Practice

Tom is a specialist in commercial and chancery litigation.  He has particular expertise in company law, financial services, insolvency and banking.   In the 2015 edition of Chambers and Partners, he is described as “a rising star”, and as “everything you want in a junior barrister: incredibly bright, hard-working and tenacious.”   

He appears in the Commercial Court,  the Chancery Division and in arbitration. Much of his work is as a junior in heavy commercial cases working as part of a team of counsel, but he also advises and acts as a trial advocate on his own.  Many of his cases have an international element, and he regularly deals with conflicts of laws.

Practice areas

Commercial dispute resolution

Much of Tom’s practice is in heavy commercial litigation, both in the Commercial Court and in arbitration.

Recent work as a junior includes acting for the Icelandic bank Kaupthing in defending a £2.2 billion claim by the businessman Vincent Tchenguiz, leading to a successful challenge to the English court’s power to hear the claim against Kaupthing: Vincent Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton, Kaupthing & Ors [2015] EWHC 1864.

As a trial advocate without a leader, he recently conducted the successful defence of a claim over the failure of a joint venture to build a Bulgarian furniture factory, in a five day High Court trial:  Riches v Steiner [2013] EWHC 1182, [2013] All ER (D) 349.

Chancery: commercial

Tom is recommended as an up and coming junior in Chambers & Partners for commercial chancery cases, described in their 2014 edition as A superbly skilled junior who is making his mark on the commercial chancery sphere”.  

Recent experience in the Chancery Division includes acting for the claimant in its claim to recover dividends of c.US$800 million to its parent company, in the context of a complex multi-jurisidictional dispute arising from the clean-up of a polluted river in the US: Windward Prospects v Sequana SA.

Company law

Tom regularly advises and litigates in relation to shareholder disputes, petitions under s. 994 of the Companies Act 2006, and derivative actions.  He advises on directors’ duties and maintenance of capital issues.

Much of his company work is in the High Court, but company law issues also arise in arbitration.  He recently acted for the defendant in an ICC arbitration over a the ownership of major Caribbean energy company, arising out of a dispute between the company’s shareholders.

He has particular experience of company valuation issues.

Financial services

Tom’s work has an increasing focus on financial services, both as an advocate and an advisor.  He regularly advises on professional negligence claims in respect of independent financial advisers.

He acted for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in its long-running claim to recover hundreds of millions of pounds paid out in compensation to investors after the collapse of the investment firm Keydata.  The litigation in the Commercial Court involved several hundred defendants and claims relating to many thousand individual investors, so he has particular experience in dealing with complex, multi party disputes.

Banking & finance

Many of Tom’s cases have a banking law focus, and he acts both for and against financial institutions.  

His recent cases in this field include Citicorp Trustee Co Ltd v Barclays Bank plc [2013] EWHC 2608, an application to the High Court for directions concerning the interpretation of the contracts governing a c. £200 million bond issue.

International arbitration

Tom  has been instructed in a number of high value and complex international arbitrations, under both the ICC and LCIA rules.  Although the details are confidential, much of his arbitration work has concerned investment fund disputes and shareholder disputes; and he has also acted in arbitrations in the energy and metal trading sectors.

Insolvency & restructuring

Tom is regularly instructed in insolvency matters in the High Court, by creditors, debtors and insolvency practitioners.  His experience covers:

  • Challenges to antecedent transactions (transactions at undervalue and preferences)
  • Applications to restrain the presentation or advertisement of winding up petitions
  • Disputed debts in winding up petitions
  • Applications for validation orders
  • Applications to suspend discharge from bankruptcy
  • Applications to annul bankruptcy orders.  

He also has particular expertise in directors’ disqualification, defending directors against applications by the Secretary of State for disqualification orders.

Additional info

Cases of interest
  • Vincent Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton, Kaupthing & Ors [2015] EWHC 1864 (Comm)
  • Guidance Investments Limited v Guidance Hotel Investment Co [2013] EWHC 3413 (Comm)
  • Citicorp Trustee Co Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc [2013] EWHC 2608 (Ch)
  • Riches v Steiner [2013] EWHC 1182, [2013] All ER (D) 349
  • Kaupthing HF v Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Ltd [2012] EWHC 2235 (Ch)
  • Butler-Creagh v Hersham [2011] EWHC 2525 (QB)
  • Pacific International Sports Clubs Ltd v Soccer Marketing International Ltd [2009] EWHC 1839 (Ch) and [2010] EWCA Civ 753
  • North Principal Investments Fund v Greenoak Renewable Energy [2008] EWHC 2047 (Ch) and [2009] 18 EWHC (Ch)
What the directories and judges say

“He is a rising star who is beyond his years in terms of his legal knowledge and his drafting and communication abilities.” “He is everything you want in a junior barrister: incredibly bright, hard-working and tenacious.” (Chambers UK Bar, 2015)  

“‘A superbly skilled junior’ who is making his mark on the commercial chancery sphere.” “He is fantastically adept at getting the best out of the client and percolating instructions into well-drafted pleadings. His strategic talent belies his relatively early year of call.” (Chambers UK Bar, 2014)

Foreign jurisdictions

Tom regularly works overseas, with recent cases in the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Trinidad and Bermuda.  He has been called to the Cayman Islands bar.

Education & awards

MA (Oxon), Modern History
Christ Church, Oxford, Scholar
Graduate Diploma in Law (City), Distinction
Lincoln’s Inn: Lord Brougham Scholar