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Emma Williams

Call: 2013

Emma specialises in corporate litigation and advisory work, as well as corporate insolvency and general commercial litigation. She appears as sole counsel in a variety of matters in the High Court and County Courts, and as part of a larger team in complex, high value disputes.

Her recent work includes PrivatBank (acting with Stephen Smith QC, Tim Akkouh, and Christopher Lloyd in an application to continue a worldwide freezing order), Melvin v Roache (acting with James Potts QC in a shareholder dispute concerning companies incorporated in Gibraltar), and Carlyle Capital Corporation (instructed with Ben Griffiths in claims brought by the liquidators of a collapsed investment fund against the fund’s former directors and managing agents).

Emma obtained a first class degree from Cardiff University, graduating first in her year, followed by a BCL (Distinction) from the University of Oxford. Prior to joining Erskine Chambers, Emma worked as a course co-ordinator, lecturer, and tutor of taxation law at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Litigation & Arbitration

  • Shareholder disputes
  • Unfair prejudice petitions
  • Breach of directors’ / fiduciary duties
  • Derivative claims
  • Civil fraud and asset recovery
  • Interim remedies
  • Breach of warranty claims
  • Winding up on the just and equitable ground
  • Directors’ disqualification
  • Arbitration
  • LLP / partnership disputes
  • Commercial litigation

Emma’s recent experience includes:

  • PJSC Commercial Bank “PrivatBank” v Kolomoisky and others (2018) – an application to continue a $2.6 billion freezing order involving challenges to the jurisdiction of the English Court (with Stephen Smith QC, Tim Akkouh, and Christopher Lloyd).
  • Melvin v Roache (2017) Judgment of the Chief Justice (Gibraltar) 18 October 2017 – acted (with James Potts QC) for the Petitioner in a shareholder dispute alleging matters including breaches of directors’ duties and exclusion from management. Upon the Petitioner’s application, the trial was adjourned and the Respondents were ordered to produce affidavits and be cross-examined in relation to backdated documents which were deployed in pleadings and witness statements.
  • Carlyle Capital Corporation v Conway (2016) – instructed (with Ben Griffiths) on behalf of the liquidators of a collapsed investment fund in substantial claims in the Guernsey Royal Court against the former directors and managing agents of the fund for breach of duty, misfeasance, negligence and wrongful trading.
  • Acting in a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation relating to a joint venture agreement.
  • Acting in an arbitration concerning breaches of a share purchase agreement.
  • Appearing for the successful claimant in a breach of contract claim.
  • Drafting mediation statement in relation to a shareholder dispute.

Corporate

  • Shareholder rights and disputes
  • Companies House matters (including rectification of and restoration to the register and rectification of the charges register
  • Construction and drafting of constitutional documents
  • Directors’ disqualification
  • Meetings and resolutions
  • Capital reorganisations
  • Takeover Code

Emma advises in relation to all aspects of company law.  She has significant experience of Companies House matters, and frequently appears in applications to rectify the register/ register of charges, to restore companies to the register, and to extend time for registering a charge.

Her recent corporate experience includes:

  • Melvin v Roache (2017) Judgment of the Chief Justice (Gibraltar) 18 October 2017 – acting (with James Potts QC) for the Petitioner in a shareholder dispute alleging matters including breaches of directors’ duties and exclusion from management. Upon the Petitioner’s application, the trial was adjourned and the Respondents were ordered to produce affidavits and be cross-examined in relation to backdated documents which were deployed in pleadings and witness statements.
  • Acting for a company director in a claim to obtain access to the company’s books and records.
  • Advising in relation to the construction of pre-emption rights.
  • Drafting assignment agreements.

During 2015, Emma undertook a three month secondment with the corporate team at Skadden, where she gained experience of complex corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions.  She has also undertaken a secondment to the corporate team of Baker & McKenzie.

Restructuring & Insolvency

  • Disputed winding up petitions
  • Injunctions to restrain presentation and advertisement of petitions
  • Validation orders
  • Setting aside statutory demands
  • Bankruptcy hearings
  • Insolvency claims (including misfeasance, transactions at an undervalue and preferences)
  • Administration applications

Emma acts and advises in relation to all aspects of insolvency law, and she regularly appears in the High Court and County Court in both corporate insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings.

Examples of her recent experience include:

  • Carlyle Capital Corporation v Conway (2016) – instructed (with Ben Griffiths) on behalf of the liquidators of a collapsed investment fund in substantial claims in the Guernsey Royal Court against the former directors and managing agents of the fund for breach of duty, misfeasance, negligence and wrongful trading.
  • Application to restrain advertisement of a winding up petition.
  • Application to annul bankruptcy order.
  • Advising in relation to a challenge to an office holder’s remuneration.
  • Advising in relation to a committal application arising out of a bankrupt’s failure to comply with the provisions of the Insolvency Act 1986.

International & Offshore

Emma is regularly instructed in relation to matters involving an international element and has significant experience of both conflicts of law issues arising in commercial litigation and of claims governed by foreign law.

Emma also has offshore experience, having spent three months on secondment in the Cayman Islands and having been involved in substantial trials in both Guernsey and Gibraltar.

Recent examples of her international  and offshore work include:

  • PJSC Commercial Bank “PrivatBank” v Kolomoisky and others (2018) – an application to continue a $2.6 billion freezing order involving challenges to the jurisdiction of the English Court (with Stephen Smith QC, Tim Akkouh, and Christopher Lloyd).
  • Melvin v Roache (2017) Judgment of the Chief Justice (Gibraltar) 18 October 2017 – acting (with James Potts QC) for the Petitioner in a shareholder dispute governed by the law of Gibraltar.
  • Carlyle Capital Corporation v Conway (2016) – instructed (with Ben Griffiths) on behalf of the liquidators of a collapsed investment fund in substantial claims in the Guernsey Royal Court against the former directors and managing agents of the fund for breach of duty, misfeasance, negligence and wrongful trading.
  • Confidential arbitration involving questions of foreign law.

Memberships & Publications

Chancery Bar Association

COMBAR

Education & Awards

Education

2012 – 2013 Kaplan Law School, London: BPTC (Very Competent)
2011 – 2012 Keble College, University of Oxford: Bachelor of Civil Law (Distinction)
2008 – 2011 Cardiff University: LLB First Class Honours (Ranked First in Year)

Prizes and Scholarships

Sunley Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)
Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers Prize for Best Performance in BCL Personal Taxation (University of Oxford)
Fountain Court BCL Scholarship (University of Oxford)
Sweet and Maxwell Law Prize for Best Graduating Student (Cardiff University)
Educational Trust Prize for Best Graduating Student (Cardiff University)
Cardiff Law School Prize for Excellent Academic Performance (Cardiff University)
Lord Denning Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)
Hardwicke Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)
Margery Hardwicke Prize for Best Performance in Land Law (Cardiff University)