Ranked as a Leading junior in 'Employment', Thomas Cordrey is "Very approachable, clever and a pleasure to deal with." Legal 500 2016
"He does not browbeat witnesses but can secure confessions from them by tactical questioning, and he has a very good manner with the tribunal." "He is extremely well organised; he gives first-rate legal analysis and his structured application to cases enables him to assimilate very complex facts." Chambers UK 2017
"Extremely intelligent, calm and measured" Chambers UK 2016
"First-rate legal analysis" "Highly praised for his intelligent, meticulous approach to issues, he acts for both claimants and respondents" Chambers UK 2016
"Acts at all levels, and has undertaken significant work in the High Court and EAT" Chambers UK 2015
"Complementary expertise" in employment, personal injury and commercial law Chambers UK 2015
"Credited by sources for his impressive style of advocacy" Chambers UK 2014
Ranked as a Leading junior in 'Employment', Thomas Cordrey is "Very approachable, clever and a pleasure to deal with." Legal 500 2016
Chambers UK 2017
Has established a strong employment practice, with notable expertise in complex TUPE issues and discrimination cases. Sources highlight his impressive advocacy in tribunal settings, most notably how he clearly delivers his submissions and arguments. "He does not browbeat witnesses but can secure confessions from them by tactical questioning, and he has a very good manner with the tribunal." "He is extremely well organised; he gives first-rate legal analysis and his structured application to cases enables him to assimilate very complex facts." Acted in a highly complex TUPE case on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health that considered an important estoppel point. The case has been heard in both the High Court and the EAT. - Employment
Chambers UK 2016
Acts for a range of significant clients in employment disputes, both in tribunal and at the High Court. Highly praised for his intelligent, meticulous approach to issues, he acts for both claimants and respondents. "His first-rate legal analysis allows him to assimilate very complex facts. He is extremely intelligent, calm and measured." "Thorough, approachable and easy to work with." Acted successfully in a lengthy disability discrimination claim, appearing on behalf of the respondent, British Telecom. - Employment
Chambers UK 2015
An up-and-coming employment barrister with complementary expertise in personal injury and commercial law. He acts at all levels, and has undertaken significant work in the High Court and EAT.
Expertise: "He's very gentle, which is good with clients." "He is very clear about his analysis of things, and when necessary he will go away and sift evidence. He's very organised in his approach."
Recent work: Advised the appellant in Northbert Dentressangle v Hutton, a case concerning the limitation period for bringing an unfair dismissal claim. - Employment
Chambers UK 2014
Practises across the entire employment spectrum, but is best known for his work on religious discrimination. He is credited by sources for his impressive style of advocacy.
Expertise: "Very good on discrimination cases, he's able to absorb and analyse a lot of complex detail very quickly."
Recent work: He was involved in McFarlane v Relate Avon, a religious discrimination case. - Employment
Thomas’ practice encompasses the full employment spectrum:
EAT: Thomas was featured in The Lawyer in 2016 as the top employment barrister in the UK when measured by number of appearances in the EAT for different clients. He appeared 7 times in the EAT in 2016, representing the Secretary of State for Health, British Gas plc and Xerox Corporation, amongst others. Thomas has appeared in the EAT in England and Scotland, including cases in front of the last three Presidents of the EAT. Underhill P described Thomas' submissions as "cogent" and "clear and helpful" in McFarlane v Relate Avon Plc  ICR 507 and according to Simler P Thomas "made helpful, cogent submissions" in British Gas v Price (2016) UKEAT/0326/15/DM.
Publications: Thomas has recently been appointed as the youngest member on the editorial board of the prestigious Harvey on Industrial Relations and Employment Law, joining the existing team of authors including consultant editor Lord Justice Elias and EAT judge Jennifer Eady QC. Thomas has also co-authored (with Michael Duggan QC) the Bar Council's Tackling Sexual Harassment Guide. Thomas has written for a number of publications with articles on topics from Tribunal remedies to territorial jurisdiction. Until recently Thomas was author of various chapters of Bloomsbury Professional's two volume work, Discrimination Law.
