Professional practice

Helen has a broad commercial practice in line with Chambers’ profile and has a particular interest in commercial litigation, arbitration, the conflict of laws and shipping disputes. She has appeared as an advocate in the High Court (both the Commercial Court and Chancery Division) and County Courts, in both a trial context and a range of other hearings. In addition, Helen has been involved in numerous international arbitrations and enforcement proceedings, ranging from international shipping disputes to investor-state arbitrations governed by a variety of institutional rules. She also has advised on arbitration–related court applications, including sections 67, 68 and 69 challenges.

In addition to her own cases, Helen regularly works alongside other members of Chambers in a wide variety of practice areas. She is often instructed at the beginning of the dispute resolution process including at preliminary advisory and pre-action stages, pleadings and interlocutory hearings, and through to trial, appeals and enforcement actions.

Helen is currently acting on behalf of the Treasury in the long running multi-billion pound litigation Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury fixed for trial in June 2019.

Before pupillage at Essex Court Chambers, Helen graduated with a First in Law from the University of Oxford, ranked sixth in her year. Following this, she obtained a Distinction in the BCL from the University of Oxford.

 

Arbitration & related court applications
  • 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 involved a USD40m dispute concerning the supply of a telecommunications system.
  • Acted as junior counsel (led by Lucas Bastin, Damien Walker and Joe Smouha QC) 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.
Banking & financial services
  • 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.
Civil liberties & human rights

Helen has a strong interest in human rights issues and she has acted in an advisory capacity concerning various articles of the Human Rights Act 1998 in the context of a security for costs appeal. She is also an Assistant Editor of the European Human Rights Reports.

Commercial dispute resolution
  • Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury [2019] EWCA Civ 449: Acting 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.
  • 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.
  • Exxonmobil Chemical Limited v TDG (UK) Limited: 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.
Professional negligence
  • 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.
Shipping & admiralty
  • 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