Professional practice

Naomi has a broad commercial litigation and arbitration practice. She has experience in civil fraud, conflict of laws, agency, shipping and general commercial disputes, and has been instructed as both junior and sole counsel. She acts frequently in the High Court, having recently appeared in the Commercial Court, the Chancery Division and the Queen’s Bench Division. Her commercial arbitration experience includes proceedings under the DIFC, LCIA, ICC and LMAA Rules. She has also appeared in the courts of the Cayman Islands and as sole advocate in a number of general commercial County Court trials and applications.

Alongside her commercial practice, Naomi specialises in public international law. She has acted in proceedings before the International Court of Justice. She has experience of investor-state disputes under both bilateral and multilateral investment treaties and in proceedings under the SCC Rules, the UNCITRAL Rules and the ICSID Convention. She attained a doctorate from the University of Cambridge on the topic of espionage and public international law, for which she was awarded the Yorke Prize for a thesis “of exceptional quality, which makes a substantial contribution to its relevant field of legal knowledge”. She has published widely on human rights, investor-state arbitration and general international law.

Prior to joining Essex Court Chambers, Naomi qualified as a solicitor in New South Wales, where she worked as a graduate lawyer in the Mergers & Acquisitions team of Allens Linklaters. She has also worked and volunteered for a variety of government bodies, academic institutions and legal organisations in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States.

At the University of Sydney, she received First Class Honours in her Law degree (ranking second in her year) and the University Medal and First Class Honours in History (ranking first in her year).

 

Arbitration & related court applications

Acting as junior counsel (led by Graham Dunning QC) on behalf of three investors in an arbitration under the SCC Rules against an Eastern European state brought pursuant to a multilateral investment treaty, which has involved advising on the effect of an associated arbitration under the LCIA Rules.

Acting as junior counsel (led by Claire Blanchard QC) in an arbitration seated in Dubai under the DIFC-LCIA Rules concerning recovery under a guarantee for non-payment of a commercial debt.

Acted as sole counsel in an arbitration under the LMAA Rules concerning alleged underperformance of a vessel and a clam in respect of damaged cargo.

Acted as sole counsel in an arbitration under the LMAA Rules concerning a claim for overpaid hire following the late delivery of a vessel.

Advised a commercial party on whether, as the debtor under an arbitral award, it could obtain a stay of enforcement while a challenge to the award was underway.

Assisted counsel in an investor-state arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules concerning allegedly unlawful retrospective taxation.

Assisted counsel in an investor-state arbitration under the ICSID Convention concerning, among other issues, harassment as a breach of the fair and equitable treatment standard.

Assisted counsel in an arbitration under the ICC Rules concerning fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract in relation to an agribusiness contract in an Eastern European state.

Civil fraud & asset tracing

Instructed as junior counsel in a Chancery Division consequentials hearing in a case concerning the recognition by English courts of Russian liquidation proceedings following allegations of fraud by the company’s liquidator.

Assisted counsel in obtaining an ex parte injunction in the Chancery Division to prevent trading of assets of and shares in off-shore companies which were believed to hold assets on trust for an individual in bankruptcy.

Assisted counsel in an arbitration under the ICC Rules concerning fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract in relation to an agribusiness contract in an Eastern European state.

Commercial chancery disputes

Instructed as junior counsel in a Chancery Division consequentials hearing in a case concerning the recognition by English courts of Russian liquidation proceedings following allegations of fraud by the company’s liquidator.

Appeared as sole counsel in the Chancery Division for a commercial party seeking to set aside an interim injunction concerning the lease of business premises.

Assisted counsel in obtaining an ex parte injunction in the Chancery Division to prevent trading of assets of and shares in off-shore companies which were believed to hold assets on trust for an individual in bankruptcy.

Commercial dispute resolution

Acting as junior counsel (led by Claire Blanchard QC) in an arbitration seated in Dubai under the DIFC-LCIA Rules concerning recovery under a guarantee for non-payment of a commercial debt.

Acting as junior counsel (led by Claire Blanchard QC) in Commercial Court litigation concerning recovery of a debt under a contract for the sale of fashion goods.

Acting as junior counsel (led by Martin Griffiths QC) in litigation in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, instructed by the Attorney General’s Office, concerning alleged conspiracy to injure and malicious prosecution of the former Premier of the Cayman Islands.

Instructed as junior counsel (led by Hugh Mercer QC) in a Commercial Court claim for damages under a contract for the sale of animal feed involving issues of contract, regulatory and EU law.

Acted as sole counsel in a High Court claim against a former company director for repayment of director’s loans and personal expenses.

Advised a commercial party on the calculation of damages following breach of a contract for electricity procurement.

Advised a commercial party on the validity of a purported variation to a contract for the sale of animatronic goods.

Company & insolvency law

Advised a Singaporean limited liability company regarding a compulsory share acquisition under its articles of association.

