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Tom Shepherd

Call: 2008

Tom’s practice focuses on Commercial/Chancery Litigation, including Professional Liability disputes, Civil Fraud, Insolvency and Financial Services.  He has been ranked as a leading junior in Chambers & Partners since 2013.  Tom is described as “excellent”: a “skilled advocate who is “very robust” and who “really fights until the bitter end of a trial”.  He is said to be “extremely clever” with “a great deal of commercial acumen” and “a sharp legal mind”.   Tom prides himself on being a modern barrister who is “very personable”, “responsive and user-friendly” and “a pleasure to work with”.

Tom has recently acted in significant, high-value litigation as part of larger legal teams, both at first instance and in the Court of Appeal. He also appears in his own right in the High Court and County Court as well as before professional regulatory panels (including the Regulatory Decisions Committee of the FCA). He has extensive experience of trial advocacy, including the cross-examination of a variety of witnesses, and as a sole advocate his opponents frequently include more senior practitioners.  Tom was appointed as Junior Counsel to the Crown (Attorney General’s B Panel) in June 2016.

Further details of Tom’s practice areas can be found via the links on the left-hand side of this page.   Recent highlights include:


  • Successfully representing a substantial commercial debt management company on an application before the Regulatory Decisions Committee of the FCA for permission to carry out regulated activities.  Tom was involved at all stages of the proceedings, which resulted in only the second such successful application by a commercial firm to date.  He is particularly well-equipped to advise other firms currently going through the authorisations process.
  • Representing one of seven defendants to an ongoing claim for unlawful means conspiracy arising out of the alleged misappropriation of by-products from the steel manufacturing process at a plant in South Wales. 
  • Acting for the Trustee in Bankruptcy in proceedings involving the execution of bench warrants (at Heathrow airport, as the bankrupts sought to leave the jurisdiction) and subsequent conduct of three-day private examination.
  • Defending a multi-million pound claim against solicitors arising out of the alleged negligent conduct of a substantial Chancery Division claim. Led by Graeme McPherson QC
  • Acting on a dispute between family members arising out of the misappropriation of gate receipts of a museum and subsequent disputed settlement agreement.  Led by Neil Hext QC
  • Acting for a property developer on a claim arising out of substantial flood damage to a c.£45m development in Chelsea. 
  • Successfully defending a claim brought by an IT services company for services allegedly provided to a major IT company in Sweden, subsequent to a three-day trial.  Trial judge remarked on his “neat cross-examination” of the Claimant’s key witness.
  • Ariel v HMRC [2016] EWHC 1674 (Ch): acting for a trustee in bankruptcy on an application under s.303 relating to the service by HMRC of a third party information notice under Sch 36 Finance Act 2008.  
  • Acting for the FCA on a claim involving a purported forex trading company/scheme. Obtaining urgent freezing and other interim relief.
  • Breckons & Ors v Powerscourt Services Ltd & Ors [2015] EWHC 1330 (Ch).  Acting for the Defendants to an ongoing claim alleging fraud and deceit in relation to an investment in farmland in Argentina and on D1’s successful applications to strike out the Claim and discharge a freezing order on the ground of material non-disclosure.

 

Commercial Dispute Resolution 

Tom’s practice covers all aspects of commercial litigation. He has recently acted as junior counsel in several high-value pieces of litigation but also has considerable experience of trial advocacy on his own account.

Civil Fraud 

Tom has an established civil fraud practice. He has considerable experience of obtaining (and defending applications for) urgent freezing injunctions, search orders and related interim measures.

Professional Liability 

Tom is regularly instructed in claims for and against a wide range of professionals.  He has experience of actions involving auditors, accountants, investment advisors, pension administrators, insolvency practitioners, solicitors, IT professionals, a provider of medico-legal services and trademark / patent attorneys.

Insolvency

Tom is frequently instructed in high-value, contentious insolvency matters, often with elements of fraud. He has experience of winding-up petitions, administrations, CVAs, injunctions to restrain presentation and advertisement of winding-up petitions, applications to set aside statutory demands, validation orders, rescission orders and disputes involving transactions at an undervalue and preferences.

