Practice

Tom is a leading commercial chancery junior. His practice covers the full range of commercial law, but he has particular expertise in company law, shareholder disputes, insolvency and financial services. He is ranked in the leading directories for company law, commercial chancery work and insolvency. He regularly 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. Many of his cases involve an international element.

Recent commentary in the legal directories:

“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).

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

“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).

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.

Recent work includes 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, in claims allegedly worth over £1 billion, with four years of litigation culminating in a substantial Commercial Court trial in late 2018. (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, petitions under s. 994 of the Companies Act 2006, directors’ duties and derivative actions. He acts both as a sole trial 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.

His recent experience in this field includes Dennis v TAG Group & McLaren [2017] EWHC 91 and [2016] EWHC 2886. Led by John Brisby QC, acted for the majority shareholders in the McLaren Formula 1 motorsport business, in a high-profile dispute with Ron Dennis, former CEO of McLaren.

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.

International arbitration

Tom has been instructed in several 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.

He also acts in Commercial Court proceedings ancillary to arbitration: for instance, 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.

Insolvency & restructuring

Tom is recommended as a leading junior for insolvency work in the 2019 edition of the 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. 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.
  • 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 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.

Additional info

Cases of interest

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)

Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton (Court of Appeal) [2017] EWCA Civ 83, [2018] Q.B. 695; see also, at first instance, [2015] EWHC 1864 (Comm); [2015] 2 B.C.L.C. 307 (cross-border insolvency, Credit Institutions Winding Up Directive and EU Insolvency Directive)

Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton [2017] 1 W.L.R. 2809 (Commercial Court) (disclosure and collateral use of documents)

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

Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton [2016] EWHC 865 (Comm) (summary judgments, settlement agreements, illegaility & sharp practice)

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

“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).

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

“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).

“He has a Stakhanovite work ethic and first rate drafting skills.” “His paperwork is very good and he is very easy to get on with”. (Chambers UK, Company, 2016)

“His practice is ahead of his call” (Chambers UK, Chancery, 2016)

“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 British Virgin Islands, Bermuda the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, and Trinidad. 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