Instruct Thomas

To instruct Thomas please contact our clerks on +44 (0)20 7842 5555 or email [email protected].

Thomas Steward’s practice encompasses all areas of international arbitration and commercial litigation, including shipping, international trade, shipbuilding, commodities, and civil and cyber fraud.

For several years now he has been ranked in the legal directories, including the current edition of The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, where he is described as “absolutely brilliant.”  He is also a co-author of Cyber Risks and Insurance: The Legal Principles.

Tom is frequently instructed to appear in arbitration or in the High Court, both led and un-led, and has often appeared on his own against leading silks.  He has undertaken secondments at several of the major law firms in London, and has deep and wide-ranging experience of all aspects of litigation and arbitration.

Tom’s experience covers all the major arbitral institutions (LMAA, LCIA, SCMA, ICC) and includes all kinds of contractual disputes.  He is often instructed as sole counsel for urgent applications for injunctions and related relief in the High Court, and has wide experience of asset freezing and tracing (including freezing injunctions, both domestic, worldwide and under the Court’s Chabra jurisdiction, applications for Norwich Pharmacal orders and related applications for disclosure).

Tom is a “go-to” junior on matters relating to shipping and international trade, and has acted in a huge of shipping cases (over 500).  He acts in confidential arbitrations, and is regularly instructed in associated applications in the High Court, including applications for interim relief, and appeals under the Arbitration Act 1996.

He previously taught the International Trade module at BPP Law School.

Tom is often asked to give opinions for use in foreign proceedings, and his advice has been sought for proceedings including Spain, Italy and Japan.

Featured Shipping cases


  • The Aquavita Eternity [2022] EWHC 892 (Comm): Tom acted for the successful applicant for an anti-suit injunction, in this important case which examines the boundaries of anti-suit relief

  • The Falcon Trident [2022] Lloyd’s Rep. Plus 36: Tom acted in a claim for unpaid costs following the conclusion of a settlement under CPR Part 36

  • The Pola Devora [2022] Lloyd’s Rep. Plus 14: Tom acted for the successful respondents to a challenge to the jurisdiction of the English Courts

  • The Nortrader [2021] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 429: Tom acted for the successful appellants against an arbitration award on jurisdiction, under s. 67 of the Arbitration Act 1996, led by Simon Rainey QC

  • The MTM Hong Kong [2020] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 559: Tom acted as sole counsel for the successful appellants against an arbitration award, under s. 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996

  • Rubicon Vantage International Pte Ltd v KrisEnergy Ltd [2020] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 383: Tom acted for the successful claimants in a guarantee claim, led by Vasanti Selvaratnam QC

  • Vetrica v. Shebah Marine [2019] EWHC 3735 (Comm): Tom acted for the respondents to an application for summary judgment

  • The Baltic Strait [2018] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 33: Tom acted for the successful respondents to an arbitration appeal brought under s. 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996, led by Robert Thomas QC

  • Cortesi (Deceased) v Chubb European Group Ltd [2018] EWHC 2233 (QB): Tom acted for the successful applicants for a declaration of enforceability under EC Regulation 44/2001

  • Amelie Navigation Corp v Ugo Hannah Energy Limited [2017] 12 WLUK 15: Tom acted as sole counsel in a successful application for an anti-suit injunction in the High Court

  • Giles v Polarcus [2016] EWHC 1843 (Admlty): Tom acted for the successful Defendant in an application brought by the Claimant for substitution of parties after the expiry of the limitation period, in a maritime personal injury matter

  • The Anna Bo [2015] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 578: Tom acted as sole counsel resisting an anti-suit injunction in the High Court

Tom has considerable experience of shipbuilding disputes, having advised on numerous issues including variations, delay and disruption, financing, and cancellations.

Featured Ship sale and construction cases


  • Advising and acting in several inter-linked arbitrations which concerned issues with stern-tube bearings

  • Advising on potential force majeure consequences on shipbuilding contracts

  • Advising on the settlement of guarantee claims

  • Advising on issues surrounding a vessel’s Rightship approval

  • Acting in a confidential arbitration surrounding the sale of two FPSOs for scrapping / recycling

The majority of Tom’s work in this area is confidential or private, but Tom has acted in a huge number of applications for urgent injunctive relief, and he has been described by one firm of solicitors as the “go-to” counsel for urgent injunctions.

He is often instructed as sole counsel for urgent applications for injunctions and related relief in the High Court, and has wide experience of applications for delivery up, asset freezing and tracing (including freezing injunctions, both domestic, worldwide and under the Court’s Chabra jurisdiction), urgent relief following APP frauds, applications for Norwich Pharmacal orders and related applications for disclosure, and urgent injunctions in support of arbitration under s. 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996.

Tom is also regularly instructed on applications for anti-suit relief, and has several reported cases in the area, including The Aquavita Eternity [2022] EWHC 892 (Comm); Amelie Navigation Corp v Ugo Hannah Energy Limited [2017] 12 WLUK 15; The Anna Bo [2015] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 578.

He is also a co-author of Cyber Risks and Insurance: The Legal Principles

Tom has advised and acted in numerous “wet shipping” disputes before the Admiralty Courts.  His experience includes salvage claims (including Lloyd’s Open Form), collision claims (and references to the Admiralty Registrar on quantum), vessel arrests and court-ordered sales of vessels.

Featured Salvage, Collision and Admiralty cases


  • The Falcon Trident [2022] Lloyd’s Rep. Plus 36: Tom acted in a claim for unpaid costs following the conclusion of a settlement under CPR Part 36

  • Giles v Polarcus [2016] EWHC 1843 (Admlty):Tom acted for the successful Defendant in an application brought by the Claimant for substitution of parties after the expiry of the limitation period, in a maritime personal injury matter

  • Acting in a multi-million dollar collision case, with particular focus on issues surrounding the constituting of a limitation fund.

Alice Carse and Thomas Steward join 4 Pump Court

4 Pump Court is delighted to welcome Alice Carse and Thomas Steward to Chambers. Alice practises in commercial...

Instruct Thomas

To instruct Thomas please contact our clerks on +44 (0)20 7842 5555 or email [email protected]court.com.

2011 – MA (Oxon)

2011 – BPTC, City University: Outstanding

2010 – Diplock Scholarship, Middle Temple, BPTC year

2010 – GDL, City University: Distinction

2009 – Diplock Scholarship, Middle Temple, GDL year

2008 – BA, Classics, Brasenose College, Oxford: Double First

2006-2008 – Scholar, Brasenose College, Oxford

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For help and advice talk to a member of our clerking team. They can advise on the best options for your matter.

Call: +44 (0) 20 7842 5555

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