Tom Longstaff

Call 2017

Photo of Tom Longstaff

Practice Overview

Tom is a versatile barrister with considerable experience of legal practice that has involved appearing in every tier of the English courts up to the Court of Appeal. He is developing a broad commercial and insolvency practice in line with Chambers’ profile in those areas.

Since joining Exchange Chambers, he has been instructed by a range of commercial clients and regulators (including the Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Regulator), in commercial cases of varying complexity, often with a cross-border element.

Tom is currently instructed by a US firm as Junior Counsel in litigation relating to the collapse of the Fundão Dam in South-eastern Brazil, and acts on behalf of businesses who suffered substantial losses as a result of the disaster.

Before being called to the bar, Tom was an Associate in the Dispute Resolution team of a magic circle law firm in London, and has acted on behalf of large organisations and high net-worth individuals in their most complex and high-profile disputes. He has particular experience of complex litigation in the field of banking and finance, and is able to bring significant commercial experience to the cases he works on.

Tom has a keen interest in pro-bono and has previously worked with a Florida-based charity which assists inmates on death row, and has also participated in numerous initiatives designed to encourage wider access to the legal profession.



Tom’s recent practice includes:

  • Advising on the practical effect of the Recast Brussels Regulation and Rome I, and the ability to enforce the judgment of a foreign court in the UK.
  • Successfully acting for the Claimant in the trial of a contractual dispute in which the Defendant raised various allegations as to misrepresentation and forgery.
  • Successfully acting for the Claimant in the trial of a debt claim which involved a number of issues, including whether: (1) notice of an assignment from a company in administration to the Claimant was defective; (2) the Defendant had an equitable right of set off; (3) the assignor had appointed the officers of a separate company as their agents with authority to agree a write off of the debt before it was assigned.
  • Successfully acting as led junior in an appeal which determined whether a commercial contract was an enforceable Damages Based Agreement.
  • Obtaining an injunction against a former employee of an IT business.
  • Obtaining relief from sanction in a variety of circumstances, including as to the failure to file witness evidence and the non-payment of court fees.
  • Advising on claims against high street banks pursuant to the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
  • Advising a business in respect of breaches of a Joint Venture Agreement relating to shared rights over agricultural property.
  • Advising a West African company on civil bribery law and data protection policy.

Further, in his practice as a solicitor before being called to the Bar, Tom was involved in a variety of high profile and high value cases, which include:

  • Defending a major German bank in a £500 million dispute between a lending syndicate and high net-worth individual which alleged ‘front-running’ and conspiracy.
  • Acting for a Belgian entity in a Judicial Review of a decision by a UK public body to abort a tender process after a multi-million-pound rail infrastructure project was abandoned.
  • Acting in an arbitration on behalf of an American client against a Ukrainian hotel owner in a dispute as to the interpretation of a foreign-exchange mechanism used in a Deed of Indemnity.


Tom’s recent practice includes:

  • Regularly appearing in the applications list to apply for administration orders, and to extend the term of an administration.
  • Acting for the Creditor in contested bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Acting for the Liquidator in various claims against the former directors of a company relating to unlawful dividends and preferences.
  • Responding to an application to set aside a statutory demand.
  • Making an application to restore a company to the register and place it back into administration after further realisations were received by former administrators.

Before being called to the Bar, Tom was part of the team defending a major clearing bank in a £81 million claim in which it was alleged that it had conspired with an insolvency practitioner to force the Claimant into Receivership.

In addition, Tom has been involved in numerous cases with a substantial insolvency angle, which includes acting:

  • For Sir Philip Green, in the investigation undertaken by The Pensions Regulator following the administration of BHS.
  • In Blue Mango Investment Holdings v Bank of Ireland in which the Claimant company unsuccessfully applied for an injunction to prevent a sale by a Receiver on grounds of misconduct.

Tom also has experience of acting on behalf of a Trustee in Bankruptcy to recover losses occasioned by antecedent transactions, and in matters where a bankrupt seeks to challenge the conduct of the Trustee.