Chambers UK (2022) describes how Thomas “is great at narrowing a case down from something complex and he works his magic in court”, having previously been rated in the same directory as “very able, intelligent and tactical; he has very impressive advocacy skills and the ability to navigate complex technical legal arguments." "He's very sensitive to the client's needs and his advice is always clear and concise." (Employment, Chambers UK 2021).
According to Legal 500 Thomas is “technically excellent and very quick thinking on his feet” (2021) and “prepares thoroughly and is clear, positive and confident in the delivery of his advice” (2020). He "has a good eye for the detail but also keeps the bigger picture in mind" (2019).
'Thomas has amazing attention to detail and is wonderful with clients.' - Employment, Legal 500 2024
‘Thomas is very tenacious, but not in an obvious way. He keeps rephrasing what he is saying, and putting it to the other side/the Tribunal until he persuades them he is right. He also knows the law inside out, including very technical/niche points.’ - Employment, Legal 500 2023
Has established a strong employment practice, with notable expertise in complex TUPE issues and discrimination cases. He undertakes a significant amount of appellate advocacy. "He is great at narrowing a case down from something complex and he works his magic in court." "Technically he knows what he is talking about, particularly where there are grey areas of law, and he is very good at convincing people in writing and when on his feet. He also won't let a point go until the judge accepts it and he always gets his style right by adapting to the client." - Employment, Chambers UK Bar 2022.
"Very knowledgeable, particularly on very technical areas of the law, and able to convey the advice and submissions on these very technical points in a simple and easy-to-understand manner. Thomas is also very good on his feet, convincing in his submissions and tenacious, and will not let a point go until the judge has understood him and, to the extent possible, accepted his point." - Employment, Legal 500 2022.
"He's very able, intelligent and tactical; he has very impressive advocacy skills and the ability to navigate complex technical legal arguments." "He's very sensitive to the client's needs and his advice is always clear and concise." Acted for the respondent in Gould v St John's Downshire Hill, an unusual marriage discrimination case. - Employment, Chambers UK Bar 2021
'Technically excellent and very quick thinking on his feet’ - Employment, Legal 500 2021.
"Immaculate preparation and excellent advocacy." "He is very calm, measured and reassuring to work with." Acted unled in the Court of Appeal for the Secretary of State for Health, in a case concerning the approach to take when a claim has been made in both the Employment Tribunal and the High Court. - Employment, Chambers UK 2020
‘Highly impressive up and coming junior counsel. He prepares thoroughly and is clear, positive and confident in the delivery of his advice.’ - Employment, Legal 500 2020
"A fantastic junior who is meticulous in his preparation and an excellent advocate. He gives good, clear advice." "Responsive and easy to work with." Represented the respondent in De Souza v Vinci Construction, a Court of Appeal case which determined that a 10% uplift must be applied to the compensation of all successful discrimination claimants. - Employment, Chambers UK 2019
"He has a good eye for the detail but also keeps the bigger picture in mind." - Employment, Legal 500 2019
"He is pragmatic in his advice and highly organised." - Employment, Legal 500 2017
Sources highlight his impressive advocacy in tribunal settings, most notably how he clearly delivers his submissions and arguments. "He does not browbeat witnesses but can secure confessions from them by tactical questioning, and he has a very good manner with the tribunal." "He is extremely well organised; he gives first-rate legal analysis and his structured application to cases enables him to assimilate very complex facts." Acted in a highly complex TUPE case on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health that considered an important estoppel point. The case has been heard in both the High Court and the EAT. - Employment, Chambers UK 2017
"Very approachable, clever and a pleasure to deal with." - Employment, Legal 500 2016
Acts for a range of significant clients in employment disputes, both in tribunal and at the High Court. Highly praised for his intelligent, meticulous approach to issues, he acts for both claimants and respondents. "His first-rate legal analysis allows him to assimilate very complex facts. He is extremely intelligent, calm and measured." "Thorough, approachable and easy to work with." Acted successfully in a lengthy disability discrimination claim, appearing on behalf of the respondent, British Telecom. - Employment, Chambers UK 2016
An up-and-coming employment barrister with complementary expertise in personal injury and commercial law. He acts at all levels, and has undertaken significant work in the High Court and EAT. "He's very gentle, which is good with clients." "He is very clear about his analysis of things, and when necessary he will go away and sift evidence. He's very organised in his approach." Advised the appellant in Northbert Dentressangle v Hutton, a case concerning the limitation period for bringing an unfair dismissal claim. - Employment, Chambers UK 2015
Practises across the entire employment spectrum, but is best known for his work on religious discrimination. He is credited by sources for his impressive style of advocacy. "Very good on discrimination cases, he's able to absorb and analyse a lot of complex detail very quickly." He was involved in McFarlane v Relate Avon, a religious discrimination case. - Employment, Chambers UK 2014
Thomas’ practice encompasses the full employment spectrum:
Thomas has appeared over 25 times in the EAT in England and Scotland, including in several leading authorities and against leading counsel including Karon Monahan KC, Chris Jeans KC, Paul Nicholls KC and Clive Sheldon KC.
