Thomas Horton is a commercial and sports barrister who acts in contractual disputes, insolvency-related matters, property claims, and regulatory issues.

Thomas has been identified as a ‘Rising Star’ in sports law (Legal 500, 2022), demonstrating his expertise and growing reputation in this area of law. Thomas specialises in contentions and regulatory sports matters, regularly representing and advising clubs, athletes, intermediaries and other participants. Thomas regularly appears before sports’ governing bodies’ disciplinary commissions. Recent examples include representing a football Intermediary in a successful appeal to an FA Appeal Board to reduce a period of suspension and being part of the team that represented Essex County Cricket Club before the ECB’s Cricket Disciplinary Commission. Thomas recently spent 12 months as an Associate Barrister in Squire Patton Boggs’ sports litigation team. Thomas has also been appointed to UEFA’s Pro Bono Counsel List and Sport Resolutions’ Pro Bon Legal Advice Panel.

Thomas has undertaken an extensive amount of oral and written advocacy, and has experience before a range of courts and tribunals, including appearing as sole counsel in the High Court. Thomas is regularly praised by clients for his advocacy skills.

Thomas is Public Access qualified and is therefore able to accept instructions directly from members of the public, companies and other entities.


  • Representing a football intermediary charged by the FA with a breach of the FA’s Working with Intermediaries Regulations for failing to declare he acted for an FA Premier League football club and a football player in a player transfer. Included a successful appeal to an FA Appeal Board against sanction originally imposed by an FA Regulatory Commission.*
  • Representing a former EFL Championship player charged by the FA for a breach of the FA’s Social Drugs Regulations for an offence committed while still registered with his former club.
  • Representing an FA Premier League player in a dispute with his club in respect of non-payment of bonuses contained in the player contract with a total value of £3.5m.*
  • Representing an EFL Championship club in reaching an Agreed Decision with the EFL in respect of the club’s breach of the EFL Regulations for failing to pay players’ wages.*
  • Representing an EFL Championship club facing inquiries from the EFL and the FA Premier League concerning the club’s corporate structure and compliance with the EFL’s and the FA Premier League’s respective Owners’ and Directors’ Tests.*
  • Representing a former manager of an FA Premier League club in a claim for unpaid bonus payments with a total value of £500,000.*
  • Representing a Rugby Football League Championship player charged by the RFL for a breach of the RFL’s Anti-Doping Regulations, raising issues of jurisdiction, intention and no significant fault or negligence. The National Anti-Doping Panel’s decision is available here.
  • Representing Essex County Cricket Club following a charge of breaching the England and Wales Cricket Board’s Directives concerning allegations of racism and a lack of investigation into the same. The Disciplinary Panel’s decision can be found here.*
  • Representing an EFL League Two football player in an appeal against a decision of an FA Regulatory Commission concerning an FA Anti-Doping Regulation violation and, in particular, obtaining a reduced sanction due to the incoming World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2021 Code.
  • Representing an EFL Championship football player charged with a violation of the FA Anti-Doping Regulations and successfully applying the lex mitior principle to obtain a suspension of three months rather than between one to two years.
  • Representing an EFL League Two football player charged with an aggravated breach of the FA Rules, rule. E3.1 and, following the football player’s admission of the charge, obtaining the ‘Standard Minimum’ punishment for the same.
  • Representing a National League football player faced with an aggravated breach of the FA Rules, rule. E3.1 and successfully having the charge dismissed.
  • Representing a National League football player and successfully opposing an appeal made by a National League club against a decision of the National League Board concerning the football player’s valid termination of employment.
  • Advising an EFL League One football club in respect of refunds due to season ticket holders following COVID-19 causing the cancellation of football matches.

* Work completed while employed by Squire Patton Boggs.

  • Appearing in the High Court either representing creditors that have presented winding-up petitions or companies opposing a winding-up order being made.
  • Representing a company that provides education, training, and consultancy services to the international sporting community in a claim for breach of a joint venture agreement brought against the International Paralympic Committee.*
  • Appearing as counsel before the Chief Insolvency and Companies Court Judge in the High Court on behalf of a limited company disputing a debt owed to HMRC which formed the basis of a winding-up petition presented by HMRC.
  • Appearing as junior counsel to, and drafting a skeleton argument for, Simon Davenport QC acting for a respondent facing an application to revoke approval provided at a creditors’ meeting for an IVA. The application was successfully dismissed and costs were awarded on the indemnity basis.
  • Appearing in the High Court and successfully obtaining an adjournment of an interim injunction application made by Ofgem against an energy supplier.*
  • Advising a global engineering company facing a claim for a placement fee from a recruitment agency.*
  • Advising a holiday home company facing a claim by a consumer in respect of the quality of a holiday home.*
  • Regularly advising, drafting and appearing on behalf of a trade company concerning the enforcement of personal guarantees provided by company clients’ directors.

* Work completed while employed by Squire Patton Boggs.

  • Representing landlords at possession hearings.
  • Advising and assisting a public company who was the landlord of a business premises. The tenant of the business premises had fallen into administration and the administrators had subsequently granted a licence to occupy the business premises to a third party in breach of the terms of the lease. The landlord sought to recover possession of the business premises. A settlement was ultimately reached with the administrators of the tenant and with the third party, avoiding the need of the landlord to apply to the High Court to lift the moratorium that otherwise prevented the landlord from starting legal proceedings to recover possession of the business premises.
  • Appearing on behalf of leaseholders in the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) opposing landlords’ applications for alleged breaches of covenant and determinations of liability and reasonableness of service charges.
  • Advising and assisting a limited company who was the landlord of a business premises that had been destroyed in an arson attack. The landlord sought to bring a claim against the tenant who was in occupation of the business premises at the time of the arson attack or alternatively to make a claim pursuant to an insurance policy taken out by the landlord.

Thomas is able to accept instructions directly from members of the public, companies and other entities through the public access scheme (also known as direct access). He is happy to accept instructions on a direct basis in appropriate cases. If you wish to instruct Thomas on a direct basis, please speak to the clerks.

For more information on public access, please see the Bar Council website.

‘Smart, able to hone into the key legal points whilst also applying a practical mindset’

Legal 500, 2022 – London Bar – Sport – Rising Star

For Help or Advice…

Please contact us either by telephone: +44 (0)20 7415 7800 or email:




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