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Emma Hynes
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Emma specialises in commercial, construction and professional negligence matters. Within those areas she acts in complex dispute resolution, both as a junior and in her own right. Emma is currently instructed as junior counsel to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Before coming to the Bar, Emma had a successful career in business communications and consultancy working for organisations as diverse as Serco, the Carbon Trust and Microsoft. This experience has given her a particular understanding of multinational commercial clients as well as a practical and business-minded approach.

Before changing career, Emma combined her work with fencing at an international level. She represented Australia in five world championships and has won two Commonwealth medals.

Commercial Litigation

Emma acts in a range of complex commercial disputes.

Her business background gives her useful insight into the interests underlying such disputes and the commercial imperatives that drive them.

Recent Work:

  • Insurance and product liability: currently acting in case concerning the purchase of defective products used in the manufacture and onward sale of new products in the oil and gas industry.
  • Supply and sale of goods: acting for a professional sports club regarding purchase of technical equipment and its installation.
  • Data protection: advising on obligations under old data laws and under GDPR.
  • Consumer sales agreements: acting in several trials concerning claims under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.


Emma has acted in a number of franchising cases, including appearing in the High Court on short-notice injunctions. She has developed particular expertise with regard to data protection in franchising agreements.

She is currently acting for a franchisor facing claims from a number of franchisees regarding construction of their agreements. Issues include post-termination obligations and the terms of buy-back clauses.

Commercial Arbitration

Emma has extensive knowledge of both domestic and international arbitration.

Recent work includes advising on security for costs in an LCIA arbitration.


Private International Law

Emma has expertise in conflicts of laws including jurisdictional disputes and enforcement of judgments.

She successfully applied for a stay of proceedings for a foreign domiciled defendant on the basis of forum non conveniensGarcia v (1) BIH (UK) Ltd (2) Total Gabon SA (3) Sigma Offshore SARL [2017] EWHC 739 (Admlty).

Construction Litigation

Emma has built a strong construction practice at Hardwicke. Her interest in construction stems from working extensively in her previous career with engineers, built environment experts and architects. This experience gives her a firm grasp of the technical issues that can arise in design and construction and a detailed understanding of how the project team interacts.

Work on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry:

Emma has been instructed on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry since early 2018.  She has focussed particularly on:

  • Construction of the façade.
  • The testing, manufacture and fabrication of cladding products.
  • Project management and CDM responsibilities during the build, including the effect of the CDM Regulations 2007 and 2015.
  • Gas supply to the Tower, including works performed on corroded risers before the fire, as well as the process of cutting off the supply on the night of the fire.
  • Working with experts to deliver their reports; in particular on gas supply.
  • Dealing with corporate core participants on their disclosure, submissions and witnesses.

Recent construction litigation work:

  • Appearing for Hexagon in RSK Environment Ltd v Hexagon Housing Association Ltd [2020] EWHC 2049 (TCC), regarding a point of law on the scope of tortious liability. RSK’s application was dismissed.
  • Acting for the Employer in a matter concerning defective specification and installation of biomass plant. The matter was settled favourably for the Employer shortly before a five-day trial.
  • Regularly advising on the effect of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, with particular regard to all types of rainscreen cladding, façade build ups and fire testing of façade products.
  • Currently instructed in eight-day trial on defects affecting a portfolio of residential tower blocks.


Emma acts regularly in adjudications, for both referring and responding parties.

Recent cases include:

  • Appearing as junior counsel in a high-value adjudication based in Ireland, which included a multi-day hearing, focusing on delay and quantum.
  • Successfully responding to a referral for payment. The Referring Party paid Emma’s client on an assessment of the final account.
  • A claim for payment for works removing asbestos. Emma has developed a good knowledge of the regulatory regime that governs this area.
  • Adjudications for payments based on notices.

Emma accepts instructions in Hardwicke’s Fixed Fee Adjudication Scheme.

Energy & Renewables

In her previous career, Emma wrote about the energy sector, including publishing guidance on environmental technology and renewable energy. Her LLM dissertation was on legal issues affecting offshore oil and gas exploration, production and supply.  Since coming to the Bar she has used that knowledge in several cases concerning utilities and renewables.

Recent cases include:

  • At the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, Emma leads on gas supply issues. She has worked with an expert to deliver a report on works done in the Tower to replace leaking and corroded risers, and on shutting off the gas on the night of the fire.
  • Emma regularly acts for an electricity supplier and is familiar with the Electricity Code.
  • She recently acted for manufacturer of products for an offshore platform, on a matter concerning the sale of defective raw materials. The matter concluded favourably for her client.

Property Damage

Emma has experience in property damage and Party Wall Act matters.

Recent cases include:

  • Appearing at trial for a Developer, successfully defending an allegation of property damage.
  • Appearing for the Adjoining Owner’s surveyor at appeal, successfully defending allegations of negligence and recovering a substantial costs order.

Costs Litigation

Emma appears in costs matters, most regularly on Solicitors Act assessments. She has also advised on appealing summary assessment of costs following the award of indemnity costs, and has acted in several cases regarding ATE premiums.

She recently appeared in the cases of Green v SGI [2017] EWHC B27 and Hanley v JC&A [2017] EWHC B28 (Costs) on delivery up of solicitor’s files.

She is currently instructed on the appeal of both of these cases.


Financial Professionals, Insolvency Professionals, Directors & Officers

Emma’s commercial expertise makes her well placed to handle professional claims against financial advisors. She has recently advised on scope of duty of an independent financial advisor.

Professional associations

  • Commercial Bar Association
  • London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association
  • National Association of Women in Construction
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Society of Construction Law


Emma is a contributor to the recently published Electronic Disclosure Law and Practice and to Construction Professionals Indemnity Insurance.


  • LLM – King’s College London – (Distinction)
  • BPTC – University of Law – (Outstanding)
  • GDL – University of Law – (Distinction)
  • BA in English and Ancient History, University of Queensland – (First Class Honours)
  • L.LM – Georg Schwarzenberger Award for International Law
  • L.LM – Prize for best student on Business Law programme
  • BPTC – Inner Temple Exhibition Award
  • BA – University Medal for Outstanding Scholarship