Complex Tribunal litigation:
Thomas is regularly instructed in complex Tribunal litigation. He has acted in numerous complex multi-week trials including De Souza v Vinci Construction Ltd, which involved five Tribunal claims resulting in three Preliminary Hearings, a two week liability trial, a three day remedy hearing, a costs hearing, eight appeals to the EAT and two hearings in the Court of Appeal. Thomas has also acted for Hewlett Packard and BNP Paribas amongst other clients in highly complex multi-claim cases (the latter involving a claim in which the Claimant’s list of issues initially ran to 80 pages).
Court of Appeal:
Thomas acts in High Court claims and is familiar with the Civil Procedure Rules, drafting High Court pleadings, dealing with interlocutory matters in front of the masters and case management and costs case management conferences. As well as claims which have settled prior to a hearing, his High Court cases include:
Thomas is experienced in the County Court: as well as numerous breach of contract claims, Thomas has advised on and/or appeared in claims under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and breach of the goods and services provisions of the Equality Act 2010.
High-profile clients and sensitive cases:
Thomas is used to acting for high profile clients including in relation to sensitive cases such as those involving historical harassment allegations and #metoo claims. Thomas is author of a leading text covering anonymity orders and restricted reporting. He has also handled several cases which have attracted front-page national news coverage. Recent high-profile clients include a top Premier League football club, a well-known King’s Counsel, a household-name UK billionaire and an ultra high net worth Kuwaiti employer.
Thomas has represented a full range of Respondents including in the education sector, investment and retail banks, global technology companies, in the energy sector, telecommunications, media organisations and public sector bodies including the NHS and Metropolitan Police.
Discrimination, whistleblowing & TUPE claims:
As shown by his reported cases and directory recommendations, Thomas is particularly known for complex discrimination, whistleblowing and TUPE cases.
Investigations and reports:
Thomas is an experienced investigator. He has particular experience handling sensitive and complex allegations by C-suite senior executives, including into whistleblowing and sexual harassment, in the regulated financial services context. Thomas has considered and reported on allegations in various other contexts including alleged physical and emotional abuse by a head teacher and alleged sex discrimination by executives of a global real estate company.
Industrial relations and trade union disputes:
Thomas has been instructed in numerous cases (both advisory and contentious) involving industrial action and trade union disputes. He has acted as junior counsel in relation to anti-strike injunctions, acted unled for Network Rail in a civil case concerning interpretation of a collective agreement and recently advised a local authority on breaking a school’s strike.
Restrictive covenants and injunctive relief:
Thomas has experience advising on restrictive covenant issues, springboard injunctive relief, non-solicitation and non-dealing clauses and the drafting of clauses to protect legitimate business interests.
Territorial jurisdiction, applicable law, immunity and cross-border Tribunal claims:
Thomas is author of a leading practitioner text on territorial jurisdiction, choice of and applicable law, immunity and other aspects of cross-border jurisdiction in Tribunal claims. The relevant sections have been fully re-written in light of Brexit and Thomas has acted in and advised in several claims involving these matters.
Employment / Personal Injury crossover:
Thomas’ background in personal injury claims provides him with a good foundation for stress at work cases and discrimination cases with a substantial personal injury element.
England, Scotland, Wales:
Thomas has practised in Tribunals in England, Scotland and Wales. Thomas is familiar with the different procedural position in Scotland, having acted in numerous trials in Scottish Tribunals, including Inverness and Glasgow, and having appeared several times in the Scottish EAT. Thomas is author of the Division of Harvey, the leading practitioner text, which deals with Scottish procedure.
