Gethin Thomas

Year of call:
2017
Email:
gethin.thomas@39essex.com

Clerks:
020 7832 1111

Gethin Thomas accepts instructions across all areas of Chambers’ work, with a particular interest in administrative & public law, environmental and planning law, EU law, commercial and construction, regulatory and disciplinary law and civil liability.

He appears frequently in court, and regularly undertakes pleading and advisory work.

Gethin graduated from the University of Oxford with a First Class law degree. Gethin then worked as a research assistant at the Law Commission for two years. As a member of the public law team, he worked on a range of law reform projects in areas such as electoral law, misconduct in public office and wildlife law. Gethin also worked on a project that proposed a new system of codification for the law applicable to Wales.

Latterly, Gethin interned at the human rights charity JUSTICE. He worked in the administrative justice team.

Administrative & Public


Gethin has a keen interest in all areas of public law, including civil liberties and human rights, healthcare law, community care and court of protection, electoral law, education law, immigration and asylum, housing, public procurement, EU law, inquiries and social security. He also has a particular interest in data protection and information law.

Gethin is currently instructed as junior counsel to Charlie Corey-Wright QC by NHSBT, a core participant in the Infected Blood Inquiry.

Gethin’s recent instructions include:

  • As junior counsel to Katherine Apps, assisting to advise in respect of a matter arising out of Brexit.
  • Acting as a junior junior, instructed by the Government Legal Department, in the judicial review challenge to the Heathrow third runway.
  • Advising a local authority on electoral and information law issues, concerning data held pursuant to the electoral register.
  • Advising the Windrush Lessons Learned Review.
  • Acting on behalf of the Civil Aviation Authority, in the High Court, in a successful strike out application of a claim in relation to a decision to provisionally suspend a pilot’s medical certificate.
  • Providing research assistance in respect of a judicial review challenge to the closure of a federated primary school.
  • Advising the Office for Students, as consultant counsel.
  • Advising the Financial Ombudsman Service, as consultant counsel.

Gethin is also interested in the use of public law in commercial disputes. He has experience of acting for and against public bodies in civil proceedings:

  • He recently acted on behalf of an NHS Foundation Trust in respect of a breach of contract claim that had been brought against in the High Court, in the sum of £2 million (as junior counsel).
  • He acted on behalf of a higher education body in a breach of contract claim.
  • He has advised a local authority in respect of a breach of contract claim intimated against it.
  • He also has experience of acting for local authorities in public liability and employer’s liability civil claims.

Gethin also has experience of proceedings involving the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010.

Gethin is a member of the Government Legal Department’s ‘Junior Junior’ scheme.

During pupillage, Gethin gained experience of a wide range of matters, including:

  • An Article 8 immigration case concerning the scope of private life for non-national out of country applicants;
  • A case concerning the operation of ouster clauses and whether the Investigatory Powers Tribunal is amenable to judicial review;
  • Drafted a statement of grounds for a precedent fact immigration judicial review;
  • Researched the scope of the ‘judicial function’ exception under the public sector equality duty in the context of a judicial review claim;
  • Cases concerning the scope of an effective appeal for the purposes of Article 8, and the application of R (on the applications of Kiarie and Byndloss) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] UKSC 42;
  • Drafted a statement of grounds in relation to a challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision to remove the Claimant from the UK under Dublin III Regulations.

Prior to pupillage, Gethin worked on public law reform projects in areas such as electoral law, misconduct in public office and wildlife law. He has particular experience of those areas.

Gethin also worked on a project that proposed a new system of codification for the law applicable to Wales, and has a particular interest in Welsh law.

Gethin was also an administrative justice intern at JUSTICE.

As a volunteer with the Free Representation Unit, Gethin has also successfully represented claimants in social security appeals before the First-Tier Tribunal.

Environmental & Planning


Gethin has a keen interest in environmental and planning law.

Gethin is a contributing editor of the Environmental Law Bulletin (published by Sweet & Maxwell).

