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Emily Betts
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Punches far above her weight in terms of years of experience, and is very bright and tenacious in court. She’s really strong on paper, drafting pleadings and skeleton arguments in an effective way.

Chambers UK

She is a superb all-rounder with an excellent understanding of the law

Legal 500

A future silk, her attention to detail and work ethic is second to none

Legal 500

She is a great advocate, with a calm and unflappable manner that ensures great results

Legal 500

Emily’s practice encompasses all aspects of commercial and property law. She acts largely in business and commercial property disputes, in particular in areas where her specialisms overlap such as secured lending and commercial fraud. She is an experienced trial advocate, both as sole counsel and as a junior to leading counsel, and has appeared in multi week trials in both the Commercial Court and the Chancery Division.

Emily frequently receives positive feedback for her fast turnaround of high quality work as well as her dedicated and hard-working nature. Her personable manner means that she has a loyal following from a wide range of clients.

Her recent clients have included: a nationwide energy company, leading property developers, action groups, charities, trust companies, Pakistani politicians and an England footballer.

Banking & Finance

Emily covers a variety of banking litigation, especially where there are complex property issues which is the other major element of her practice.

Relevant work:

  • M v Nat West Bank Plc [2017] – acted for successful claimants in a claim against their lender for breach of contract.
  • Reed v Samuel-Camps (1) Bank of Ireland (2) [2016] – acted for the Bank successfully defending an application for an interim injunction in relation to an alleged sale at an undervalue.
  • Creation v Allied Fort [2015] EWCA Civ 841 – junior counsel to Nigel Jones QC in the Court of Appeal concerning a finance company’s application for summary judgment in a damages claim for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust and/or fraudulent misrepresentation.
  • Deutsche Bank (Suisse) v Khan and Others [2013] EWHC 482 – junior counsel in a 3 week Commercial Court trial acting for 12 defendants and counterclaimants in this action by Deutsche Bank to recover £60m lent under a loan agreement and secured on several high profile London properties.

Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing

Emily has a particular interest in commercial fraud litigation where her property expertise (see separate tab) gives her a distinct advantage. She is experienced in interim injunctive relief including search orders, preservations of goods, and freezing orders.

Relevant work:

  • S v Z [2018] – instructed as sole counsel defending a substantial fraud case against a former company director.
  • A v B [2017] – junior counsel in multi million pound LCIA arbitration concerning deceit and breach of fiduciary duty in a joint venture partnership.
  • B v P [2017] – sole counsel in £1.2m civil fraud against former company secretary alleging unlawful syphoning of monies for personal gain.
  • A v H [2017] – pre-action disclosure applications in a civil fraud matter against four banks, Google, Microsoft and HM Land Registry.
  • Greenbrier v Watts [2016] – junior counsel in a successful application for freezing injunction in the Commercial Court in support of a deceit claim.
  • Creation v Allied Fort [2015] EWCA Civ 841 – junior counsel to Nigel Jones QC in the Court of Appeal concerning a finance company’s application for summary judgment in a damages claim for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust and/or fraudulent misrepresentation;
  • REBTL v Ingram Hill [2014] EWHC 109 – junior counsel to PJ Kirby QC and Nigel Jones QC for the Claimant in a 3 week trial in the Chancery Division concerning a claim for deceit and breach of trust in respect of a multi-million pound employee share trust.

Commercial Arbitration

In conjunction with Emily’s commercial litigation practice she is also instructed in arbitral proceedings. She is happy to be instructed in arbitrations generally and has particular experience with both ad hoc arbitrations and those commenced under the LCIA rules.

Emily also has experience representing parties at interim arbitral hearings to deal with matters of jurisdiction as well as interim applications.

Relevant work:

  • Application for security for an Award, or alternatively security for costs under the Arbitration Act 1996.
  • International LCIA arbitration concerning a multi-million pound dispute between Russian businessmen.
  • LCIA arbitration concerning the interpretation of a long-term utility supply agreement.
  • Arbitration concerning a business separation agreement involving complex accounting issues.
  • Arbitration relating to the retirement of an individual professional from a partnership practice.

Commercial Litigation

Commercial dispute resolution is a substantial part of Emily’s practice, both in the High Court and Arbitration. She is regularly instructed on contractual disputes including those involving specialist aspects such as utilities, commercial agency and surety claims. She is experienced in obtaining and resisting applications for interim injunctive relief, including search orders, preservation of goods, freezing orders and springboard injunctions.

