Practice

Tom is a leading commercial chancery junior. His practice covers the full range of commercial law, but he has particular expertise in civil fraud, company law, shareholder disputes, insolvency, banking and financial services. He appears in large scale litigation in the Commercial Court, the Chancery Division and in arbitration.   He acts as a sole advocate, or as a senior junior in a larger counsel team.

He is ranked in the leading directories for company law, commercial dispute resolution, commercial chancery work and insolvency. “His work product is great. He is very clever and he comes up with great solutions.” “Careful, thoughtful and exceptionally pleasant to work with.” (Chambers UK, 2021) “A really excellent junior, who is extremely bright and comes up with creative arguments. His submissions are always punchy and effective, and clients really like working with him.” “He is very thorough and responds quickly. His advice is easy to understand, practical and commercial. He explains the context of the case and understands objectives.” (Chambers UK, 2019).

Practice areas

Commercial dispute resolution

Commercial litigation is the core of Tom’s work. He regularly acts as a junior in large scale, high value and complex commercial litigation. He is recommended as a leading junior in this field by Chambers and Partners. His recent work includes:

  • acting for Dr Mike Lynch in the Hewlett Packard / Autonomy litigation where Autonomy is suing its former CEO for in excess of $US 8 billion in relation to an alleged accounting fraud; heard in a year-long trial in 2019-2020 (Led by Robert Miles QC and Richard Hill QC.)
  • acting for Credit Suisse in relation to claims brought by the Republic of Mozambique. (Led by Laurence Rabinowitz QC, Andrew Hunter QC and Sharif Shivji QC.)
  • the Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton litigation, arising out of the collapse of the Icelandic bank Kaupthing. Tom acted for the successful defendant, a member of Kaupthing’s winding up committee. (Led by Robert Miles QC and David Railton QC)

He also appears in high value commercial arbitration, and in Commercial Court proceedings relating to arbitration. His recent work in this field includes Great Station Properties SA v UMS Holdings Ltd, a challenge under s. 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 to a £300 million arbitral award, and related freezing injunction proceedings.

Company law

Tom has many years of experience as a specialist in company law. He advises and litigates in relation to shareholder disputes, unfair prejudice petitions, derivative actions, disputes over directors’ duties and misuse of corporate information / opportunities.  He acts both as a sole advocate in company law disputes, or as a senior junior in a team of counsel. He is recommended as a leading junior in this field by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.

His recent experience in this field includes Autonomy v Lynch (ongoing litigation regarding an alleged accounting fraud in connection with Hewlett Packard’s acquisition of Autonomy); and Dennis v TAG Group & McLaren [2017] EWHC 91 and [2016] EWHC 2886 (acting for the majority shareholders in the McLaren Formula 1 motorsport business in a dispute over the appointment of the CEO).

Much of his company law work has an international element, involving litigation in the BVI, Cayman Islands and Bermuda. He is called to the Cayman Islands bar.

Insolvency & restructuring

Tom is recommended as a leading junior for insolvency work in Legal 500.

He has particular experience in cross-border insolvency. Recent experience in this field includes work arising out of the collapse of the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, in the Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton litigation, involving issues under the Credit Institutions Winding Up Directive and EU Insolvency Directive: see Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton (Court of Appeal) [2017] EWCA Civ 83, [2018] Q.B. 695

In the domestic field, he is regularly instructed in insolvency matters in the High Court, by creditors, debtors and insolvency practitioners. Amongst other things, his experience covers:

  • Officeholder claims and misfeasance
  • Challenges to antecedent transactions (transactions at undervalue and preferences)
  • Applications to restrain the presentation or advertisement of winding up petitions
  • directors’ disqualification, defending directors against applications by the Secretary of State for disqualification orders.
Financial services

Many of Tom’s cases focus on financial services and banking. He is currently acting for Credit Suisse in relation to claims brought by the Republic of Mozambique concerning sovereign guarantees / bond issues.

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.

