Thomas Francis | 4-5 Gray's inn square

Practice Summary

Thomas has a broad civil practice, encompassing public, commercial, professional discipline, and employment law. He has particular interests in judicial review (both public and commercial), commercial litigation and arbitration, and human rights and civil liberties, but accepts instruction in all areas.

During his pupillage, Thomas assisted his supervisors in cases before the High Court (Administrative, Commercial, and Mercantile Courts), Chancery Division, and Court of Appeal, and before several arbitral tribunals (under ICSID, ICC, and LCIA rules) and professional discipline panels. In so doing, he gained litigation and advisory experience across a broad range of practice areas, from commercial litigation and arbitration to chancery, employment, professional discipline, (public and private) international, public, and human rights law.

Areas of Experience (Select to add to the CV download)

Chancery: Trusts and Probate

• Drafting Particulars in respect of claims under a testamentary trust in relation to (1) an option clause and (2) a charging clause.


• Assisting his supervisor in a Commercial Court claim concerning breaches of a repurchase agreement in which there was uncertainty as to the quantum of damages;
• On behalf of a leading biotech company, assisting his supervisor in a mediation concerning a licensee’s breach of a manufacturing and development agreement;
• Assisting his supervisor in two arbitrations (ICSID rules) under bilateral investment treaties concerning fair and equitable treatment, most-favoured nation clauses, and the interrelationship of EU or other ‘municipal’ law and international law in the context of a sovereign debt restructuring;
• On behalf of an oil and gas exploration company, assisting his supervisor in two arbitrations under ICC rules concerning (1) the application of an “area of mutual interest” clause and (2) alleged breaches of a joint operating agreement;
• Assisting his supervisor in a further ICC arbitration concerning the energy sector giving rise to complex questions of res judicata and issue estoppel; and
• Assisting in an arbitration under LCIA rules concerning alleged breaches of an investment agreement by a juice concentrate company.

Professional Discipline

• Providing advice in respect of recent decisions of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Public Law

• Assisting his supervisor to prepare a public law challenge on the basis of assurances given by a public body over an 8-year period;
• Acting pro bono for three distinguished international NGOs, drafting their reply submission to a Law Commission Consultation Paper on the protection of official data;
• Acting for the requested person in a rare defence to extradition on Art. 6 ECHR grounds;

Reported cases

  • R. (on the application of Prudential Assurance Company Ltd) v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2017] EWHC 1484 (Admin)
  • Dunhill v Hughmans (A Firm) [2017] 5 Costs L.O. 589
  • Hughmans (A Firm) v Dunhill [2017] EWCA Civ 97

Outside of practice, Thomas has been retained as an Expert Legal Consultant by the U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Law Development Program (“CLDP”) to train arbitrators from Afghanistan after the passage of that country’s inaugural Commercial Arbitration Law. He is also a volunteer for the Bar Pro Bono Unit, Free Representation Unit, and North Kensington Law Centre, and, before training for the bar, worked for the United Nations and for several international NGOs in Afghanistan, Egypt, and Lebanon.


City, University of London, LL.B., Merit
Yale University, MA, Magna Cum Laude (Distinction)
SOAS, University of London, BA (Hons), First-class

Scholarships & Awards

Best Oralist Award (National Round), Telders Public International Law Moot Court Competition
Future Lawyers Award for Academic Excellence
Runner-up, 11KBW Essay Prize in Public Law
Overbrook Foundation Fellowship
Coca-Cola World Fund at Yale Fellowship
International Relations Student Summer Fund
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship
Undergraduate Finalist School Prize

Professional Memberships

Bar Human Rights Committee
Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
Human Rights Lawyers Association
ICC Young Arbitrators’ Forum
Young ICCA
Young Public Lawyers’ Group


Dari/Farsi (basic)


“Brilliant people, who are receptive to ideas and have 100% commitment”

Chambers & Partners