Year of call: 2009
E: tdevecchi@3vb.com

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Tom is an experienced practitioner specialising in commercial, banking, finance, insurance, and insolvency disputes. He has advocacy experience in the High Court, County Courts, arbitrations, and the Cayman Islands.

He regularly accepts instructions relating to a range of banking and financial services matters relating to; alleged mis-selling of derivatives and investment products, both at a wholesale and a retail level; regulatory issues and investigations facing banks and other financial services firms; safe custody services; money laundering and tipping-off issues; and guarantee claims and other debt recovery proceedings.  Tom has contributed to a variety of academic texts on banking law.

In addition, Tom has significant specialist understanding of offshore jurisdictions.  He has spent considerable periods of time working on a range of matters in the Cayman Islands, where he was admitted as an attorney in January 2015.  He has appeared before the Grand Court there on numerous occasions in (among other things) minority shareholder actions, liquidations and receiverships, and insurance disputes.

Tom also has experience of arbitrations in a commercial dispute resolution context - for example he was instructed in a three-week ICC arbitration concerning a wireless network in the Middle East (led by David Quest); and as sole counsel in arbitration proceedings concerning return of premiums under an ATE policy.  Before coming to the Bar, Tom worked on a range of public policy and legal policy issues at the Bank of England (2002-5), the Financial Services Authority (2005-6) and the Law Commission (2008-9). This experience is invaluable in practice at the Bar, as he is able to draw on it to his clients’ benefit in a range of banking and financial services matters

For example, recent instructions include:-

  • A secondment (between April 2016 and January 2017) to Harney Westwood & Riegels in the Cayman Islands.  During this time Tom worked on a range of matters including: an insurance dispute arising from the confiscation of a private jet by the Brazilian government; several fair valuation disputes under section 238 of the Companies Law (2016 Revision) concerning large PRC businesses; and the receivership of a UK-based litigation fund.
  • Acting for several banks in proceedings concerning alleged mis-selling of interest rate swaps (including claims involving allegations relating to the fixing of LIBOR).
  • Acting for a large nationwide haulage firm in proceedings to injunct abuses of the Direct Debit system.
  • Acting for a Sudanese bank in connection with English proceedings concerning enforcement of a judgment of the High Court of Uganda (Satellite Communications Network Limited v Faisal Islamic Bank of Khartoum [2015] EWHC 4500 (QB)).
  • A secondment (between January and May 2015) to Campbells in the Cayman Islands, in connection with Cayman proceedings by a Madoff feeder fund against the fund’s bank custodian and administrator.  During that secondment, Tom was admitted as an Attorney of the Cayman Islands, and also advised on and appeared before the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands on a range of other matters concerning Cayman law.
  • Acting for Dutch pension fund Vervoer in a claim against Goldman Sachs Asset Management in connection with investments made between 2007 and 2009 (led by John Odgers QC and Ali Malek QC).  This was one of The Lawyer’s “top 20 cases of 2014”.
  • Acting for an Italian bank in its successful defence of a restitutionary claim brought by a German bank in connection with a swap transaction entered into by an Italian municipality (led by Sonia Tolaney QC) (HSH Nordbank AG v Intesa Sanpaolo SpA [2014] EWHC 142 (Comm)).
  • Acting in various disputes concerning different banking products including several claims relating to complex derivative transactions between an investment bank and Italian municipalities (led by Sonia Tolaney QC): see for example UBS Ltd and UBS AG v Regione Calabria [2012] EWHC 699 (Comm).
  • Acting for a bank in its successful defence of a claim concerning the alleged loss of a rare Swedish stamp, giving rise to complex issues of the law of bailment (led by Angharad Start) (Andre and anor v Clydesdale Bank plc [2013] EWHC 169 (Ch)).
  • Acting for a former client adviser in at a major financial institution, before the FSMA Tribunal (led by Michael Blair QC) (Karpe v Financial Services Authority (FS/2010/0019).

Tom also has experience of arbitrations in a commercial dispute resolution context – for example he was instructed in a 3-week ICC arbitration concerning a wireless network in the Middle East (led by David Quest); and as sole counsel in arbitration proceedings concerning return of premiums under an ATE policy.

Tom has substantial advocacy experience both in the High Court and in the County Courts, having been instructed to appear in number of final hearings and short trials as well as interim hearings.  This commenced during pupillage, when he was instructed as sole advocate in a successful defence of a preference / transaction at an undervalue claim, tried over two days in the Companies Court.  He works in particular on banking and insolvency disputes, including debt and guarantee claims.