Additional info

Cases of interest

Autonomy v Hussain & Lynch (ongoing $8 billion fraud claim in relation to alleged accounting fraud, heard in a 10 month trial in 2019-2020

Republic of Mozambique v Credit Suisse (ongoing litigation over the validity of sovereign guarantees / bond issues)

Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton (litigation arising out of alleged frauds during the liquidation of the Icelandic bank Kaupthing). See [2017] 1 W.L.R. 2809 (Commercial Court) (disclosure and collateral use of documents); [2017] EWCA Civ 83, [2018] Q.B. 695 (cross-border insolvency, Credit Institutions Winding Up Directive and EU Insolvency Directive); and [2016] EWHC 865 (Comm) (summary judgments, settlement agreements, illegaility & sharp practice.

Great Station Properties SA v UMS Holdings Ltd [2018] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 892; [2017] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 448 (Commercial Court) (confidentiality of arbitral awards)

Great Station Properties SA v UMS Holdings Ltd [2018] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 856; [2018] Bus. L.R. 650; [2017] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 421 (Commercial Court) (challenges to arbitral awards for serious irregularity under s. 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996)

Great Station Properties SA v UMS Holdings Ltd [2017] EWHC 3330 (Comm); [2017] 12 WLUK 588 (Commercial Court) (freezing injunctions – risk of dissipation)

Dennis v McLaren [2017] EWHC 919 (Chancery Division) (injunctions, submission to jurisdiction)

Dennis v McLaren [2016] EWHC 2886 (Chancery Division) (injunctions, shareholders agreements)

Guidance Investments Limited v Guidance Hotel Investment Co [2013] EWHC 3413 (Comm)

Citicorp Trustee Co Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc [2013] EWHC 2608 (Ch) (interpretation of £200m bond issue)

Riches v Steiner [2013] EWHC 1182, [2013] All ER (D) 349 (joint venture dispute)

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 (conflict of laws)

North Principal Investments Fund v Greenoak Renewable Energy [2008] EWHC 2047 (Ch) and [2009] 18 EWHC (Ch)

What the directories and judges say

“His work product is great. He is very clever and he comes up with great solutions.” (Chambers UK: Commercial Dispute Resolution, 2021)

“Careful, thoughtful and exceptionally pleasant to work with.” (Chambers UK: Chancery Commercial 2021)

“A very good commercial litigator who really gets stuck in.” (Chambers UK: Company, 2021)

“He is an essential part of the counsel team.” (Legal 500: Company, 2021)

“Always delivers a quality product.” (Legal 500: Insolvency, 2021)

“Tom is a pleasure to work with. He is very responsive, able to turn around good work quickly and is someone with a good sense of the client’s needs.” (Chambers UK: Company, 2020)

“He’s always available and always has the time for people to ask questions.” “He’s clear and accurate; he clearly prepares well.” (Chambers UK: Chancery Commercial, 2020)

“A really excellent junior, who is extremely bright and comes up with creative arguments. His submissions are always punchy and effective, and clients really like working with him.” “He is very thorough and responds quickly. His advice is easy to understand, practical and commercial. He explains the context of the case and understands objectives.” (Chambers UK, Commercial: Chancery, 2019).

“Very bright, considered and thorough” (Legal 500, Insolvency, 2019).

“Has a first-rate brain, and is noted for the quality of both his work and his analysis.” “A pleasure to work with, he is very capable and takes a sensible and careful approach to difficult matters.” (Chambers UK, Commercial: Chancery, 2018).

“Tom is an excellent team player, who is very thoughtful and dedicated. His drafting is very good and his willingness to take on work and deliver to deadlines is impressive. He is a pleasure to work with.” (Chambers UK, Company, 2019).

“A really excellent junior, who is extremely bright and comes up with creative arguments. His submissions are always punchy and effective, and clients really like working with him.” “He is very thorough and responds quickly. His advice is easy to understand, practical and commercial. He explains the context of the case and understands objectives.” (Chambers UK, Commercial: Chancery, 2019).

“He is excellent, very easy to deal with, very hard working and really committed” (Chambers UK, Company, 2018).

Foreign jurisdictions

Tom regularly works overseas, with recent cases in the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and Guernsey. 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