Thomas Roe QC

Profile

Thomas Roe QC's main areas of practice are commercial and chancery litigation and arbitration, and constitutional and administrative law. He undertakes a great deal of appellate work, including before the Court of Appeal, the Privy Council and the Supreme Court.

Until taking silk he was a member of the Attorney General's panel of junior counsel to the Crown.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Commercial and Chancery

Thomas has a broad practice covering litigation and arbitration, as well as advisory work, in all areas of commercial and business law and commercial chancery, including civil fraud, contractual disputes and insolvency. Much of his work has an international element, with clients from jurisdictions including Germany, France, Russia/CIS, Cyprus, Italy, the United States, Gibraltar and the Commonwealth Caribbean. He is familiar with Russian business disputes.

He is ranked in Chambers and Partners as a Leading Silk in Chancery Commercial. 

Some recent cases include:

• Aidiniantz v Sherlock Holmes International Society Ltd [2018] B.C.L.C. 188 (Court of Appeal): implied variation of articles of association; directors’ authority; doctrine of laches.

• Ramsook v Crossley [2018] Lloyd's Rep. I.R. 471: amicus curiae before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in a dispute concerning the scope of an insurer’s authority to defend litigation in the name of an insured.

• Lederer v Allsop LLP [2018] EWHC 1425 (Ch): successful application against a leading fintech ‘peer-to-peer’ loan arranger for disclosure of the names of its unidentified principals.  

• Shah v Shah [2018] EWHC 2075 (Ch): successful appeal, based on fresh evidence, against adverse findings of fact in dispute concerning title to Indian real property.

• Dawson-Damer v Grampian Trust Company Ltd (2017) 20 I.T.E.L.R. 722 (Supreme Court of the Bahamas): counsel for the Attorney-General of the Bahamas in dispute over the compatibility of the Bahamas’ rules on trust confidentiality with fundamental rights.

• Cassell v Queen [2017] 1 W.L.R. 2738 (Privy Council): counsel for the successful appellant in this challenge to a conviction for corporate fraud.

Arawak Homes Ltd v Attorney General of the Bahamas [2016] 1 W.L.R. 5214 (Privy Council): acting for leading Bahamas house-builders in dispute with government over valuation of compulsorily acquired land.

Hniazdzilau v Vajgel [2016] EWHC 15 (Ch): trial of disputes concerning fraudulent claims to ownership of property in Belarus.

• Singha v Heer (2016) 20 I.T.E.L.R. 1189 (Court of Appeal): on the elements of a valid declaration of trust.

Re Georgy Trefilov (Ch D): acting for a Russian businessman in dispute about alleged entitlement under multi-million dollar settlement concerning realisation of interests in Russian commercial property.

Re HLC Environmental Projects Ltd [2014] B.C.C. 337 (High Court): directors’ misfeasance; statutory relief for breach of trust.

Other recent work in this area has included defending and successfully settling a £45m bribery claim against company directors; advice and representation in commercial arbitrations; acting for claimants in an £18m claim for breach of fiduciary duties; advice to a leading Italian fashion brand about its English-law contracts with a Korean franchisee; advice to Premier League football clubs about disputes with their kit sponsors and suppliers; advice to a government about remedies for corruption; advice to a government about the enforceability of an alleged agreement to remit $400m in taxes; advice to an Italian bank about the terms of its UK contracts; and advice to matrimonial counsel and solicitors about trust, contract and conflict-of-laws aspects of an ultra-high-net-worth Russian divorce case.

Constitutional and Administrative Law

Thomas has a broad public law practice encompassing both human rights and commercial judicial review and a specialism in constitutional law. Recent examples include:

R (Bashir) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] 3 W.L.R. 573 (Supreme Court): counsel for the Home Secretary in this dispute about the applicability of the Refugee Convention to the UK Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus and the effect in international law of accession to the Convention on behalf of an overseas territory.

R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2018] A.C. 61 (Supreme Court): counsel for an intervener in this well-known case concerning whether Parliamentary approval was needed to trigger the UK’s departure from the EU.

Patel v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] 2 All E.R. 1093 (Court of Appeal, pending in Supreme Court): counsel for a claimant against the Home Secretary, contending that EU ‘Zambrano’ rights would be infringed by his removal from UK to India.

