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. Tom has been recognised multiple times in Who’s Who Legal’s Future Leaders – Arbitration, a listing of the world’s leading international arbitration practitioners under the age of 45.
- Representing a hotel management company in a DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre case 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.
- Representing a European automobile manufacturer in an ICC arbitration seated in London involving a dispute over a strategic business alliance with an Asian automobile manufacturer.
- Representing a U.S.-based multinational corporation in an ICC arbitration seated in New York relating to the sale of its business operations in the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottling industry in South America, resulting in dismissal of all claims against the client.
Recent Speaking Engagements
Speaker, “The Role of State Courts under the UAE Federal Law No. 6 of 2018 on Arbitration: Bringing the UAE in Line with International Norms,” Conference on the Role of State Courts in International Arbitration, 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
Speaker, “The Relationship Between Fair and Equitable Treatment and the International Minimum Standard of Treatment,” Conference on Foreign Direct Investment Operations and Investment Disputes in the African Extractive Sector: Challenges and Opportunities for Africa’s Growth & Development, Dubai International Arbitration Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 14 December 2017
HEPI v. India: Stay Denied but Public Policy Prevents Enforcement, Kluwer Arbitration Blog (28 August 2018)
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, Transnational Dispute Management, Vol. 13, Issue 4 (October 2016) (co-edited with Kidane and Bechky)
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