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Emer Murphy

Call: 2009   

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Practice Overview

“Brilliant” – The Legal 500 2017

Emer’s practice focuses on property, commercial and trust disputes. She also advises on related professional liability matters.

Emer offers intelligent, thorough and practical assistance.  She prides herself on being user-friendly and approachable, and she enjoys working as part of the team.

As an advocate, Emer is both engaging and tenacious. Emer regularly appears in the High Court and the County Court, both on her own account and as a junior.

She is highly-skilled in drafting and advisory work, and has worked on a significant number of high-profile, complex pieces of litigation.

What the directories say

Emer is ranked as a Leading Junior in the Property Litigation, Professional Negligence and Pensions fields by Legal 500 2017, which describes her in the following terms:

  • ‘Brilliant’;
  • ‘Hardworking with an excellent grasp of detail’;
  • ‘A tenacious advocate and a star of the future’.

Emer is also ranked as ‘Up and Coming’ in the Chancery Commercial (London) field by Chambers and Partners 2018, which publication describes her as follows:

  • ‘Very bright, helpful and practical’;
  • ‘An effective advocate who produces especially attractive paperwork’;
  • ‘She quite often gets dumped in cases where you need to do some work to pull it together, and she just pulls the stops out’.

In previous years, the legal directories have described Emer as follows: ‘feisty and clever – a rising star’; ‘one of the top juniors at the Chancery Bar…her attention to detail and rigorous analysis [are] particularly good’; ‘a very good brain’; ‘a thinker and a doer’; ‘commercially minded’; ‘very persuasive’; very good drafting skills’; ‘piercing intelligence’; and as having impressed clients with ‘the speed with which she digested the materials’.

Emer was a Legal Week Star at the Bar 2014: ‘Intelligence, tenacity and commercial acumen are just three of the reasons Wilberforce Chambers’ Emer Murphy is regarded as a star at the Bar.’

Recent cases

Clutterbuck v Cleghorn [2015] EWHC 2558 (Ch), [2017] EWCA Civ 137, [2018] EWHC 2125 (Ch)

  • Emer represented the estate of a deceased businessman who was alleged to have been involved in various property joint ventures relating to exclusive properties in West London. The claimants claimed millions of pounds in damages for various alleged breaches of contract and misrepresentations.
  • This case followed the explosive Clutterbuck v Al Amoudi case brought by the same claimants, in which similar allegations against Sarah Al Amoudi (dubbed ‘the Vamp in the Veil’ by the Daily Mail) were successfully defended by Emer Murphy and Jonathan Seitler QC in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
  • In this case, the defendant’s legal team (including Emer and Jonathan Seitler QC) 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.
  • A three-week trial of the remaining elements of the claimants’ claim took place in the Chancery Division in June 2018, and raised issues of fraudulent misrepresentation, contractual interpretation, estoppel by convention and proof of loss.  Jonathan Seitler QC and Emer again emerged victorious, and the claimants’ claims were dismissed in their entirety.

Twin Benefits Ltd v Barker (2017); Barker v Confiànce (2018)

  • This dispute relates to the settlement of a previous High Court case, which involved the unwinding of a multi-million-pound offshore trust in a deal which was approved by the court.
  • Emer acted for professional trustee company Confiànce, in defending the claim that it failed to ensure a sufficiently good deal was secured for the potential beneficiaries of the (now unwound) trust.
  • Acting on her own account, Emer represented Confiànce in its successful application for security for costs. The case against Confiànce was struck out following the claimants’ failure to provide the ordered security.
  • The potential beneficiaries are now seeking to revive the original High Court proceedings and to argue that they should not be bound by the court-approved deal.
  • Emer is led by Elspeth Talbot Rice QC, XXIV Old Buildings.

Confidential (2018)

  • This dispute concerned a complex joint venture-style agreement between a landowner and a developer, in relation to a prominent development site in London.
  • Valuable planning permission was achieved for high-rise development on the site, and the land was sold with the benefit of this planning permission for more than £100m.
  • The landowner and developer then disagreed as to how the profit arising from this sale should be split, with the parties divided in various respects as to the proper interpretation of the complex (and repeatedly varied) agreement between them.
  • The case settled in 2018 following a successful mediation.
  • Emer acted a junior to Jonathan Seitler QC.