Biography

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 is ranked for dispute resolution in Chambers United Arab Emirates (2020), where he is described as “a knowledgeable and diligent attorney” who is “fully abreast of all developments and trends in the area of arbitration.” In the Legal 500 United Arab Emirates (2020), Tom is described as having “cross-examination skills [that] are excellent. He listens hard, is polite to witnesses and yet wields an iron fist beneath his velvet glove.” He is also listed in Who’s Who Legal Future Leaders – Arbitration.

Tom has sat as an arbitrator and is on the panel of arbitrators of several arbitral institutions around the world. He is also a member of the Court of Arbitration of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).

Tom frequently writes and speaks 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.

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Thought Leadership

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

Selected Publications

  • A Trap for the Unwary: Delineating Physical and Legal Protection Under Full Protection and Security Clauses, 9 Indian J. of Arb. 24 (2020) (co-authored with Nair)
  • 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)

Recent Experience

  • Representing an Abu Dhabi-based aluminum-extrusion company in an Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre (ADCCAC) arbitration seated in Abu Dhabi involving a dispute over the construction of an aluminum-extrusion plant and cast house under UAE law.
  • Representing the Dubai-based subsidiary of a global electronics conglomerate in a DIFC-LCIA arbitration seated in the DIFC involving a dispute with its distributor in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire under UAE law.
  • Representing a hotel management company in a DIFC-LCIA arbitration involving a dispute with a hotel owner in East Africa 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.

Language(s)

  • English

Education

2000 – Juris Doctor, Harvard Law School

1997 – Bachelor of Arts (Summa Cum Laude), University of Notre Dame

Admission

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

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