Emmet has a broad commercial practice, with a particular emphasis on shipping and transport, international trade and commodities, general commercial/ contractual disputes (including civil fraud) and arbitration.
In addition to his work as part of a team of counsel, Emmet has extensive experience as a sole advocate, from final hearings in London arbitrations and Commercial Court trials, to applications relating to freezing injunctions, jurisdiction and anti-suit injunctions, ship arrest and orders for sale, security for costs and summary judgment.
Emmet has acted for a wide range of UK and overseas based clients, from clearing banks and well known global corporations to SMEs and individuals. He is frequently instructed by lawyers based in other jurisdictions, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Switzerland.
While a large part of Emmet’s practice is in arbitration, since joining Quadrant in 2005 he has represented clients in the Commercial Court, the Chancery division, the Admiralty Court and the general Queen’s Bench Division, as well as on appeal in the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords. Notable recent or reported court cases include:
A large part of Emmet’s practice concerns disputes which have been referred to arbitration, including LMAA, LCIA, ICC and commodities trade association arbitrations. Indicative examples of work include:
Emmet has law degrees from Trinity College Dublin (LLB (First Class Hons.)) and Oxford University (BCL (Distinction)). He was called to the bar in 2004 at Gray’s Inn, where he was awarded the Prince of Wales and the Atkin scholarships.
Further details of Emmet’s practice and experience can be found under the headings below.
Emmet has almost 15 years of experience of practice as a shipping barrister. His work encompasses a wide range of shipping and transport matters, from charterparty and bill of lading claims to project cargo/ heavylift/ off-shore support matters, and from Admiralty and ‘wet shipping’ matters to shipbuilding and ship sale contract disputes.
Emmet has extensive experience of charterparty disputes, under all of the main time and voyage charter forms. Most of this work is in London arbitration, but he also has experience of disputes in the English courts and in arbitration in Singapore and Hong Kong. Emmet has also given written expert evidence on English law in respect of disputes in foreign courts, including the US Federal Courts.
Examples of work include:
Emmet’s work in relation to charterparties extends to the jurisdictional and contract formation issues that arise from time to time. Notable examples of arbitration appeals/ challenges in this field include:
Cargo / bill of lading claims
Emmet is an experienced advocate in cases concerning loss of and damage to cargo, from soft commodities (e.g. grain, rice, fruit) to hard commodities (e.g. metal ores, oil) to manufactured goods (from steel beams to computer chips).
The majority of his work in this field is in London arbitration, but he also has acted in bill of lading claims in the High Court, both as sole advocate at trial in the Commercial Court (MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co SA v Cottonex Anstalt  EWHC 283 (Comm);  2 All E.R. (Comm) 614;  1 Lloyd’s Rep. 359; Univeg Direct Fruit Marketing DFM GMBH v MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.  EWHC 2962 (Comm)) and in interim applications, such as in Hanaro Shipping Co Ltd v Cofftea Trading Co Ltd ( 10 WLUK 638 (Commercial Court application for anti-suit injunction in relation to claims under bills of lading).
Project cargoes, heavylift and off-shore support
Emmet has developed specialist expertise and experience in project cargo/ heavylift cargoes, both in respect of off-shore work and more generally.
He has lectured on specialist contract forms, including Supplytime, Heavycon, Heavyliftvoy and Projectcon, at BIMCO Masterclasses in Dubai, Singapore and Houston.
Examples of work in this area include:
Admiralty and ‘wet shipping’ matters
Emmet’s practice encompasses a range of Admiralty and ‘wet shipping’ matters.
He is frequently instructed in relation to disputes arising out of ship groundings, allisions and collisions. Examples include the grounding of a laden bulk carrier, a collision between a lighter barge and an oil tanker, the severing of undersea electricity cables by a cable laying vessel, the allision of a tanker ship with a terminal jetty, damage to an undersea pipeline by a vessel dragging anchor and the grounding of a general cargo vessel.
Emmet has appeared as sole counsel in an Admiralty Court trial (Nomikos v. The owners of the vessel “Prodromos” (Admiralty Court, July 2014). He also has extensive experience of ship arrest and sale proceedings, including issues of priority, both before the Admiralty Registrar and the Admiralty Judge and in related applications in the Companies Court.
From time to time, Emmet accepts instructions on a pro bono or conditional fee basis on the behalf of seafarers and their families. A notable example is the fatal accident case of the “Manhattan Bridge” (explosion of container ship’s auxiliary boiler in port at Felxistowe).
Shipbuilding and ship sale
Emmet has acted, as sole counsel or as part of a team of counsel, in several shipbuilding and ship sale disputes, particularly disputes about the meaning and effect of contractual terms but also disputes concerning delays and quality of work.
A substantial part of Emmet’s practice is in international trade and commodities. He has extensive experience of both hard and soft commodities work, and also has experience of disputes concerning international trade in manufactured goods.
The majority of Emmet’s hard commodities work concerns disputes under contracts for the sale of oil or petroleum products. Examples include:
Emmet has experience of a range of soft commodities work. Indicative examples include:
General commercial work has always formed a significant part of Emmet’s practice. Over almost 15 years, he has built up extensive experience of general commercial/contractual disputes, debt recovery work and civil fraud matters.
Since first obtaining a freezing injunction (on behalf of a clearing bank) over 10 years ago, he has acted in over a dozen matters in which freezing orders were obtained. He has advised in respect of and appeared in a wide range of related applications, including applications for summary judgment, for committal for contempt of court and for sequestration of assets, for the appointment of receivers and for recognition and enforcement of judgments. He also has experience of related insolvency matters. Notable cases include:
In addition to complex and high value debt recovery work, Emmet is also instructed in relation to a wide range of general commercial/ contractual disputes. Indicative examples include:
Emmet’s general commercial practice also encompasses civil fraud. He was sole counsel for the claimant investment fund in the Commercial Court trial in Glenbrook Capital LP v Hamilton  EWHC 2297 (Comm);  7 WLUK 447, which concerned the misappropriation of a large quantity of physical silver by a London dealer. He recently acted (with Poonam Melwani QC) in a high value shareholder dispute, arising out of the fraudulent concealment of profits; Latin American Investments Limited v Maroil Trading Inc (Commercial Court 2017-2019). He is currently acting/ has recently acted in 2 London arbitrations in which issues of forgery or falsification of documents arose.
A large part of Emmet’s practice is in arbitration. He has experience of international arbitrations on ad hoc, FCC, FOSFA, GAFTA, ICC, LCIA and LMAA terms. He has also been instructed in many arbitration applications in the Commercial Court, including applications contesting arbitrators’ jurisdiction (section 67 of the Arbitration Act), challenging arbitral awards on grounds of serious irregularity (s.68) and seeking to appeal awards on a point of law (s.69).
Examples of arbitrations in which Emmet has been instructed can be found under the other headings above. They include a wide range of shipping/ transport, international trade/ commodities and general commercial/ contractual disputes.
Examples of arbitration claims and applications in the Commercial Court include:
LL.B. (T.C. Dublin) (First Class); B.C.L. (Oxford) (Distinction)