Professional practice

Helen has a busy and broad commercial practice spanning domestic and international litigation and arbitration. She is particularly experienced in heavy commercial litigation, civil fraud, private international law, shipping, employment and general commercial disputes. Helen has also developed a particular expertise in relation to data protection law and is currently instructed for the claimant in a major class action in relation to largescale data breaches by a global social media platform (SMO (A child) v TikTok).

Helen has appeared as an advocate in the High Court (both the Commercial Court and Chancery Division) and County Courts, in trial and a range of interlocutory and other hearings. She is equally comfortable acting led or unled, and happy to work flexibly as part of a team of solicitors and counsel.

Other recent work highlights include: (i) for defendants in US$ 2 billion fraud proceedings (Suppipat & Ors v Nop Narongdej & Ors), a multi-party conspiracy claim concerning the shares of Thailand’s largest renewable energy company; (ii) for the claimant in a shipping arbitration concerning the mis-delivery of cargo (iii) prior to maternity leave, on behalf of the UK Government in a long running multi-billion pound damages dispute (Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury) in which the Court of Appeal issued an important judgment on disclosure where there is an alleged risk of foreign prosecution; (iv) for the claimant in a ICC arbitration involving a USD40m dispute concerning the supply of a telecommunications system.

 

Arbitration & related court applications
  • Acting as junior counsel (led by Steven Berry QC) in an an arbitration concerning a mis-delivery of cargo dispute against the charterer or owner of the relevant vessel.
  • Acted as junior counsel (led by Stephen Houseman QC) in an LMAA Arbitration concerning agency agreements in respect of drilling contracts which involved claims of alleged breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Acted as junior counsel (led by Vernon Flynn QC and Jern-Fei Ng QC) in an ICC arbitration involving a USD40m dispute concerning the supply of a telecommunications system.
  • Acted as junior counsel (led by Joe Smouha QC, Damien Walker and Lucas Bastin) for the Claimants in an LCIA arbitration concerning issues under a shareholder agreement.
  • Acted as junior counsel (led by David Foxton QC, Paul McGrath QC and David Davies) for the Claimants, former majority holders of the Yukos oil company in an enforcement action in England in respect of the US$50 billion arbitration awards awarded to the Claimants against The Russian Federation. The case was listed as one of The Lawyer Magazine’s top 20 cases of 2016.
  • Acted as sole counsel in respect of costs and interest issues concerning a number of arbitration awards.
  • Acted as junior counsel (led by Nigel Eaton QC) in LCIA arbitrations involving disputes concerning various loan agreements.
  • Acted as junior counsel (led by Roderick Cordara QC) in an LMAA arbitration involving a share purchase agreement and counterclaims concerning alleged company mismanagement.
  • Acted as junior counsel (led by David Davies) in relation to the quantum stage of proceedings concerning a FOSFA arbitration award.
Commercial dispute resolution
  • Suppipat & Ors v Nop Narongdej & Ors: Acting (led by Anna Dilnot QC and with James Petkovic) for three defendants in substantial and hugely complex fraud proceedings commenced by the former owner of Thailand’s largest renewable energy company. 17 defendants have been joined to the proceedings, by which the claimants seek between £1-2 billion.
  • Acting (led by Steven Berry QC) for the claimant in a marine reinsurance dispute concerning the constructive total loss of the insured vessel.
  • Acting (led by Brendan Kelly QC) for the claimant in a cross-border dispute concerning a claim for delivery up of documents.
  • Acted (led by Emily Wood) for the claimants in a dispute concerning the commission of a newbuild yacht, involving claims of alleged breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Eldimas Limited v B&H Worldwide Limited: Acted as sole counsel in a case concerning a contract for worldwide business development services.
  • Acting (led by Vikram Sachdeva QC) for claimants in a claim for an injunction to secure the continued collaboration between two police forces pursuant to the contract between them.
  • Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury [2019] EWCA Civ 449: Acted as junior counsel (led by David Foxton QC, Philippa Hopkins QC, Steven Kovats QC and Julian Blake) in the long running multi-billion pound damages litigation, which settled just before trial. In March 2019 the Court of Appeal handed down an important judgment on the proper approach to disclosure where one party alleges a risk of foreign prosecution. The litigation settled on the first day of trial in June 2019.
