Tom Tom

Barrister: Tom Rainsbury


Attorney General's 'C Panel'

David Karmel Scholarship, Gray's Inn; Prince of Wales Scholarship, Gray's Inn; BVC, BPP Law School; LLM Law, University of Cambridge; LLB Law, University College London


Tom is a talented junior who is instructed by a wide range of clients, including individuals, companies, and public bodies.

He has been appointed to the Attorney General's C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown, a role which involves advising and representing the Government.

He prides himself on providing the highest standards of advocacy and advice, at all times.

He is in court on a frequent basis. He has represented clients at first instance and appellate level, in tribunals including the Court of Appeal, Upper Tribunal, High Court, County Court, Crown Court, Magistrates’ Court, First-tier Tribunal and Employment Tribunal. 

Alongside his court practice, he undertakes pleading and advisory work. He aims to provide advice in a clear, coherent and pragmatic manner, and enjoys grappling with difficult points of law.

Before joining Chambers, Tom graduated from University College London with a First Class degree in Law. He also holds a Masters in Law from the University of Cambridge. He was awarded the Prince of Wales Scholarship and David Karmel Scholarship by Gray's Inn. He has also worked at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Tom is a Panel Member for the Bar Pro Bono Unit and is willing to undertake pro bono work in appropriate cases. He is happy to provide lectures on all aspects of his practice.

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Tom has a thriving and varied civil practice.

He often acts in claims against public authorities, including allegations of assault, misfeasance, unlawful detention, malicious prosecution, breach of data protection and human rights. Recent cases include a negligence action arising from an infestation of poisonous brown-tail caterpillars, an application for a general civil restraint order, and a claim under article 8 ECHR arising from the opening of privileged correspondence.

Tom receives instructions in claims involving allegations of clinical and professional negligence. He also has extensive experience of personal injury claims. He is a member of the PIBA pro bono scheme for permission applications to the Court of Appeal in personal injury cases.

Recent cases:

  • AS (2017): Deprivation of liberty arising from inadequate legal advice.
  • AP (2017): Application to strike out for failure to pay the correct court fee.
  • JM (2017): Claim for pure psychiatric loss after witnessing a serious assault in prison.
  • SS (2017): Delayed diagnosis of lung cancer.
  • VH (2016): Quantification of damages for injuries sustained at the end of life.
  • TB (2015): Non-delegable primary duty of care beyond NHS health authorities.
  • WB (2015): Fatal accident in a care home.

He has a growing practice in tax litigation. He is often instructed in tax appeals by HMRC, the Home Office and National Crime Agency. His experience includes penalties and surcharges, tax assessments, applications for injunctive relief, customs and excise, late appeals and tax credits.

Recent cases:

  • PF v HMRC (2017): 3 day VAT penalty appeal.
  • Ipate v BF (2017): Failure to provide proof of ownership in a restoration appeal.
  • N v ADS (2017): tax assessment of £100,000 and application for freezing injunction before Edis J.
  • SP v HMRC (2016): assessment of tax credit penalties.
  • IR (2016): Applications for third party debt orders for a tax liability of over £300,000.
  • N v A (2015): Tax assessment for £1 million and application for freezing injunction before Blake J.

Tom is also developing a practice in employment law, and is eager to develop this further. His experience covers common areas such as unfair dismissal, discrimination and harassment.

Recent cases:

  • SS (2017): Claim under reg. 18(2) of the Maternity and Parental Leave etc Regulations 1999.
  • NC (2017): Race discrimination claim by a contract worker.
  • SR (2016): Unfair dismissal claim on grounds of capability.
  • KR (2015): Discriminatory policy towards adoption pay.
  • HC (2015): Reasonableness of capability procedure.
  • DW (2015): Dismissal by independent school after inspection report.


Tom has a long-standing interest in public law and is developing a growing practice in this area.

Prior to joining Chambers, Tom specialised in human rights at undergraduate and postgraduate level. His article on s.2 HRA 1998 was published in the UCL Human Rights Review (available here). He was awarded the Human Rights Lawyers Association bursary and worked at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for 3 months. He was also an intern for the Bar Human Rights Committee.

Since commencing practice, Tom has been appointed to the Attorney General's C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown, advising and representing the Government. He acts for the National Crime Agency in civil litigation before the Administrative Court and Queen's Bench Division. He also represents the Home Office in restoration appeals before the First Tier Tribunal, which exercises a supervisory jurisdiction in accordance with public law principles.

