Emma Hilliard has been described as “a rising star” (Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2014) and specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration with particular emphasis on various types of contractual disputes (having previously been a Supervisor in Contract Law at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge, 2005-2006).

Her areas of practice include insurance and reinsurance, shipping, aviation, arbitration, energy, sale of goods, professional negligence, banking, conflict of laws and other general commercial disputes. Emma was called to the Bar in 2006 and joined 7KBW as a tenant in 2007, following the completion of her pupillage here. As well as appearing in Court (the Court of Appeal, Commercial Court, Queen’s Bench Division, London Mercantile Court and County Courts), Emma has substantial experience of appearing in confidential arbitrations. She acts as sole counsel in smaller disputes in Court and arbitrations and as junior counsel (including as part of a team of counsel) in larger trials and arbitrations. For several years Emma has been recommended in the legal directories for aviation – she has been recommended for aviation in Chambers & Partners UK Bar in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and in Legal 500 in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. She is currently ranked in band 3 for aviation in Legal 500 2018 and in band 3 for aviation in Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2016. Emma has been described in the following terms:

  • “Emma Hilliard is, according to solicitors, someone who “knows her subject inside out, is very diligent and understands the commercial context of any case.”  Chambers and Partners 2013.
  • “Emma Hilliard is a junior impressing the aviation market. Sources appreciate her strong industry knowledge and down-to-earth approach. Emma is very keen and a rising star.” Chambers and Partners 2014.
  • “Has a strong technical knowledge of the market and is particularly active in complex aviation insurance cases. She shows great attention to detail and is very good on the paperwork.” Chambers and Partners 2015.
  • “An aviation insurance and reinsurance specialist with a growing practice in the area.” “She is very bright and has a strong reputation.” Chambers and Partners 2016.
  • “An excellent junior for aviation matters.” Legal 500 2014.
  • Very determined and user-friendly.” Legal 500 2015.
  • “Excellent.” Legal 500 2016.
  • “First rate.” Legal 500 2017.
  • She is a very able barrister.” Legal 500 2018.

Selected cases include:

  • Emma recently appeared as junior counsel for the First to Fourth Defendants who successfully defended claims  in a 5 day trial in the Commercial Court (led by Robert Bright Q.C.), the sums involved being approximately US$10.9 million – Navig8 Inc v South Vigour Shipping Inc & Ors [2015] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 436 (Commercial Court).
  • Emma was instructed as junior to Gavin Kealey Q.C., Stephen Kenny Q.C. and John Bignall representing 18 major aviation insurers in a $150 million aviation insurance dispute in the Commercial Court (PK AirFinance US Inc v Chartis & Ors; and Blue Sky One Limited & Ors v Chartis & Ors). It was claimed by the alleged owners and mortgagees of three Boeing 747 aircraft that the aircraft were lost when misappropriated by an Iranian airline.
  • Emma appeared in the Court of Appeal as junior counsel for the successful appellants (led by David Bailey Q.C.) in an appeal from the decision to grant an anti-suit injunction: Oceanconnect UK Ltd & Anor. v Angara Maritime Ltd [2011] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 399 (Court of Appeal).
  • Emma was instructed as junior counsel acting for insurers in relation to a multi-million pound Commercial Court claim brought by a bank providing invoice discounting and factoring services (led by David Bailey Q.C.).
  • Emma has been instructed as junior counsel in a number of confidential arbitrations, including arbitrations on LMAA terms and insurance and reinsurance arbitrations.

If you are interested in instructing Emma on any particular matter, please contact her clerks.