Relevant work:

  • M v H [2018] – instructed as sole counsel in an upcoming trial concerning the authenticity of a vintage Porsche.
  • NYLC v Naturastudios [2018] – Instructed as sole counsel in a half a million pound claim concerning allegations of negligent misstatements made in relation to medical equipment bought on hire-purchase.
  • S v N [2017] – Part 8 claim concerning the construction of a contract as to which party was responsible for certain termination liabilities amounting to £1 million.
  • A v B [2017] – Instructed as junior counsel in a $300m business dispute between former partners.
  • Greenbrier v Al Romaih [2016] – Instructed as junior counsel to Nigel Jones QC in an application for an anti-suit injunction in relation to ongoing proceedings in Saudi Arabia concerning the application of Article 34 of the Recast Brussels Regulation.
  • H v N [2016] – Instructed as junior counsel in a multi-million pound dispute concerning the interpretation of an agreement for the distribution of electricity.

Companies, Joint Ventures & Partnerships

Emily has a particular interest in JVs and partnership cases where her property expertise (see separate tab) gives her a distinct advantage.

Relevant work:

  • Re: C [2018] – advising on a dispute concerning a number of partnership properties including the potential for injunctive relief.
  • M v A [2018] – advising on dispute between current and former partners of a GP surgery in relation to the lease of the partnership property.
  • A v B [2017] – junior counsel in multi million pound LCIA arbitration concerning deceit and breach of fiduciary duty in a joint venture partnership.
  • H v F [2017] – advised and represented the defendant in proceedings concerning a family partnership involving complex accounting issues which spread over three decades.
  • H v J [2016] – arbitration relating to the retirement of a doctor from a partnership practice.
  • C v N [2015] – junior counsel in an arbitration over the enforcement of a business separation agreement in respect of a solicitors’ partnership.

 

Private International Law

Emily frequently advises on issues of private international law in the context of both commercial litigation and arbitration.

Relevant work:

  • Advising on the timing of an application for permission to service out of jurisdiction (in the US).
  • Instructed as junior counsel in an application for an anti-suit injunction in the Commercial Court in relation to ongoing proceedings in Saudi Arabia concerning the application of Article 34 of the Recast Brussels Regulation.

Commercial Landlord & Tenant

Emily is experienced in the full range of commercial landlord and tenant work including 1954 Act tenancies, dilapidations, vacant possession, forfeiture and relief from forfeiture.

She has a particular specialism following her appearance at first instance and in the Court of Appeal in an important decision concerning tenancies at will, where a commercial tenant held over after the expiry of a fixed term lease: Barclays v Erimus [2014] L&TR 1 (Ch D); [2014] L&TR 23 (CA). She regularly advises in relation to contested renewals under the ’54 Act and break notices.

Emily also advises in relation to agricultural tenancies and is happy to receive further instructions in this regard.

Relevant work:

  • Acting in various cases for both landlords and tenants concerning opposition to lease renewal under grounds (f) and (g).
  • Application for a declaration that landlord was unreasonably withholding consent to assign.
  • Advising on landlord on withholding consent to alterations.
  • Advising a tenant on a significant dilapidations issue close to the end of term.
  • Advising on license agreements for commercial occupiers.
  • Acting for a landlord seeking to forfeit a valuable lease for unlawful subletting which including issues over the validity of the s.146 notice.
  • Advising on the interaction between a franchise agreement and the franchisee’s occupation as licensee or tenant.
  • Representing the landlord in a £1.4 million dilapidations claim
  • Representing the landlord in a claim for a final injunction to enforce a Jervis v Harris clause.

Development & Planning

Emily regularly represents and advises clients in relation to property development issues such as restrictive covenants and easements, adverse possession, trespass and party wall act disputes. Emily has a particular interest in utilities and telecoms issues in a development context.

Relevant work:

  • Knight v Goulandris [2018] – junior counsel in successful Court of Appeal case concerning the service regime under the Party Wall Act 1996.
  • Metropolitan v Various Tenants [2018] – representing Metropolitan in various actions to recover possession for the purposes of a large scale redevelopment in Clapham Park following a LSVT.
  • R v H [2018] – acting for defendant to adverse possession claim of development land.
  • INEOS v Persons Unknown [2017] – claim for an injunction to prevent protestor activity at various fracking sites and to prevent interference with its associated suppliers.
  • V v Q [2016] – representing an applicant seeking access for development works under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992.

Housing (Social & Privately Rented)

Emily also has experience of residential landlord and tenant work. She is regularly instructed on behalf of private landlords, mortgage companies and local authorities, as well as on behalf of tenants. She has considerable experience with short tenancies as well as leasehold disputes, such as service charges, lease extensions and disrepair claims. More recently she has been instructed in a number of cases where the possession proceedings are expected to generate some public interest.

Emily has also been instructed to act in a number of mediations relating to landlord and tenant disputes.

