Tom Nixon
Called: 2017

Tom Nixon

Academic
BA Jurisprudence (University of Oxford), 1st Class (placing 5th in year out of over 200)

LLM (University College London), Distinction (placing 2nd in year out of over 400)

BPTC (BPP), Outstanding
Awards
Lord Mansfield Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2016)

Hardwicke Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2016)

Excellence Award, BPP Law School (2016)

Master of the Rolls Scholarship, University College London (2015)

Gibbs Book Prize, University of Oxford (2015)

FHS Prize for Comparative Private Law, University of Oxford (2015)

Demyship, Magdalen College (2012-15)

Tom has developed a practice that matches the breadth of Chambers’ practice areas, including international commercial disputes, shipping, fraud, conflicts of laws, commodities, aviation, commercial chancery and company work. He has acted, both as sole counsel and as a junior, on claims varying in value from hundreds of pounds to multiple billions. He enjoys difficult cases, and prides himself on being responsive and easy to work with.

Highlights include appearing for the Respondent, led by Joseph Sullivan, in the Supreme Court in Takhar v Gracefield Developments Ltd [2019] UKSC 13, in which a seven-Judge panel decided the test for setting aside a judgment on the basis that it was procured by fraud. This raised a wide variety of issues, involving the fundamental principles of res judicata, the public policies surrounding fraud, and a detailed examination of the powers that courts have to manage the conduct of litigation generally.

Shipping

Tom is regularly instructed to act in claims under bills of lading and charterparties, including for damage to cargo and vessels, speed and performance claims, and demurrage. He has also gained experience in wet shipping and the Admiralty Court, including salvage claims and limitation claims. He enjoys closely liaising with experts and engaging with the technical detail. Tom in particular has significant experience with LMAA arbitration, both high-value claims and modest claims under the Small Claims Procedure, and is keen to advise on how the Court’s supervisory jurisdiction can be invoked to meet the parties’ objectives. Specific examples include:

  • Aqua Marine v Nautic Avenue (Claim No. 2019-000307) (sole counsel) successfully resisting an application in the High Court before Phillips J to set aside an LMAA arbitration award pursuant to s68 of the Arbitration Act 1996, arising from a conspiracy to deprive a party from remuneration under a yacht brokering agreement
  • Argentum Exploration Ltd v Government of the Republic of South Africa (Claim No. AD-2019-000148) (junior counsel) a salvage claim in the Admiralty Court in respect of the deep sea recovery of 2391 bars of silver sunk aboard the SS Tilawa in 1942, in which the Republic of South Africa asserts ownership of the silver and that they are entitled to state immunity under the State Immunity Act 1978 and the Salvage Convention 1989
  • LMAA Arbitration (2020) (junior counsel) in which Owners claimed against Charterers for US$4m representing resulting from an explosion of a container filled batteries and aerosols
  • LMAA Arbitration (2019) (junior counsel) in which Owners claimed an indemnity from Charterers for the settlement of a cargo claim brought under a bill of lading which, in breach of the Charterparty, was issued without a London arbitration clause and therefore brought in Kenya, giving rise to arguments about causation, remoteness, and expert evidence on foreign law and procedure
  • The Evanthia M (Claim No. CL-2013-000442) (sole counsel) claiming under a marine insurance policy for loss suffered consequent upon a main engine breakdown, worth US$1.2m, including resisting applications for security for costs and for the claim to be struck out
  • Lombard North Central v Hutley (Claim No. AD-2018-000103) (sole counsel) applying for summary judgment in a debt recovery claim in the Admiralty Court under a loan agreement secured by a mortgage over a yacht, involving a dispute as to the method used by the mortgagee to procure a sale
  • Advising on challenges to and appeals from arbitration awards, pursuant to s67, 68 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996
  • Applications in Court, for pre-action disclosure and specific disclosure in support of cargo claims under the new Disclosure Pilot
  • Advising in a claim against the seller of a yacht for damage caused by negligent navigation across the Atlantic into rough seas
  • Advising in relation to the maintenance costs an aging World War I decoy vessel.
     
Commercial Dispute Resolution

Tom has experience in a wide variety of disputes that cover all aspects of commercial law and practice, ranging from contractual disputes, fraud and the economic torts, shareholder disputes, the sale and carriage of goods, consumer contracts and insolvency. He regularly advises on jurisdictional issues and procedural strategy.