Complex Tribunal litigation: Thomas is experienced in complex Tribunal litigation. He has acted in numerous multi-week trials including Chawla v Hewlett Packard Ltd  IRLR 356 in which Thomas represented Hewlett Packard in a discrimination claim which an Employment Judge described as having reached "almost unmanageable proportions". Thomas acted in 4 Preliminary Hearings, a 13 day discrimination trial, a 2 day EAT hearing and an appeal to the Court of Appeal which was subsequently discontinued by the Claimant.
In De Souza v Vinci Construction Ltd  ICR 1054 &  IRLR 536, a case described by an Employment Judge as “complex and possibly unique” in having generated 8 appeals to the EAT, Thomas acted for the Respondent in relation to 5 Tribunal claims by the same Claimant. Thomas appeared for Vinci in 3 Preliminary Hearings, a costs hearing, an 11 day liability trial, a 3 day remedy hearing and at the EAT.
High Court: Thomas is familiar with High Court litigation and civil procedure thanks to his complementary expertise in commercial law. In 2016 Thomas acted for the Secretary of State for Health in a 3 day High Court employment trial (Srivatsa v Surrey PCT  EWHC 2916 (QB)), a complex case in which he also acted in several interlocutory hearings before High Court Masters, an appeal in the High Court and an appeal in the EAT.
Discrimination claims: Thomas is "very good on discrimination cases" (Chambers UK 2014). His reported cases include a leading disability discrimination claim (General Dynamics v Carranza  ICR 169 &  IRLR 43), one of the landmark precedents on religious discrimination (McFarlane v Relate Avon Plc  ICR 507 &  IRLR 196) and an important, reported, reasonable adjustments claim (Bryan v BT  EqLR 632).
Claimant and Respondent, multi-sector: Thomas acts for both Claimants and Respondents and has acted in Tribunal claims valued in excess of £1 million. In 2016, for example, Thomas successfully represented a Claimant at a contested liability trial, leading to a six-figure settlement, and acted for another Claimant in a successful remedy hearing involving a large award of compensation. In 2016 / 2017 Thomas has represented a full range of Respondents including investment and retail banks, global technology companies, energy sector, telecommunications, media organisations and public sector bodies including the NHS and Metropolitan Police.
Restrictive covenants and injunctive relief: In 2016 Thomas advised on several restrictive covenant issues including (in the business to business context) advising a prestigious 5 Star London Hotel and (in the employment context) advising a leading estate agency brand. Other examples of Thomas' experience in restrictive covenants and injunctive relief include CS v F where he advised clients on springboard injunctive relief and SE v E where Thomas was instructed by a client in a restrictive covenant dispute involving non-solicitation and non-dealing clauses. In R v AL Thomas advised a company on the appropriate drafting of clauses to protect their legitimate business interests in a new venture.
Court of Appeal: Thomas acted in Brown-Quinn v Equity Syndicate Management Ltd  1 WLR 1740, led by Colin Wynter QC, an employment / insurance appeal described at the High Court stage as a “test case” by Burton J. In 2016 Thomas appeared, unled, in an application in front of Lewison LJ in the employment case of De Souza v Vinci Construction Ltd, the Court of Appeal agreeing to expedite the full appeal on grounds of its importance. Thomas is due to appear in three Court of Appeal cases in 2017: in Toombs v Bridging Loans; Zeb v Xerox; and De Souza v Vinci Construction Ltd.
England, Scotland, Wales and Hong Kong: Thomas has practised in Tribunals in England, Scotland and Wales and has been instructed in multi-party employment litigation in the Hong Kong Labour Tribunal. Thomas is familiar with the different procedural position in Scotland, having acted in trials in various Scottish Tribunals including Inverness and Glasgow and having appeared several times in the Scottish EAT.
Whistleblowing & TUPE: Thomas has been involved in a number of key whistleblowing and TUPE cases including Eiger Securities LLP v Korshunova (UKEAT/0149/16/DM) and Srivatsa v Secretary of State for Health (UKEAT/0212/15/RN).
County Court: As well as a number of breach of contract claims pursued in the County Court, Thomas has advised on and/or appeared in claims under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and breach of the goods and services provisions of the Equality Act 2010.