Instructed as junior counsel in a Chancery Division consequentials hearing in a case concerning the recognition by English courts of Russian liquidation proceedings following allegations of fraud by the company’s liquidator.

Assisted counsel in obtaining an ex parte injunction in the Chancery Division to prevent trading of assets of and shares in off-shore companies which were believed to hold assets on trust for an individual in bankruptcy.

Graduate Lawyer, Mergers & Acquisitions team of Allens Linklaters in Sydney, 2012.

Conflict of laws & private international law

Acting as junior counsel (led by Claire Blanchard QC) in an arbitration seated in Dubai under the DIFC-LCIA Rules concerning recovery under a guarantee for non-payment of a commercial debt, involving questions of agency under the laws of England and a Middle Eastern state.

Acting as junior counsel (led by Claire Blanchard QC) in Commercial Court litigation concerning recovery of a debt under a contract for the sale of fashion goods, involving questions of agency under the laws of England and a Middle Eastern state.

Instructed as junior counsel in a Chancery Division consequentials hearing in a case concerning the recognition by English courts of Russian liquidation proceedings following allegations of fraud by the company’s liquidator.

Assisted counsel in preparing for an application for permission to serve out on foreign defendants believed to hold assets on trust for an individual in bankruptcy.

Assisted counsel in preparing for a hearing on whether process had been validly served on an agent of a foreign defendant and the defendant’s submission to the jurisdiction of English courts.

Human rights & civil liberties

Assisted counsel in a Supreme Court appeal concerning foreign state immunity in claims brought by embassy employees in light of the Human Rights Act and European Convention on Human Rights.

Assisted counsel in a judicial review claim concerning whether a government authority’s acts and omissions caused flooding of agricultural land in breach of the right to property contained in Article 1 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Current Assistant Editor of the European Human Rights Reports.

Volunteered as a Legal Research Clerk to the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana, 2011, undertaking legal research and drafting pleadings for the final-stage appeals of two men on death row based on breaches of constitutional rights and criminal procedure.

Interned with the Australian Human Rights Commission, 2010, contributing to projects on Australia’s program of mandatory detention of asylum seekers and on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Public & administrative law

Assisted counsel in a judicial review claim challenging a decision to refuse an application for citizenship made under the statelessness provisions of the British Nationality Act 1981.

Assisted counsel in a judicial review claim concerning a government authority’s acts and omissions causing flooding of agricultural land.

Assisted counsel in a judicial review claim challenging a decision to revoke an individual’s passport and deny them leave to remain in the UK.

Assisted counsel in a judicial review claim concerning lawful methods for slaughtering sheep, as prescribed by EU and UK law.

Served as a Volunteer Advocate for the Communities Empowerment Network, 2015–16, representing the parents of children who had been excluded from mainstream education at review hearings of school governors and independent review panels.

Volunteered as a Legal Research Clerk to the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana, 2011, undertaking legal research and drafting pleadings for the final-stage appeals of two men on death row based on breaches of constitutional rights and criminal procedure.

Public international law

Instructed as junior counsel (led by Vaughan Lowe QC) for the Republic of Cyprus in the International Court of Justice advisory proceedings concerning the international legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965.

Acting as junior counsel (led by Graham Dunning QC) on behalf of three investors in an arbitration under the SCC Rules against an Eastern European state brought pursuant to a multilateral investment treaty, particularly focusing on attribution under public international law.

Assisted counsel in a Supreme Court appeal concerning foreign state immunity in claims brought by embassy employees in light of the Human Rights Act and European Convention on Human Rights.

Assisted counsel preparing for a Court of Appeal hearing on whether members of special missions enjoy immunity from criminal process under international and UK law.

Assisted counsel advising a government body on the justiciability of private prosecutions of war crimes before English courts.

Assisted counsel in an investor-state arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules concerning allegedly unlawful retrospective taxation.

Assisted counsel in an investor-state arbitration under the ICSID Convention concerning, among other issues, harassment as a breach of the fair and equitable treatment standard.

Naomi completed a PhD entitled “Espionage and International Law” at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, supervised by Professor Roger O’Keefe. Her dissertation was awarded the prestigious Yorke Prize. At Cambridge she also taught Public International Law to undergraduates and The Law of Armed Conflict, the Use of Force and Peacekeeping to LLM students. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on various international law topics.

Her previous international legal work includes the following:

  • 2014: Research Associate to the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge, in its project on authoritarian and post-conflict states transitioning into democracies.
  • 2010–13: Research Assistant to Professor Ben Saul, University of Sydney, contributing to his work on international law relating to human rights and terrorism, refugees, armed conflict, peacekeeping and genocide.
  • 2010: Interned at the Australian Human Rights Commission, contributing to projects concerning international human rights law and, for example, Australia’s program of mandatory detention of asylum seekers and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • 2008: Intern at the Sydney Centre for International Law, undertaking legal research and drafting submissions and legal advice on topics including the provision of compensation to members of the Stolen Generation in Australia, Australia’s approach to promoting good governance in Papua New Guinea, and the drafting of the Nepalese Constitution.
Shipping & admiralty

Acted as sole counsel in an arbitration under the LMAA Rules concerning alleged underperformance of a vessel and a clam in respect of damaged cargo.

