Areas of Expertise

Tom welcomes instructions in court of protection work commensurate with his experience and level of call including instructions in paper-based work to provide pleadings, written advice and skeleton arguments within tight timescales, if required. He has experience of representing protected parties via the Official Solicitor in claims for damages and declarations as well as in relation to property and affairs.


Tom has a strong family practice and is known for his keen attention to detail in even the most factually complex cases. He is regularly instructed to represent parents, local authorities, children, and interveners in care proceedings, from the first hearing to contested interim hearings, fact finding hearings and final hearings.

Tom has recently been involved in cases involving:

  • Serious non-accidental injury to children (including fractures and brain injury)
  • Serious sexual abuse
  • Chronic neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • International child abduction
  • Issues under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008
  • Contested applications for adoption orders

Tom has experience beyond his level of call on both sides of claims for damages and declaratory relief under the Human Rights Act 1998 for failures to revoke placement orders and freeing orders as well as for abuse of section 20, breach of statutory duty, negligence and breaches of the Data Protection Act.

Tom has acted for multiple children in group litigation and appears frequently in the High Court in claims made under the freestanding jurisdiction of section 7(1)(a) of the Human Rights Act 1998 and in claims within proceedings pursuant to section 7(1)(b). He has succeeded in securing declarations and significant awards in damages on behalf of the children he represents.

Given his parallel civil practice, Tom is able confidently to deal with issues regarding: jurisdiction, transfer, involvement of the children’s guardian, the appointment of a litigation friend or the Official Solicitor, costs liability, costs budgeting hearings, disclosure issues, the applicability of the statutory charge and the administration of any award in damages.

Tom has the rare experience of having appeared before the Legal Aid Agency’s Special Controls Review Panel in relation to the provision of funding for claims under section 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and has spoken at the annual St Ives Child Care Conference on the topic of Human Rights Act claims in addition to writing articles and providing commentary for the Law Gazette on cases where damages have been awarded to children under the Human Rights Act 1998.

Tom will gladly undertake advisory work in this area in relation to the merits of any claim, the substantive procedure, quantum and costs. He can provide skeleton arguments, draft declarations and written submissions as required and within tight timescales. Tom is able to advise on the most appropriate way to hold or administer any award of damages.

Further, Tom has acted for parents and extended family in all aspects of private law disputes including child arrangements orders, prohibited steps, specific issue, removal from the jurisdiction, internal relocation and special guardianship.


Tom’s practice in housing covers business and residential tenancies in both the social and private sectors. He has been instructed to act on behalf of protected parties via the Official Solicitor and is adept in dealing with all aspects of housing and property law including:

  • Anti-social behaviour and noise nuisance
  • Contempt and committal
  • Disrepair
  • Drug cultivation
  • Mental Capacity Act and Mental Health Act considerations
  • Rental arrears
  • Succession
  • Tenancy deposit protection issues and related claims
  • Trespass
  • Unlawful eviction
  • Validity of Section 21 Notices

Tom has also appeared on behalf of a registered provider subject to judicial review proceedings in the High Court and involving the imposition of civil restraint orders against vexatious litigants in person. Tom has had experience with, and has advised on, cases involving the ‘Gopee’ litigation and claims involving multiple mortgages.

Tom welcomes instructions in paper-based work and is able to settle pleadings, skeleton arguments and written advice within tight timescales.

Tom actively participates in Chambers’ lecture circuit and has provided training to registered providers, local authorities and solicitors on key aspects of housing law.


Tom has a busy civil practice and frequently accepts instructions in claims on the fast-track and multi-track. He regularly conducts trials, CCMCs, interlocutory hearings and disposals in cases involving:

  • Road traffic claims
  • Occupiers’ liability
  • Negligence
  • Breach of statutory duty
  • Fundamental dishonesty

Tom welcomes instructions in paper-based work and is able to provide pleadings, written advice and skeleton arguments within tight timescales, if required.


Qualifications

University of Birmingham: BA English, First Class Honours (2011)

University of Birmingham: Graduate Diploma in Law, Commendation (2012)

University of Law, Birmingham: BPTC, Very Competent (2013)

Memberships

The Midland Circuit

Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn

Family Law Bar Association

The Social Housing Law Association

Scholarships/Awards

Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn: Lord Denning Scholar 2012

Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn: Sir Roger Cholmeley Scholar 2013

Relevant Articles

  • “HRA Claims” by Tom Harrill

    HRA CLAIMS At our recent Child Care Conference, Tom Harrill spoke on the subject of Human Rights claims. Here are some key points from...

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  • HRA Claims: Where Are We Now? by Tom Harrill

    HRA Claims: Where Are We Now? by Tom Harrill 2017 has been a key year for guidance from senior courts on the scope and...

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