Thomas Yarrow

Thomas Yarrow

Call: 2018

Thomas Yarrow has a broad civil practice, with three core areas of focus: (1) Public Sector and Human Rights litigation, including both public and private law claims against public bodies; (2) Clinical Negligence; (3) Travel and Cross-border litigation (both personal injury and regulatory/commercial).


Thomas began his career within Government and is well-versed with bringing and defending judicial review claims, with a particular focus on policy and decision making in the fields of immigration, justice, national security and defence. As a former member of the Attorney General’s ‘Junior Junior’ scheme he assisted on case preparation, disclosure, and drafting witness evidence in a number of the more significant judicial reviews against the Home Secretary, Secretary of State for Defence and the Lord Chancellor in recent years. He was instructed in larger document review exercises by the Department for Education as part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and by the (then) Foreign and Commonwealth Office on a large Subject Access Request.

Thomas exceptionally appeared off-panel as junior counsel for the Home Secretary in the Court of Appeal in R (Bridges) v Chief Constable South Wales Police [2020] EWCA Civ 1058 on the use of automated facial recognition technology on members of the public by South Wales Police. More recently, Thomas was again instructed off-panel as junior counsel for the Home Secretary in the judicial review on police pay R (Police Superintendents’ Association) v Police Remuneration Review Body and the Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] EWHC 1838 (Admin).

Thomas has a particular specialism in sanctions and anti-money laundering legislation, and has advised on a number of occasions on sanctions-related issues, particularly where there is an intersection with a human rights’ issue, such as access to justice.

At the interface of public and private law, Thomas works regularly (typically for public authorities and central government) on overlapping private and public law cases, with extensive experience in mixed negligence and human rights ‘failure to remove’ claims, data protection and information law, and highways cases.

Thomas is a member of the Attorney General’s London C Panel (Civil).

Travel and Cross-border litigation is a core area of Thomas’ practice. His previous work in Government has given rise to a special grasp of the complex web of primary and secondary legislation in the field of private international law, and he is regularly instructed in cases involving jurisdictional challenges and questions of applicable law.

He has a strong day-to-day practice assisting claimants and defendants in various travel-related cases, both personal injury and consumer contract disputes, particularly and more recently claims arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic raising issues under the Denied Boarding Regulation and/or the Package Travel Regulations. He is well versed on claims falling within the Montreal and Athens Conventions.

Thomas is a joint author of the latest edition of Saggerson on Travel Law and Litigation.

Thomas has a very busy clinical negligence practice in the High Court and County Courts, taking instructions typically from NHS bodies, although with some work on the claimant side. He has the ability to absorb new information quickly, and interpret and advise confidently on esoteric expert evidence. He is regularly instructed to draft detailed Schedules and Counter-Schedules, and has a strong command of the mathematical processes involved in quantification of damages, which make him a safe pair of hands at a joint settlement meeting.

Thomas assisted Laura Johnson KC with case preparation for the Supreme Court hearing in Paul & Anr. v Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (Case No 2022/38), a seminal case on the duty of care owed to secondary victims in the clinical context, which is currently awaiting judgment.

Thomas takes instructions from both claimants and defendants across the spectrum of personal injury litigation, and writes and delivers regular briefings, webinars and training sessions on esoteric topics, from dog bites to highway design, e-scooters to defective premises.

He has a strong day-to-day practice in cases involving employers’ and occupiers’ liability, with a concomitant expertise in procedural matters of fixed costs, QOCS, fundamental dishonesty and Part 36. His focus is very often at the grey areas of liability – for instance, where employers might be liable for their employees’ intentional torts or where public authorities might be liable in negligence outside of the relevant statutory schemes.

Thomas acts for various police forces in cases involving allegations of assault, wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, misfeasance in a public office and common law negligence. He frequently advises on police powers under PACE and the various Codes of Practice. With the spotlight on policing following both the Covid-19 pandemic and the significant increase in protest disruption, Thomas takes frequent instructions on the exercise of police power in novel and developing contexts.

Thomas has worked on two significant judicial review claims for the Home Office on policing policies and practices in the field of data protection: Thomas appeared as junior counsel for the Home Secretary in the Court of Appeal in R (Bridges) v Chief Constable South Wales Police [2020] EWCA Civ 1058 on the use of automated facial recognition technology by South Wales Police, and assisted the Home Secretary again in preparing evidence and Detailed Grounds of Defence in R (QSA & Ors.) v NPCC and SSHD [2021] EWHC 272 (Admin), a challenge to NPCC’s policy that all conviction records on the Police National Computer are retained until the subject reaches 100 years of age (known as the ‘100 year rule’).

Thomas has a growing business, property and commercial element to his practice, with experience of insolvency, landlord and tenant, real property, and company & partnership disputes, including those involving allegations of fraud.

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Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB)

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. To see my privacy notice click here.

  • BA (Hons) Classics, University of Cambridge
  • GDL, University of Hertfordshire – Distinction
  • BPTC, BPP Law School – Outstanding

  • Appointed to Attorney General’s London C Panel (Civil)

  • Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Undergraduate Scholarship, King’s College Cambridge

  • R (Bridges) v Chief Constable South Wales Police [2020] EWCA Civ 1058

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