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Thomas Grant QC

Call: 1993 | Silk: 2013

Overview

He practises mainly in the Chancery Division and Commercial Court, as well as in the BVI, and has particular experience in heavy multi-party disputes. Regarded as one of the leading advocates at the commercial chancery Bar, Thomas spends a good part of his professional life in the courtroom and has appeared in a very large number of reported decisions (over the last two years alone Thomas has appeared in over 20 reported cases.)

His advocacy has been commended by the Court of Appeal as “lucid and compelling” (Zinda BOS) and as “engaging and very able” (Platform Home Loans BOS).

 

He is the general editor of two leading textbooks: Grant and Mumford on Civil Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure (2018, Sweet and Maxwell) and Tomlinson and Grant on Lender Claims (2010, Sweet and Maxwell). He is also a contributor to Flenley and Leech on Solicitors’ Negligence and Liabilities (2020, 4th ed, Bloomsbury). Thomas is currently the vice-chair of the Professional Negligence Bar Association.

Thomas also has an interest in legal history and has written two bestselling general interest books, Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories (2015) and Court Number One (2019). He was appointed Visiting Professor of Politics and Law at Gresham College for the year 2020-2021.

Thomas has a particular interest in fraud claims and is well known for his expertise in obtaining and defending freezing and related interim orders. He is also well known for his experience in committal applications arising out of fraud claims, having been instructed in four of the leading cases: Kea Investments v Watson [2020] EWHC 2599, 2796 (Ch) (longest committal trial ever in England),  Newson-Smith v Al Zawawi [2017] EWHC 1876 (QB) (requisite mens rea when respondent alleged to have made a false statement); JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov [2011] EWHC 1522 (Comm) (case management of claim with multiple counts); Sectorguard Plc v Dienne Plc [2009] EWHC 2693 (Ch) (abuse of process; strike out).

He is also instructed to provide chancery and company law input in very high value matrimonial disputes and has appeared on a number of occasions in leading cases in the Family Division.

In recent years Thomas has been involved in a number of important and high profile cases including: 

  • Digby v Melford Capital Partners  [2020] WLR(D) 661 (CA) (proper costs order in interim injunction application); 
  • Mousavi-Khalkali v Abrischamchi [2020] EWCA Civ 1493 (forum conveniens, risk of injustice in foreign forum); 
  • Goldman v Zurich Insurance plc [2020] BLR 236 (Henderson v Henderson abuse of process); 
  • Addlesee v Dentons Europe LLP [2019] 3 WLR 1255 (privilege, dissolved companies);
  • Gwinnutt v George [2019] Ch 471 (CA) (barristers’ fees; meaning of property under Insolvency Act); 
  • Galazi v Christoforou [2019] EWHC 670 (Ch) (fiduciary duties; leading case on meaning of discontinuance); 
  • Cunico Resources v Daskalakis [2019] 1 WLR 2881; [2019] EWHC 57 (Comm) (multi-jurisdictional dispute, Lugano Convention; leading decision on default judgment); 
  • Fundingsecure v Green [2019] (claim against well-known art dealer in fraud, contempt of court); 
  • UBS v Rose Capital Ventures [2019] BCLC 47(very high value mortgage claim; applicability of Braganza duties to lenders; striking out various defences); 
  • Fredericks v Positive Solutions [2018] EWCA Civ 431 (vicarious liability of financial advisors; appeal to Supreme Court compromised); 
  • Ashdown v Griffin [2018] EWCA Civ 1793 (costs in unfair prejudice claims); 
  • Company 1 v Company 2 [2018] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 115 (Arbitration Act, freezing orders); 
  • Newson-Smith v Al Zawawi [2017] EWHC 1876 (QB) (committal/CPR Part 71); 
  • J Toomey Motors v Chevrolet (UK) Ltd [2017] EWHC 276 (Comm) (franchise agreements, repudiatory breach); 
  • Skelwith (Leisure) Ltd v Armstrong [2016] 1 Ch 345 (mortgagees’ remedies); 
  • Metropolitan Housing Trust v Taylor [2015] EWHC 2897 (Ch) and [2015] EWCA Civ 1595 (test for freezing orders); 
  • Santander v R A Legal [2014] PNLR 20 (breach of trust, section 61 of the Trustee Act); 
  • Aeroflot v Berezovsky [2014] 1 CLC 53 (Court of Appeal, enforcement of foreign judgments); 
  • In Re the Estate of Platon Elenin (Aka Boris Berezovsky) [2014] EWCA Civ 431 (confidential information); 
  • Gorbunova Berezovsky [2013] EWHC 76 (Ch) (£300m freezing order); 
  • Balgobin South West Regional Health Authority [2013] 1 AC 582 (election and estoppel, Privy Council); 
  • Scullion Bank of Scotland [2011] 1 WLR 3212 (duty of care owed by surveyors); 
  • JSC BTA Bank Ablyazov [2010] EWCA Civ 1141, [2011] EWHC 1522 (Comm), [2011] EWHC 2664 (Comm) (receivership/freezing order applications, featured as one of the top cases of 2011 by Legal Week); 
  • Milsom Ablyazov [2012] Lloyd’s Rep FC 98 (privilege against self-incrimination); the litigation concerning Halliwells’ former offices; the 107 Cheapside litigation (Menolly Cerep (2009) 125 Con LR 75); 
  • IPCO Nigerian National Petroleum Company ([2009] 1 Lloyds Rep 89);
  • The 2009 Skype Joltid litigation (concerning rights to the source code of Skype); 
  • Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi Ferrero Rocher, and the Ritz Hotel fraud claims.

For a number of years Thomas was a consulting editor of the Lloyds Law Reports, Professional Negligence. Thomas has also previously co-authored two books in the professional negligence and property fields.

Thomas is a member of the Chancery Bar Association, sits on the committee of the Professional Negligence Bar Association, and is a member of COMBAR. He is recommended for commercial chancery, real estate litigation and professional negligence in Chambers UK 2021, and for dispute resolution in Chambers Global. He is also recommended for professional negligence, civil fraud, commercial litigation, and company and partnership in Legal 500 UK 2021.

