Emily is an experienced commercial barrister specialising in all aspects of commercial and property law. She has particular expertise in areas such as commercial fraud, shareholder/company disputes and secured lending.
Emily 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. The legal directories note she is “an exceptional lawyer with very strong advocacy skills”.
Also renowned for being “hard-working, personable and really bright”, she is seen as “a go to junior: there is no client or issue that she cannot deal with.”
Areas of expertise
- Commercial dispute resolution
- Banking & finance
Banking & finance
Emily is instructed in a wide variety of financial disputes, often including claims relating to property and relating to allegations of fraud and breach of trust (see separate tab). Such cases often involve emergency applications.
- Acting for a bank in a claim to enforce its rights under a subrogated charge dating back to the mid-1990s.
- M v Nat West Bank Plc – acted for successful claimants in a claim against their lender for breach of contract.
- Reed v Samuel-Camps & Bank of Ireland – 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  EWCA Civ 841 – junior counsel to Nigel Jones KC 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 – 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
Civil fraud & asset tracing
Emily has significant experience in commercial fraud litigation where her property expertise (see separate tab) gives her a distinct advantage in relation to issues such as asset recovery. She handles cases involving breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust, misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, dishonesty and deceit and is experienced in interim injunctive relief including search orders, preservation of goods and freezing orders.
- Mobeus Private Equity: £14m Commercial Court claim for damages for fraudulent misrepresentation (amongst other claims) arising from a private equity share sale.
- Instructed as sole counsel defending a substantial fraud case against a former company director.
- £multi-million LCIA arbitration concerning deceit and breach of fiduciary duty in a joint venture partnership.
- High value civil fraud claim against former company secretary alleging unlawful syphoning of monies for personal gain.
- Pre-action disclosure applications in a civil fraud matter against four banks, Google, Microsoft and HM Land Registry.
- Greenbrier v Watts: a successful application for freezing injunction in the Commercial Court in support of a deceit claim.
- Creation v Allied Fort  EWCA Civ 841: Court of Appeal case 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: claim for deceit and breach of trust in respect of a multi-million pound employee share trust.
- Commercial arbitration
Emily is regularly instructed in arbitral proceedings and has particular experience of 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 and enforcement as well as interim applications.
- 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 disputes form a substantial part of Emily’s practice, both in the courts and before arbitral tribunals, and she has wide-ranging experience of a multitude of different commercial issues spanning a variety of different sectors from property development to banking and financial services.
She has particular expertise (details of which are set out in the other parts of her profile) in relation to civil fraud and asset tracing, shareholder and director disputes, arbitration, banking and finance claims as well as private international law.
Emily is also known for her specialist knowledge of claims involving utilities, commercial agents and sureties.
She is experienced in obtaining and resisting applications for interim injunctive relief, including search orders, preservation of goods, freezing orders and springboard injunctions. She has a particular interest in cross-border jurisdiction disputes.
- Mobeus Private Equity: £14m Commercial Court claim for damages for breach of warranty, fraudulent misrepresentation and negligent misstatement arising from a private equity share sale.
- Chiswick International Holdings Ltd v Holyoake & Ors: £multi-million dispute which required Emily to apply for a without notice freezing order in the Commercial Court in relation to high value properties in central London.
- Lush Licensing Inc (1) Lush Handmade Cosmetics Ltd (2) v Lush Ltd: part of the Counsel team representing Lush Ltd in a £multi-million dispute in the Commercial Court between the North American franchises and the UK parent company of the Lush retailing group.
- High value claim concerning allegations of negligent misstatements made in relation to medical equipment bought on hire-purchase.
- Part 8 claim concerning the construction of a contract as to which party was responsible for £multi-million termination liabilities.
- Greenbrier v Al Romaih: junior counsel to Nigel Jones KC 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.
- £multi-million dispute concerning the interpretation of an agreement for the distribution of electricity.
- Companies, joint ventures & partnerships
Companies, joint ventures & partnerships
Emily has particular expertise in shareholder and other company issues including unfair prejudice positions. Her work is advisory as well as advocate and she is often instructed because of the combination of her property as well as commercial litigation experience.
- Isaac v Tan & Cardiff City Football Club (Holdings) Limited  1 B.C.L.C. 133: complicated and high value unfair prejudice petition in which Emily led the counsel team at trial.
- Acting as part of a Counsel team for a major retailer in relation to a dispute concerning the legality of a proposed transfer of a 20% shareholding valued at c£216m.
- Advising on the liability of shareholders for negligent misstatements made for their benefit.
- High value unfair prejudice petition between a sales director and an online auction company involving complicated inter-relationship between contractual and company law.
- Claim relating to the failure to transfer a property for the benefit of shareholders during a members’ voluntary liquidation twenty years previously.
- Multi-million pound LCIA arbitration concerning deceit and breach of fiduciary duty in a joint venture partnership.
- Family partnership dispute involving complex accounting issues which spread over three decades.
- Arbitration over the enforcement of a business separation agreement in respect of a solicitors’ partnership.