Mediation and ADR:
Thomas is available for instruction, and experienced, in relation to judicial mediation and other forms of ADR including joint-settlement meetings and private mediations.
Thomas is author of two Divisions of Harvey on Industrial Relations and Employment Law. Thomas has also co-authored the Bar Council's Tackling Sexual Harassment Guide. Thomas was previously author of various chapters of Bloomsbury Professional's two volume work, Discrimination Law.
Thomas is a member of ELA and ELBA. He is also a member of the Bar Council’s Legislation & Guidance sub-group.
Thomas specialises in the application of human rights laws to a range of areas with a particular focus on the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of expression. Thomas is currently acting in remedy proceedings for the former CEO of Scotland’s largest charity, having won the liability trial and established that he was dismissed for discriminatory reasons relating to his Christian beliefs, protected by Article 9. The case attracted coverage in The Times and other news outlets. Thomas also represented Noah Carl, the Cambridge academic dismissed from his post after students protested about his right-wing views. Thomas has advised numerous charities on issues arising from the Equality Act 2010 and other legislation such as the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, considering their effect on religious service providers. He has advised the Metropolitan Police Service on the correct approach to its uniform policy in light of the Equality Act and has advised on the application of Articles 9 & 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights to judicial review of decisions restraining freedom of religious expression.
Examples of Thomas’ cases include: acting for a church defending a claim by a vicar in one of the few marriage discrimination claims to reach the EAT: Gould v St John’s Downshire Hill  IRLR 863. In that case Thomas appeared against Karon Monahan QC. The same case had previously been to the EAT (Gould v Trustees of St John Downshire Hill  10 WLUK 88) where Simler P described Thomas’ “able assistance” both “orally and in writing”. Another President of the EAT, Underhill P, described Thomas' submissions as "cogent" and "clear and helpful" in the leading Article 9 discrimination case of McFarlane v Relate Avon Plc  ICR 507.
In other proceedings Thomas represented a Christian teacher who was under threat of being struck off after making public posts on Facebook, some of which related to his religious beliefs (Evans v General Teaching Council for Wales (2014)) and in Amachree v Wandsworth LBC  EqLR 254 ET he represented a claimant in a multi-day unfair dismissal and religious discrimination claim relating to prosyletism. He has recently advised on an appeal concerning a public body dismissing an employee for their refusal to use the chosen pronouns of transgender service-users.
Thomas is co-author of a report on freedom of speech and freedom of religion which the then Prime Minister, Theresa May, referred to during PMQs in the House of Commons, welcoming the report and quoting Thomas’ words that freedom of religion is a ‘jealously guarded principle’. The report received coverage in the Telegraph and other national press. Thomas was previously author of Bloomsbury Professional's Discrimination Law chapter on religious exceptions to the Equality Act 2010 and he sat on the Bar Council's Equality & Diversity Committee for a number of years – he is now part of the Bar Council's Legislation & Guidance Committee. Thomas drafted the Bar Council’s briefing on the Equality Act 2010 and the Bar Council’s Tackling Sexual Harassment Guide. He has spoken internationally on the topics of human rights and religious discrimination and has spent time working with NGOs at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Thomas also has extensive media experience in this field and has been interviewed on BBC1, BBC News 24, CNN and Channel 4 and on Radio 4's Today Programme and Radio 5 Live. He was featured in The Lawyer, commenting on the European Court of Human Rights' landmark decision in Eweida.
Thomas has experience of advising on and acting in a range of commercial proceedings in both the Court of Appeal, High Court and County Courts.
Thomas is regularly instructed in High Court and County Court breach of contract disputes, representing both claimants and defendants, often with a cross-over into his employment specialism. Recent cases include acting for a former CEO seeking damages for breach of contract following a power struggle for control of the company. The claim covered granting and vesting of share options, salary and other emoluments. In another recent case Thomas acted for another former CEO seeking to recover bonus payments under a complex contractual arrangement with a franchisee. Thomas is experienced in ADR and negotiating settlements through mediations and round-table discussions. He also has experience advising on restrictive covenant issues including (in the business to business context) advising a prestigious 5 Star London Hotel and advising a leading estate agency brand. He has advised on springboard injunctive relief, non-solicitation and non-dealing clauses and the drafting of clauses to protect legitimate business interests.
