Erin has a broad commercial practice and welcomes instructions in all of the areas of work in which Chambers specialises.  She has advised, drafted proceedings and appeared in Court on a range of matters including contractual disputes, trusts and probate, insolvency, aviation, shareholder disputes, directors’ duties, mis-selling claims and financial services disputes.

She regularly appears in the High Court and County Court on applications, interlocutory hearings, petitions and trials.  She has also been instructed in relation to proceedings in several offshore jurisdictions including the Cayman Islands, Jersey, the BVI, Anguilla and the DIFC relating in particular to trusts and funds.

More details of Erin’s experience in the practice areas in which Chambers specialises can be found under the headings below.

Prior to being called to the Bar, Erin was a solicitor in the corporate department of leading international law firm Herbert Smith, which gave her excellent experience in company law, corporate structures, issues surrounding directors’ duties, mergers and acquisitions, partnerships and commercial contracts.  She worked on a range of transactions, from international deals to small private acquisitions.  This transactional experience gives her a valuable insight into the type of contentious issues which may arise from such transactions and how these can be resolved.  Erin assisted on large international transactions as a corporate solicitor and was regularly required to coordinate teams of solicitors in various off-shore jurisdictions.

Erin has twice been seconded to the contentious trusts department of leading law firms.

Areas of experience

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  • Aviation

    Aviation work is an expanding area of Erin’s practice and one which she is actively pursuing. Her work has included:

    • Presently instructed defending a claim against an aircraft maintenance company for alleged overcharging and breaches of duty of care and skill in the provision of maintnence to a Cessna 152 Aircraft due to go to trial later this year (Dempsey v Sylmar)
    • Presently instructed on behalf of the purchaser of a part-share in an aircraft seeking the return of US$4m paid on the grounds of non-delivery, alternatively damages for breach of contract or conversion (Sheikh Kaki v NAS)
    • Claim by seller of aircraft for damages following purchaser’s failure to complete on the sale (Lunar Jet v American Aircraft International)
    • In 2010, led by Steven Thompson, representing Air France in a dispute involving the sale by Air France of six Boeing 747s (Eagle Aircraft Leasing v Air France (2009-2010)). The case concerned the delivery condition of the aircraft and documentation pursuant to the sale and purchase agreements and local regulatory requirements.
    • Defending a dispute surrounding the manufacture, sale and purchase of aircraft components in accordance with regulatory requirements.

    Instructed on disputes involving alleged breaches of aircraft leasing agreements in respect of several Airbus A320s.

  • Banking and Financial Services

    Mis-selling claims

    Erin has experience of a wide variety of mis-selling claims (acting for financial institutions, other businesses and retail customers). She has developed particular expertise in disputes arising from the sale by various major banks of interest rate hedging products (including swaps, caps, floors and collars) to small business customers. Recent cases include:

    • A claim by a small family-run company against NatWest/RBS alleging in the first instance that the swap transaction was not properly concluded, in the second instance misrepresentation and/or breach of duty (Mid-Sussex Homes v NatWest/RBS)
    • Advising on and drafting proceedings by an individual against Clydesdale Bank in relation to mis-selling of Tailored Business Loan which effectively worked like a structured collar
    • Advising upon a possible claim by a large company relating to a swap covering debt in region of £300million.

    Other banking

    Erin was led by Francis Tregear QC on the trial of this claim for damages against RBS. The Claimant hedge fund invested in a property portfolio, the investment being by way of syndicated loan. RBS held the top £500m layer which was secured by a credit default swap. RBS also acted as agent for the lenders. The allegation was that RBS should have informed the lenders that the fund was running out of cash and needed restructuring (Torre Asset Funding Limited v RBS [2013] EWHC 2670 (Ch))

    Financial Services

    Bringing and defending claims under FSMA 2000, with particular emphasis upon claims against professional advisors and promoters for misrepresentation, breach of contract, negligence and/or breaches of the Conduct of Business Sourcebook. Erin spent 6 months in the debt capital markets division of Herbert Smith, acting for issuers and investment banks on a broad range of capital markets transactions involving securitisation and structured finance. She also benefits from a firm grounding in company law gained through years spent in Herbert Smith’s corporate department.

    Erin is also the co-author of an article published in the Journal of International Banking Law discussing the risks to banks of taking shares in private companies as collateral.

  • Civil Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery

    Erin has been instructed on a number of international trust disputes, including proceedings for the removal of a trustee and breach of trust and asset tracing. She was involved in acting for the provisional liquidator of BVI and Congolese companies which were alleged to be holding Congolese state assets and against whom the judgment creditor sought to enforce the judgment (Kensington v Congo [2005] EWHC 2684).

    Erin assisted Counsel in a conspiracy and tracing claim in the Chancery Division brought by the Zambian Government against the former President of Zambia and other parties (Attorney General for Zambia v Meer Care Desai & ors[2007] EWHC 952 (Ch)).