Employment / Personal Injury crossover: Thomas’ background in personal injury claims provides him with a good foundation for stress at work cases and discrimination cases with a substantial personal injury element. In Black v Strettons, for example, Thomas represented the Claimant in the Employment Tribunal (disability discrimination claim) and in parallel Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence proceedings in the County Court.
Memberships: Thomas is a member of ELA and ELBA. He is also a member of the Bar Council’s Legislation & Guidance sub-group.
According to Chambers UK 2014 Thomas "is best known for his work on religious discrimination" and is said to be "Very good on discrimination cases."
Thomas specialises in religious discrimination and human rights law and advises on a range of topics including, recently, the likely impact of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 on religious service providers and the application of Articles 9 & 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights to judicial review of decisions restraining freedom of religious expression.
For example, Thomas recently represented a Christian teacher who was cleared of misconduct by a disciplinary panel that had been convened after the teacher made public posts on Facebook, some of which related to his religious beliefs. The case attracted media coverage.
Thomas writes Bloomsbury Professional's Discrimination Law chapter on religious exceptions to the Equality Act 2010 and sat on the Bar Council's Equality & Diversity Committee for a number of years – he is now part of the Bar Council's Legislation & Guidance Committee. He drafted the Bar Council’s briefing on the Equality Act 2010. Thomas has spoken internationally on the topics of human rights and religious discrimination and has worked with NGOs at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
In 2012 Thomas was called to give evidence to a Parliamentary Committee considering the state of legal protection for religious groups. Thomas also has extensive media experience in this field and has been interviewed on BBC1, BBC News 24, CNN and Channel 4 and on Radio 4's Today Programme and Radio 5 Live. He was featured in The Lawyer, commenting on the European Court of Human Rights' landmark decision in Eweida. He has also had a number of articles published in the Employment Lawyers Association briefing on this topic.
Thomas has experience in advising employers, service providers and professional associations on religious discrimination issues arising from the European Convention on Human Rights and the Equality Act 2010.
Cases Thomas has been involved with (either as counsel, or assisting counsel) include:
Thomas has experience of advising on and acting in a range of commercial law proceedings in both the Court of Appeal, High Court and County Courts. For example, Thomas has recently represented the Respondent in a High Court civil appeal in the Queen's Bench Division. The case is now being listed for a High Court trial. In addition, Thomas has acted in numerous interlocutory hearings. The latest example of such a hearing is Thomas' representation of a bridging loan company before a High Court Master which involved 3 hours of submissions on complex questions of limitation in a negligence action against a valuer.
Thomas' commercial law practice includes insurance law, a recent example being Hardwicke Motor Company Limited v Arag plc (3YM24927) where he was instructed by the insurer, Arag plc to advise on and draft a defence to a claim relating to an untested provision of the Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990
Led by Colin Wynter QC, Thomas acted for the successful Claimants in Webster Dixon v Equity Syndicate  1 All E.R. 778, which was described by Burton J as a "test case". Thomas remained instructed as junior counsel when the Defendants appealed to the Court of Appeal where the Law Society received permission to intervene on behalf of the Claimants, and three of Europe's leading insurance companies intervened on behalf of the Defendants. The decision by the appellate court (Brown-Quinn v Equity Syndicate Management Ltd  1 WLR 1740) is now the leading domestic authority on the hourly rate that a consumer can demand an insurer pays to a solicitor under a BTE legal expenses insurance policy. The case excited widespread interest in the legal market and media including articles in The Lawyer, Law Gazette and The Post Online.
Thomas also has experience of acting in cases under the Arbitration Act 1996 and has received in-house arbitration training and in-house mediation training. He is a member of COMBAR and PNBA.
In relation to COMBAR Thomas sits on the Equality & Diversity Committee and attended the most recent North America conference in Vancouver where he assisted Colin Edelman QC with his seminar on the Bermuda Form. Thomas also recently spoke to a large group of students at the annual Lincoln's Inn pupillage fair, giving an introduction to commercial law. He is part of an ELA Working Party reviewing the current impact and operation of LEI in the UK legal services market.
Thomas' recent cases include:
Thomas has also worked with the Treasury Solicitors under their scheme for junior barristers
In Hardwicke Motor Company Limited v Arag plc (3YM24927) Thomas was recently instructed by the insurer, Arag plc to advise on and draft a defence to a claim relating to an untested provision of the Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990.
