Practice

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

Emma is equally happy working as junior counsel as part of a team, or as sole counsel and she has experience of high-value disputes involving complex, multi-jurisdictional issues. She regularly appears unled in the High Court and County Court.

Emma has experience acting in off-shore matters and undertook a Pegasus scholarship at an international firm in Bermuda. She has full rights of audience before the AIFC Court in Kazakhstan.

Practice areas

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:

  • Acting and advising on anti-avoidance claims and directors’ misfeasance claims.
  • Acting in various contested winding-up and bankruptcy petitions on behalf of creditors and debtors.
  • Acting in applications for charging orders, injunctions restraining the presentation and advertisement of petitions and applications to set aside statutory demands.

Emma’s recent instructions include:

  • 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 section 238 of the Insolvency Act 1986, preference claims under section 239 and claims for breach of duties and constructive trust.
  • Acting for a bankrupt in a successful annulment application pursuant to section 282(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Acting for a petitioner in an application to set aside a statutory demand based on a guarantee, which related to the value of a residential property provided as security in addition to the guarantee.
  • Acting (with Andrew de Mestre QC) in a claim brought by trustees-in-bankruptcy seeking to set aside transactions at an undervalue under section 423 of the Insolvency Act.
  • Acting for petitioner in a disputed debt hearing following the presentation of a winding-up petition in respect of an unpaid debt due under a personal guarantee.
  • 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 section 27A of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
  • Acting for a trustee-in-bankruptcy in an application for an order for possession and sale of a property co-owned by the bankrupt under the Insolvency Act and TOLATA.
  • Acting for a petitioner in an application to set aside a statutory demand in respect of a debt due and owing following an online auction.
  • 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 section 312 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Acting (with Donald Lilly) in an application to remove a supervisor of an IVA.
  • Assisting (Sharif Shivji) with a liquidator’s section 236 application in civil claims connected to the collapse of the Icelandic banking sector.

Emma is a contributor to Loose and Griffiths on Liquidators (9th ed., 2019), and contributes to Lexis PSL Restructuring & Insolvency. She previously contributed to Lexis Nexis’ Insolvency Rules 2016 forms, replacing the prescribed forms under the old rules.

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 recent experience includes:

  • Acting for a director and a company in a claim alleging breach of duties, dishonest assistance, knowing receipt and unlawful means conspiracy.
  • Advising on and drafting unfair prejudice petitions. Currently acting in an unfair prejudice claim in which a minority shareholder is seeking the winding up of the company.
  • Acting for a shareholder in a claim for unpaid dividends.
  • Advising in a dispute regarding the removal of a director and breach of shareholder’s agreement following disciplinary proceedings in the employment context.
  • Advising on the validity of company actions in accordance with the Articles of Association and statutory provisions.
  • Acting in a claim brought against an alleged shadow director for breach of fiduciary duties.
  • 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 company directors and liquidators of potential claims arising from the insolvency of a company.
  • Prepared 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 for a tenant company in possession proceedings, seeking an amendment of a warrant of possession.
  • Acting in a claim to rectify the register pursuant to section 1096 of the Companies Act 2006 and seeking declarations as to the correct shareholdings in a company.
  • Acting on behalf of a company seeking an order to register a charge out of time under section 859F of the Companies Act 2006.
  • Advising on the structure of funds and cell companies.
  • Acting (with Donald Lilly) in a claim for harassment and trespass against a minority shareholder in a family-run business.
  • Assisting in an application brought by shareholders to convene a general meeting of a publicly listed company.
  • Assisting in an application for directors’ disqualification.
  • Carlyle Capital Corporation Limited (in liq) v Conway [2017] (Guernsey) – (as a pupil assisting Greg Denton-Cox) a $2 billion claim brought by the liquidators against former company directors arising out of the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market in 2008.
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 for a director and a company in a claim alleging breach of duties, dishonest assistance, knowing receipt and unlawful means conspiracy.
  • Acting for a charity seeking an account of profits and equitable compensation in respect of unpaid proceeds wrongfully retained by fundraiser.
  • Acting (with 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 in a claim for breach of trust regarding the beneficial ownerships of shares.
  • Acting (with 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 the 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.
  • 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).
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 acting in a range of interlocutory matters, such as applications for interim injunctions, freezing orders, specific disclosure and relief from sanctions.

Examples of Emma’s recent instructions include:

  • Acting (with Jonathan Crow QC, Nicola Shaw QC, Greg Denton-Cox and Michael Jones) in 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 (with 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 (with 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 on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.
  • Acting in a breach of contract claim for services rendered to an international brewing company.
  • Advising on matters arising out of the Data Protection Act and GDPR.
  • Advising a recruitment company on claims regarding alleged wrongful termination of contract and breach of contract claims.
  • Acting in a claim for misrepresentation and estoppel regarding a parcel of development land.
  • 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.
  • Acting for directors in a claim seeking specific performance and injunctive relief in respect of charges over the directors’ matrimonial property, involving the effect of oral agreements, estoppel and misrepresentation claims.
  • 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.
  • 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 (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.
  • 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.
  • Assisting in a LCIA arbitration claim brought by a private equity firm.
Banking & finance

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

  • 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.
  • Acting as sole counsel in a claim for breach of a facility agreement.
  • Assisting in a LCIA arbitration claim brought by a private equity firm.
  • As a pupil, Emma assisted in a number large banking cases including in the Supreme Court in BNY Mellon Corporate Trustee Services Ltd v LBG Capital No.1 Plc [2016] UKSC 29, in the Court of Appeal in Playboy Club London v Banca Nazionale del Lavoro SPA [2016] EWCA Civ 457, in the Financial List inHayfin Opal Luxico 3 SARL v Windermere VII CMBS Plc [2016] EWHC 782 (Ch) and in the DIFC Court of Appeal in Rafed Al Khorafi v Bank Sarasin-Alpen (ME) Limited [2015] DIFC CA 008.

 

 

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 BVI, Nevis, the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Bermuda, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Kazakhstan, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

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.

Alternative dispute resolution

Emma has experience acting in mediations and international arbitrations.

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

Pro Bono
Volunteer barrister for Bar Pro Bono Unit and CLIPS

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)