R (Hussein) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 213 (Admin): counsel acting for the Home Secretary, defending claims that UK immigration detainees’ rights to religious freedom are infringed by their conditions of detention.

Fishermen and Friends of the Sea v Minister of Environment [2018] 1 LRC 696 (Judicial Committee of the Privy Council): counsel for the Minister of the Environment in a challenge to an environmental pollution permit scheme.

Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago v Dumas [2017] 1 W.L.R. 1978 (Judicial Committee of the Privy Council): counsel for the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago in this dispute concerning locus standi to bring claims for constitutional relief.

R (Idira) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] 1 W.L.R. 1694 (Court of Appeal): counsel for the Home Secretary in this case concerning whether UK policy on the use of prisons for immigration detention violates the ECHR.

Brantley v Constituency Boundaries Commission [2015] 1 W.L.R. 2753 (Privy Council): counsel for the Opposition party in St Kitts and Nevis in this dispute about the lawfulness of the Government’s proposed boundary alterations.

• Hunte v Trinidad and Tobago (2015) 40 B.H.R.C. 633: persuading a 7-judge panel of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council that its earlier jurisprudence on its own powers in constitutional cases was wrong.

Recent advisory work has included advising a Commonwealth government as to whether its proposed recourse to a Henry VIII clause was in compliance with the Constitution; a leading football club on its commercial judicial review claims concerning allocation of public funding; and an NGO as to the constitutionality of certain Commonwealth laws on sexuality.

Publications and Lectures

Thomas writes and lectures frequently. Examples include:

'Security for costs': lecture at Bar Council English Law Day, Nicosia, 2018.

'Establishing jurisdiction in the English Courts': discussion at English Law Week, Moscow, 2017.

'Bias': lecture at Bar Council English Law Day, Limassol, 2017.

'Russian insolvency proceedings and the English courts': talk at the Law Society/ Bar Council Russian Law Week, 2016.

'Illegality and Jurisdiction in Investment Arbitration': [2016] 2 Turkish Commercial Law Review 17.

The relevance of English law to Russian businesses': panel discussion at English Law Week, British Embassy, Moscow, 2015. 

'Retention of Title and other forms of security': paper given to British-German Jurists' Association/Deutsch- Britische Juristenvereinigung conference, Berlin, 2015.

'Dissenting Judgments': paper given to the Trinidad and Tobago Legal Network Conference, Port of Spain, Trinidad, 2015 (later published in the New Law Journal).

'The law relating to human trafficking': talk at the 19th Commonwealth Law Conference, in Glasgow, United Kingdom, 2015. 

'International arbitration in the energy sector': talk at the International Arbitration Institute of the University of Miami, 2014.

'Precedent in international investment arbitration': paper given to the 18th Commonwealth Law Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, 2013.

Co-author of Settlement of Investment Disputes under the Energy Charter Treaty (Cambridge, 2011) ('this trail-blazing work....an enterprising, scholarly and useful volume' - Lord Mustill; 'a well-articulated and thorough analysis....convincingly succeeds in the task of providing a coherent overview of access to arbitration and the arbitration process under the ECT' - Cambridge Law Journal).

Co-author of 'The Energy Charter Treaty' in International Investment Law, The Sources of Rights and Obligations (Martinus Nijhoff, 2012) ) ('...a seminal work...' containing ' a reasoned and analytical study ...that enables the reader to grasp the essence of the ECT without losing track of both its values and limits': Transnational Dispute Management).

He has also written for the New Law Journal, the Modern Law Review and the Cambridge Law Journal.

Memberships

  • Commonwealth in England Bar Association (Vice-Chair)
  • British-German Jurists' Association
  • Commonwealth Lawyers' Association
  • Register of Advocates of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association

Legal Directories

'Displays great attention to detail and has the ability to assimilate huge amounts of detail quickly'. 'He is a fountain of knowledge with a distinct style of orating in court'. 

Leading Silk: Chambers and Partners

Qualifications

  • MA (Cantab) (English Literature and Law, Downing College, Cambridge)
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (International Arbitration)

Languages

French, German, some Italian and Spanish