Tom has a broad commercial practice in both arbitration and litigation. His work includes civil fraud, insurance and reinsurance and disputes arising out of construction projects.
Much of Tom’s work has an international dimension. He has a particular interest in the Middle East, where he has been very active since the establishment of the DIFC Courts. Tom collaborated with Michael Black QC in drafting the Rules of the DIFC Courts and was subsequently instructed to draft the rules of the Dubai World Tribunal, together with various papers, protocols and rule changes for the Courts.
Tom has been involved in some of the most significant cases before the DIFC Courts and the Dubai World Tribunal. Recent instructions include Taaleem PJSC v National Bonds Corporation (CFI, 2010 – 2016) (with Vernon Flynn QC), a US$100m dispute concerning a property transaction, involving allegations of breach of trust and Nakheel v Souq (DWT, 2011 – 2015) (with Michael Black QC), a AED1bn dispute about a property transaction and the construction of several buildings on the Palm, Dubai.
A significant part of his recent work has involved the enforcement of New York Convention awards. He appeared in Honeywell v Meydan  2 Lloyd’s Rep 133 in which the Defendant raised every Convention defence. The decision is of particular interest on the application of the public policy defence to allegations of bribery.
Tom has acted in many of the claims to enforce foreign judgments and awards in the DIFC Courts. Leading judgments include DNB Bank v Gulf Eyadah (CA, 25 Feb 2016), a landmark decision on the use of the DIFC Courts as a “conduit” jurisdiction for the enforcement of foreign judgments in Dubai. Tom also appeared in Eagan v Eava (CFI, 28 Nov 2014), the first judgment to examine the DIFC Court’s enforcement jurisdiction, Fiske v Firuzeh (CFI, 5 Jan 2015), confirming the constitutionality of the DIFC’s enforcement laws and Eagan v Eava (CFI, 29 July 2015) on public policy.
Other examples of Tom’s recent work include:
- Orient Insurance v ABN Amro and ors (2016): credit default insurance, declarations.
- Shareholders’ dispute about pre-emption rights over shares in DIFC and BVI companies (2016).
- Shareholders’ dispute about operation and ownership of distribution agent (2016).
- WCT Berhad v Meydan Group LLC (2016): construction, enforcement of AED 1.1bn.
- Brookfield Multiplex v DIFC Investments (2016): construction, arbitration, anti-suit injunction.
- Banyan Tree v Meydan (2016): arbitration, enforcement, examination on assets.
- Claim for enforcement of USD 250m judgments (2016).
- Various disputes arising out of agreements for the supply of satellite capacity (2015 – 2016).
- LMAA arbitration (2015): USD 6m charterparty dispute.
- Azzam v Deyaar (2015): anti-suit injunction, abuse of process.
- Fidel v Felecia (2015): leading case on use of expert evidence of foreign law in the DIFC Court.
- Al-Mojil v Protiviti (2015 – 2016): forum non conveniens, negligent misstatement, witness immunity.
- Silva v United Investment Bank (DIFC Court of Appeal, 14 Nov 2014): Wrongful dismissal; directors’ fiduciary duties; re-opening appeals.
- Two linked AED 100m DIAC arbitrations relating to a high profile construction project in Dubai.
- DIAC arbitration concerning construction of theme park installations.
- US$40m telecommunications arbitration.
- AED 90m ICC arbitration relating to a claim under a guarantee.
- (with Michael Black QC) AED 100m DIAC arbitration about the sale of land in Dubai.
- Vaughan v Percy (Ch. D.) (2014 – 2015) [specific performance, contempt].
- Acting in the £100m claim brought following the collapse of the Axiom Legal Financing Fund (Ch. D.) (2013).
Tom is a contributor to Foskett on Compromise (8th Edn), responsible for chapters on arbitration, insurance and construction.
Areas of experience
Tom is recommended for Commercial Dispute Resolution in Chambers and Partners 2020. “Tom is very personable, very friendly, measured and polite, and he probably has the best knowledge of any counsel about the DIFC court.” “He’s a very rounded, polished advocate who is so good at dealing with complex questions.”
Tom was previously recommended for construction work by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500. Instructing solicitors praise his ‘nice, understated advocacy style which judges like‘ and call him ‘a first-choice junior for DIAC construction arbitrations‘.
Tom has been recommended for international arbitration work by Legal 500: ‘He is top notch: bright, articulate, very hardworking and the go-to junior for cases in Dubai‘.
Chambers & Partners Global recommended Tom for construction: ‘He is a superb advocate and he has superb judgement. He is very good on the law‘.
- Registered Legal Practitioner, Dubai International Financial Centre
- Young International Arbitration Group
- 2001 BVC Prize, Lincoln’s Inn (2nd in year)
- 2000 Hardewicke Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
- 2000 PgDL, College of Law: Distinction (top 5 in year)
- 1999 BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics
- 1998 Exhibition scholarship to Lincoln College, Oxford