Emma Healiss

Call: 2014

Email: ehealiss@keatingchambers.com

Tel: +44 (0)20 7544 2600

Practice Overview

Emma Healiss specialises in domestic and international construction, energy and procurement disputes.  She is described as an “exceptional” and “first-class” barrister.

Emma is ranked by Legal 500 in construction, professional negligence, and energy. She is also ranked by Chambers & Partners in construction and public procurement.  Recent recommendations include “a terrific junior who is able to think on her feet”, “exceptionally methodical, dedicated and cuts through the complex and often opaque issues in a claim with ease, with innovative solutions and commercial advice for the client”, an “unrivalled ability to review, comprehend and advise on complex points of law within tight timescales” and “incisive on her feet”.

Emma has developed a strong domestic and international practice. Of late, she has acted as junior counsel to bereaved families, survivors and former residents in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. She is currently instructed by Lendlease in Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust v Lendlease Construction (Europe) Ltd & Others, the only construction case to feature in The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2022.  Emma is also highly sought after for adjudication disputes, particularly those involving insolvent parties.

Emma is a contributor to Keating on Construction Contracts and Keating on Offshore Construction and Marine Engineering.

Practice Areas
  • Construction, Engineering & Energy
  • International Arbitration
  • Procurement
  • Adjudication
  • Insurance
  • Commercial
  • Professional Negligence
Construction, Engineering & Energy

Emma has a depth of experience in construction disputes. Recent work includes:

  • Acting as junior counsel to bereaved families, survivors and former residents in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Representing Lendlease in Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust v Lendlease Construction (Europe) Ltd & Others, the only construction case to feature in The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2022.
  • Acting as junior counsel to Sarah Hannaford QC in a substantial multi-party TCC dispute concerning a defective car park.
  • Acting as sole counsel in Croda Europe Limited v Optimus Services Ltd [2021] EWHC 332 (TCC), which concerned the application of the slip rule and the proper interpretation of NEC3 adjudication provisions.
  • Counsel for the successful defendants in Indigo Projects London Ltd v Razin & Anor [2019] EWHC 1205 (TCC), which concerned the enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision where the enforcing party was in a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).
  • Acting as junior counsel to Simon Hughes QC for a large Italian energy contractor against a Lebanese subcontractor in a €246 million dispute concerning welding defects in an Algerian pipeline.
  • Acting as junior counsel to Marcus Taverner QC and Jane Lemon QC in a dispute concerning the delayed construction of a skyscraper in the Middle East.
  • Acting for a local authority in a PFI dispute in the energy sector in which the contract value over the PFI term was over £4bn and the dispute value was over £500m. The case principally concerned the authority’s right to terminate the contract for contractor default Further issues that arose over the course of the dispute included the interrelationship between works delivery plans and service delivery plans, failures to report upon performance failures, the proper operation of the paymech, the accrual of performance points, the legal status and effect of completion and acceptance certificates, whether multiple bases for termination could be relied upon by the authority and allegations of promissory estoppel.
  • Acting as junior counsel for a fabrication contractor in a dispute relating to the final account for various oil and gas production platforms in the North Sea.
  • Advising on disputes arising out of the Merseylink project.
  • Advising on a series of payment disputes arising out of a PFI waste management contract in the north of England.
  • Regularly acting for the National House Building Council (NHBC), the market leading insurer of new and refurbished residential properties in the UK, in relation to claims against builders, developers and personal guarantors.
  • Advising on limitation on a claim concerning latent defects in the construction of an inner-city bridge.
  • Representing a scaffolding contractor in a final account dispute.
International Arbitration

Emma is regularly instructed as junior counsel on large-scale international arbitration disputes. Recent highlights include:

  • Acting as junior counsel to Simon Hughes QC for a large Italian energy contractor against a Lebanese subcontractor in a €246 million dispute concerning welding defects in an Algerian pipeline.
  • Acting as junior counsel to Marcus Taverner QC and Jane Lemon QC in a dispute concerning the delayed construction of a skyscraper in the Middle East.
Procurement

