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Emma Hynes
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Emma specialises in construction and commercial matters including professional negligence claims. Within those areas she acts in complex dispute resolution, both as a junior and in her own right. She is known for her meticulous preparation and tenacity.

Emma is instructed as junior counsel to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Before coming to the Bar, Emma had a successful career in business communications, working for organisations as diverse as Serco, the Carbon Trust and Microsoft. This experience has given her a particular understanding of multinational commercial clients as well as a practical and business-minded approach.

Prior to changing career, Emma combined her work with fencing sabre at an international level. She represented Australia in five world championships and won two Commonwealth medals.

Construction Litigation

Emma has built a strong construction practice at Hardwicke. Emma’s interest in construction stems from working extensively in her previous career with architects, engineers and built environment professionals. This experience gives her a firm grasp of technical issues and a detailed understanding of how the elements of a project team interacts.

She has a particular expertise in disputes involving the energy and renewables sector (see separate tab on her profile).

Through her work as counsel to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, she has an exceptional understanding of all kinds of rainscreen facades, and the Building Regulation issues that cladding cases often raise. She has also developed excellent knowledge of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and developments in fire-safety legislation following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Recent construction litigation work:

  • Junior to Paul Reed QC in RSK Environment Ltd v Hexagon Housing Association Ltd [2020] EWHC 2049 (TCC), regarding a point of law on the scope of tortious liability.
  • Advised on the effect of the Building Regulations and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, in particular with regard to all types of cladding, façade build ups and fire testing of façade products.
  • Acted for the employer in a matter concerning defective specification and installation of biomass plant.
  • Junior to John de Waal QC, acting for the owner of a portfolio of residential tower blocks with numerous defects in the installation of structural elements, cladding and cavity barriers; M&E plant; and utilities services.
  • Acted for the claimant seeking a substantial stage payment for engineering services in a large development overseas.

Work on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry:

Emma has been instructed on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry since early 2018. She has focussed particularly on:

  • Façade construction.
  • Testing, classification and certification of cladding, insulation and fire stopping products.
  • Project management.
  • CDM responsibilities, including the effect of the CDM Regulations 2007 and 2015.
  • Gas supply and works.

She has taken evidence from live witnesses at the Inquiry hearings.

Emma is a contributor to Electronic Disclosure: Law and Practice by Michael Wheater and Charles Raffin (OUP 2017) and regularly advises on disclosure issues and information management.

Adjudication and Expert Determination

Emma acts regularly in adjudications and expert determinations.

Recent cases include:

  • Junior to Brie Stevens-Hoare QC, acting for a purchaser of portfolio of residential tower blocks. Emma’s client alleges non-compliances with the fire requirements of the Building Regulations.
  • Appeared as junior counsel in a high-value adjudication based in Ireland, which included a multi-day hearing, focusing on issues of delay and quantum.
  • Acting for a contractor in a claim regarding asbestos removal works.
  • Regularly acting in adjudications involving:
    • Payments based on notices.
    • Final accounts.

Emma accepts instructions under Hardwicke’s Fixed Fee Adjudication Scheme.

Energy & Renewables

Emma has particular interest and expertise in the energy and renewables sector. In her previous career, Emma wrote extensively about the sector, including publishing guidance on environmental technology and renewable energy.

Recent cases include:

  • At the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, Emma leads on gas issues. She has a very good understanding of the legislation and regulation governing the supply of gas, including pipeline installation and metering.
  • Emma regularly acts for an electricity supplier, dealing with claims regarding supply, metering and contractual arrangements. She has particular familiarity with the Electricity Act 1989, including the Electricity Code.
  • Junior to David Lewis QC, acted in an arbitration concerning a joint venture for the exploration and exploitation of petroleum.
  • Junior to Paul Reed QC, acted in litigation for the manufacturer of products for an offshore platform, on a matter concerning the sale of defective materials.

Property Damage

Emma has broad experience in property damage and Party Wall Act matters.

