Tom Longstaff

Call 2017

Photo of Tom Longstaff


Tom has considerable experience of insolvency litigation, and is regularly instructed to advise in complex insolvency disputes, as well as being instructed at trial as both sole Counsel and also as a led junior.

Many of the insolvency disputes in which Tom has been involved engage the law of banking and finance, and the law of trusts. He has been involved in a number of high profile insolvencies, including BHS, Pizza Express, and Oldham Athletic FC.

Tom also has considerable experience of advising on jurisdictional issues which arise in insolvency disputed, including as to COMI and domicile, and of making application to restrain presentation of a winding up petition, most recently in relation to a £14 million debt.

Insolvency Cases

Tom’s recent practice includes:

  • Acting for Oldham Athletic Football Club following an application to place the club into administration.
  • Led by Mark Cawson QC in in proceedings brought pursuant to s.423 of the Insolvency Act 1986, which concerned the ability to use s.423 to challenge transactions which settle money under trust, and which produced a number of important case management decisions of Snowden J, including that:
    1. A litigant can be compelled to make a Subject Access Request to obtain disclosable documents;
    2. Relief from sanction will not be granted (in commercial proceedings) following a failure to file costs budgets where the costs sought include those already incurred (see Porter Capital Corp v (1) Zulfikar Masters (2) Zabeen Masters (3) Chesterfield Trust Company Limited [2020] EWHC 2553 (Ch)).
  • Acting on behalf of a group of creditors in a claim for unfair harm and misfeasance against former joint administrators, which is listed for trial in December against leading Counsel.
  • Acting for a group of creditors in an application which challenged the use, by the administrators of the company, of the deemed approval procedure in Schedule B1 to the Act in circumstances where it was envisaged that unsecured creditors might receive a distribution of realised assets (see Re Taylor Pearson (Construction) Ltd (In Administration) [2020] EWHC 2933 (Ch)).
  • Instructed in contested winding up proceedings, and applications to restrain advertisement of a petition concerning a number of well-known organisations, including a large logistics organisation and a leading regulator in the professional sporting sector.
  • Successfully acting on behalf of a creditor in an application to challenge a Company Voluntary Arrangement.
  • Acting for a former director of Bury Football Club in bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Acting for the Respondent in a preference trial which raised issues as to the scope of sections 239 and 241 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Acting for a liquidator in a misfeasance claim against a former company director.