Memberships

Tom is a member of the Young COMBAR Committee and a member of the Chancery Bar Association.


Tom’s practice covers all aspects of commercial dispute resolution with a particular emphasis on fraud, professional liability and insolvency.  He has recently acted in significant, high-value litigation as part of larger legal teams, both at first instance and in the Court of Appeal. He also appears in his own right in the High Court and County Courts. He has extensive experience of trial advocacy, including the cross-examination of a variety of witnesses, and as a sole advocate his opponents frequently include more senior practitioners.  Tom was appointed as Junior Counsel to the Crown (Attorney General’s B Panel) in June 2016.

Tom is ranked as a leading junior in Chambers & Partners.  He is described as “excellent”: a “skilled advocate who “really fights until the bitter end of a trial”.  He is said to be “extremely clever” with “a great deal of commercial acumen” and “a sharp legal mind”.  Tom prides himself on being a modern barrister who is “very personable”, “responsive and user-friendly”.

 

Further details of Tom’s practice areas can be found via the links on the left hand side of this page.   Recent cases include:

  • Successfully defending a claim brought under a personal guarantee by a commercial money lender.  Three-day trial (Manchester District Registry) involving expert handwriting evidence, the proper construction of the document under question and penalty clauses.  (2016).
  • Acting for a high net worth Ukrainian citizen in a claim to recover substantial sums misappropriated in connection with a residential construction project in Knightsbridge.  Successful strike-out of Defence on Day 1 of High Court Trial.  (2016).
  • Ariel v HMRC [2016] BPIR 373: acting for a trustee in bankruptcy on an application under s.303 relating to the service by HMRC of a third party information notice under Sch 36 Finance Act 2008.  Currently on appeal.  (2015-2016).
  • Breckons & Ors v Powerscourt Services Ltd & Ors [2015] EWHC 1330 (Ch).  Acting for the Defendants to a claim alleging fraud and deceit in relation to an investment in farmland in Argentina and on D1’s successful applications to strike out the Claim and discharge a freezing order on the ground of material non-disclosure.
  • Sharma v Sharma [2014] BCC 73.  Successfully representing the Respondent in the Court of Appeal, subsequent to a two-week trial relating to the ownership of a multi-million pound dental business and associated allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and diversion of corporate opportunities.
  • Blue Monkey Gaming Ltd v Hudson, Bushby & Bower [2014] EWHC (Ch).  Successfully defending the joint administrators of a nationwide chain of amusement arcades against a multi-million pound claim in conversion brought by a supplier of gaming machines. 

 

Commercial Dispute Resolution

Tom’s practice covers all aspects of commercial litigation. He has recently acted as junior counsel in several high-value pieces of litigation but also has considerable experience of trial advocacy on his own account.

Civil Fraud

Tom has a rapidly growing civil fraud practice. He has considerable experience of obtaining (and defending applications for) urgent freezing injunctions, search orders and related interim measures.

Professional Liability

Tom is regularly instructed in claims for and against a wide range of professionals.  He has experience of actions involving auditors, accountants, investment advisors, pension administrators, insolvency practitioners, solicitors, IT professionals, a provider of medico-legal services and trademark / patent attorneys.

Insolvency

Tom is frequently instructed in high-value, contentious insolvency matters, often with elements of fraud. He has experience of winding-up petitions, administrations, CVAs, injunctions to restrain presentation and advertisement of winding-up petitions, applications to set aside statutory demands, validation orders, rescission orders and disputes involving transactions at an undervalue and preferences.

Memberships

Tom is a member of the Young COMBAR Committee and a member of the Chancery Bar Association.

Education

Tom read Law and French at Bristol University and graduated with First Class Honours in 2006. He then undertook the BCL at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. During his undergraduate studies, he won the Stephenson Harwood prize for the best performance in Contract Law and also won the ESU National Mooting Competition and the University of Bristol Mooting Competition. He was awarded major scholarships by Lincoln’s Inn and graded ‘outstanding’ on the Bar Vocational Course.