  • Cargill International Trading Pte Ltd v Uttam Galva Steels Ltd: Acted as junior counsel (led by David Foxton QC) for the Claimants in a claim involving advance payment and steel supply agreements worth USD63m, dealt with the initial advice and all preliminary stages as sole counsel.
  • Atheer Telecom Iraq Limited v Orascom Telecom Iraq Corp. Limited: Acted as junior counsel (led by Penny Madden QC) for the defendants in an application for an unless order in the commercial court, in a case concerning contractual issues relating to tax liability under Iraqi law.
  • Corda v Corda: Acted as sole counsel and appeared in the High Court for the defendant in a Part 8 Claim brought by the claimants in respect of the sale of the parties’ joint business.
  • Acted as junior counsel (led by Nathan Pillow QC) for the claimants, subsidiaries of the Exxon Mobil Corporation, in a contractual dispute concerning warehouse and transport services, which settled on the last day of trial; appeared in Commercial Court in interlocutory hearings in the lead up to trial.
  • Venus Asset Management Limited v Matthews & Goodman LLP: Appeared in the High Court and acted as junior counsel (led by Sara Cockerill QC) for the claimants in a dispute involving a professional negligence dispute concerning advice on a compulsory purchase order.
  • Acted as sole counsel for the defendants in a dispute concerning the existence of a contract in respect of preparatory work on a project.
  • Acted as junior counsel (led by James Willan) for the defendants in two cases for the defendants, a Cypriot bank, concerning secured loan facilities and sale of charged properties.
Data Protection
  • SMO v TikTok: Acting as junior counsel (led by Charles Ciumei QC) for the claimant in a major class action against a global social media company in relation to largescale data breaches. The most recent decision on the claimant’s application for anonymity can be found at: [2020] EWHC 3589 (QB).
  • Acting for, and representing in Court, the claimant in a claim involving alleged breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the resulting effect on their employment.
Employment
  • Forstater v CGD [2021] 6 WLUK 104: Assisting Jane Russell before the Employment Appeal Tribunal in dispute about whether comments about transwomen are protected as a ‘belief’ under the Equality Act.
  • Acted as junior counsel (led by David Craig QC) for one of the respondent banks in a claim for discrimination, unfair dismissal, harassment victimisation and allegations under the TUPE Regulations.
  • Acted as junior counsel (led by Jane Russell) advising on various matters related to breach of employment contracts including an equal pay claim.
Shipping & admiralty
  • Acting as junior counsel (led by Steven Berry QC) in an arbitration concerning a mis-delivery of goods dispute against the charterer or owner of the relevant vessel.
  • Acted as junior counsel (led by Stephen Houseman QC) in an LMAA Arbitration concerning agency agreements in respect of drilling contracts which involved claims of alleged breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Acted as junior counsel (led by Richard Jacobs QC) in an LMAA arbitration involving claims and counterclaims arising from 10 shipbuilding contracts.
  • Advised (led by Claire Blanchard QC) on the prospects of success under a marine insurance policy involving issues of construction and attribution of knowledge.
  • Advised as sole counsel on the merits of a demurrage claim in the context of a voyage charter.
  • Advised as sole counsel in respect of 4 disputes concerning the construction of voyage charterparties.
Career

2014 Tenant at Essex Court Chambers, following completion of Pupillage with Nathan Pillow

2013-2014 Pupillage, Essex Court Chambers

Education

2012-2013 BCL, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford (Distinction: Conflict of Laws, Restitution of Unjust Enrichment, Principles of Civil Procedure and European Business Regulation)

2011-2012 BPTC, BPP Law School (Outstanding)

2008-2011 Law (Jurisprudence) BA, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford (First Class, ranked sixth in the year, joint first in Tort Law Finals Exam)

Awards

2012-2013 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Scholarship

University of Oxford Faculty of Law Graduate Scholarship

St Edmund Hall Scholarship

2011-2012 Inner Temple Exhibition Award

2011 Martin Wronker Prize: Highest Academic Achievement in the Tort Law Final Exam

2011 St Edmund Hall Scholarship