Terms of Business 

The clerks are happy to discuss the basis on which Thomas will act in any given matter. In the absence of express written agreement otherwise, the terms under which Thomas accepts instructions are The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services By Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012 (as updated from time to time) referred to in the BSB Handbook.

“He is very tenacious and a robust advocate." "He is willing to take the difficult points and run with them, and is very good with clients.” (2021)

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“He produced what was probably one of the best pieces of advocacy I've ever seen. He is a gifted advocate. ” (2021)

Chambers UK
Professional Negligence

“An incredible advocate - very thorough and quick. ” (2021)

Chambers UK
Real Estate Litigation

“Simply brilliant – he understood the client immediately and gave clear and practical advice from the outset.” (2021)

Legal 500 UK
Fraud: Civil

“Extremely clever giving him the ability to pull testing issues apart easily – he offers clear, succinct, pragmatic advice. Nothing is ever too much trouble.” (2021)

Legal 500 UK
Commercial Litigation

Expertise

Overview

Recent work includes: 

  • Kea Investments Ltd v Watson [2020] EWHC 2599 Ch); [2020] EWHC 2796 (Ch) (arising out of long running dispute between two well-known New Zealand businessmen; longest committal trial ever in England, before Nugee LJ)
  • Maroil Trading Inc v Cally Shipholdings Inc [2020] EWHC 3041 (Comm); [2019] EWHC 2949 (Comm) (Venezulean shipping; breach of confidence; security for costs of third party claim)
  • London Capital & Finance v Thomson[2020] EWHC (Ch); Re London Oil and Gas Ltd [2019] EWHC 367(Ch) and ongoing (very large fraud claim arising out of failure of large finance company)  
  • Goldman v Zurich Insurance plc [2020] BLR 236 (Henderson v Henderson abuse of process in fraud claim brought after claim founded in contract)
  • Hanson v Carlino [2019] EWHC 1366 (Ch); [2019] EWHC 1940 (Ch) (proprietary injunctions, cross-examination, principles on which bench warrants will be granted).
  • Newson-Smith v Al Zawawi [2017] EWHC 1876 (QB) (requisite mens rea when respondent alleged to have made a false statement)
  • Metropolitan Housing Trust v Taylor [2015] EWHC 2897 (Ch) discharge of freezing order; case examines principles on which freezing orders will be granted.
  • Gorbunova Berezovsky [2013] EWHC 76 (Ch). Thomas was instructed with Anthony Trace QC for Boris Berezovsky on his successful application to set aside a £300million freezing order.
  • Acted for Mr Ablyazov in Milsom Ablyazov [2011] EWHC 1846 (Ch), [2012] Lloyd’s Rep FC 98 (Roth J) an important decision on the privilege against self-incrimination.
  • Thomas was one of the lead juniors in JSC BTA Bank Ablyazov and was involved in a number of hearings in 2010 and 2011, including the committal directions hearing (Teare J), the security for costs application (Teare J), and the funding application (Christopher Clarke J).
  • Appeared on 7 day application to discharge freezing and search orders/strike out parts of the claim in Irish Response Ltd Direct Beauty Products [2011] EWHC 37 (QB), a claim for alleged inducement of breach of a distribution agreement and conspiracy.
  • JSC BTA Bank Ablyazov [2010] EWHC 1779 (Comm); [2010] EWCA Civ 1141. Appeared (with Anthony Trace QC and Duncan Matthews QC) for the defendant on claimant’s application for appointment of interim receivers, in the context of one of the largest claims ever brought in an English court.
  • Acted for Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi at the jurisdiction hearing, and later hearings, of its claim for conspiracy against the Ferrero Rocher companies, reported as Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi Baskan Gida [2004] 2 Lloyds Law Rep 395 and [2008] EWHC 659 (Ch).
  • Appeared (with Anthony Trace QC for the claimant in the Ritz Hotel fraud claim, London Allied Holdings Ltd Lee [2007] All ER (D) 25 (Sep), raising issues concerning constructive trusts in respect of moneys procured by deceit.

Overview

Recent work includes: 