He is familiar with all aspects of judicial review proceedings and advises clients on issues such as human rights, immigration, procurement, crime and the proceeds of crime. He is eager to develop this aspect of his practice further.

He is aware of the considerations which often face parties in such litigation, including disclosure, public interest immunity, data protection, policy, risk and timescales.

Tom is a regular contributor to the Administrative Court Digest. His digests include: [2011] ACD 12, 18, 27, 28, 46, 65, 93; [2012] ACD 6, 19, 51, 84; [2013] ACD 29, 32, 55, 94; [2014] ACD 9, 34, 77 and; [2015] ACD 18, 90.

Recent cases:

  • AG v HMRC (2017): Entitlement to tax credits.
  • PPHU Artex v BF (2016): Lawfulness of seizure.
  • RW (2016): Proceedings under s.9(1) HRA 1998.
  • B-W (2016): damages under s.9(3) HRA 1998.
  • Grupa Euro-Mix v BF (2016): Lawfulness of seizure.
  • BM (2015): Duty to give reasons.
  • KR (2015): Lawfulness of local authority's policy on adoption pay.
  • RN (2013): Public procurement claim against the LSC.


Tom has a specialist practice in proceeds of crime law.

This comprises three main areas: civil recovery, cash forfeiture and confiscation.

Tom is often instructed, as both junior and sole counsel, to act in civil recovery proceedings under Part 5 of POCA. These are multi-track 'in rem' actions brought in the High Court, which often have an international element and involve allegations of serious organised crime. He is very familiar with the developing law in this area. His experience includes ancillary matters such as investigative orders, property freezing orders and exclusions.

He represents the Home Office in cash forfeiture proceedings under s.298 POCA, conducting hearings in the Magistrates' Court and on appeal to the Crown Court.

He also prosecutes and defends in criminal proceedings where confiscation is sought. Much of his criminal work involves offences of an acquisitive nature. He is familiar with the common arguments which operate in this area and has advised on issues such as statutory assumptions, hidden assets, living expenses and enforcement.

Recent cases:

  • N v AN (2017): Application for a property freezing order in the Administrative Court (£1.4 million).
  • N v DW (2017): Application for a disclosure order and property freezing order in the Administrative Court (£1 million).
  • R v SM (2016): Confiscation order of over £100,000 for fraudulent exportation of seeds.
  • N v S (2015): Application for a property freezing order in the Administrative Court (£920,000).
  • HO v JS (2015): Forfeiture appeal at the Old Bailey.
  • HO v GE (2015): Application for £100,000 in compensation in forfeiture proceedings.


Tom has a busy criminal practice.

Before joining Chambers, he was an intern to Sir Adrian Fulford at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, working on the case of Prosecutor v Lubanga. 

He regularly appears in the Magistrates' Court and Crown Court, both prosecuting (CPS Level 2) and defending. He is skilled at identifying innovative and persuasive legal arguments and is interested in the overlap between criminal and human rights law.

Tom has particular expertise in fraud, money laundering, regulatory and driving offences.

He is often instructed in cases which involve allegations of cyber-crime, mortgage fraud and money laundering. In 2015, he was junior counsel in one of the largest ever fraud prosecutions brought by the DWP. It was alleged that multiple defendants had defrauded the Access to Work Scheme over a long period of time. The case was heard in two trials at Southwark Crown Court, one lasting 3 months, and one lasting 6 weeks. Most of the defendants were profoundly deaf.

Through his work with the CPS Specialist Fraud Division, he has developed a niche practice in food, veterinary and agriculture prosecutions. For example, he has recently acted in cases prosecuted under the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995, the Marketing of Fresh Horticultural Produce Regulations 2009 and the Eggs and Chicks (England) Regulations 2009.

He often represents defendants who are accused of driving offences. He is skilled at identifying persuasive legal arguments in this area and has a great deal of experience in mitigating sentence.

Recent cases:

  • R v RM (2016): Slaughterman causing avoidable excitement pain and suffering to an animal.
  • R v SM (2016): Forgery of phytosanitary certificates.
  • R v BM (2015): Appeal by way of case stated (construction of s.172 RTA 1988).
  • R v ZG (2015): Wholesaler failing to comply with egg marketing compliance notices.
  • R v SK (2015): Failure to comply with EU marketing standards for horticultural produce.
  • R v JA (2015): Fraudulent claims for agricultural grants under the Single Payment Scheme.
  • R v RP (2015): Altered best-before dates on approximately 40,000 eggs.
  • R v MO (2014): Prosecution of a tram driver for dangerous driving under the RTA 1988.

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