017, working in the Dispute Resolution team on matters involving insolvency, banking, trusts and judicial review.

Recent instructions include:

  • Acting (led by Michael Todd QC, Gregory Denton-Cox and Jersey Advocates Nick Williams and James Angus) for private equity and venture capital firms in an unfair prejudice petition against a majority shareholder following the sale of the company’s ETF business. Emma acted in the four-week trial before the Royal Court in Jersey (Financial Technology Ventures II (Q) LP and Ors v ETFS Capital Limited and Tuckwell [2021] JRC 025) and in the appeal before the Jersey Court of Appeal ([2021] JCA 176).
  • Acting (with Sharif Shivji QC, Joe Wigley and Hossein Sharafi) for the defendants in the DIFC in relation to a claim brought by a syndicate of banks under a loan facility, raising issues of misrepresentation, duress and Sharia finance.
  • Acting (led by Orlando Fraser QC) in a claim in the BVI regarding the beneficial ownership of shares of a multi-million-dollar fund involving allegations of fraud, including numerous applications, including disclosure orders, seeking the removal of receivers and an application by the receivers for access to servers.
  • Assisting Gregory Denton-Cox as a pupil in Carlyle Capital Corporation Limited (in liq) v Conway [2017] a $2 billion claim brought by the liquidators in Guernsey against former company directors arising out of the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market in 2008.

Additional info

Foreign Admissions

Rights of audience before the Court of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) in Kazakhstan (2018)

Career & appointments

Memberships
Chancery Bar Association
Commercial Bar Association
Asset Recovery Next Gen
London Irish Lawyers Association
LCIA Young International Arbitration Group

 

Education & awards

BPTC (Outstanding, 2nd in year), University of Law
LLM (Commercial Law) (First Class), St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge
LLB (First Class, 5th in year), Trinity College Dublin
Study abroad at Washington & Lee University, Virginia, USA

Pegasus Scholarship (Bermuda)
Lincoln’s Inn: Buchanan Prize, Levitt Scholarship, Sir Louis Gluckstein Advocacy Finalist, Sir Thomas More Bursary, Hardwicke Award
University of Law: Mistress of Moots Advocacy Scholarship, Law First Scholarship, Drafting Prize
St Catharine’s College: Gooderson Memorial Scholarship for Legal Practice, Kemp-Gooderson Prize, College Book Prize, Mrs Payne (1610) Scholarship
Trinity College Dublin: Entrance Exhibition

 

Publications

Co-author of “On Your Feet: A Practical Guide to Civil Advocacy” (2019)

Contributor to Loose and Griffiths on Liquidators (9th ed., 2019)

Co-author of Commercial Law and Financial Regulation [2016] UKSC Yearbook 314 (with Jonathan Crow QC and Lara Hassell)