Tom Bird has a broad commercial practice with a focus on shipping, commodities, aviation, insurance and reinsurance. Chambers UK recommends him as “a rising star ... He's responsive, accessible, bright, tenacious, and user-friendly."
Tom has represented clients in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He is equally at home in arbitration. His significant cases include appeals to the Supreme Court in The DC Merwestone – a marine insurance dispute concerning the fraudulent device doctrine – and Stott v Thomas Cook, the leading case on the exclusivity of the Montreal Convention and its relation to EU law.
"Tom is a rising star. He's responsive, accessible, bright, tenacious, and user-friendly."
"A lawyer with a tremendous knowledge of the aviation sector, who is user friendly and exceptionally bright."(Chambers UK 2017)
"Very commercial"(Legal 500)
..."One to watch ... He's bright, he's user-friendly, he's accessible and he has good judgement."...(Chambers UK 2016)
Tom specialises in all aspects of shipping. He has acted for broad range of international clients in disputes arising out of contracts of affreightment (bills of lading, voyage charters and time charters) both in the Commercial Court and in arbitration. He has extensive experience of most types of claim – including unsafe ports, legal fitness, physical unseaworthiness, off-hire disputes, bunker quality / quantity claims, early / late redelivery cases – and is familiar with most standard form charterparties. Illustrative cases include:
Commodities disputes form a substantial part of Tom’s practice. He has acted for clients before a wide range of arbitral bodies (including LMAA and LCIA) and trade association tribunals (including GAFTA, FOSFA, and the LMA), as well as the Commercial Court. He has acted for traders, insurers and exporters, and has particular experience in sugar, grain, oil, LPG and metals. Recent cases include:
Tom has experience in a broad range of shipbuilding cases, ranging from warranty claims to complex delay and disruption disputes. Recent instructions include:
Tom specialises in insurance and reinsurance law. Having spent time on secondment at a leading London insurer and reinsurer, he has both knowledge of the market and experience of most classes of (re)insurance (including marine, property, professional indemnity, aviation and commercial combined). Recent cases include:
Tom has acted as sole and junior counsel in a wide range of aviation disputes. In Chambers UK he is praised as a "lawyer with a tremendous knowledge of the aviation sector, who is user friendly and exceptionally bright". Tom has been instructed in a number of cases of significance to the aviation industry. He has also advised and acted for airlines in passenger claims brought under Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 and the Montreal Convention (particularly where the disputes raise matters of general principle), as well as issues arising under: the Air Navigation Order 2009; the Equality Act 2010; and the ATOL Regulations.
Illustrative cases include:
Tom has experience across a wide range of commercial disputes. Recent instructions include:
Tom has been instructed in a range of insolvency and cross-border insolvency matters (his work has included advising on whether the English courts have jurisdiction to make bankruptcy orders against foreign nationals). Tom is familiar with the Cross Border Insolvency Regulations 2006 and has advised extensively in issues arising out of the bankruptcies of Hanjin Shipping and OW Bunker.
"... a rising star. He's responsive, accessible, bright, tenacious, and user-friendly."(Chambers UK 2017)
"Very commercial"(Legal 500)
MA (Cantab) Theology, Starred Double First
GDL (City University), Commendation
BPTC (City University), Outstanding
Barstow Scholar, City University (2011).
Astbury Scholar, Middle Temple (2010 and 2011).
Theological Studies Prize, Cambridge (2009).
Bateman Scholar, Trinity Hall, Cambridge (2009).