Thomas is also experienced in multi-day High Court trials and was instructed by the Secretary of State for Health in a three day High Court breach of contract estoppel and res judicata case (Srivatsa v Secretary of State for Health  EWHC 2916 (QB);  ICR D5): a decision which has been applied by the High Court in other cases including Treetop Investment LLC v Falmouth House Freehold Co Ltd  EWHC 674 (Ch). Thomas continued to act unled when the case went to the Court of Appeal: Srivatsa v Secretary of State for Health  EWCA Civ 936,  ICR 1660. In the same case Thomas appeared in several interlocutory hearings before High Court Masters and an appeal in the High Court. In another case, Thomas acted, again unled, in a four day High Court breach of contract trial (Grainger v North East London NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 2254 (QB);  IRLR 981).
Thomas also has extensive professional negligence experience. He is currently instructed by a corporate claimant in a High Court action involving alleged negligence by a Big Four firm in relation to an iTunes royalty compliance examination. Other recent cases include representing a multi-million pound property company counter-claiming in negligence against solicitors, and acting for a CEO in a claim against an international law firm – both of which were successfully settled at mediation. Thomas has also recently acted as junior to Jolyon Maugham QC in a complex tax case relating to accountancy advice on intangibles relief. In 2017 Thomas appeared in the Court of Appeal as junior counsel in Toombs v Bridging Loans  EWCA Civ 205, instructed by a lender in a case arising out of a valuer's negligence. The case concerned the Nykredit line of authority, considering the largely untested question of how to assess the date of damage in security valuation claims. Thomas previously appeared, unled, in the High Court appeal (Bridging Loans Limited v Toombs  EWHC 4566 (QB)) and at the first instance hearing in front of the High Court Master.
In 2016 Thomas was instructed in a High Court dispute concerning the refusal of a global insurance company to allow an insured to instruct an international law firm under the terms of before-the-event legal expenses insurance. This is one in a long series of cases Thomas has acted in following his instruction as junior counsel at both High Court (Brown Quinn v Equity Syndicate  EWHC 2661 (Comm);  1 All E.R. 778) and Court of Appeal in Brown-Quinn v Equity Syndicate Management Ltd  EWCA Civ 1633;  1 WLR 1740, described by Burton J as a "test case" on the application of LEI. The case created widespread interest in the legal market and media including articles in The Lawyer, Law Gazette and The Post Online.
Further cases in which Thomas has acted include W v HC where he represented the executor of an estate in a High Court breach of contract claim which resulted in a six figure settlement; Aslam v Camelot plc in which he represented the Defendant in a Norwich Pharmacal application by the Claimant for disclosure of the details of a National Lottery winner; Penycate v Wembley National Stadium in which he represented Wembley stadium in a County Court breach of contract claim; and Revenue & Customs Comrs v Benchdollar  EWHC 1310 (Ch)  1 All E.R. 174 in which he acted as second junior counsel for HMRC at the pre-trial stages of a multi million pound NIC claim.
Thomas also has experience of acting in cases under the Arbitration Act 1996 and has received in-house arbitration training and in-house mediation training.
Thomas previously sat for many years on the COMBAR Equality & Diversity Committee and has previously attended the COMBAR North America conference, assisting Colin Edelman QC speaking on the topic of the Bermuda Form.
Thomas advises and acts in a range of insurance disputes. He has acted in a series of cases on the scope of an insured’s right to choose their own lawyer under a policy of legal expenses insurance. In the most high profile of these, described by Burton J as a "test case" in the LEI field, Thomas was instructed to appear in the High Court in a dispute concerning the refusal of a global insurance company to allow an insured to instruct an international law firm under the terms of before-the-event legal expenses insurance. Thomas was junior counsel, led by Colin Wynter QC, acting for the Claimants in the 2 day High Court trial of Brown Quinn v Equity Syndicate  EWHC 2661 (Comm);  1 All E.R. 778. Thomas remained instructed as junior counsel when the Defendants appealed to the Court of Appeal where the Law Society received permission to intervene on behalf of the Claimants, and three of Europe's leading insurance companies intervened on behalf of the Defendants. The decision by the appellate court (Brown-Quinn v Equity Syndicate Management Ltd  EWCA Civ 1633;  1 WLR 1740) remains the leading domestic authority and attracted widespread interest in the legal market and media including in articles in The Lawyer, Law Gazette and The Post Online.