  • Digby v Melford Capital Partners [2020] WLR(D) 661 (CA) - examining what is the proper costs order to make when an interim injunction application succeeds;
  • Stokoe Partnership Solicitors v Robinson [2020] EWHC 3312 (QB) - Norwich Pharmacal orders; cross-examination on affidavits; private investigators;
  • Mousavi-Khalkali v Abrischamchi [2020] EWCA Civ 1493 - forum conveniens, risk of injustice in foreign forum;
  • Christoforou v Christoforou & Anor [2020] EWHC 1196 (Ch) - order limiting cross-examination at trial; similar fact evidence;
  • HML PM Ltd v Canary Riverside Estate Management Ltd & Anor [2019] EWHC 3496 (QB) - breach of confidence and standing to bring claim; interim injunctions; striking out;
  • Addlesee v Dentons Europe LLP [2019] 3 WLR 1255 - whether legal professional privilege still persists after dissolution of a company)
  • Gwinnutt v George [2019] Ch 471 (CA) - a decision which has attracted considerable attention concerning the question of whether barristers’ expectation of fees is “property” within the meaning of the Insolvency Act;
  • Galazi v Christoforou [2019] EWHC 670 (Ch) - the leading decision on what constitutes a partial discontinuance of claims for the purpose of CPR Part 38, indemnity costs;
  • Re Dores, 8 February 2019, BVI Commercial Court, fortification of cross-undertaking in damages.
  • Cunico Resources v Daskalakis [2019] 1 WLR 2881; [2019] EWHC 57 (Comm); [2019] EWHC 345 (Comm) - multi-jurisdictional dispute, Lugano Convention; leading decision on default judgment;
  • Company 1 v Company 2 [2018] 1 Lloyds Rep 115 - Arbitration Act, freezing orders, jurisdiction of the English court to make orders under section 44 in relation to foreign arbitrations;
  • Galazi v Christroforou [2017] EWHC 2042 (Ch) - capacity to act/indemnity costs;
  • J Toomey Motors Ltd v Chevrolet [2017] EWHC 276 (Comm) - claims by car dealerships for alleged repudiatory breach of distribution agreements: 5 day trial;
  • Agents’ Mutual v Moginie James [2016] EWHC 3384 (Ch) and [2016] EWHC B34 (Ch) - misrepresentation, disclaimers, property portals;
  • Thomas appeared in the Court of Appeal in Aeroflot v Berezovsky [2014] EWCA Civ 20 (enforcement of foreign judgments), In Re the Estate of Platon Elenin (Aka Boris Berezovsky) [2014] CA (confidential information).
  • HSH Nordbank Ltd Saad Air [2012] EWHC 3213 (Comm); aircraft financing; right to inspect court file.
  • Clipper Logistics Group Ltd Monsoon Accessorize Ltd [2011] EWHC 419 (Ch). Construction of indemnity clause in compromise agreement.
  • Acted in the trial in Rok plc S Harrison Group Ltd [2011] EWHC 270 (Comm) - sufficiency of notice in a warranty claim.
  • Appeared at trial for defendant in Everton Football Club Sail Group [2011] EWHC 126 (QB) in breach of warranty claim concerning a football tournament in South Africa.
  • Menolly Cerep [2009] EWHC 516 (Ch), (2009) 125 Con LR 75. Appeared (with David Friedman QC and Anthony Trace QC) for the defendant vendor in relation to claim over the £150million sale of 107 Cheapside.
  • Instructed by Joltid Limited in claim relating to ownership of the Skype source code (led by Mark Vanhegan QC) – Skype Joltid (2009).
  • Acted, leading Jonathan Allcock, in Sectorguard plc Dienne plc [2009] EWHC 2693 (Ch), a successful application to strike out a committal application in the context of a confidential information case.
  • Acted for the claimant in the IPCO NNPC litigation, concerning the enforcement of a New York Convention award [2009] 1 Lloyd's Rep 89 (led by Michael Lyndon-Standford QC).
  • Appeared  in Apvodedo Collins [2008] EWHC 775 (Ch), raising issues concerning common law mistake.
  • Appeared on behalf of the insurer defendant in Noblebright Ltd Sirius UK [2007] Lloyds Rep IR 584, [2007] All ER (D) 120 (Apr), concerning alleged waiver of right to disclosure of material information by insurer.
  • Instructed by Cleveland Bridge UK Limited in the litigation concerning Wembley Stadium against Multiplex plc. Appeared (with Hugh Tomlinson QC and Simon Hargreaves QC) in four week preliminary issues trial: Multiplex Constructions Cleveland Bridge (UK) (2006) 98 Con LR 1.

Overview

Recent work includes:

  • Instructed in very substantial unfair prejudice proceedings Milton v Milton (2017-2019).
  • 5 day hearing in July 2017 in Storca Intertrans Corp. and others v Norvalo (Overseas) Ltd, BVI Commercial Court.
  • Appeared in the appeal in Ashdown v Griffin [2018] EWCA Civ 1793 in which the Court of Appeal considered the allocation of costs after unfair prejudice proceedings had succeeded but had a led to a buy-out order
  • Appeared in the leading unfair prejudice appeal of Re Tobian [2013] Bus LR 753 and Re Annacott [2013] EWCA Civ 119.

Overview

Recent work includes:

  • Currently instructed in CNM Estates (Tolworth Tower) Ltd v VeCrREF [2018] EWHC 2838 (Comm), involving alleged breach of receivers’ and estate agents’ duty in relation to the disposal of a substantial commercial and residential block.
  • Currently instructed in large scale solicitors’ negligence proceedings concerning alleged mishandling of application to serve out of the jurisdiction;
  • Addlesee v Dentons Europe LLP [2019] 3 WLR 1255 - whether legal professional privilege still persists after dissolution of a company);
  • Barclays Bank plc v TBS&V Ltd [2016] EWHC 2948 (QB). Valuers’ negligence, relating to complex valuation of a care home (8 day trial).
  • Santander v R A Legal [2014] PNLR 20. Court of Appeal, breach of trust by solicitor, section 61 of the Trustee Act)
  • Redstone Mortgages Countrywide Surveyors (14 January 2013). Valuer’s negligence.
  • Connells Survey & Valuation Ltd v MPG Investments LLP [2012] EWHC 4071 (Ch) (assessment of damages in surveyors’ negligence case)
  • CHL Mortgages Countrywide Surveyors [2011] 3 EGLR 153. Appropriation of damages. Thomas successfully argued that the manner in which a lender had appropriated the proceeds of sale of its security meant that it had suffered no loss arising from the alleged negligence of the defendant.
  • Appeared (led by Tom Leech QC) in Court of Appeal in the seminal decision in Scullion Bank of Scotland [2011] 1 WLR 3212 (CA).
  • Appeared for the defendant (leading Alexander Winter) in the important Court of Appeal decision in Platform Home Loans Bank of Scotland [2009] 2 WLR 1016. Moore-Bick LJ described Thomas' submissions as "engaging and very able".

Overview

Recent work includes:

  • South Warwickshire v Littler [2019] L&TR 19  (Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, section 30(1)(f), appeal)
  • Folgender v Letraz Properties Ltd [2019] EWCH 2131 (Ch) – specific performance of obligation to grant charge over commercial property;
  • UBS v Rose Capital Ventures [2019] 2 BCLC 47 - high value mortgage proceedings; abuse of process; extent to which Braganza principles apply to lenders;
  • Fuller v Kitzing  [2017] Ch 485; [2016] EWHC 804 (Ch) – shooting rights; injunctive relief;
  • Hawk Recovery v Hall [2016] BPIR 169 and (on appeal) [2017] 4 WLR 40 - bare trusts, possession orders, insolvency;
  • Skelwith (Leisure) Ltd v Armstrong [2016] 1 Ch 345 – multi-party proceedings concerning mortgagees’ remedies in case relating to alleged sale by mortgagee to an associate.
  • Bank of Scotland plc v Forrester [2014] EWHC 2036; [2014] 2 P&CR DG19 (mortgage, implied trusts)
  • Bank of Scotland plc Qutb [2013] CP Rep 14 (CA). Personal liability for costs on the basis of a breach of warranty of authority of intermeddler in mortgage litigation.
  • Hague Farming Ltd Hague (2012), 5 week trial of proprietary estoppel claims.
  • Acted for the bank in the important Court of Appeal decision in Zinda Bank of Scotland plc [2012] 1 WLR 728, concerning enforcement of suspended possession orders. This decision will affect mortgage possession practice across the country.
  • Acted (leading James Sheehan) in claim against former partners in Halliwells in claim on authorised guarantee agreements relating to the firm’s former premises.
  • Acted for the bank in Bank of Scotland Hussain [2010] EWHC 2812 (Ch), [2012] EWCA Civ 264 (leading Laurie Scher). Raising issues of estoppel and capacity in mortgage lending context.
  • Acted for appellant on appeal in Dominion Debenhams [2010] 23 EG 106 (CS), a case concerning contractual termination procedures. The appeal was compromised.
  • Appeared in break clause case of Hexstone Holdings AHC Westlink Ltd [2010] 2 EGLR 13.

Overview

Recent work includes:

  • Instructed by Valentino Rossi’s manager in claim brought by Mr Rossi concerning termination of the management contract.
  • Instructed by Joltid Limited in claim relating to Skype (led by Mark Vanhegan QC) – Skype Joltid.
  • Appeared on behalf David and Victoria Beckham in relation to their claim for breach of confidence against their former nanny, Abbie Gibson.
  • Acted for Archbishop of Westminster in relation to application for third party disclosure in the Ivereigh Associated Newspapers libel case.
  • Instructed by the Saatchi Gallery in a claim brought against a well-known painter for breach of contract.
  • Instructed by the Marlborough Gallery (led by Michael Briggs QC) in defending a very substantial undue influence and breach of fiduciary duty claim brought by the estate of the artist Francis Bacon: Clarke Marlborough Fine Art Ltd (No 2) [2002] 1 WLR 1731 and Clarke Marlborough Fine Art Ltd (No 3) [2002] EWHC 11 (Ch). The claim was settled shortly before a three month trial was due to commence.
  • Acted for 118 118 in relation to claim made by the runner David Bedford arising out image rights issues relating to the two 118 118 runners.
  • Acted for owners in claims to recover various high value Mesopotamian artefacts.
  • Instructed by Glynn Williams in relation to a claim for damage to certain of his sculptures lent to a museum.
  • Acted for Mike Nolan in the litigation concerning the pop band “Bucks Fizz”.

Overview

Recent work includes:

  • Instructed by the Marlborough Gallery in defending a very substantial undue influence and breach of fiduciary duty claim brought by the estate of the artist Francis Bacon: Clarke Marlborough Fine Art Ltd (No 2) [2002] 1 WLR 1731 and Clarke v Marlborough Fine Art Ltd (No 3) [2002] EWHC 11. The claim was settled shortly before a three month trial was due to commence.
  • Acted in case In re Trusts of X Charity [2003] 1 WLR 2751, Beddoe proceedings relating to an action brought in US against an English charity (led by Michael Briggs QC).
  • Frequently instructed by banks and building societies on mortgage claims, including issues of undue influence, subrogation and title rectification.

Directory quotes

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“He is very tenacious and a robust advocate. He is willing to take the difficult points and run with them, and is very good with clients. ” (2021)

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“He's a fearsome opponent. We really enjoyed working with him; he was flamboyant and effective. ” (2020)

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“Not afraid of taking novel points and very much in tune with clients' sensitivities and opponents' weaknesses. He can adapt and think outside of the box. There is tremendous breadth to his intellect, and he is always very clear and logical in what he says. His delivery in court is fluent and beautiful, and he is able to give the judges what they want. ” (2019)

 

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“A well-liked silk who is respected for his advocacy and capable advice. ” (2018)

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“He quickly earns respect for his effective and commercial advice. ” (2018)

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“He is first-class - he's massively intelligent and has broad knowledge. He is a real perfectionist when it comes to his written opinions, and he's also good on his feet.” (2017)

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“He treats everyone respectfully and he is superbly thorough. He gets good results in difficult cases. ” (2017)

Chambers UK
Professional Negligence

“He produced what was probably one of the best pieces of advocacy I've ever seen. He is a gifted advocate. ” (2021)

Chambers UK
Professional Negligence

“He's very imaginative and very good in difficult cases; he just finds solutions where it appears there are none. He's very measured, very sensible and very reasonable. You can always have a sensible commercial discussion with him. ” (2020)

Chambers UK
Professional Negligence

“He is an extremely talented and passionate advocate. ” (2019)

Chambers UK
Professional Negligence

“A very experienced and able trial advocate. Judges like him and opponents respect him. ” (2018)

Chambers UK
Professional Negligence

“Very engaged and robust when getting to grips with all of the issues. He is a barrister you would much rather have on your side. ” (2018)

Chambers UK
Professional Negligence

“Powerful and persuasive in his advocacy. ” (2017)

Chambers UK
Professional Negligence

“Tom Grant is very forthright, and also extremely popular with his clients.” (2017)

Chambers UK
Real Estate Litigation

“An incredible advocate - very thorough and quick. Very knowledgeable and a good strategist. ” (2021)

Chambers UK
Real Estate Litigation

“A strong advocate who has a charismatic court presence and a good rapport with the judges. He picks up on issues extremely well and has an excellent understanding of the factual matrix.” (2020)

Chambers UK
Real Estate Litigation

“Super clever and a great strategist. A very good advocate who provides very clear and commercial advice in complex cases. ” (2019)

Chambers UK
Real Estate Litigation

“He is a strong advocate who has a charismatic court presence and a good rapport with judges. ” (2018)

Chambers UK
Real Estate Litigation

“Tom's advocacy is excellent and he has a very good client manner. ” (2017)

