Tom Tom

Barrister: Tom Rainsbury


Winchester College; LLB Law (University College London) (First Class); LLM Law (University of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam College); Bar Vocational Course (BPP Law School); Prince of Wales Scholarship Gray's Inn); David Karmel Scholarship (Gray's Inn)


Since joining Chambers, Tom has developed a thriving and varied practice.

He represents a wide range of clients, including individuals, corporate bodies, local authorities and governmental organisations. He prides himself on providing clients with the highest standards of advocacy and advice at all times.

He is in court on a frequent basis, and has appeared in many types of tribunal up and down the country. He is often praised by judges for his sound judgement and persuasive submissions.

Alongside his court practice, he also undertakes pleading and advisory work in many areas. 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, where he specialised in commercial and human rights law. He has been 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 willing to undertake work on a CFA basis in appropriate cases and is happy to provide lectures on all aspects of his practice. He is also a Panel Member for the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

Outside of Chambers, Tom enjoys sport, sailing, art and travel.


Tom is a member of the Commercial & Property, Clinical Negligence, Costs, Employment, Personal Injury, Police and Regulatory & Disciplinary teams.

He is frequently instructed in proceedings before the County Court, in a wide range of matters including personal injury claims, credit hire, contractual disputes, possession proceedings, boundary disputes and actions against the police.

He has recently been involved in several cases in the Queen’s Bench Division, which have raised a number of procedural and interlocutory issues.

When not in court, he advises on issues of liability, quantum, evidence and tactics.

Having obtained a Masters degree in commercial law, he is well-placed to advise on cases which have a commercial element.

In addition, he has a busy practice in public and private family law. He often acts in contested care proceedings for both local authorities and parents. He also represents individuals in cases involving applications for section 8 orders, non-molestation orders and financial remedies. He has a particular interest in Court of Protection proceedings and is eager to develop this part of his practice.

Examples of recent work include:

  • X (2015) – advised on the recoverability of damages for pure psychiatric loss, following a serious assault at work
  • SR (2015) – acted for a respondent in an application for a mandatory injunction for disclosure (following a conviction in a high profile criminal case)
  • HC (2015) – advised on the construction of s.45 of the Housing Act 1988 (to determine whether a s.21 notice had been validly served by a ‘landlord’)
  • VH (2015) – advised on quantum, and the relevance of the principle of dignity, where the deceased had sustained minor injuries at the end of her life
  • JR (2015) – advised on liability for damage caused by extensive flooding whilst a property was marketed by estate agents (applicability of res ipsa loquitur)
  • JK-M (2014) – acted for the defendant in striking out a claim for malicious prosecution (following the claimant’s acquittal in the magistrates’ court)
  • DB (2014) – advised on the applicability of s.96(6) of the Highways Act 1980 (duty not to plant trees so as to hinder the reasonable use of the highway) 
  • EC (2014) – advised on a church’s liability to pay business rates, and whether it was exempt through having charitable status


  • ‘Retainer: Knowing the Limits’ Solicitors Journal (15 October 2012)


Tom has a broad criminal practice, with growing expertise in financial crime.

He regularly appears in the Magistrates' Court and Crown Court, both prosecuting and defending. He has experience of all stages of the criminal process, including preliminary hearings, PCMHs, mentions, bail applications, breach proceedings, trials, sentencing, and appeals.

He often acts for vulnerable individuals, including those with mental health issues. He is skilled at identifying innovative and persuasive legal arguments and is interested in the overlap between criminal and human rights law.

In 2013, he completed a 6 month secondment as a Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Welfare, Rural and Health Division at the CPS (now the Central Fraud Division), during which he gained expertise in fraud, social security and money laundering law.

He is currently instructed as the second prosecution counsel in a significant conspiracy to defraud case, where it is alleged that multiple defendants have defrauded the Access to Work scheme over a period of time.

He is also developing a specialism in food and agriculture prosecutions, having recently been instructed in cases involving allegations under the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995, the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004, the Marketing of Fresh Horticultural Produce Regulations 2009 and the Eggs and Chicks (England) Regulations 2009.

