Professional discipline and regulatory law
Tom acts in a range of industries for individuals and regulators in both disciplinary cases and regulatory matters. He has particular experience in financial services. He has also acted in regulatory matters in the legal, education and accountancy fields.
Tom acts for and against the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority in a range of matters.
In the legal year 2013/14, Tom was seconded to the FCA, during which he sat in the Enforcement Division’s Legal Group and in the General Counsel Division. Whilst on secondment, Tom drafted submissions to the Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC) and appeared at the FCA’s Regulatory Transactions Committee (RTC). In GCD, Tom drafted sections of the FCA Handbook.
Tom recently secured a discontinuance of proceedings following the FCA’s consideration of Tom’s written submissions for an RDC hearing.
Tom is frequently asked to advise and assist in the following areas:
- Misconduct, approvals and regulatory investigations: Tom provides strategic advice in relation to both potential and actual regulatory investigations. He is often asked to opine on what a regulator’s view might be of particular misconduct, and whether any person has acted in breach of regulatory rules or guidance. That advice is often asked for in relation to current or future applications for approval, regulatory references, or employment matters (particularly an exit). Tom has previously worked on LIBOR cases and disciplinary proceedings brought against senior individuals, both in private practice and whilst seconded to the FCA. In private practice, he assisted the FCA disciplinary proceedings against the directors of Swinton Group Limited (Peter Halpin, Nicholas Bowyer and Anthony Clare). He is currently instructed in relation to allegations of market abuse and breaches of the listing rules. Tom acted pro bono for VIP Wealth Ltd at the RDC in their unsuccessful application for Part 4A permission, the final notice in relation to which is here.
- Regulatory references: Tom is acting for a number of institutions in both litigation and policy development in this important and growing area.
- Regulatory perimeter, unauthorised business, and compliance: Tom is regularly asked to advise on whether a particular set of arrangements, especially property arrangements, fall within the regulatory perimeter and if so to advise on regulatory compliance (for example, with consumer credit rules). Tom worked on a wide range of unauthorised business cases whilst seconded to the FCA’s Enforcement Division, and has been instructed by the FCA in relation to injunctions, restitution, limitation and perimeter issues in private practice.
- The Senior Managers and Certification Regimes: Tom is often asked to assist with issues arising in relation to the new regulatory regime for individuals, the SMCR. His recent work includes advising senior managers on the SMCR (including in relation to their contracts of employment), and training lawyers on the requirements of the SMCR.
- Remuneration: Tom is often asked to assist on remuneration issues from both a regulatory and common law standpoint, often including the drafting of remuneration policies.
- Financial Ombudsman Service: Tom has represented the FCA in a judicial review of the FOS, and has advised in private practice on FOS determinations. Tom has also worked on matters relating to financial promotions; supervisory powers such as OIREQs, OIVOPs, information requirements and skilled persons reports; the protected items regime; the FCA’s powers under FSMA; the public and private-law implications of FCA decisions; international co-operation matters; mutuals; authorisations; the Equality Act 2010 duties in financial services; and changes of control.
Tom has also worked on matters relating to financial promotions; supervisory powers such as OIREQs, OIVOPs, information requirements and skilled persons reports; the protected items regime; the FCA’s powers under FSMA; the public and private-law implications of FCA decisions; international co-operation matters; mutuals; authorisations; the Equality Act 2010 duties in financial services; and changes of control.
Tom has experience of cases in the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, the regulatory framework and the relevant case-law. Tom represented the Solicitors Regulation Authority in Fessahaye v SRA (see here), and is instructed for the SRA in a number of other appeals.
Tom has advised on matters including disciplinary proceedings against by Ofqual against recognised bodies, National College of Teaching and Leadership proceedings against teachers, and a variety of matters relating to the governance of academies and local authority maintained schools.
Tom has acted in a range of cases concerning questions of compliance with accountancy standards, including the International Financial Reporting Standards.
Tom appears in domestic tribunals of all kinds. He recently represented the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party in National Constitutional Committee proceedings in which a member was accused of anti-Semitic abuse. He is also an appointed investigator for a professional association, for which he has carried out a number of investigations.
Employment and equality law
Tom advises and acts in High Court proceedings, including matters relating to restrictive covenants, penalty, and statutory employment law. He regularly appears in multi-day trials in the Employment Tribunal, particularly in relation to whistleblowing.
Tom is particularly sought-after by individuals and firms in the financial services industry on account of his expertise in both financial regulation and employment law, on which Tom frequently advises in tandem. He also regularly acts for NHS Trusts and organisations in the care sector.
Examples of Tom’s work include:
- Re a PLC. Tom acted for two individuals bringing whistleblowing unfair dismissal claims against senior individuals in a FTSE 100 company, including at an interim relief hearing.