‘3 Verulam Buildings is heavyweight commercial set with ‘real strength in depth’, particularly in relation to financial matters.’.

Legal 500 UK 2014

‘All members are bright and down to earth’, ‘combining legal acumen with user friendliness’.

Legal 500 UK 2014

Before coming to the Bar, Tom worked on a range of public policy and legal policy issues at the following institutions:

  • Bank of England (2002-5)
  • Financial Services Authority (2005-6)
  • Law Commission of England and Wales (2008-9).

He is regularly instructed for financial services work.  For example:-

  • He recently advised a bank in connection with a regulatory investigation into the sale of certain insurance products, working closely with a wider legal team over an extended period as the investigation developed; instructed by Fulbright and Jaworski LLP.
  • He recently advised the largest adviser network in the UK on the changes to the regulatory regime arising from the FSA’s Retail Distribution Review (together with Michael Blair QC).
  • He recently acted for a former employee of a major financial institution who has been fined by the FSA (FSMA Tribunal), in a case extensively covered by the Financial Times.  Led by Michael Blair QC; instructed by Addleshaw Goddard.
  • He has advised on whether a private family trust amounted to a collective investment scheme.  Instructed by Sherrards.

At the Bank, he worked on issues relating to financial stability, including: regulation of banks’ liquidity; Basel II; and payments systems – advising inter alia the Governor, Deputy Governor and other senior management.  He researched policy solutions and produced analysis for Bank senior management and publication in, for example, the Bank’s Financial Stability Review and the European Central Bank’s Occasional Papers series.  During this period, he represented the Bank on a European Central Bank Task Force relating to Accounting Standards.

At the FSA, he was part of a team within the Retail Policy area which negotiated and implemented a variety of European Directives – in particular, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID”) and the Payment Services Directive.  He worked closely with internal counsel in attempting to knit together MiFID and the new COBS rules introduced as a consequence.

Tom regularly appears in the County Court and High Court in general commercial matters, with a focus on banking, insolvency and financial services.  Current and recent instructions include:-

  • Acting for a large nationwide haulage firm in proceedings to injunct abuses of the Direct Debit system.
  • Acting for Dutch pension fund Vervoer in a claim against Goldman Sachs Asset Management in connection with investments made between 2007 and 2009.  One of The Lawyer’s “top 20 cases of 2014”.  Led by John Odgers QC and Ali Malek QC.  Instructed by Brown Rudnick LLP.
  • Acting for an Italian bank in its successful defence of a restitutionary claim brought by a German bank in connection with a swap transaction entered into with an Italian municipality.  This gave rise to issues of Italian law as to the powers of Italian municipalities to enter into derivatives, and a novel point of construction concerning the standard ISDA novation terms.  Led by Sonia Tolaney QC.  Instructed by Simmons & Simmons LLP.  See HSH Nordbank AG v Intesa Sanpaolo SpA [2014] EWHC 142 (Comm).
  • Acting for a liquidator in arbitral proceedings concerning the return of an ATE insurance premium.  Instructed by K&L Gates LLP.
  • Acting for a bank in a dispute concerning an alleged loss of a stamp collection and giving rise to complex issues of the law of bailment.  Led by Angharad Start.  Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard.  See Andre and anor v Clydesdale Bank plc [2013] EWHC 169 (Ch).
  • Acted for the junior lender in a dispute concerning distressed debt and the right of the junior lender to appoint a special loan servicer.  Led by Jonathan Nash QC.  Instructed by Burges Salmon LLP.
  • Acted for a Greek contractor in a 3-week ICC arbitration concerning a wireless network in the Middle East.  Led by David Quest.  Instructed by DLA Piper UK LLP.
  • Acting for a bank in several disputes against Italian municipalities, concerning  complex derivative transactions.  Led by Sonia Tolaney QC.  Instructed by Clearly Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
  • Acted for a chartered surveyor’s practice in a claim for unpaid fees.  Instructed by Stephens and Scown.
  • Acted for a tanning equipment manufacturer, in the defence of a claim for allegedly defective spray-tanning equipment.  Instructed by Darwin Grey LLP.
  • Acted for a former company secretary in the successful defence of a preference / transaction at an undervalue claim.  Instructed by Dechert LLP
  • Acted for a former ship’s captain in a claim for unpaid consultancy fees.  Instructed by Stephenson Harwood.
  • Acted for a finance house in a number of trials of breach of contract claims concerning vehicle lease and lease purchase agreements.  Instructed by Cobbetts LLP.
  • Acted for an individual in a trial of a breach of confidence claim against a local authority.  Instructed by Mark Humphries Ltd.
  • Regular appearances in business guarantee claims, possession hearings and interim and final hearings in the County Court.

