Photo of Tom Fairclough

Tom Fairclough

Call 2015

+44 (0)20 7822 1200

Practice Overview

Tom practises across the full range of Chambers’ work, and is particularly interested in commercial and employment litigation, especially where conflicts of laws issues arise.

Prior to joining Chambers, Tom graduated first in his year from the University of Reading, achieved a distinction in a master’s degree from University College London, and was awarded a PhD by Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he was examined by Lord Reed (President of the Supreme Court) and Professor Alison Young (Sir David Williams Professor, University of Cambridge). Tom was a Teaching Fellow at University College London for three years and still teaches at Cambridge, where he is a Bye-Fellow in Law at Murray Edwards College. Tom has published widely on legal topics.

For the legal year 2019-20, Tom was the Judicial Assistant to Lady Arden and Lord Leggatt at the Supreme Court and Privy Council, where he was exposed to a number of high-profile cases across a range of disciplines. Tom worked closely with Justices in relation to the legal framework post-Brexit, and is particularly well placed to advise on matters relating to the Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Period.

Since returning to Chambers in August 2020, Tom has been instructed in cases involving multi-defendant employers’ liability disputes, commercial litigation representing a large multinational company, professional negligence arising from defective building works, and disputes regarding the content of applicable foreign law.


Tom practises across the spectrum of commercial work. He assisted with Wilson v Beko Plc [2019] EWHC 3362, a leading case on the scope of the Consumer Protection Act 1987, and has acted as sole counsel in a commercial contract dispute focusing on the correct identity of the Defendant and in a multi-track summary judgment application relating to breach of a commercial contract.

During his time at the Supreme Court, Tom worked on, inter alia, Shagang Shipping Company Ltd (in liquidation) v HNA Group Company Ltd [2020] UKSC 34; Halliburton Company v Chubb Bermuda Insurance Ltd (removal of arbitrators for perceived bias- judgment pending); and Enka Insaat Ve Sanayi AS v OOO Insurance Company Chubb (determination of the law of an arbitration agreement- judgment pending).


Tom has worked on claims involving discrimination, whistleblowing, employment status, victimisation, and unfair dismissal. In June 2020, Tom gave a webinar on vicarious liability following Supreme Court guidance.

Whilst at the Supreme Court, Tom worked on cases including Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake (sleep-in workers and the minimum wage- judgment pending); Asda Stores Ltd v Brierly (correct comparators for discrimination claims- judgment pending); and Uber BV v Aslam (determining worker status- judgment pending).


Tom has worked on cases involving coverage and subrogation disputes in relation to commercial property, financial fraud, and fees charged by financial institutions. Whilst at the Supreme Court Tom was exposed to numerous cases involving insurers, such as Aspen Underwriting Ltd v Credit Europe Bank NV [2020] UKSC 11 (on which Tom co-authored a Practical Guide).

Personal Injury

Tom is building a practice across the range of personal injury litigation. Since returning to Chambers in August 2020, Tom has been instructed in cases involving injuries occurring abroad, employers’ liability, complex procedural applications, and multi-defendant matters with indemnity disputes.

Public Law

Tom has extensive experience in public law. His doctorate focused on common law rights and he has published with, for example, Hart, Judicial Review, and the UK Constitutional Law Blog. Tom supervises students in administrative law at the University of Cambridge and is a member of the Attorney General’s Junior Scheme.

Whilst at the Supreme Court, Tom worked on cases including R (Miller) v The Prime Minister [2019] UKSC 41; R (Palestine Solidarity Campaign Ltd) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2020] UKSC 16; AM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] UKSC 17; and R (Maughan) v Her Majesty’s Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire (the burden of proof for suicide findings in inquests- judgment pending).