Thomas has also recently acted as junior counsel on a Commercial Court professional indemnity coverage claim relating to a Guernsey offshore trust management company. The claim settled successfully shortly before trial. Other examples of Thomas' insurance law practice include advising a Claimant on his position under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 (including in relation to the complicated transitional provisions and the insurer’s right to rely on a notification defence). Thomas has also represented Allianz Insurance plc at a contested hearing in the Mercantile Court and advised Arag plc on a defence to a claim relating to an untested provision of the Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990 (Hardwicke Motor Company Limited v Arag plc (3YM24927)).
Other examples of Thomas’ cases include advising in relation to losses recoverable under a home insurance policy following the insurer's efforts to avoid the policy for non-disclosure. The advice covered complex matters around recoverability of remote losses and the limits of recovery under the Ombudsman scheme. Separately he has issued an application under section 18 of the Arbitration Act 1996 on behalf of a client following an insurer's refusal to pay out for damage to vintage cars assessed by a joint expert.
Thomas formerly sat on the COMBAR Equality & Diversity Committee and has previously attended the North American COMBAR conference, assisting Colin Edelman QC with an address on the Bermuda Form.
Thomas acts in a range of professional negligence disputes, some involving a cross-over with his employment specialism. Thomas is currently instructed by a corporate claimant in a High Court action involving alleged negligence by a Big Four firm in relation to an iTunes royalty compliance examination. Other recent cases include representing a multi-million pound property company counter-claiming in negligence against solicitors, and acting for a CEO in a claim against an international law firm – both of which were successfully settled at mediation. Thomas has also recently acted as junior to Jolyon Maugham QC in a complex tax case relating to negligent accountancy advice on intangibles relief. A common source of instruction relates to failure to meet limitation periods in the short timescale of statutory employment claims. In another 2021 case, Thomas has been instructed by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund in defending a wasted costs application against a member of the Bar arising from alleged negligent representation.
Thomas was instructed as junior counsel in the Court of Appeal in Toombs v Bridging Loans  EWCA Civ 205 in a case in which he had appeared unled at the first instance hearing in front of the High Court Master and in the appeal before HHJ Seymour QC ( EWHC 4566 (QB)). In that case Thomas was instructed by the lender in a claim which arose out of valuer's negligence. The case concerned the Nykredit line of authority, and considered the question of how to assess the date of damage in security valuation claims.
Thomas is experienced in drafting letters of claim and response, particulars of claim and defences and advising on the prospects of success in, for example, PI claims covering solicitors and valuers. Issues commonly addressed cover duty, breach, causation and contributory negligence in relation to various transactions and loans, raising questions of interpretation of the terms of deeds, facility letters and other contractual documentation.
Thomas has lectured on potential claims against intermediaries / brokers and specifically looked at the possible expansion in the role of breach of fiduciary duty in this context. He has also spoken at seminars on current developments in lawyer's negligence claims and on the complex SAAMCO litigation – and has advised an investment company considering an action against a law firm for negligence in relation to a large transaction.
Thomas has previously acted in relation to surveyors. An example of cross-over from his employment practice is Richardson v Copley Clark & Bennett LLP (UKEAT/0866/09) in which Thomas won permission to appeal from HHJ Peter Clarke in a case centring on the reasonable standards expected of a solicitor in a complex conveyance. Thomas also has experience of advising vis-a-vis the practice of solicitors in personal injury work - most recently considering failure to plead certain heads of loss in a valuable claim. In other areas Thomas has, for example, represented a defendant payroll provider in a County Court claim alleging failure to meet the reasonable standards of that profession (Irenicon v Integrated Solutions).
Thomas is a member of the PNBA.
ELA, ELBA, PNBA
Lincoln's Inn Hardwicke Scholarship
Lincoln's Inn Tancred Studentship
Cambridge University Squire Scholarship
Adderley Prize for Law
Mrs Payne (1610) Scholarship
Bar Vocational Course at BPP Law School, London
MA (Law) (Cantab) at St Catharine's College, University of Cambridge
Thomas is a member of the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship: "Seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God" (Micah 6:8)