Thomas has also recently advised in relation to losses recoverable under a home insurance policy following the insurer's efforts to avoid the policy for non-disclosure. The advice covered complex matters around recoverability of remote losses and the limits of recovery under the Ombudsman scheme. Separately he has issued an application under section 18 of the Arbitration Act 1996 on behalf of a client following an insurer's refusal to pay out for damage to vintage cars assessed by a joint expert.
Led by Colin Wynter QC, Thomas acted for the Claimants in the 2 day High Court trial of Brown Quinn v Equity Syndicate  1 All E.R. 778, described by Burton J as a "test case". Thomas remained instructed as junior counsel when the Defendants appealed to the Court of Appeal where the Law Society received permission to intervene on behalf of the Claimants, and 3 of Europe's leading insurance companies intervened on behalf of the Defendants. The decision by the appellate court (Brown-Quinn v Equity Syndicate Management Ltd  1 WLR 1740) is now the leading domestic authority on the hourly rate that a consumer can demand an insurer pays to a solicitor under a BTE legal expenses insurance policy. The case excited widespread interest in the legal market and media including articles in The Lawyer, Law Gazette and The Post Online.
Thomas is an active member of COMBAR, he sits on the Equality & Diversity Committee, attended the 2013 COMBAR conference in Vancouver and recently spoke to a large group of students at the annual Lincoln's Inn pupillage fair, giving an introduction to commercial law. He is also part of an ELA Working Party reviewing the current impact and operation of LEI in the UK legal services market.
In Bridging Loans Limited v Toombs  EWHC 4566 (QB) Thomas recently appeared, alone, in a High Court appeal, instructed by a lender in a case arising out of valuer's negligence. The case concerned the Nykredit line of authority, considering the largely untested question of how to assess the date of damage in security valuation claims.
Thomas appeared against Stephen Innes, 4 New Square, at the first instance hearing in front of the High Court Master and in the appeal before HHJ Seymour QC.
Thomas is also experienced in drafting letters of response, defences and advising on the prospects of success in PI claims covering solicitors and valuers. Recent issues he has addressed include duty, breach, causation and contributory negligence in relation to various property transactions and loans, raising points about the interpretation of lending criteria and the CML Handbook as well as the correct interpretation of the terms of a deed, facility letter and associated contractual documentation.
Recently Thomas spoke in a seminar on potential claims against intermediaries / brokers and specifically looked at the possible expansion in the role of breach of fiduciary duty in this context.
He has also lectured on current developments in lawyer's negligence claims and he also spoken many times on the complex SAAMCO litigation - in that regard he has experience of drafting advice for an investment company considering an action against a law firm for negligence in relation to a large transaction.
Thomas has a good grounding in the work of surveyors - he is regularly instructed by Countrywide Surveyors Ltd in relation to employment matters. Another example of cross-over from his employment practice is Richardson v Copley Clark & Bennett LLP (UKEAT/0866/09) in which Thomas won permission to appeal from HHJ Peter Clarke in a case centring on the reasonable standards expected of a solicitor in a complex conveyance. Thomas also has experience of advising vis-a-vis the practice of solicitors in personal injury work - most recently considering failure to plead certain heads of loss in a valuable claim.
In other areas Thomas has, for example, represented a defendant payroll provider in a County Court claim alleging failure to meet the reasonable standards of that profession (Irenicon v Integrated Solutions (2011)).
Thomas is a member of the PNBA and COMBAR.
As well as drafting pleadings and settling schedules, Thomas advises on fast track and multi track cases in relation to liability and quantum. He also accepts instructions to appear at inquests. Thomas is a PIBA member.
Thomas' recent cases include:
ELA, ELBA, COMBAR, PNBA, PIBA
Lincoln's Inn Hardwicke Scholarship
Lincoln's Inn Tancred Studentship
Cambridge University Squire Scholarship
Adderley Prize for Law
Mrs Payne (1610) Scholarship
Bar Vocational Course at BPP Law School, London
MA (Law) (Cantab) at St Catharine's College, University of Cambridge
Thomas is Vice Chairman of the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship: "Seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God" (Micah 6:8)