- Private international law
Private international law
Emily advises on issues of private international law in the context of both commercial litigation and arbitration.
- Advising on application to serve out of the jurisdiction in Kenya.
- Advising UK based third party litigation funder in relation to litigation in California.
- 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.
- Banking & finance
- Commercial landlord & tenant
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  L&TR 1 (Ch D);  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.
- Responding to an application for an interim injunction where the commercial tenant was seeking to re-enter following forfeiture of the lease where the landlord had granted new rights to a third party.
- Cherry Property Ltd v Highballer & Ors: representing the guarantors of a lease of a bar in Shoreditch. The guarantors were all directors of a lessee company which had gone into liquidation. The lease was set aside on grounds of fraudulent misrepresentation on the part of the landlord.
- Acting 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 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
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 as well as preventative injunctions.
- Junior counsel in a claim for mutual mistake rectification, unilateral mistake rectification and implied easements in relation to a £28m sale of development land to be used for warehouses.
- Advising a well-known distribution operator in relation to deeds of grant allowing high-voltage electricity cables to be laid and maintained across a parcel of land.
- Acting for defendant to adverse possession claim of development land.
- Knight v Goulandris  EWCA Civ 237: successful Court of Appeal case concerning the service regime under the Party Wall Act 1996.
- Metropolitan v Various Tenants  – representing Metropolitan in various actions to recover possession for the purposes of a large scale redevelopment in Clapham Park following a LSVT.
- INEOS v Persons Unknown  EWHC 2945 – assisted with claim for an injunction to prevent protestor activity at various fracking sites and to prevent interference with its associated suppliers.
- Representing an applicant seeking access for development works under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992.
- Housing (social & privately rented)
Housing (social & privately rented)
Emily handles a wide variety 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 considerable public interest.
Emily has also been instructed to act in a number of mediations relating to landlord and tenant disputes.
- Acting for a Panamanian trust seeking possession of a property from a licensee.
- Gould v Gibbs: claim against freeholder who added an additional storey thereby diverting rainwater pipes and causing water ingress to the properties below.
- Derhalli v Derhalli  1 All E.R. 815: claim for possession of family home based on interpretation of consent order in family proceedings (Court of Appeal).
- Triplark Ltd v various leaseholders  2018 EWCA Civ 2151,  UKUT 0524 (LC): claim against a landlord for forfeiture and a counterclaim for relief. The wider dispute includes claims for arrears, a s27A tribunal application made by the leaseholders and claims against the former statutory manager for breach of trust and negligence.
- Real property & mortgages
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 KC’s book on Construction All Risks Insurance. She has experience in both coverage issues, as well as advising on related property damage claims.
- 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
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.
- 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  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
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.
- Commercial landlord & tenant
CSR & pro bono
Emily is a key player in the COMBAR Mentoring Scheme for under-represented people looking for a career at the commercial Bar.
Emily is ranked for Commercial Dispute Resolution in Chambers UK, Chambers Global and the Legal 500. She is also recommended for Real Estate Litigation in Chambers UK and the Legal 500.
- “Emily is extremely articulate and knowledgeable with a commercial instinct that results in excellent all round advice for the client.” (The Legal 500 2024, Property Litigation)
- “Emily is extremely articulate and knowledgeable, with a commercial instinct that results in excellent all-round advice for the client. Emily has become a go-to barrister for Chancery/commercial work.” (The Legal 500, 2024, Commercial Litigation)
- “Emily Betts is really good in the preparation of paperwork and works well with a team.” (Chambers and Partners, Commercial Dispute Resolution)
- “Emily is a really mature advocate who is clever and technically able.” (Chambers and Partners, Commercial Dispute Resolution)
- “Emily is always happy to advise on the shortest notice and to engage with clients to give excellent commercial and legal advice. She is quietly tenacious and determined in her advocacy and gets fantastic results.” (Chambers and Partners 2024, Real Estate Litigation)
- “Emily is streets ahead of her peers in terms of the strength of he advice, her advocacy and the service she delivers.” (Chambers and Partners 2024, Real Estate Litigation)
- “Emily takes a collaborative approach.” (Chambers and Partners 2024, Real Estate Litigation)
- “Really strong and hard-working, she is personable, likeable and really smart.” (Chambers UK)
- “Emily is an exceptional lawyer with very strong advocacy skills.” (Chambers UK)
- “Emily has a great manner in court and can hold her own against the most aggressive of opponents. She is super bright, always helpful and hugely effective.” (The Legal 500)
- “A go-to junior, there is no client or issue that she cannot deal with.” (Legal 500)
- “Very user friendly, exceptionally hard working and very bright, she is easy to get on with and a rising star amongst counsel of her year of call.” (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.” (Chambers UK)
- “Emily Betts is great to work with, exceptional value and good on her feet.” (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)
- Chancery Bar Association
- Property Bar Association
- London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
- Young International Arbitration Group
Contributor to Paul Reed KC’s Construction All Risks Insurance, Third edition, Sweet & Maxwell, 2021.
- 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)