Thomas Yarrow

Thomas Yarrow

Call: 2018

Thomas Yarrow has a broad practice spanning public and private law.

Covering personal injury, professional and clinical negligence, business and property disputes, data protection, and judicial review claims against central and local government.


Thomas has a particular interest in public law, having previously worked within Government as a policy official and then as a pupil barrister. He is well versed in bringing and defending judicial review claims, with a particular focus on immigration, justice and security, defence, and data protection.

Thomas is a member of the Attorney General’s ‘Junior Junior’ scheme and has assisted with case preparation, disclosure, and drafting witness evidence in judicial reviews against the Home Secretary, Secretary of State for Defence and the Lord Chancellor. He has been instructed in larger document review exercises by the Department for Education as part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and by the 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 by South Wales Police. More recently, Thomas assisted with evidence preparation in the cross-Whitehall judicial review on the Public Records Act and the retention of instant messaging communications between Ministers and officials.

At the interface of public and private law, Thomas works regularly for public authorities defending claims in the county courts, with experience in highways, data protection and abuse/failure to protect cases. He is, instructed by the Home Office, police forces and local authorities in a range of disputes alleging negligence, misfeasance in public office, unlawful detention/false imprisonment, and breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998.

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.

He is particularly interested in cases engaging the Animals Act 1971 and frequently advises on the application of the recondite section 2.

Thomas’s previous work in Government on Brexit means he has a special grasp of the complex web of primary and secondary legislation in the field of private international law, and is regularly instructed in cases involving jurisdictional challenges and questions of applicable law. He is the go-to barrister for questions on international treaties concerning civil judicial cooperation.

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 busy clinical negligence practice, taking instructions from NHS bodies as well as claimants. With a strong background in science, he is able quickly to absorb new information interpret and advise on esoteric expert evidence on complicated medical practices. 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, such as the new formula for accommodation claims following Swift v Carpenter.

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 the Covid-19 pandemic, Thomas is a go-to barrister for questions arising under the various coronavirus lockdown and facemask regulations.

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

  • 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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