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Emer Murphy

Call: 2009   

+44 (0)20 7306 0102emurphy@wilberforce.co.uk

Professional Liability

Emer provides advice and litigation assistance in professional negligence matters arising out of her core areas of practice: pensions, property, trusts and commercial disputes.

Emer is currently ranked as a Leading Junior in the Professional Negligence field by Legal 500 2016, which describes her as “A very good brain”.

She has recently been published in the Journal of Professional Negligence (‘The ex turpi causa defence in claims against professionals’; Volume 32, Issue 4).

Emer has particular experience of the following:

  • Limitation issues
  • Issues relating to the scope of duty of care
  • Matters arising in multiple-defendant disputes
  • Claims against solicitors
  • Claims against pension benefit consultants and advisers (professional and actuarial)
  • Claims against property surveyors
  • Professional misconduct proceedings

Notable cases include the following:

Swan Mill v Mercer (2016)

  • Acting as a junior to Michael Tennet QC, Emer represented the claimants (trustees of a pension scheme and the employers who pay for the scheme) in a high-value professional negligence claim against Mercers.
  • The rules of the scheme provided for a certain rate of increase to be applied to deferred pensions. Emer’s clients alleged that, negligently, Mercer administered the scheme on a different basis.
  • The case settled late 2016.

Mortgage Agency Services Number One Limited (Mansol) v Cripps Harries LLP [2016] EWHC 2483 (Ch)

  • In this case, a law firm was accused of fraud and conspiracy in the context of a large property transaction.
  • The case concerned the scope of a solicitor’s duty to the other side in a property transaction, and also raised issues of causation and questions of limitation.
  • Led by Joanne Wicks QC, Emer represented the law firm (Cripps Harries Hall) and assisted with numerous pre-trial hearings in this case.
  • Jonathan Seitler QC and Jonathan Chew of Wilberforce Chambers successfully represented the law firm at trial, where the fraud and conspiracy allegations were resolutely rejected. (Emer did not appear at trial due to a scheduling issue).

Clutterbuck v HSBC and others (2015)

  • The claimants brought separate proceedings against Sarah Al Amoudi (dubbed “the Vamp in the Veil” by the Daily Mail) for fraud in relation to property joint ventures, which were successfully defended by Emer acting as a junior to Jonathan Seitler QC.
  • In these High Court proceedings, the claimants proceeded against thirteen professional defendants said to have assisted Ms Al Amoudi in her alleged fraud.
  • Acting on her own account, Emer successfully represented one of the law firms sued. The claim was discontinued shortly before the defendants’ application to strike out the claim was due to be heard.

Ridgewood Properties Group Ltd v Kilpatrick Stockton and others [2014] EWHC 2502 (Ch) [2014] PNLR 31

  • Acting on her own account, Emer successfully represented a barrister accused of giving negligent advice.
  • The claim related to agreements entered into between the claimants and Texaco for the redevelopment of petrol stations and the airspace above them.
  • The claimants unsuccessfully sued Texaco following the sale of a number of the sites in question, and then sued the legal team who advised them in the aftermath of those sales.
  • The main element of the case was struck out on the grounds that it involved an impermissible collateral attack on the previous Court’s judgment. The claim was then discontinued in its entirety.

Independent Trustee Services Ltd v GP Noble Trustees Ltd (2012)

  • Emer represented Hassans law firm in Gibraltar in this litigation which arose out of the transfer of assets belonging to a number of underfunded UK pension schemes by their corporate trustee, GP Noble.
  • The case raised issues of civil fraud, breach of trust and professional liability.

Re a Notary (2011)

  • Emer successfully represented a notary accused of professional misconduct at a hearing before the Court of Faculties (part of the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury).
  • The issues arising included the meaning of notarial misconduct and the correct procedure for the investigation of the complaint.

Confidential: Various

  • Emer has acted in a number of multi-million-pound professional negligence actions against pension benefit consultants, on both the claimant and defendant side.
  • The actions relate to alleged negligence in the context of deferred revaluation rates, pension increases, equalisation, amendments removing Inland Revenue limits, and RPI vs CPI.