Tom is experienced in international commercial arbitration, international investment disputes, state-to-state arbitration, and foreign sovereign immunity issues. His experience covers a wide range of industries, sectors, and types of disputes, including oil-and-gas, construction, hospitality, telecommunications, automobile manufacturing, distribution agreements, shareholder disputes, and joint-venture disputes.
Tom is recognised as a Global Elite Thought Leader in Who’s Who Legal Arbitration (2023) and is ranked for dispute resolution in Chambers United Arab Emirates (2021), which notes that “Tom’s knowledge and expertise is extremely impressive” and that “he has the ability to advise and write with an uncommon degree of precision and clarity.”
Tom was named to the Legal 500 Private Practice Arbitration Powerlist – Middle East Region in 2022 and 2023. In the Legal 500 United Arab Emirates (2020), Tom was described as having “cross-examination skills [that] are excellent. He listens hard, is polite to witnesses and yet wields an iron fist beneath his velvet glove.”
In 2021 and 2022, Lexology’s Client Choice recognized Tom for Arbitration & ADR in the United Arab Emirates. Client Choice, which is unique in that lawyers can only be nominated by corporate counsel, recognizes those lawyers who stand apart for excellent client care and have “an ability to add real value to clients’ business above and beyond the other players in the market”.
He was also recognized by Asian Legal Business in its listing of Super 50 Lawyers in MENA 2022.
Tom has sat as an arbitrator and is on the panel of arbitrators of several arbitral institutions around the world. He is also a member of the following bodies:
- Board of Directors of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC),
- Court of Arbitration of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC),
- Arbitration Committee of the Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA),
- International Arbitration Committee of KCAB International (an independent division of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board); and the
- Executive Committee of the Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration (MCIA) Users Council (Realty).
He frequently writes and speaks on topics involving international law and dispute resolution. Prior to relocating to Dubai, he was a professorial lecturer in law at the George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC.
From 2001 to 2009, Tom was a member of the legal team representing the Ethiopian Government before the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, an international arbitral tribunal that adjudicated claims for loss, damage and injury arising during an international armed conflict. In this context, he worked as a resident attorney in Addis Ababa for three years.
- Sitting as the sole arbitrator in a SIAC arbitration seated in Singapore involving a dispute over a contract for installation works for the construction of a desalination facility in Oman.
- Representing a UAE developer in a Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) arbitration seated in Dubai involving a dispute with an investor over an investment in a residential development.
- Representing a Singapore-based hospitality group in a DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre case seated in the DIFC involving a shareholder dispute over a hotel in East Africa.
- Representing an African state in International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration seated in Geneva involving a dispute in the amount of nearly US$1.5 billion over the termination of five petroleum production sharing agreements.