During pupillage, Tom gained experience across the breadth of general commercial law.  His supervisors were Jonathan Davies-Jones, James Evans and Sonia Tolaney.  He assisted these and other members of Chambers in a variety of matters including: two appeals arising out of the Lehman Brothers insolvency; several inter-bank disputes concerning financial instruments such as swaps, contracts for difference and a complex deposit agreement; various matters arising out of the insolvency of the Icelandic banks; an inter-bank dispute arising out of a sub-participation agreement and; an LCIA arbitration arising out of a drilling agreement.

After undertaking law school, Tom spent a year as a Research Assistant at the Law Commission, where he contributed to its ongoing project to reform insurance law, dealing in particular with issues relating to: non-disclosure and misrepresentation; post-contractual good faith; and remedies for late payment of insurance claims.

Tom’s experience before coming to the Bar, at the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority, is proving invaluable.

He is now regularly instructed for banking work, both individually and as a junior.

Current and recent instructions include:-

  • Acting for several banks in proceedings concerning alleged mis-selling of interest rate swaps (including claims involving allegations relating to the fixing of LIBOR).
  • Acting for a large nationwide haulage firm in proceedings to injunct abuses of the Direct Debit system.
  • Acting for Dutch pension fund Vervoer in a claim against Goldman Sachs Asset Management in connection with investments made between 2007 and 2009.  One of The Lawyer’s “top 20 cases of 2014”.  Led by John Odgers QC and Ali Malek QC.  Instructed by Brown Rudnick LLP.
  • Acting for an Italian bank in its successful defence of a restitutionary claim brought by a German bank in connection with a swap transaction entered into with an Italian municipality.  This gave rise to issues of Italian law as to the powers of Italian municipalities to enter into derivatives, and a novel point of construction concerning the standard ISDA novation terms.  Led by Sonia Tolaney QC.  Instructed by Simmons & Simmons LLP.  See HSH Nordbank AG v Intesa Sanpaolo SpA [2014] EWHC 142 (Comm).
  • Acting for a bank in a dispute concerning an alleged loss of a stamp collection and giving rise to complex issues of the law of bailment.  Led by Angharad Start.  Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard.  See Andre and anor v Clydesdale Bank plc [2013] EWHC 169 (Ch).
  • Regularly advises a bank in connection with allegations of mis-selling of interest rate swaps.  Instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
  • Acted for UBS in a jurisdiction dispute relating to a complex derivative transaction. See UBS Ltd and UBS AG v Regione Calabria [2012] EWHC 699 (Comm).
  • Acting for a bank in several disputes against Italian municipalities, concerning  complex derivative transactions.  Led by Sonia Tolaney QC.  Instructed by Clearly Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
  • Acting for a bank in a dispute against an individual concerning a complex interest rate swap transaction.  Instructed by SNR Denton.
  • Acted for a finance house in a number of trials of breach of contract claims concerning vehicle lease and lease purchase agreements.  Instructed by Cobbetts LLP.
  • Regularly acts for lenders in possession claims and professional negligence claims against solicitors and surveyors.
  • Regular appearances for banks in business guarantee claims, possession hearings, debt recovery and PPI claims, and interim and final hearings in the County Court.

During pupillage, Tom gained experience across the breadth of banking law.  His supervisors were Jonathan Davies-Jones, James Evans and Sonia Tolaney.  He assisted these and other members of Chambers in a variety of matters including: two appeals arising out of the Lehman Brothers insolvency; several inter-bank disputes concerning financial instruments such as swaps, contracts for difference and a complex deposit agreement; various matters arising out of the insolvency of the Icelandic banks; and an inter-bank dispute arising out of a sub-participation agreement.

  • BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics – Magdalen College, Oxford – First (2001)
  • CPE/GDL – BPP Law School – Distinction (3rd in year overall) (2007).
  • BVC – BPP Law School – Outstanding (2008).

"Section 83 of the Fires Prevention (Metropolis) Act 1774: Redundant and Pleonastic?" (2009) British Insurance Law Association Journal 117 (with Christopher Carr).

Contributor to the EU Law division of the Encyclopaedia of Banking Law (ed. Mr Justice Blair).Contributor to Key Authorities in Banking Law 2011-2012 (ed. Sonia Tolaney QC).

Contributor to Paget's Law of Banking 14th edition (Sept 2014) - chapter 2 (money laundering).

COMBAR

LCLCBA

Inner Temple

Cayman Islands Law Society

Member of Chancery Bar Association