- Wallace v Apple Europe Ltd. Acted successfully for Apple in this unfair redundancy claim (read more here).
- Mills v East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. An unfair dismissal case in which the claimant successfully secured re-instatement (read more here).
- Manu v DRS Care Homes Limited. A whilstleblowing unfair dismissal case (read more here).
- Re B. Advised a senior broker on a potential constructive unfair dismissal whistleblowing claim, and associated issues relating to deferred remuneration.
- Re Y (Singapore). Acting for the defendants in proceedings relating to allegations of an unlawful means conspiracy, breach of restrictive covenants and fiduciary duties in proceedings issued in Singapore.
- Johnson v Lloyds Bank plc. Acted successfully for Lloyds in this disability discrimination, reasonable adjustments and unfair dismissal claim.
- Hall v Santander. Acted successfully for Santander in this unfair dismissal claim.
Tom acts in a range of discrimination and equality matters in the County Court, Employment Tribunal and First-Tier Tribunal (see also the ‘Education’ section below). Examples of Tom’s cases include:
- Tom represented a residential estate (Royal Herbert Freehold Ltd) in a case brought against it in the County Court by Mr James Plummer, which was funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (see here). The main issues were whether Royal Herbert was a service provider, and whether it had failed to make reasonable adjustments to its premises to permit Mr Plummer, a wheelchair user, to access the swimming pool on the estate.
- Tom advised a leading bank on the question of reasonable adjustments in the context of a consumer redress exercise.
- Tom represented a leading independent school in a challenge in the First-Tier Tribunal to its use of an aptitude test in its admissions arrangements.
- Tom is currently representing a leading university in a reasonable adjustments claim in respect of its admissions procedures.
- Tom represents a national supermarket in a disability discrimination and harassment claim brought against it.
- Tom has advised the Flying Disabled campaign, which aims to ensure that wheelchair users can travel in aeroplanes using their own wheelchair, without having to transfer to a seat (problems relating to which BBC journalist Frank Gardiner has documented).
Tom’s commercial practice includes contract/fraud, partnership, business protection, and procurement. He appears in County Court and is often asked to draft pleadings. He is often asked to advise on commercial disputes in the regulated sector.
Contract / fraud: appeared in a number of contractual claims in the County Court, including claims for fraud and debt claims. Tom advises on contentious bonus matters. He has advised on a range of misselling claims including in relation to foreign-exchange accumulators and interest-rate hedging products.
Business protection: advised on a range of issues relating to confidential and privileged information, restrictive covenants and competitive threats.
Company & Partnership: Tom has advised on a range of company matters including the removal of directors. He has advised on the liabilities and property of partners in both LLPs and general partnerships.
Procurement: advised on a range of procurement matters, including relating to award criteria and modifications to contracts. Tom was instructed by the Treasury Solicitor to assist in Mansfield DC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWHC 2167 (Admin), a judicial review relating to an alleged breach of the public procurement rules.
Administrative Law, local government and pensions
Tom is instructed to act in a range of administrative law matters, including regulatory and education matters described elsewhere in this profile.
Tom has particular experience of the Firefighters Pension Schemes and issues relating to injury awards. He completed a lengthy investigation in relation to the payment of injury awards at Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire Authority in 2015, the interim report for which is available here. He has advised a number of fire authorities on similar matters.
In 2016, Tom was instructed to act for the FCA, who was an interested party in a judicial review of the Financial Ombudsman Service brought by Admiral Wealth Management. He has separately advised in private practice on FOS determinations.
Tom was instructed by the Treasury Solicitor to assist in the preparation of the evidence for the judicial review R(C) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  EWHC 2403 (Admin).
Tom has advised on questions of ordinary residence in the care context. He has also advised on the law of highways.
Investigations & Inquiries
Tom accepts instructions to undertake investigations and inquiries, either as sole investigator or as part of a team of professionals. Tom’s recent investigations include:
- investigating an alleged child protection matter for a boarding school;
- investigating allegations that a director was bullying and undermining staff, for an employer in the leisure industry; and,
- acting for a regulator in relation to allegations that a staff member had an undisclosed conflict of interest.
In early 2015, Tom completed a long-running inquiry as sole investigator into accounting issues relating to the payment of injury awards at Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire Authority. His interim report is available here. Tom was required to assess the scale of the financial problem; identify opportunities to discover the accounting failure; detail the factual circumstances in which the error came about; and to make recommendations.
Tom also has experience of investigations and proceedings arising from investigations relating to the Financial Conduct Authority.
Tom’s education law practice encompasses discrimination claims, contractual issues, and special educational needs. He has a particular specialism in exclusions. Prior to joining the Bar, Tom was a teacher at the London Boxing Academy Community Project, for teenage boys, many of whom had been permanently excluded from school.
Tom appears in the First-Tier Tribunal and the County Court in relation to his education work.