Recent cases include:

  • Appearing at trial for a developer, successfully defending an allegation of property damage.
  • Appearing for the Adjoining Owner’s surveyor at appeal, successfully defending allegations of negligence and recovering a substantial costs order.

Construction Insurance

Emma advises on coverage issues arising in construction matters.

Recent cases include:

  • As junior to Paul  Reed QC:
    • Advised on coverage issues with regards to a development constructed on ground with sinkholes.
    • Advised on coverage issues in a matter defective materials supplied to a manufacturer of products for use on an offshore platform.

Emma is a contributor to Construction Professional Indemnity Insurance, Sweet & Maxwell, 2018 and Insurance Broking Practice and Law, edited by CMS Cameron McKenna, Informa, Looseleaf.

Commercial Arbitration

Emma has extensive knowledge of both domestic and international arbitration.

Recent cases include:

  • As junior to David Lewis QC, acted in a high value arbitration concerning payment of cash calls in an international joint venture agreement.
  • Advised on security for costs in an LCIA arbitration.
  • Acted in a dispute about the purchase of a large portfolio of property.

Commercial Litigation

Emma acts in a range of complex commercial disputes.

She has been commended for her careful analysis of the law and scrupulous attention to detail regarding the facts of each case. Her business background gives her useful insight into the interests underlying such disputes and the commercial imperatives that drive them.

Recent cases include:

  • Acted for the sellers of two care homes in a pricing dispute.
  • Successfully appeared at trial for a business claiming loss of profit arising from the defendant’s closure of the business’s premises without sufficient notice. The matter engaged issues of agency and frustration.
  • Successfully appeared at trial for claimant solicitor firm for unpaid fees in a dispute turning on the scope of the retainer.
  • Acted for several claimant entities and directors in their claims for breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Advised the commissioner of a significant work of art of her potential claims, including her rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Emma is a contributor to Electronic Disclosure: Law and Practice by Michael Wheater and Charles Raffin (OUP 2017) and regularly advises on disclosure issues and information management.


Emma’s practice is especially focussed on franchising. She regularly appears in court on injunctions and at trial in franchise cases.

Recent cases include:

  • Advised a franchisor on the effect of novation and merits of an application to strike out a franchisee’s claim.
  • Advised a franchisee on a misrepresentation claim.
  • Acted in several trials for a franchisor facing claims from a number of franchisees regarding post-termination obligations and the construction of buy-back clauses.
  • Acted for a franchisor in a matter involving termination and breaches of restrictive covenants on the use of trademarks.
  • Acted for a franchisor in a claim for misuse of confidential information and breaches of post-termination restrictive covenants.

Costs Litigation

Emma appears in costs matters, most regularly on Solicitors Act assessments.

Recent cases include:

  • Hanley v JC&A and Green v SGI Legal LLP [2018] EWHC 2592 (QB) on Solicitor’s Act 1974 duties delivery up of solicitor’s files.
  • Successfully striking out a claim for solicitors’ fees on the basis of inadequacies in the purported bill rendered.
  • Advised as to cost budgeting in group litigation.

Financial Professionals, Insolvency Professionals, Directors & Officers

Emma’s commercial expertise makes her well placed to handle professional claims against financial advisors. She has recently advised on scope of duty of an independent financial advisor.

Professional associations

  • Commercial Bar Association
  • London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association
  • National Association of Women in Construction
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Society of Construction Law


Emma is a contributor to the recently published Electronic Disclosure Law and Practice and to Construction Professionals Indemnity Insurance.


  • LLM – King’s College London – (Distinction)
  • BPTC – University of Law – (Outstanding)
  • GDL – University of Law – (Distinction)
  • BA in English and Ancient History, University of Queensland – (First Class Honours)
  • L.LM – Georg Schwarzenberger Award for International Law
  • L.LM – Prize for best student on Business Law programme
  • BPTC – Inner Temple Exhibition Award
  • BA – University Medal for Outstanding Scholarship