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 is ranked as a Rising Star in Legal 500 (2023) for Commercial LitigationEmma is terrific to work with. She has a keen eye for detail and works exceptionally hard to know every nook and cranny of a case.

She is also ranked as a Rising Star in Legal 500 (2023) for Company LawEmma combines a grasp of the detail and relevant issues with an ability to place this within the wider strategy.

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

  • Commercial: Acting for Credit Suisse in relation to claims brought by the Republic of Mozambique (led by Laurence Rabinowitz KC, Andrew Hunter KC, Sharif Shivji KC, Andrew Scott KC and Tom Gentleman). The case is listed for a 12-week trial in late 2023.
  • Civil fraud: Acting in a three and a half week virtual trial in the Commercial Court concerning claims in deceit and alleged breaches of a joint venture agreement (led by Richard Hill KC and Gregory Denton-Cox): MAD Atelier International BV v Manes [2021] EWHC 3335 (Comm).
  • Company law: Acting (led by Michael Todd KC and Gregory Denton-Cox) in a four-week trial in the Jersey Royal Court and a three-day appeal before the Jersey Court of Appeal, for the successful plaintiff shareholders, US growth and venture capital firms, who obtained a share purchase order on the grounds of unfair prejudice: Financial Technology Ventures II (Q) LP and Ors v ETFS Capital Limited and Tuckwell [2021] JRC 025; [2021] JCA 176; [2021] JCA 191.
  • Insolvency: Acting for former directors in proceedings issued by the joint liquidators of a Guernsey company with construction business based in the Middle East, defending claims for wrongful trading, fraudulent trading, breach of fiduciary duties and unlawful means conspiracy (led by John Brisby KC and Gregory Denton-Cox).
  • Commercial Chancery: Acting (led by Jonathan Crow KC, Nicola Shaw KC, Michael Jones KC and Gregory Denton-Cox) 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: Gaines-Cooper v HMRC (2018-).
  • 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 KC and Joe Wigley), raising issues of misrepresentation and duress.

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 significant experience acting in offshore matters and undertook a Pegasus scholarship working in an international firm in Bermuda.  She has acted in matters in Jersey, Guernsey, 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 KC, 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 KC, 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 for Credit Suisse in relation to claims brought by the Republic of Mozambique (led by Laurence Rabinowitz KC, Andrew Hunter KC, Sharif Shivji KC, Andrew Scott KC and Tom Gentleman). The case is listed for a 12-week trial in late 2023.
  • Acting for former directors in proceedings issued by the joint liquidators of a Guernsey company with construction business based in the Middle East, defending claims for wrongful trading, fraudulent trading, breach of fiduciary duties and unlawful means conspiracy (led by John Brisby KC and Gregory Denton-Cox).
  • Acting (led by Richard Hill KC and Gregory Denton-Cox) in MAD Atelier International BV v Manes (2021) for the defendant in a three and a half 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 KC, 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 KC, 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 three-day appeal before the Jersey Court of Appeal ([2021] JCA 176).
  • Acting for the successful claimant in the trial of a claim brought under proprietary estoppel involving a familial dispute over a parcel of development land (led by Paul Greenwood).
  • 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 (with Sharif Shivji KC 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 KC, Nicola Shaw KC, Michael Jones KC and Gregory Denton-Cox) in Gaines-Cooper v HMRC a 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 spent six months working with the team in the London office of Mischon de Reya.
  • Acting (led by Orlando Fraser KC) 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

Ranked as a “Rising Star” in Commercial Litigation by Legal 500 (2023), 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 for Credit Suisse in relation to claims brought by the Republic of Mozambique (led by Laurence Rabinowitz KC, Andrew Hunter KC, Sharif Shivji KC, Andrew Scott KC and Tom Gentleman). The case is listed for a 12-week trial in late 2023.
  • Acting for former directors in proceedings issued by the joint liquidators of a Guernsey company with construction business based in the Middle East, defending claims for wrongful trading, fraudulent trading, breach of fiduciary duties and unlawful means conspiracy (led by John Brisby KC and Gregory Denton-Cox).
  • Acting (led by Richard Hill KC and Gregory Denton-Cox) in MAD Atelier International BV v Manes [2021] EWHC 3335 (Comm) for the defendant in a three and half week trial with claims in deceit and allegations of breaches of a joint venture agreement in relation to a French Michelin-starred restaurant.
  • Acting (led by James Ramsden KC) in a dispute arising from unpaid purchase price under a share purchase agreement, with allegations of breach of warranties.
  • Acting (with Sharif Shivji KC, 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 Jonathan Crow KC, Nicola Shaw KC, Michael Jones KC and Gregory Denton-Cox) 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 KC) 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 KC 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 KC, 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

Ranked as a “Rising Star” in Company Law by Legal 500 (2023), 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 for former directors in proceedings issued by the joint liquidators of a Guernsey company with construction business based in the Middle East, defending claims for wrongful trading, fraudulent trading, breach of fiduciary duties and unlawful means conspiracy (led by John Brisby KC and Gregory Denton-Cox).
  • Acting (led by Michael Todd KC, 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 three-day appeal before the Jersey Court of Appeal ([2021] JCA 176; [2021 JCA 191]).
  • 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 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 KC) in a dispute arising from unpaid purchase price under a share purchase agreement, with allegations of breach of warranties.
  • Acting (with Sharif Shivji KC 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.
  • 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 for Credit Suisse in relation to claims brought by the Republic of Mozambique (led by Laurence Rabinowitz KC, Andrew Hunter KC, Sharif Shivji KC, Andrew Scott KC and Tom Gentleman). The case is listed for a 12-week trial in late 2023.
  • Acting (led by Richard Hill KC) in Jones v Jones [2022] CFI 043 for the respondent to a freezing injunction in the DIFC Court, obtained in support of ongoing proceedings in the onshore Dubai Court.
  • Acting for former directors in proceedings issued by the joint liquidators of a Guernsey company with construction business based in the Middle East, defending claims for wrongful trading, fraudulent trading, breach of fiduciary duties and unlawful means conspiracy (led by John Brisby KC and Gregory Denton-Cox).
  • Acting (led by Richard Hill KC and Gregory Denton-Cox) in MAD Atelier International BV v Manes [2021] EWHC 3335 (Comm) for the defendant in a three and a half 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 KC) 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 KC 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 KC, 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.
  • Assisting Sharif Shivji in Chesterfield United (in liq) v Deutsche Bank AG 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 for former directors in proceedings issued by the joint liquidators of a Guernsey company with construction business based in the Middle East, defending claims for wrongful trading, fraudulent trading, breach of fiduciary duties and unlawful means conspiracy (led by John Brisby KC and Gregory Denton-Cox).
  • 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 (as sole counsel) 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 KC) 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

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. Since 2018 she has had rights of audience before the Court of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) in Kazakhstan.

Recent instructions include:

  • Acting (led by Richard Hill KC) in Jones v Jones [2022] CFI 043 for the respondent to a freezing injunction in the DIFC Court, obtained in support of ongoing proceedings in the onshore Dubai Court.
  • Acting for former directors in proceedings issued by the joint liquidators of a Guernsey company with construction business based in the Middle East, defending claims for wrongful trading, fraudulent trading, breach of fiduciary duties and unlawful means conspiracy (led by John Brisby KC and Gregory Denton-Cox).
  • Acting (led by Michael Todd KC, 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 three-day appeal before the Jersey Court of Appeal ([2021] JCA 176).
  • Acting (with Sharif Shivji KC, 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 KC) 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 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

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

 

Education & awards

Qualifications
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

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

 

 

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 KC and Lara Hassell-Hart)