Chambers UK
Real Estate Litigation

“Highly impressive advocate who cuts through complex issues to give sound, commercial advice. ” (2017)

Chambers Global
Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery

“He's a fearsome opponent. We really enjoyed working with him; he was flamboyant and effective. ” (2021)

Legal 500 UK
Fraud: Civil

“Simply brilliant – he understood the client immediately and gave clear and practical advice from the outset. ” (2021)

Legal 500 UK
Commercial Litigation

“Extremely clever giving him the ability to pull testing issues apart easily – he offers clear, succinct, pragmatic advice. Nothing is ever too much trouble. ” (2021)

Legal 500 UK
Commercial Litigation

“Very hands-on and proactive, he very quickly gets on top of the detail and has a great rapport with clients. ” (2020)

Legal 500 UK
Commercial Litigation

“Inspires confidence and the clients fall for him straightaway. ” (2019)

Legal 500 UK
Commercial Litigation

“His sharp commercial mind and easy-to-deal-with approach make him a standout silk. ” (2017)

Legal 500 UK
Commercial Litigation

“He always gives pragmatic advice. ” (2016)

Legal 500 UK
Company & Partnership

“He offers clear, succinct, pragmatic advice. ” (2021)

Legal 500 UK
Company & Partnership

“Tenacious, very clever, strong in court and sensitive to clients’ priorities. ” (2020)

Legal 500 UK
Company & Partnership

“He is a Chancery law specialist. ” (2019)

Legal 500 UK
Company & Partnership

“Highly rated for unfair prejudice appeals. ” (2017)

Legal 500 UK
Company & Partnership

“Excellent. ” (2016)

Legal 500 UK
Professional Negligence

“He is a very effective advocate. ” (2021)

Legal 500 UK
Professional Negligence

“Very strong in court. ” (2020)

Legal 500 UK
Professional Negligence

“An experienced silk. ” (2019)

Legal 500 UK
Professional Negligence

“Exceptional. ” (2017)

Legal 500 UK
Professional Negligence

“Very impressive and bright as a button. ” (2016)

Publications

Tomlinson and Grant on Lender Claims (2010, Sweet & Maxwell), General Editor

Flenley and Leech on Solicitors’ Liabilities (2020, Bloomsbury), Contributor 

Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories (2015, John Murray)

Grant and Mumford on Civil Fraud (2018, Sweet & Maxwell), General Editor

Court Number One: The Old Bailey trials that defined Modern Britain (2019, John Murray)

Memberships

  • PNBA
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • COMBAR

Qualifications

  • BA (Hons) First Class
  • Dip Law, Distinction

 clerks@maitlandchambers.com                                                                  

  +44 (0)20 7406 1200

Thomas Grant QC

Call: 1993 | Silk: 2013

tgrant@maitlandchambers.com

“He is very tenacious and a robust advocate." "He is willing to take the difficult points and run with them, and is very good with clients.” (2021)

Chambers UK

Chancery: Commercial

Overview

He practises mainly in the Chancery Division and Commercial Court, as well as in the BVI, and has particular experience in heavy multi-party disputes. Regarded as one of the leading advocates at the commercial chancery Bar, Thomas spends a good part of his professional life in the courtroom and has appeared in a very large number of reported decisions (over the last two years alone Thomas has appeared in over 20 reported cases.)

His advocacy has been commended by the Court of Appeal as “lucid and compelling” (Zinda BOS) and as “engaging and very able” (Platform Home Loans BOS).

He is the general editor of two leading textbooks: Grant and Mumford on Civil Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure (2018, Sweet and Maxwell) and Tomlinson and Grant on Lender Claims (2010, Sweet and Maxwell). He is also a contributor to Flenley and Leech on Solicitors’ Negligence and Liabilities (2020, 4th ed, Bloomsbury). Thomas is currently the vice-chair of the Professional Negligence Bar Association.

Thomas also has an interest in legal history and has written two bestselling general interest books, Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories (2015) and Court Number One (2019). He was appointed Visiting Professor of Politics and Law at Gresham College for the year 2020-2021.

Thomas has a particular interest in fraud claims and is well known for his expertise in obtaining and defending freezing and related interim orders. He is also well known for his experience in committal applications arising out of fraud claims, having been instructed in four of the leading cases: Kea Investments v Watson [2020] EWHC 2599, 2796 (Ch) (longest committal trial ever in England),  Newson-Smith v Al Zawawi [2017] EWHC 1876 (QB) (requisite mens rea when respondent alleged to have made a false statement); JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov [2011] EWHC 1522 (Comm) (case management of claim with multiple counts); Sectorguard Plc v Dienne Plc [2009] EWHC 2693 (Ch) (abuse of process; strike out).

He is also instructed to provide chancery and company law input in very high value matrimonial disputes and has appeared on a number of occasions in leading cases in the Family Division.

In recent years Thomas has been involved in a number of important and high profile cases including: 

