Tom is a Partner and the firm’s Head of Arbitration based in the Dubai office. He 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, shareholder disputes, and joint-venture disputes.
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.
Tom frequently writes 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. Thomas has been recognised in Chambers and Who’s Who Legal’s Future Leaders – Arbitration, a listing of the world’s leading international arbitration practitioners under the age of 45.
Tom is a member of the Court of Arbitration of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).
- Representing a hotel management company in two DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre cases involving a dispute with a hotel owner over the termination of a hotel management agreement.
- Representing a Kuwaiti investor in a Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) arbitration involving a shareholder dispute with a UAE-based investment company.
- 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 and resulting in the dismissal of all claims against the client.
- Representing an African State in an ad hoc investor-state arbitration arising from a taxation dispute in the oil-and-gas industry.
Recent Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, “Innovation and International Arbitration: Practice and Procedure – Assessment of Damages and Role of Experts,” 2nd Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA) Arbitration and ADR Conference, Mombasa, Kenya, 5 March 2020
- Moderator, “Saving Time and Costs Under the SIAC Rules (Expedited Procedure, Emergency Arbitrator, Early Dismissal),” SIAC-ADGM Arbitration Conference 2020, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 5 February 2020
- Speaker, “Recent Trends in BITs Dispute Resolution Schemes,” 2nd ICC Kuwait Arbitration Day, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 15 January 2020
- Moderator, “Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration: Prague Rules Versus IBA Rules,” 4th Centre for Advanced Research & Training in Arbitration Law (CARTAL) Conference on International Arbitration, Jodhpur, India, October 5, 2019
- Speaker, “China Africa Government Contracting, Trade and Dispute Resolution,” 7th East Africa International Arbitration Conference, Nairobi, Kenya, 29 August 2019
- Speaker, “Regional Growth: A Focus on Africa,” KNect365 Law Conference on the Future of International Arbitration, London, United Kingdom, 26 March 2019
- Speaker, “Party-Appointed Arbitrators: Has the Time Come to Rethink?,” Center for Advanced Research in Dispute Resolution (CARDS) Tour de Arbitration, Paris, France, February 5, 2019
- Speaker, “The Role of State Courts under the UAE Federal Law No. 6 of 2018 on Arbitration: Bringing the UAEW with International Norms” and “HEPI v. India: Stay Denied but Public Policy Prevents Enforcement,” Conference on the Role of State Courts in International Arbitration, Sharm El Sheikh VII, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 10 December 2018
- Speaker, “The Seat of Arbitration – Why Is It So Important?,” ICC Kuwait Arbitration Day, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 6 November 2018
- Speaker, “The ‘Backlash’ Against Investment Arbitration,” Panel on New Frontiers in International Arbitration: Environment, Climate Change, and Human Rights, Who’s Who Legal Future Leaders Arbitration Conference, Hong Kong, 2 November 2018
- Speaker, “Arbitration in Free Economic Zones,” GIAC Arbitration Days, Tbilisi, Georgia, 5 October 2018
- Speaker, “UAE New Arbitration Law Explained,” Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 17 September 2018
- Speaker, “Peculiarities of Contracting with States,” Sixth East Africa International Arbitration Conference, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 30 August 2018
- Speaker, “Recent Developments in Managing Disputes Through ADR/Arbitration,” American Bar Association Section of International Law Conference on Challenging the Perception of Risk in Africa, Cape Town, South Africa, 21 May 2018
- Ten Years On: A Look at the Legacy of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, in Eth. Y.B. of Int’l Law 2018 (Zeray Yihdego, et al., eds, 2019) (co-authored with Nair)
- The Relationship Between Fair and Equitable Treatment and the International Minimum Standard of Treatment: An Overview and a Link to Africa, Transnat’l Disp. Mngt., Vol. 16, Issue 4 (July 2019)
- UAE Arbitration Users Look East, 10 Int’l J. of Arab Arb. 31 (2018) (co-authored with Shahdadpuri)
- The Use of Experts in Construction Disputes in the Middle East, 4 BCDR Int’l Arb. Rev. 11 (2017) (co-authored with Adams)
- Special Issue on Africa, Transnat’l Disp. Mngt., Vol. 13, Issue 4 (October 2016) (co-edited with Kidane and Bechky)
- Resolving Trans-Boundary Hydroelectric Power Project Disputes: The Indus Waters Kishenganga Arbitration, 17 Int’l Arb. L. Rev. 58 (2014)
- Litigating War: Mass Civil Injury and the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission (Oxford University Press 2013) (co-authored with Murphy and Kidane)
2000 – Juris Doctor, Harvard Law School
1997 – Bachelor of Arts (Summa Cum Laude), University of Notre Dame
2007 – Practice before the U.S. Supreme Court
2006 – Practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
2006 – Practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
2002 – Bar of the District of Columbia
2001 – Bar of Commonwealth of Massachusetts