  • Commercial Litigation

    Erin is instructed on a wide range of commercial and contract related disputes and regularly appears in the High Court and County Court in trials, case management hearings and interlocutory applications including summary judgment, applications for injunctions, to set aside judgment in default, standard and specific disclosure, third party debt orders and charging orders. Her experience has included:

    • Ardilla v ENRC – acting for the claimant in a claim for deferred consideration following the sale of an oil mining operation in Brazil. The Defendant alleged that the payment provisions had not been triggered.
    • Defending on-going claim against pharmaceutical distributor for alleged breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy (Zanza v Kent)
    • Acting for two of several defendants to a claim for conversion of goods purchased from an administrator and which it was said were subject to a retention of title clause (MDM Leisure Ltd v Baleday and others)
    • Acting for the defendants to a claim for alleged non-payment for services provided which turns upon the construction of a contract and whether that contract was varied (TRU (Bristol) Ltd v Asustek UK Ltd)
    • Claim by solicitors for payment of fees relating to a company restructuring which was defended on the grounds that the solicitors had agreed that the fees would be paid by the company in breach of financial assistance regulations. The claim was successful at trial.
    • Claim for the delivery up of a number of ambulances leased by the bank and then passed on to the defendant; culminating in obtaining an order for contempt of court against the defendant upon his refusal to deliver up (AIB v Clarke)
    • Acting for claimant in claim for damages following failure to deliver up a share in a Gulfstream 450 aircraft; this has involved a number of applications for service out of the jurisdiction and alternative service upon a defendant in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Sheikh Kaki v NAS)
    • Defending a claim against an aircraft maintenance company for alleged overcharging and breaches of duty of care and skill in the provision of services (Dempsey v Sylmar)
    • Claim by seller of aircraft for damages following purchaser’s failure to complete on the sale (Lunar Jet v American Aircraft International)
    • Acting for Air France in a dispute involving the sale of six Boeing 747s, revolving around the delivery condition of the aircraft and documentation pursuant to the sale and purchase agreements and local regulatory requirements (Eagle Aircraft Leasing v Air France (2009-2010)).
    • Defending claim against IT support provider for negligent provision of services and counterclaiming for payment for those services (Rullion v Bond)
    • Instructed by clients in the DIFC to prepare several applications to be heard by various courts of the DIFC. These have included an appeal from an enforcement order of the High Court, a strike out application, an application for an injunction restraining a party from bringing further proceedings, defending an application for a third party debt order and bringing proceedings in the small claims tribunal. Each has involved the analysis and application of the Civil Procedure Code for the DIFC
    • Defending a financial trader against claims of breach of a contract for provision of services and/or professional negligence

    A dispute regarding the payment of commission pursuant to an agreement between an English language school and a third party and counter-allegations of breach of contract (Student Connect v New London College)

  • Company

    Erin has a broad and comprehensive company law background from her time as a solicitor in the corporate department of Herbert Smith. In particular, she has experience of drafting and negotiating share sale agreements and business sale agreements, advising on terms, drafting corporate documents and assisting with company group restructurings.

    As Counsel Erin specialises in shareholder disputes and has advised and appeared upon a number of petitions brought pursuant to s.994 Companies Act 2006 or for winding up on just and equitable grounds:

    • On-going s.994 petition in the High Court with associated cross-petition in which both shareholders in what was essentially a 50/50 quasi-partnership are accusing the other of diverting assets from the Company and various breaches of duty (Fawzi Faisal Thorpe Al-Etli v Gentec and others)
    • Defending a derivative claim brought by one 50/50 shareholder against the other on the grounds that he had diverted assets of the company to other group companies (Wells v Odds)
    • Appearing in the High Court on a petition brought pursuant to s.994 Companies Act 2006 in which she successfully argued on behalf of the petitioner that his fellow director/shareholder had unfairly excluded him from the management of the company, misappropriated company funds and unconstitutionally re-aligned the shareholding of the company in his favour (Lantsbury v Hauser and another [2010] All ER (D) 35)
    • Petition for the winding up of a company on just and equitable grounds where there was complete deadlock between the two shareholder/directors (In the matter of Shannon Estates (Eire) Limited)
    • Obtaining an injunction to restrain threatened breaches of confidentiality by the former director of a company
    • Advising on the extent and enforceability of directors’ duties
    • In addition Erin has advised on numerous disputes among financial contributors to companies where little or no formal arrangements are in place

    Erin was recently led by Francis Tregear QC in the following two matters involving company law isuses:

    • In the matter of Matador Investments (2012): This related to a Cayman fund called Matador. The principal issue was whether there was a valid gate on redemption where such a gate was contained in a PPM but an investor had been enticed into investing on the basis of representations to the effect that a gate would not apply. The Claim was brought within a Cayman Islands liquidation in the context of an appeal against the liquidator’s adjudication that the gate was effective.
    • Torre Asset Funding Limited v RBS [2013] EWHC 2670 (Ch): Claim for damages against RBS. The Claimant hedge fund invested in a property portfolio, the investment being by way of syndicated loan. RBS held the top £500m layer which was secured by a credit default swap. RBS also acted as agent for the lenders. The allegation was that RBS should have informed the lenders that the fund was running out of cash and needed restructuring.
  • Hedge Funds & Structured Investment Vehicles

    In the matter of Matador Investments (2012): Erin was led by Francis Tregear QC in relation to a Cayman fund called Matador. The principal issue was whether there was a valid gate on redemption where such a gate was contained in a PPM but an investor had been enticed into investing on the basis of representations to the effect that a gate would not apply. The Claim was brought within a Cayman Islands liquidation in the context of an appeal against the liquidator’s adjudication that the gate was effective.