  • Digby v Melford Capital Partners  [2020] WLR(D) 661 (CA) (proper costs order in interim injunction application); 
  • Mousavi-Khalkali v Abrischamchi [2020] EWCA Civ 1493 (forum conveniens, risk of injustice in foreign forum); 
  • Goldman v Zurich Insurance plc [2020] BLR 236 (Henderson v Henderson abuse of process); 
  • Addlesee v Dentons Europe LLP [2019] 3 WLR 1255 (privilege, dissolved companies);
  • Gwinnutt v George [2019] Ch 471 (CA) (barristers’ fees; meaning of property under Insolvency Act); 
  • Galazi v Christoforou [2019] EWHC 670 (Ch) (fiduciary duties; leading case on meaning of discontinuance); 
  • Cunico Resources v Daskalakis [2019] 1 WLR 2881; [2019] EWHC 57 (Comm) (multi-jurisdictional dispute, Lugano Convention; leading decision on default judgment); 
  • Fundingsecure v Green [2019] (claim against well-known art dealer in fraud, contempt of court); 
  • UBS v Rose Capital Ventures [2019] BCLC 47(very high value mortgage claim; applicability of Braganza duties to lenders; striking out various defences); 
  • Fredericks v Positive Solutions [2018] EWCA Civ 431 (vicarious liability of financial advisors; appeal to Supreme Court compromised); 
  • Ashdown v Griffin [2018] EWCA Civ 1793 (costs in unfair prejudice claims); 
  • Company 1 v Company 2 [2018] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 115 (Arbitration Act, freezing orders); 
  • Newson-Smith v Al Zawawi [2017] EWHC 1876 (QB) (committal/CPR Part 71); 
  • J Toomey Motors v Chevrolet (UK) Ltd [2017] EWHC 276 (Comm) (franchise agreements, repudiatory breach); 
  • Skelwith (Leisure) Ltd v Armstrong [2016] 1 Ch 345 (mortgagees’ remedies); 
  • Metropolitan Housing Trust v Taylor [2015] EWHC 2897 (Ch) and [2015] EWCA Civ 1595 (test for freezing orders); 
  • Santander v R A Legal [2014] PNLR 20 (breach of trust, section 61 of the Trustee Act); 
  • Aeroflot v Berezovsky [2014] 1 CLC 53 (Court of Appeal, enforcement of foreign judgments); 
  • In Re the Estate of Platon Elenin (Aka Boris Berezovsky) [2014] EWCA Civ 431 (confidential information); 
  • Gorbunova Berezovsky [2013] EWHC 76 (Ch) (£300m freezing order); 
  • Balgobin South West Regional Health Authority [2013] 1 AC 582 (election and estoppel, Privy Council); 
  • Scullion Bank of Scotland [2011] 1 WLR 3212 (duty of care owed by surveyors); 
  • JSC BTA Bank Ablyazov [2010] EWCA Civ 1141, [2011] EWHC 1522 (Comm), [2011] EWHC 2664 (Comm) (receivership/freezing order applications, featured as one of the top cases of 2011 by Legal Week); 
  • Milsom Ablyazov [2012] Lloyd’s Rep FC 98 (privilege against self-incrimination); the litigation concerning Halliwells’ former offices; the 107 Cheapside litigation (Menolly Cerep (2009) 125 Con LR 75); 
  • IPCO Nigerian National Petroleum Company ([2009] 1 Lloyds Rep 89);
  • The 2009 Skype Joltid litigation (concerning rights to the source code of Skype); 
  • Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi Ferrero Rocher, and the Ritz Hotel fraud claims.

For a number of years Thomas was a consulting editor of the Lloyds Law Reports, Professional Negligence. Thomas has also previously co-authored two books in the professional negligence and property fields.

Thomas is a member of the Chancery Bar Association, sits on the committee of the Professional Negligence Bar Association, and is a member of COMBAR. He is recommended for commercial chancery, real estate litigation and professional negligence in Chambers UK 2021, and for dispute resolution in Chambers Global. He is also recommended for professional negligence, civil fraud, commercial litigation, and company and partnership in Legal 500 UK 2021.

Terms of Business 

The clerks are happy to discuss the basis on which Thomas will act in any given matter. In the absence of express written agreement otherwise, the terms under which Thomas accepts instructions are The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services By Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012 (as updated from time to time) referred to in the BSB Handbook.

Publications

Tomlinson and Grant on Lender Claims (2010, Sweet & Maxwell), General Editor

Flenley and Leech on Solicitors’ Liabilities (2020, Bloomsbury), Contributor 

Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories (2015, John Murray)

Grant and Mumford on Civil Fraud (2018, Sweet & Maxwell), General Editor

Court Number One: The Old Bailey trials that defined Modern Britain (2019, John Murray)

Memberships

  • PNBA
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • COMBAR

Qualifications

  • BA (Hons) First Class
  • Dip Law, Distinction

Civil Fraud & Asset Recovery

Recent work includes: 

  • Kea Investments Ltd v Watson [2020] EWHC 2599 Ch); [2020] EWHC 2796 (Ch) (arising out of long running dispute between two well-known New Zealand businessmen; longest committal trial ever in England, before Nugee LJ)
  • Maroil Trading Inc v Cally Shipholdings Inc [2020] EWHC 3041 (Comm); [2019] EWHC 2949 (Comm) (Venezulean shipping; breach of confidence; security for costs of third party claim)
  • London Capital & Finance v Thomson[2020] EWHC (Ch); Re London Oil and Gas Ltd [2019] EWHC 367(Ch) and ongoing (very large fraud claim arising out of failure of large finance company)  
  • Goldman v Zurich Insurance plc [2020] BLR 236 (Henderson v Henderson abuse of process in fraud claim brought after claim founded in contract)
  • Hanson v Carlino [2019] EWHC 1366 (Ch); [2019] EWHC 1940 (Ch) (proprietary injunctions, cross-examination, principles on which bench warrants will be granted).
  • Newson-Smith v Al Zawawi [2017] EWHC 1876 (QB) (requisite mens rea when respondent alleged to have made a false statement)
  • Metropolitan Housing Trust v Taylor [2015] EWHC 2897 (Ch) discharge of freezing order; case examines principles on which freezing orders will be granted.
  • Gorbunova Berezovsky [2013] EWHC 76 (Ch). Thomas was instructed with Anthony Trace QC for Boris Berezovsky on his successful application to set aside a £300million freezing order.
  • Acted for Mr Ablyazov in Milsom Ablyazov [2011] EWHC 1846 (Ch), [2012] Lloyd’s Rep FC 98 (Roth J) an important decision on the privilege against self-incrimination.
  • Thomas was one of the lead juniors in JSC BTA Bank Ablyazov and was involved in a number of hearings in 2010 and 2011, including the committal directions hearing (Teare J), the security for costs application (Teare J), and the funding application (Christopher Clarke J).
  • Appeared on 7 day application to discharge freezing and search orders/strike out parts of the claim in Irish Response Ltd Direct Beauty Products [2011] EWHC 37 (QB), a claim for alleged inducement of breach of a distribution agreement and conspiracy.
  • JSC BTA Bank Ablyazov [2010] EWHC 1779 (Comm); [2010] EWCA Civ 1141. Appeared (with Anthony Trace QC and Duncan Matthews QC) for the defendant on claimant’s application for appointment of interim receivers, in the context of one of the largest claims ever brought in an English court.
  • Acted for Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi at the jurisdiction hearing, and later hearings, of its claim for conspiracy against the Ferrero Rocher companies, reported as Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi Baskan Gida [2004] 2 Lloyds Law Rep 395 and [2008] EWHC 659 (Ch).
  • Appeared (with Anthony Trace QC for the claimant in the Ritz Hotel fraud claim, London Allied Holdings Ltd Lee [2007] All ER (D) 25 (Sep), raising issues concerning constructive trusts in respect of moneys procured by deceit.