Acted as sole counsel in an arbitration under the LMAA Rules concerning a claim for overpaid hire following the late delivery of a vessel.

Current contributor to the Westlaw Insight Shipping Series.

Current member of the Young Maritime Professionals Committee.

Career

2017: Tenancy at Essex Court Chambers

2016: Pupillage at Essex Court Chambers

2016: Call to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn

2013: Admission as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales

Education

2012–16: Doctorate in public international law, St John’s College, University of Cambridge

2015–16: Bar Professional Training Course, BPP Law School, London (Outstanding, ranked second across all BPP locations)

2011: Bachelor of Laws, University of Sydney (First Class Honours, ranked second in year)

2009: Bachelor of Arts, University of Sydney (University Medal and First Class Honours, ranked first in year in History)

Awards

2018: Yorke Prize (Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge)

2016: Sunley Scholarship; Buchanan Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)

2015–16: BPP Excellence Award (BPP Law School)

2015–16: McMahon Studentship (St John’s College, University of Cambridge)

2015: Winner, American Society of International Law (International Refugee Law Interest Group) Essay Competition

2015: Hardwicke Entrance Award (Lincoln’s Inn)

2014: Research grant from Simón Bolívar Fund and Santander Travel Fund (Cambridge Centre for Latin American Studies)

2012–15: J C Hall Scholarship (St John’s College, University of Cambridge)

2012–15: Honorary Poynton Australia Scholarship (Cambridge Commonwealth Trust)

2011: Winner, Governor-General’s Undergraduate Essay Competition (Constitutional Education Fund of Australia)

2011: Convocation Medal for Undergraduate Achievement (University of Sydney Alumni Council)

2010: Sir Dudley Williams Prize; Nancy Gordon Smith Prize; Academic Merit Prize (Faculty of Law, University of Sydney)

2009: Sir John Peden Memorial Prize for Proficiency in Foundations of Law, Federal Constitutional Law, International Law and Real Property (Faculty of Law, University of Sydney)

2009: Undergraduate Scholarship (Boston Consulting Group)

2008–09: Walter Reid Memorial Prize (Faculties of Arts and Law, University of Sydney)

2008: Philippe Erdos Prize in History (Faculty of Arts, University of Sydney)

2008: Norman Harper Prize (Australasian Journal of American Studies)

2008: Jamieson Award (Australian Federation of University Women)

2007: Dean’s List of Excellence in Academic Performance; Maud Stiles Prize in Senior History (Faculty of Arts, University of Sydney)

2006–07: Walter Reid Book Grant (Faculties of Arts and Law, University of Sydney)

2006: George Arnold Wood Memorial Prize for History II; G S Caird Scholarship in History II (Faculty of Arts, University of Sydney)

2005–10: Merit Scholarship (Faculty of Arts, University of Sydney)

Publications

N Hart, “Complementary Protection and Domestic Courts: The Extent, Method, Purpose and Effects of Judicial Dialogue” in A Müller (ed), Judicial Dialogue and Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

N Hart, “Complementary Protection and Transjudicial Dialogue: Global Best Practice or Race to the Bottom?” (2016) 28 International Journal of Refugee Law 171

N Hart and S Srikumar, “Investor-State Arbitration before the High Court of Singapore: Territoriality, Nationality and Arbitrability” (2015) 4 Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law 191

N Hart, “Whole-life Sentences in the UK: Volte-face at the European Court of Human Rights?” (2015) 74 Cambridge Law Journal 205

M Crock, N Hart, R McCallum and B Saul, “Making Every Life Count: Ensuring Equality and Protection for Persons with Disabilities in Armed Conflicts” (2014) 40 Monash Law Review 148

I Shearer and N Hart, “The Engagement of Asia-Pacific States with the UN Human Rights Committee: Reporting and Individual Petitions”, in H Nasu and B Saul (eds), Human Rights in the AsiaPacific Region (Routledge, 2011)

N Hart, “Plaintiff M70/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship; Plaintiff M106/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship: Casenote” (2011) 18 Australian International Law Journal 207

N Hart, “Separating the Inquest from the Trial: The Mulrunji Case” (2009) 7(10) Indigenous Law Bulletin 23

Naomi is currently an Assistant Editor of the European Human Rights Reports and a contributor to the Westlaw Insight Shipping Series. She has previously served as Editor-in-Chief of the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law and Editor of the Sydney Law Review.