    Torre Asset Funding Limited v RBS [2013] EWHC 2670 (Ch): Erin was led by Francis Tregear QC on the trial of this claim for damages against RBS. The Claimant hedge fund invested in a property portfolio, the investment being by way of syndicated loan. RBS held the top £500m layer which was secured by a credit default swap. RBS also acted as agent for the lenders. The allegation was that RBS should have informed the lenders that the fund was running out of cash and needed restructuring.

  • Insolvency

    Erin has built up a broad insolvency practice and regularly appears in the High Court and County Courts in both corporate and personal insolvency.

    She is presently instructed on a claim by liquidators against a former director of a company for wrongful trading and breach of duty in which the most significant trade was of a Lehman note subject to an obligation to repurchase the note a month later, which obligation was never met.

    Her other insolvency work includes:

    • Applications for injunctions restraining presentation or advertisement of winding up petitions
    • Applications to appoint provisional liquidators
    • Application for permission to use a prohibited name pursuant to section 216 Insolvency Act 1986
    • Applications in relation to administrations, including extension of the period of administration
    • Regular appearances in County Courts and before Registrars pursuant to bankruptcy petitions
    • Applications to set aside statutory demands
    • Applications for annulment of bankruptcy orders
    • Applications for private examination of a bankrupt
    • Advice on the applicability of limitation periods in the context of a bankruptcy
    • Advice on the potential liability of an administrator for rent charged on real property used in the course of an administration
  • Professional Negligence

    Erin’s recent work includes:

    • Advising on the merits of a claim against a firm of solicitors for professional negligence in its handling of a personal injury case
    • Advising the liquidators of a company on the merits of a claim for negligence against the former auditors of that company on the grounds of inadequate disclosures in the financial statements
    • Defending a financial trader against claims of breach of a contract for provision of services and/or professional negligence
    • Advising upon a claim involving allegations of negligent will drafting
  • Real Estate Litigation

    Erin’s property practice includes:

    • AIB Group (UK) Limited v McCarthy – acting for a lender seeking to enforce a charging order against a property where the borrower alleged that his wife held the entire beneficial interest in the property.
    • AIB Group (UK) Limited v Clarence Place Properties – acting for a lender seeking possession where the borrower alleged that the terms of lending had been varied so that repayment was dependent upon the completion of repairs to the property.
    • Advising trustees in bankruptcy upon the existence or otherwise of a constructive trust in favour of a co-owner and/or occupancy.
    • Peniel Church v Reid: defending possession proceedings on the grounds of proprietary estoppel and/or a constructive trust.
    • Bishop v Chhokar: – on behalf of the defendant and counterclaimant in a claim by a former tenant for compensation for improvements made to property pursuant to an alleged contract and a counterclaim for unpaid rent.
    • Advising upon and appearing in applications for declarations as to beneficial entitlement under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act.
    • Advising on co-ownership of property and an application to Court to amend the land registry entry.
  • Trusts, Probate & Estates

    Recent trusts cases include:

    • Re Sri Lankan Muslim Community Foundation of Milton Keynes – appearing on behalf of a trustee of the charity against whom some of the other trustees had made allegations and obtained an injunction. The injunction was lifted and costs ordered against the other trustees.
    • In the matter of the Shanklin and District Liberal Club Limited – application by the joint liquidators of the club for directions as to the distribution of assets amongst members upon dissolution.
    • In the matter of the TP Towle Gift Trust – application by the trustees for directions as to the distribution of trust assets to various charities prior to the trust being wound up.
    • Applications both in the UK and offshore for the removal of trustees and appointment of new trustees.
    • Advising an offshore trust company upon the potential costs consequences of not having made a Beddoes application before defending proceedings and ways to minimise the costs liability.

    Erin regularly appears in matters relating to trusts of land, frequently in the context of a bankruptcy and/or enforcement by lenders. These have included:

    • AIB Group (UK) Limited v McCarthy – acting for a lender seeking to enforce a charging order against a property where the borrower alleged that his wife held the entire beneficial interest in the property.
    • Advising trustees in bankruptcy upon the existence or otherwise of a constructive trust in favour of a co-owner and/or occupant.
    • Peniel Church v Reid: defending possession proceedings on the grounds of proprietary estoppel and/or a constructive trust.
    • Advising upon and appearing in applications for declarations as to beneficial entitlement under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.
    • Advising on co-ownership of property and an application to Court to amend the land registry entry.

    Erin has twice undertaken secondments with solicitors’ practices advising on contentious trusts and succession with an emphasis on charity beneficiaries. She has acted in a wide variety of probate claims including contesting the validity of wills, applications for the removal of executors, challenging inter-vivos gifts, allegations of undue influence, applications in relation to the administration of the estate and under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.