Before joining Chambers, Tom was an intern to Sir Adrian Fulford at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Recent examples of work include:

  • BM v CPS (2015) – acted for the appellant in an appeal by way of case stated (duty to give reasons and construction of s.172 RTA 1988)
  • R v SM (2015) – prosecution of a defendant for the fraudulent exportation of ‘weed seeds’ to the US and Japan
  • R v SK (2015) – prosecution of the director of a supermarket for displaying horticultural produce which was not compliant with EC Regulation 543 of 2011
  • R v Rainbow Produce (2015) – prosecution of an egg wholesaler for altering the best-before dates on approximately 200,000 eggs
  • R v Reza and others (2014) – second junior counsel for the prosecution in a high-profile, multi-handed conspiracy to defraud case 
  • R v MO (2014) – prosecution of a tram driver for the offence dangerous driving (preliminary issue of public importance as to whether trams can be ‘driven’)


Tom is developing a specialist practice in proceeds of crime.

He is instructed by the Home Office to pursue applications for cash forfeiture under s.298 POCA 2002, in the magistrates' court and on appeal to the crown court. He has experience of applications for compensation under s.302.

Through his criminal work, which predominantly relates to acquisitive crime, he has gained experience of confiscation proceedings. He is familiar with the principles and arguments which operate in this area, and has advised on issues such as hidden assets, living expenses, and the scope of s.6(6).

More recently, Tom has acted as a Consultant Barrister at the National Crime Agency, working and advising on claims for civil recovery brought under Part 5 POCA 2002. These are multi-track civil proceedings which are issued in the High Court.

Examples of recent cases include:

  • SH (2015) - successful application in the QBD for a freezing injunction over assets of over £100,000, arising from allegations of outstanding tax liability.
  • TM & IC (2015) - successful application in the QBD for a freezing injunction over assets of over £150,000, arising from allegations of outstanding tax liability.
  • SM (2015) - acted for the prosecution in confiscation proceedings, resulting in a confiscation order of over £100,000 (the criminal benefit was determined as £288,000).
  • NCA v H and P (2015) - application for a charging order in the Queen’s Bench Division to enforce a judgment of approximately £200,000.
  • HO v GE (2014) - successfully resisted an application for £100,000 in compensation in cash forfeiture proceedings.


Tom has a particular interest in public law and is eager to develop this side of his practice.

Prior to joining Chambers, he worked at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for 3 months. He was responsible for reviewing a significant number of cases at both the admissibility and substantive stages.

He is a regular contributor to the Administrative Court Digest, having provided the following digests: [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.

After pupillage, Tom was instructed as a 'Baby Barrister' by the Treasury Solicitor, gaining experience of drafting grounds of resistance in judicial review claims.

He has appeared in the Administrative Court. He was led by Simon Butler in a contested judicial review claim involving issues of public procurement law. More recently, he has acted in an appeal by way of case stated which concerned the scope of the duty to give adequate reasons. Through his work at the National Crime Agency, he also has experience of claims issued in the Administrative Court under Part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Tom has advised public authorities on issues such as statutory construction, police powers, contempt of court, asset forfeiture, immigration and EU law.

Examples of recent cases include:

  • BM v CPS (2015) - acted for the appellant in an appeal by way of case stated (duty to give reasons and construction of s.172 RTA 1988)
  • KR v X County Council (2015) - advised on lawfulness of a local authority’s policy to pay adoptive parents less occupational pay than non-adoptive parents 
  • WB (2015) - advised on the construction of s.1 Administration of Justice Act 1982 in light of ECHR arts. 2 and 3
  • RN v Legal Services Commission (2013) - acted as junior counsel in a judicial review claim against the LSC’s decision to reject a bid for legal aid work
  • TI (2013) - acted in an appeal of a decision to revoke a taxi licence (whether revocation complied with the ECHR art.8 right to establish relationships at work)


  • 'Their Lordships' Timorous Souls’ (2008) 1 UCL Human Rights Review 32

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