Commercial Disputes

Recent work includes: 

  • Digby v Melford Capital Partners [2020] WLR(D) 661 (CA) - examining what is the proper costs order to make when an interim injunction application succeeds;
  • Stokoe Partnership Solicitors v Robinson [2020] EWHC 3312 (QB) - Norwich Pharmacal orders; cross-examination on affidavits; private investigators;
  • Mousavi-Khalkali v Abrischamchi [2020] EWCA Civ 1493 - forum conveniens, risk of injustice in foreign forum;
  • Christoforou v Christoforou & Anor [2020] EWHC 1196 (Ch) - order limiting cross-examination at trial; similar fact evidence;
  • HML PM Ltd v Canary Riverside Estate Management Ltd & Anor [2019] EWHC 3496 (QB) - breach of confidence and standing to bring claim; interim injunctions; striking out;
  • Addlesee v Dentons Europe LLP [2019] 3 WLR 1255 - whether legal professional privilege still persists after dissolution of a company)
  • Gwinnutt v George [2019] Ch 471 (CA) - a decision which has attracted considerable attention concerning the question of whether barristers’ expectation of fees is “property” within the meaning of the Insolvency Act;
  • Galazi v Christoforou [2019] EWHC 670 (Ch) - the leading decision on what constitutes a partial discontinuance of claims for the purpose of CPR Part 38, indemnity costs;
  • Re Dores, 8 February 2019, BVI Commercial Court, fortification of cross-undertaking in damages.
  • Cunico Resources v Daskalakis [2019] 1 WLR 2881; [2019] EWHC 57 (Comm); [2019] EWHC 345 (Comm) - multi-jurisdictional dispute, Lugano Convention; leading decision on default judgment;
  • Company 1 v Company 2 [2018] 1 Lloyds Rep 115 - Arbitration Act, freezing orders, jurisdiction of the English court to make orders under section 44 in relation to foreign arbitrations;
  • Galazi v Christroforou [2017] EWHC 2042 (Ch) - capacity to act/indemnity costs;
  • J Toomey Motors Ltd v Chevrolet [2017] EWHC 276 (Comm) - claims by car dealerships for alleged repudiatory breach of distribution agreements: 5 day trial;
  • Agents’ Mutual v Moginie James [2016] EWHC 3384 (Ch) and [2016] EWHC B34 (Ch) - misrepresentation, disclaimers, property portals;
  • Thomas appeared in the Court of Appeal in Aeroflot v Berezovsky [2014] EWCA Civ 20 (enforcement of foreign judgments), In Re the Estate of Platon Elenin (Aka Boris Berezovsky) [2014] CA (confidential information).
  • HSH Nordbank Ltd Saad Air [2012] EWHC 3213 (Comm); aircraft financing; right to inspect court file.
  • Clipper Logistics Group Ltd Monsoon Accessorize Ltd [2011] EWHC 419 (Ch). Construction of indemnity clause in compromise agreement.
  • Acted in the trial in Rok plc S Harrison Group Ltd [2011] EWHC 270 (Comm) - sufficiency of notice in a warranty claim.
  • Appeared at trial for defendant in Everton Football Club Sail Group [2011] EWHC 126 (QB) in breach of warranty claim concerning a football tournament in South Africa.
  • Menolly Cerep [2009] EWHC 516 (Ch), (2009) 125 Con LR 75. Appeared (with David Friedman QC and Anthony Trace QC) for the defendant vendor in relation to claim over the £150million sale of 107 Cheapside.
  • Instructed by Joltid Limited in claim relating to ownership of the Skype source code (led by Mark Vanhegan QC) – Skype Joltid (2009).
  • Acted, leading Jonathan Allcock, in Sectorguard plc Dienne plc [2009] EWHC 2693 (Ch), a successful application to strike out a committal application in the context of a confidential information case.
  • Acted for the claimant in the IPCO NNPC litigation, concerning the enforcement of a New York Convention award [2009] 1 Lloyd's Rep 89 (led by Michael Lyndon-Standford QC).
  • Appeared  in Apvodedo Collins [2008] EWHC 775 (Ch), raising issues concerning common law mistake.
  • Appeared on behalf of the insurer defendant in Noblebright Ltd Sirius UK [2007] Lloyds Rep IR 584, [2007] All ER (D) 120 (Apr), concerning alleged waiver of right to disclosure of material information by insurer.
  • Instructed by Cleveland Bridge UK Limited in the litigation concerning Wembley Stadium against Multiplex plc. Appeared (with Hugh Tomlinson QC and Simon Hargreaves QC) in four week preliminary issues trial: Multiplex Constructions Cleveland Bridge (UK) (2006) 98 Con LR 1.

Company, Partnership & LLP's

Recent work includes:

  • Instructed in very substantial unfair prejudice proceedings Milton v Milton (2017-2019).
  • 5 day hearing in July 2017 in Storca Intertrans Corp. and others v Norvalo (Overseas) Ltd, BVI Commercial Court.
  • Appeared in the appeal in Ashdown v Griffin [2018] EWCA Civ 1793 in which the Court of Appeal considered the allocation of costs after unfair prejudice proceedings had succeeded but had a led to a buy-out order
  • Appeared in the leading unfair prejudice appeal of Re Tobian [2013] Bus LR 753 and Re Annacott [2013] EWCA Civ 119.

