Bachelor of Arts, Australian National University
Bachelor of Laws, Australian National University
Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, Australian National University
Tom maintains a general commercial and regulatory practice and has particular expertise in equity, administrative law, competition and consumer law, insurance law, employment law and private international law. He was called to the Bar in 2006 and possesses a wealth of prior legal knowledge and experience as a solicitor.
Regularly appearing as lead Counsel and with prominent Senior Counsel in high profile cases, Tom accepts briefs from solicitors in law firms and in-house legal counsel, providing high-end strategic and legal advice and representation. He is commended by his clients for his detailed knowledge, breadth of experience and attention to detail. He is also highly valued for his creative and strategic abilities, as well as his preparedness to run difficult cases.
The matters in which he regularly appears and advises include civil aviation (regulatory, commercial, insurance and civil liability), competition and consumer law, the law governing intelligence and security agencies and operations, public access to government information, employment disputes and anti-suit injunctions. Many of the disputes in which he appears contain a cross-jurisdictional element. He also maintains a pro bono practice.
Tom regularly appears, led and unled, at trial and appellate level in a diverse range of Federal and State jurisdictions including the High Court of Australia, Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia, Federal Court of Australia, New South Wales Court of Appeal and the New South Wales Supreme Court. He also appears in tribunals, such as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. While he practises primarily in New South Wales, Tom also appears in interstate Courts. The nature of Tom’s practice also requires him to regularly appear as Counsel in mediations, where he seeks to achieve the most cost effective and efficient outcome for his clients.
Tom’s unique practice is characterised by his specialisations, such as aviation law and government regulatory matters. The scope of his practice and complementary practice areas makes him well-placed to integrate different legal disciplines to achieve favourable commercial outcomes for his clients.
Prior to being called to the Bar, Tom acquired considerable experience as a senior executive in the Federal Government and as a public company director. Previously, he was also a Partner in a national law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth. Tom is the current Chair of 13 Wentworth Chambers and holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University.
Law Council of Australia, Trade Practices Committee
Law Council of Australia, Civil Litigation Section
Law Council of Australia, International Law Section
Australian Institute of Administrative Law
Degning v Minister for Home Affairs  FCAFC 67 – interpretation of legislation – presumption against retrospectivity – natural justice – appeared for appellant to set aside deportation order
Helicopter Resources Pty Ltd v Commonwealth of Australia  FCAFC 25;  FCA 595,  FCA 991 – appeared for Helicopter Resources – Judicial Review of decision by Coroner to require employee of company charged with offence to answer questions which may be relevant to the charges – scope of corporation’s right to an accusatory trial – powers of Coroner.
Hocking v Director-General, National Archives of Australia  FCAFC 12;  FCA 340, 255 FCR 1 – appeared for Professor Hocking – Constitutional and Administrative Law – are letters between the Governor-General in his official capacity and the Queen the property of the Commonwealth and subject to the Archives Act – nature and incidents of the office of Governor-General.
BSX15 v Minister of Immigration & Border Protection  FCAFC 104;  FCA 1432 – appeared for applicant at trial and on appeal – setting aside adverse security assessment for denial of procedural fairness
Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd v Civil Aviation Safety Authority  AATA 2097 – appeared for Jetstar – obligations of decision maker under Freedom of Information Act to consult with affected third party – scope of third party’s right to oppose release of documents in proceedings in the AAT
Fitzgibbon v Prime Minister  FCA 968, 72 AAR 431,  AATA 502 – appeared for the Prime Minister – scope of application of provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act when documents in the possession of the Prime Minister are claimed to be private documents of the Prime Minister
El Ossman v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection  FCA 636, 248 FCR 491 – appeared for Mr El Ossman to obtain first ever writ quashing ASIO’s adverse security assessment.
Isaac v Dargan Financial Pty Ltd  NSWCA 163 – appeared for Mr Isaac – restraint of trade in contract for conduct of mortgage broking business
Bartlett v Australian and New Zealand Banking Ltd  NSWCA 30, (2016) 92 NSWLR 639 – appeared for Mr Bartlett on dispute concerning termination of employment – qualification of contractual powers and discretions by requirements of good faith and reasonableness- principles for resolving conflicts in expert evidence
Marketform Managing Agency Ltd ats Amashaw Pty Ltd  NSWCA 70 – appeared for insured on claim for indemnity for rectification of service station petrol leak under environmental liability risks policy.
Lambert Leasing Inc v QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd  NSWCA 254, 93 NSWLR 166 – appeared for QBE in double insurance dispute – scope and operation of s.45 Insurance Contracts Act.
Public and private international law
Work Health Authority v Outback Ballooning Pty Ltd  HCA 2;  NTCA 7, 326 FLR 1 – appeared for Outback Ballooning – extent of operation of the Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation – effect on construction of the Civil Aviation Act and Regulations.
Parkes Shire Council v South West Helicopters Pty Ltd  HCA 14;  NSWCA 312, 356 ALR 63 – appeared for South West – scope and operation of the Warsaw Conventions on the liability of civil aviation carriers for nervous shock to third parties.
Mackellar Mining Equipment Pty Ltd v Thornton  QCA 77 – appeal against refusal of anti-suit injunction – whether continuation of foreign proceeding becomes vexatious upon resolution of claims against foreign parties
Lambert Leasing Inc v QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd  NSWCA 254, 93 NSWLR 166 – appeared for QBE – double insurance – conflict of laws – Swedish policy and Australian policy – Australian double insurance clause effective
Trade Practices & Competition Law
PT Garuda Indonesia ats ACCC  HCA 21;  FCAFC 42, (2016) 244 FCR 190;  FCA 1157; (2014) ATPR 42-490 – appeared for Garuda in air cargo cartel proceedings
Phoenix Institute of Australia v Australian Competition and Consumer Commission  FCAFC 155;  FCA 190 – acting for Phoenix Institute in enforcement proceedings seeking recovery of VET FEE HELP on behalf of the Commonwealth
ACCC v Renegade Gas & Ors  FCA 1135; (2014) ATPR 42-485 – appeared for ACCC in gas cartel proceeding