Tom is a Senior Associate and Solicitor Advocate, specialising in costs disputes since 2012. The Legal 500 ranks him as a ‘rising star’ with the following testimonials:
“Effective advocate. Highly knowledgeable on costs. Understands the nuances of the market.”
“Forms a formidable team with a clear passion for pursuing important points.”
Tom regularly prepares skeleton arguments and advocates in the High Court of Justice and Senior Courts Costs Office. He has a substantial amount of experience in appeals and other reported decisions, developing the law on several key issues such as costs management, switches in litigation funding, the provisional assessment procedure, offers of settlement, fixed costs, qualified one way costs shifting (also referred to commonly as QOCS), payments on account of costs, non-party costs orders against solicitors and contracts between solicitors and clients.
Tom achieved a 2.1 in his economics/business management degree from Manchester University and a commendation on the LPC. He was admitted as a Chartered Legal Executive in August 2018, a Solicitor in February 2020 and a Solicitor Advocate in March 2023.
Tom has been involved in the following cases:
- The Scout Association v Bolt Burdon Kemp LLP  EWHC 158 (SCCO)
Costs Judge Leonard refused an application by the Scout Association seeking a costs order against Bolt Burdon Kemp LLP. This concerned the exceptional circumstances required to obtain a costs order against a firm of solicitors.
- TRX v Southampton Football Club  EWHC 3392 (KB)
Mrs Justice Stacey decided on appeal that the Claimant had validly entered into a contract of retainer with his solicitors, overturning the costs judge’s decision at first instance that the contract prior to the CFA was not valid as a conventional retainer.
- Ho v Adelekun  EWCA Civ 1988 and  EWCA Civ 517  UKSC 43
The Court of Appeal provided critical guidance on contracting out of the fixed costs regime and how parties should frame offers to settle in the future. The judgments of Lord Justice Newey and Lord Justice Males particularly focused on how Part 36 offers should be construed. In a second judgment, Lord Justice Newey and Lord Justice Males decided to follow the Court of Appeal’s previous decision in Howe v MIB in that the Defendant’s costs of the Appeal could be set off against the Claimant’s costs, despite having concerns over the correctness of the decision in Howe. As a result, permission to appeal to the Supreme Court was granted. The Claimant was successful in the Supreme Court as it was decided that defendants can only set off up to the amount of the damages and interest ordered; and because damages and interest are rarely ordered by the court (with most claims settling ‘out of court’ before trial) the ability of defendants to enforce costs orders is severely diminished.
- PME v The Scout Association  EWHC 3421 (QB)
Mr Justice Stewart decided the scope of a re-hearing before a Costs Judge of a Costs Officer’s decisions is restricted to the challenges brought before the Costs Officer. Pursuant to the judgment, it is not possible to have a re-hearing of all costs issues before a Costs Judge unless a party challenges all of the decisions made by the Costs Officer. This provided useful clarification to practitioners on the provisional assessment procedure.
- XDE v North Middlesex University Hospital Trust  EWHC 1482 (QB)  EWCA Civ 543
Mr Justice Jay decided, in agreement with Master Rowley at first instance, that the Claimant’s switch from legal aid to CFA and ATE funding was unreasonably made, and therefore the success fees and insurance premium were not recoverable from the Defendant. The Claimant appealed to the Court of Appeal, however it was again decided that the switch in funding was not reasonable.
- Yirenkyi v Ministry of Defence  EWHC 3102 (QB)
At a costs management hearing, the Master sought to reserve the issue of hourly rates to a Costs Judge at detailed assessment. The Claimant appealed and Mr Justice Jacobs decided that the Master at a costs management hearing is tasked with approving total future sums for each phase. This decision provided certainty to parties early in the proceedings on the level of costs recovery and payment.