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Emer Murphy

Call: 2009   

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

Property

Emer has a broad property practice encompassing both real property and landlord and tenant matters. Much of Emer’s property work is undertaken on her own account, although she also has considerable experience of acting as part of a large team on complex, long-running matters.

Emer is currently ranked as a Leading Junior in the Property Litigation field by The Legal 500 2016, which describes her as follow: ‘One of the top juniors at the Chancery Bar; her attention to detail and rigorous analysis [are] particularly good.’

Emer is a member of the Property Bar Association.

Notable cases include the following:

Cheshire West v Grandspan (2017)

  • Emer (acting on her own account) represents a landlord who is seeking to gain possession of business premises.
  • Representatives of the landlord and tenant agreed all the terms of new lease, but the tenant failed to ensure it was properly completed in time.
  • The landlord is thus arguing that the tenant has lost its right to protection as a business tenant under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

Confidential

  • Emer acted for a property development company in this dispute relating to a large mixed-use development in the South of England.
  • The developers had entered into a conditional contract to sell certain land to a supermarket chain once planning consent was obtained.
  • The supermarket chain argued that the planning consent obtained was not compliant with the requirements of the contract, and thus it refused to purchase the land.

Neil John Biggs v Countryside Properties (Bicester) Limited (2016)

  • Emer represented a property developer that allegedly breached its obligation to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to obtain planning permission, thereby reducing the overage amounts payable to previous landowners.
  • Emer acted as a junior to Jonathan Seitler QC at a trial in the High Court in London in May 2016. The case settled during the trial.

Confidential

  • Acting on her own account, Emer successfully represented a developer at a mediation.
  • Following substantial completion of a residential development, owners of the neighbouring property alleged that the developers had no right of way over the only means of access.
  • The dispute was resolved with the neighbours agreeing to grant access rights.

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 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).

Confidential

  • This action relates to a substantial mixed-use property in North London, held by a company which was jointly owned by two wealthy families and later sold.
  • Emer (acting as a junior to James Ayliffe QC) is acting for a company associated with one of the families, alleging deceit and breach of fiduciary duty by the other family and its associated companies in relation to the sale.
  • The claim is potentially worth several million pounds.

Clutterbuck v Al Amoudi [2014] EWHC 383 (Ch), [2015] EWCA Civ 1593

  • Emer successfully represented Sarah Al Amoudi, dubbed “the Vamp in the Veil” by the Daily Mail, against two property developers who alleged that Ms Amoudi duped them out of millions of pounds of cash and property.
  • Emer acted as a junior to Jonathan Seitler QC at a four-week trial in the Chancery Division involving over 30 witnesses.
  • In October 2015, the claimants said they had new evidence that proved that Ms Al Amoudi was an imposter. Emer and Jonathan successfully represented Ms Al Amoudi in the Court of Appeal, where the applications to rely on this evidence and for permission to appeal were refused.
  • The case raised issues of property joint ventures, fraud and misrepresentation.

Clutterbuck v Cleghorn [2015] EWHC 2558, [2017] EWCA Civ 137

  • As a junior to Jonathan Seitler QC, Emer acts for the defendant (representing a deceased’s estate) in this offshoot of the Clutterbuck v Al Amoudi case. 
  • The claimants alleged that the deceased entered into and subsequently breached various property joint ventures relating to numerous expensive properties in West London.
  • The defendant’s legal team successfully had the majority of the claim struck out as an abuse of process relying on the principle in Aldi Stores [2008] 1 WLR 748, as the claimants had failed to bring their claim with other similar claims against Ms Al Amoudi.
  • The Court of Appeal upheld the striking out of the majority of the claimants’ case in March 2017.

Transport for London v JB Riney & Co Limited (2013)

  • This case concerned a strategically important piece of land registered to TFL and occupied by a large civil engineering company, JB Riney & Co Limited.
  • It raised issues of trespass, compulsory purchase and squatters’ rights.

Confidential: Various

  • Emer has advised and acted in relation to various disputes arising out of Part II the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, for both landlords and tenants.
  • These cases have raised various issues including questions of validity of s. 25 notices, whether a lease is protected by the 1954 Act, whether a new lease can be resisted on the various statutory grounds, statutory compensation and estoppel.