Examples include:

  • Zavarco plc v Tan Sri Nasir [2020] EWHC 629 (Ch) (led by Robert-Jan Temmink QC) challenging the English court’s jurisdiction in a €36 million claim by a company against a shareholder on the basis of the (obscure) doctrine of res judicata by merger, in which Birss J set out a novel test for determining when and how it applies
  • Minister of Finance Incorporated v IPIC [2019] EWHC 1151 (Comm) (led by Luke Parsons QC) in the Commercial Court, about the appropriate forum to determine a multi-billion dollar dispute arising out of the 1MDB fraud and the activities of the former Prime Minister of Malaysia
  • Banque International de Commerce v Alaghband (Claim No. CL-2019-000090) (junior counsel), a claim in which it is alleged that the Defendants, employees of a commodities trading house, fraudulently misrepresented the status of transactions under letters of credit and procured third parties breach their contracts to deprive the claimant bank of their security
  • Resisting a freezing injunction in a multi-million pound claim regarding an allegedly fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme
  • Acting in relation to a complex dispute between shareholders of a private company, involving freezing injunctions, allegations of fraud and the principles of agency, unjust enrichment, winding up and unfair prejudice.
  • Advising in relation to sale of goods contracts and web services agreements
  • Advising and pleading on behalf of a hotel who refused to pay consultancy fees following a failure to obtain planning permission for a series of proposed developments.
  • Advising in relation to the damage caused to the stock when a warehouse was flooded by extreme weather, raising issues of act of god, force majeure and the fundamental principles of bailment.
  • Pleading and advising in respect of claims pertaining to carriage of goods by road, under the RHA terms, BIFA terms and the CMR.
     
Fraud

Tom is often instructed in claims involving dishonesty, fraud, conspiracy, and the other economic torts. He is keen to take a hands-on approach to engaging with the detail of the evidence in order to best understand his case. Examples include:

  • Takhar v Gracefield Developments Ltd [2019] UKSC 13, in which a seven-Judge panel  of the Supreme Court decided the test for setting aside a judgment on the basis that it was procured by fraud. This raised a wide variety of issues, involving the fundamental principles of res judicata, the public policies surrounding fraud, and a detailed examination of the powers that courts have to manage the conduct of litigation generally
  • Minister of Finance Incorporated v IPIC [2019] EWHC 1151 (Comm) (led by Luke Parsons QC) in the Commercial Court, about the appropriate forum to determine a multi-billion dollar dispute arising out of the 1MDB fraud and the activities of the former Prime Minister of Malaysia
  • Banque International de Commerce v Alaghband (Claim No. CL-2019-000090) (junior counsel), a claim in which it is alleged that the Defendants, employees of a commodities trading house, fraudulently misrepresented the status of transactions under letters of credit and procured third parties breach their contracts to deprive the claimant bank of their security
  • Aqua Marine v Nautic Avenue (Claim No. 2019-000307) (sole counsel) successfully resisting an application in the High Court before Phillips J to set aside an arbitration award pursuant to s68 of the Arbitration Act 1996, arising from a conspiracy to deprive a party from remuneration under a yacht brokering agreement
  • Resisting a freezing injunction in a multi-million pound claim regarding an allegedly fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme
     
Insurance

Tom has growing experience in the field of insurance, in particular marine insurance, including under the Marine Insurance Act 1906.

  • The Evanthia M (Claim No. CL-2013-000442) (sole counsel) claiming under a marine insurance policy for loss suffered consequent upon a main engine breakdown, worth US$1.2m, including resisting applications for security for costs and for the claim to be struck out
Aviation & Travel

Tom has experience in respect of a wide variety of aviation matters, including “extraordinary circumstances” under Regulation 261/04, and personal injury and baggage claims under the Montreal Convention. This includes arguing about the English court’s jurisdiction and limitation issues.

Highlights include:

  • Whitcraft v British Airways plc (Claim No. E49YM412), in which District Judge Sparrow was persuaded that a southerly shift in the North Atlantic Jetstream, causing the flight to arrive half an hour late and the Claimant to miss his follow-on flight, was an extraordinary circumstance depriving the Claimant of a right to compensation
  • Advising on a claim by a tourist against a marine tourism company, on the basis that the prospects of seeing a blue whale were misrepresented by their advertising material
     
Commodities & International Trade

Tom has argued multiple claims for detention in FOSFA Arbitration, including issues concerning construction of the FOSFA Rules, time bars and other procedural points.

  • Banque International de Commerce v Alaghband (Claim No. CL-2019-000090) (junior counsel), a claim in which it is alleged that the Defendants, employees of a steel commodities trading house, fraudulently misrepresented the status of transactions under letters of credit and procured third parties breach their contracts to deprive the claimant bank of their security
     
Insolvency

Tom has appeared in respect of various insolvency matters, including obtaining validation orders, company restoration orders, and in the winding-up court. Tom also has experience in obtaining orders for sale and charging orders.