Professional Negligence

Recent work includes:

  • Currently instructed in CNM Estates (Tolworth Tower) Ltd v VeCrREF [2018] EWHC 2838 (Comm), involving alleged breach of receivers’ and estate agents’ duty in relation to the disposal of a substantial commercial and residential block.
  • Currently instructed in large scale solicitors’ negligence proceedings concerning alleged mishandling of application to serve out of the jurisdiction;
  • Addlesee v Dentons Europe LLP [2019] 3 WLR 1255 - whether legal professional privilege still persists after dissolution of a company);
  • Barclays Bank plc v TBS&V Ltd [2016] EWHC 2948 (QB). Valuers’ negligence, relating to complex valuation of a care home (8 day trial).
  • Santander v R A Legal [2014] PNLR 20. Court of Appeal, breach of trust by solicitor, section 61 of the Trustee Act)
  • Redstone Mortgages Countrywide Surveyors (14 January 2013). Valuer’s negligence.
  • Connells Survey & Valuation Ltd v MPG Investments LLP [2012] EWHC 4071 (Ch) (assessment of damages in surveyors’ negligence case)
  • CHL Mortgages Countrywide Surveyors [2011] 3 EGLR 153. Appropriation of damages. Thomas successfully argued that the manner in which a lender had appropriated the proceeds of sale of its security meant that it had suffered no loss arising from the alleged negligence of the defendant.
  • Appeared (led by Tom Leech QC) in Court of Appeal in the seminal decision in Scullion Bank of Scotland [2011] 1 WLR 3212 (CA).
  • Appeared for the defendant (leading Alexander Winter) in the important Court of Appeal decision in Platform Home Loans Bank of Scotland [2009] 2 WLR 1016. Moore-Bick LJ described Thomas' submissions as "engaging and very able".

Real Estate

Recent work includes:

  • South Warwickshire v Littler [2019] L&TR 19  (Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, section 30(1)(f), appeal)
  • Folgender v Letraz Properties Ltd [2019] EWCH 2131 (Ch) – specific performance of obligation to grant charge over commercial property;
  • UBS v Rose Capital Ventures [2019] 2 BCLC 47 - high value mortgage proceedings; abuse of process; extent to which Braganza principles apply to lenders;
  • Fuller v Kitzing  [2017] Ch 485; [2016] EWHC 804 (Ch) – shooting rights; injunctive relief;
  • Hawk Recovery v Hall [2016] BPIR 169 and (on appeal) [2017] 4 WLR 40 - bare trusts, possession orders, insolvency;
  • Skelwith (Leisure) Ltd v Armstrong [2016] 1 Ch 345 – multi-party proceedings concerning mortgagees’ remedies in case relating to alleged sale by mortgagee to an associate.
  • Bank of Scotland plc v Forrester [2014] EWHC 2036; [2014] 2 P&CR DG19 (mortgage, implied trusts)
  • Bank of Scotland plc Qutb [2013] CP Rep 14 (CA). Personal liability for costs on the basis of a breach of warranty of authority of intermeddler in mortgage litigation.
  • Hague Farming Ltd Hague (2012), 5 week trial of proprietary estoppel claims.
  • Acted for the bank in the important Court of Appeal decision in Zinda Bank of Scotland plc [2012] 1 WLR 728, concerning enforcement of suspended possession orders. This decision will affect mortgage possession practice across the country.
  • Acted (leading James Sheehan) in claim against former partners in Halliwells in claim on authorised guarantee agreements relating to the firm’s former premises.
  • Acted for the bank in Bank of Scotland Hussain [2010] EWHC 2812 (Ch), [2012] EWCA Civ 264 (leading Laurie Scher). Raising issues of estoppel and capacity in mortgage lending context.
  • Acted for appellant on appeal in Dominion Debenhams [2010] 23 EG 106 (CS), a case concerning contractual termination procedures. The appeal was compromised.
  • Appeared in break clause case of Hexstone Holdings AHC Westlink Ltd [2010] 2 EGLR 13.

Media and Entertainment

Recent work includes:

  • Instructed by Valentino Rossi’s manager in claim brought by Mr Rossi concerning termination of the management contract.
  • Instructed by Joltid Limited in claim relating to Skype (led by Mark Vanhegan QC) – Skype Joltid.
  • Appeared on behalf David and Victoria Beckham in relation to their claim for breach of confidence against their former nanny, Abbie Gibson.
  • Acted for Archbishop of Westminster in relation to application for third party disclosure in the Ivereigh Associated Newspapers libel case.
  • Instructed by the Saatchi Gallery in a claim brought against a well-known painter for breach of contract.
  • Instructed by the Marlborough Gallery (led by Michael Briggs QC) in defending a very substantial undue influence and breach of fiduciary duty claim brought by the estate of the artist Francis Bacon: Clarke Marlborough Fine Art Ltd (No 2) [2002] 1 WLR 1731 and Clarke Marlborough Fine Art Ltd (No 3) [2002] EWHC 11 (Ch). The claim was settled shortly before a three month trial was due to commence.
  • Acted for 118 118 in relation to claim made by the runner David Bedford arising out image rights issues relating to the two 118 118 runners.
  • Acted for owners in claims to recover various high value Mesopotamian artefacts.
  • Instructed by Glynn Williams in relation to a claim for damage to certain of his sculptures lent to a museum.
  • Acted for Mike Nolan in the litigation concerning the pop band “Bucks Fizz”.

General Chancery

Recent work includes:

  • Instructed by the Marlborough Gallery in defending a very substantial undue influence and breach of fiduciary duty claim brought by the estate of the artist Francis Bacon: Clarke Marlborough Fine Art Ltd (No 2) [2002] 1 WLR 1731 and Clarke v Marlborough Fine Art Ltd (No 3) [2002] EWHC 11. The claim was settled shortly before a three month trial was due to commence.
  • Acted in case In re Trusts of X Charity [2003] 1 WLR 2751, Beddoe proceedings relating to an action brought in US against an English charity (led by Michael Briggs QC).
  • Frequently instructed by banks and building societies on mortgage claims, including issues of undue influence, subrogation and title rectification.