Emma regularly appears as junior counsel in substantial procurement disputes. Recent highlights include:

  • Acting as junior counsel to Sarah Hannaford QC for the Defendant in Cemex v Network Rail [2017] EWHC 2392, following which the Claimant discontinued its claim.
  • Acting as junior counsel to Sarah Hannaford QC for the Claimant in Alstom v London Underground Ltd [2017] EWHC 1584, Alstom v London Underground Ltd [2017] EWHC 1406 and Alstom v London Underground Ltd [2017] EWHC 1521 which concerned a tender for the supply of a new traction system on the Central Line.
  • Acting for Interoute Communication Limited, the operator of Europe’s largest network, in a dispute with a water provider concerning a tender for the provision of IT support and management services.
Adjudication

Recent highlights include:

  • Acting as sole counsel in Croda Europe Limited v Optimus Services Ltd [2021] EWHC 332 (TCC), which concerned the application of the slip rule and the proper interpretation of NEC3 adjudication provisions.
  • Counsel for the successful defendants in Indigo Projects London Ltd v Razin & Anor [2019] EWHC 1205 (TCC), which concerned the enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision where the enforcing party was in a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).
  • Acting as junior counsel in a multi-million pound adjudication concerning defective fire protection measures and combustible insulation materials.
  • Drafting the Response, Rejoinder and Response to Surrejoinder in adjudication proceedings concerning a final account valuation and claims of incomplete and defective groundworks.
  • Drafting the Referral in an adjudication concerning a payment dispute arising out of a contract for the design, construction, commissioning and testing of an energy-from-waste plant.
  • Advising on a payment dispute concerning the payment provisions of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996.
  • Acting for a homeowner in successive adjudications concerning defects and delay.
  • Acting for a waste contractor in a series of payment disputes arising out of a PFI waste management contract in the north of England.
  • Assisting in a case regarding resisting enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision via concurrent Part 8 proceedings.
Insurance

Emma regularly acts for the National House Building Council (NHBC), the market leading insurer of new and refurbished residential properties in the UK, in relation to claims against builders, developers and personal guarantors.

Other recent highlights include:

  • Acting on behalf of the Claimant in TCC High Court proceedings against an insurer in a claim for £1.8m concerning subsidence at properties in Brixton.
  • Acting on behalf of a major insurer against a contractor that failed in its obligations to rectify defects under an insurance policy.
  • Acting for the defendant insurer in a claim brought by a homeowner for an alleged failure to remedy defects in a property as required by the terms of the insurance policy.
  • Advising on a claim against an insurer under the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 1930 relating to demolition and asbestos removal works.
Commercial

Building on her experience in the construction, engineering, energy and procurement sectors, Emma’s practice also includes other areas of commercial work. Recent examples include:

  • Acting as junior counsel to Sarah Hannaford QC for a NHS Trust in a claim concerning termination and non-payment of contractual sums.
  • Advising on the prospects of successfully pursuing a winding-up petition in the case of a potentially disputed debt.
  • Acting on behalf of a major contractor who had overpaid an employee following the termination of the employee’s contract of employment.
  • Acting for the claimant in a claim relating to a partner’s entitlement to a profit share following retirement from the partnership.
Professional Negligence

Recent highlights include:

  • Representing Lendlease in Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust v Lendlease Construction (Europe) Ltd & Others (the only construction case to feature in The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2022) which concerns professional negligence allegations against an architect.
  • Acting on behalf of a party wall surveyor in defence of a professional negligence claim relating to a luxury residential development.
  • Acting on behalf of a firm of structural engineers in defence of a professional negligence claim relating to a supermarket car park.
  • Advising a purchaser of property in a claim against an approved building control inspector.
  • Assisting in drafting the defence in a claim regarding defects in a home extension. The dispute concerned the scope of the architect’s obligations and whether the defects were design or workmanship issues.
  • Assisting in a claim against an architect and a design and build contractor in a negligence claim relating to the design and construction of external paving.
  • Assisting in a claim relating to the defective design and construction of an offshore windfarm.
Case Reports
Case Date
Indigo v Razin 17 May 2019