Real Property & Mortgages

Emily has experience in all types of real property cases including advising on development issues such as restrictive covenants and easements, adverse possession, trespass, TLATA claims (see separate section), party wall act disputes, boundary disputes, fixtures and ownership issues. Her clients include landowners as well as energy companies and other parties exercising rights over land.

Emily has a particular specialism in mortgage actions. She frequently advises and represents lenders in complex cases of mortgage fraud. In addition she has experience with cases where there are difficulties enforcing a lender’s rights and redemption actions.

Emily also advises on property insurance issues, and contributes towards the ‘Property Insurance’ Chapter in Paul Reed QC’s book on Construction All Risks Insurance. She has experience in both coverage issues, as well as advising on related property damage claims.

Relevant work:

  • Representing a licensor of valuable chattels to a tenant of a stately home in a dispute about whether the chattels had become fixtures;
  • Acting for the claimant in a nuisance claim against a local authority in relation to water draining onto neighbouring land;
  • Acting for a defendant in a property damage claim where it was alleged that re-building a footpath had caused structural damage to a neighbouring property;
  • Advising on the dedication of land to a local authority;
  • Acting for a Bank in a case concerning compliance with formalities under ss.1 and 2 of Law of Property (MP) Act 1989;
  • Obtaining an interim injunction to prevent obstruction of an easement;
  • Advising on the ownership of a mural painted onto a wall;
  • Acting for an energy company to enforce rights under a Wayleave Agreement;
  • Acting for a lender in relation to an extensive mortgage fraud which involved several sets of proceedings and resulted in a complex tripartite settlement;
  • Advising on an extension which encroached on a neighbour’s roof.

Professional Liability - Property Transactions

Emily’s expertise in property litigation has made her a popular choice for professional negligence matters against property legal professionals.

She has particular experience in property-related claims including cases involving covenants, rights of way and declarations of trust. Emily regularly drafts and responds to Protocol Letters of Claim, as well as advising on instructions to experts and Part 36 offers.

Emily has also advised and assisted with professional negligence matters referred to the Legal Ombudsman.

Relevant work:

  • Acted for defendant insured in relation to a “loss of a chance” claim where the underlying action was a failure to complete pursuant to an agreement for lease.
  • Acted for the defendant insured in a claim for negligent drafting of declaration of trust.
  • Acted for the defendant insured in a successful summary judgment application following the case of Lewis v Ward Hadaway [2015] EWHC 3503 where the claimants had not paid the correct issue fee.
  • Advised on a professional negligence claim against solicitors who were alleged to have failed properly to advised on access to development land at the point of purchase.
  • Acting for Part 20 defendant insurers to a Part 20 claim alleging failure properly to advise a wife defending a lender claim on the basis of undue influence.

Trusts of Land

Emily has considerable experience of TOLATA claims as part of her real estate litigation practice. She frequently acts in co-ownership disputes concerning the creation of beneficial interests and the enforcement of an order for sale. Many of these claims involve complex issues of equitable accounting between co-owners.

Directory recommendations

Emily is ranked for Commercial Dispute Resolution and Real Estate Litigation in Chambers UK and Legal 500.

  • Very diligent junior counsel who is very responsive, confident in her advice and a real technical expert, who knows the civil procedure rules inside out.” “Emily Betts is great to work with, exceptional value and good on her feet.” (Chambers UK) 
  • “Provides good practical advice and is really good on her feet.” “Proactive, quick to respond and always very good.” “She is responsive and helpful.” (Chambers UK)
  • A future silk, her attention to detail and work ethic is second to none.” (Legal 500)
  • “She is a great advocate, with a calm and unflappable manner that ensures great results.” (Legal 500)
  • “She is very quick to grasp the issues in dispute and is very user-friendly in her approach. Exceptional in her peer group and one to watch.” (Chambers UK)
  • “Punches far above her weight in terms of years of experience, and is very bright and tenacious in court. She’s really strong on paper, drafting pleadings and skeleton arguments in an effective way.” (Chambers UK)
  • a persuasive advocate with a sharp eye for detail who is able to get judges on her side quickly. Very personable. Her paperwork is excellent and she’s very good on her feet” (Chambers UK)
  • She will not back down when a point is worth pursuing.” (Legal 500)
  • a superb all-rounder with an excellent understanding of the law” (Legal 500)

Professional associations

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • COMBAR
  • Property Bar Association
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
  • Young International Arbitration Group
  • ArbitralWomen

Publications

Contributor to Paul Reed QC’s Construction All Risks Insurance, Sweet & Maxwell, 2014.

Qualifications

  • LLM, Distinction and Prize for Legal Theory (LSE)
  • BVC, Very Competent (BPP)
  • Connor Scholarship, Middle Temple
  • GDL, Commendation (City University)
  • BSC (Hons) Economics and Geography, 2:1 (University College London)
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