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Emma Dearnaley

Senior Associate

Emma Dearnaley

Emma is an experienced litigator who has acted on some of the biggest and most high-profile disputes to come before the English and Hong Kong courts in recent years. As a senior associate in our London office, Emma's practice covers a wide range of commercial disputes with a specialism in cross-border, complex and high value investigations and claims, often relating to fraud. In advising her clients on those disputes, Emma has asset tracing and recovery at the forefront of her mind. 

Prior to returning to the London office in 2016, Emma spent over two years in our Hong Kong office where she qualified as a solicitor in Hong Kong. Emma's experience of working with clients on disputes throughout Asia has added to her notable experience of dealing with Russian/CIS disputes. Emma's multi-jurisdictional practice has also given her experience of litigating offshore, including in Cyprus, BVI and Cayman.

Emma's determined and resourceful approach to litigation is reflected in the results she has achieved for her clients. Emma has particular experience of deploying interim orders (such as freezing, search, receivership, committal and disclosure orders), including several novel applications which pushed the boundaries of the existing law. Emma has also advised on all stages of the dispute resolution process, including trials and settlement negotiations.

Emma also brings a unique perspective gained from her previous employment as a lawyer at the National Crime Agency, where she managed investigations and claims brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and developed relationships at law enforcement organisations in the UK and internationally. Today, Emma helps her clients to navigate proceeds of crime issues.

Representative Experience

Advising BTA Bank of Kazakhstan on its US$6 billion fraud claims against Mukhtar Ablyazov and other former officers.

Advising the Provisional Liquidators and Liquidators of China Metal Recycling (Holdings) Limited on a multi-billion HK$ claim and winding-up proceedings in Hong Kong.

Regular involvement in pro bono work, including acting for the Royal British Legion, assisting with claims to CICA and working on anti-human trafficking initiatives.

Education and admissions


  • B.A. Jurisprudence, University of Oxford, Magdalen College
  • L.P.C., BPP Law School


  • The Law Society of England and Wales
  • The Law Society of Hong Kong
  • Fraud Women's Network
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers' Association

Court admissions

  • England and Wales
  • Hong Kong
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