Recent matters include:

  • Acted as junior counsel to Richard Wald, instructed by Natural Resources Wales, in a four-week inquiry concerning the implementation of byelaws for the conservation of salmon and sea trout stocks in Welsh rivers.
  • Acted as a junior junior on the judicial review challenge to the Heathrow third runway, instructed by the Government Legal Department.
  • Assisted Nigel Pleming QC in relation to a matter arising from the scope of the definition of ‘public authority’ pursuant to the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
  • Assisted John Steel QC in advising as to a statutory blight compensation claim for HS2 safeguarded land.
  • Acted as junior counsel to Brian Ash QC on behalf of the claimant in a judicial review claim against a reserved matters decision of a local authority.
  • Acted as junior counsel, assisted in respect of an enforcement appeal to the High Court pursuant to section 289 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
  • Advised a developer as to prospects of successfully appealing a refusal of planning permission to build within the Green Belt;
  • Advised a developer in relation to issues arising from the removal of permitted development rights by planning conditions.
  • Appeared as sole counsel in committal proceedings for breach of an enforcement injunction before the High Court.
  • Drafting a judicial review pre-action protocol letter in respect of an LPA’s decision to decline to determine a planning application.
  • Advising as to the prospects of judicially reviewing an LPA’s decision to take direct action pursuant to an enforcement notice.
  • Assisting Daniel Stedman-Jones in respect of an appeal against a section 215 notice.

During pupillage, Gethin gained a broad range of experience of planning and environmental matters, including:

  • A two week planning inquiry relating to a site in London Borough of Tower Hamlets;
  • A private nuisance claim for group litigants concerning odour and noise emissions;
  • A claim under Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973 concerning noise, odour and air pollution.
  • Drafted a statement of facts and grounds challenging a grant of planning permission;
  • Drafted an advice on the scope of amendments to conditions that may be pursued under section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990;
  • Drafted an advice relating to restrictive covenants over accommodation works.

Gethin has delivered seminars and lectures on environmental matters, such as air quality, environmental impact assessments and habitats regulation. He is also a member of LexisNexis’ Q&A Panel.

Gethin is also a member of the Environmental Law Foundation, through which he provides pro bono assistance on environmental matters.

Commercial, Construction & International Arbitration


Gethin has a keen interest in general and international commercial and construction law. He has a particular interest in procurement, PFI and project financing.

Gethin has appeared as sole and junior counsel in interlocutory proceedings in the High Court. He also appears in commercial matters before the County Court regularly. He has extensive experience of drafting pleadings, and regularly advises on a broad range of commercial and construction matters.

Gethin’s recent instructions include:

  • As junior counsel, acting in relation to a claim in the High Court for a breach of contract, involving allegations of fraud, on behalf of a multinational company.
  • As junior counsel, acting on behalf of a public body in respect of a breach of contract claim in the High Court, in which £2 million had been claimed against it.
  • Advising as to challenging an adjudicator’s jurisdiction, and prospects of resisting enforcement of the adjudicator’s decision.
  • As sole counsel, advising a local authority in respect to a breach of contract claim intimated against it.
  • As sole counsel, drafting particulars of claim, contending a breach of a contract on behalf of a construction company.
  • As sole counsel, drafting particulars of claim, on behalf of a local authority, contending breaches of a JCT Contract.
  • As sole counsel, successfully resisting an application, to be added as a party to breach of contract proceedings in which over £340,000 was claimed.
  • As sole counsel, to draft particulars of claim for breach of contract on behalf of a major retailer.
  • As sole counsel, successfully resisting an application to re-instate a struck-out claim concerning a construction dispute.

Gethin is currently consultant counsel to the Financial Ombudsman Service, where he advises on a wide range of matters under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. He also regularly advises on complex agency issues.

During pupillage, Gethin gained experience of a variety of matters, including:

  • A major ICC arbitration concerning payment disputes and variation claims.
  • An advice for a corporate client on the implications of the US withdrawal from the relief of Iranian sanctions under the JCPOA. Gethin has a particular interest in international sanctions.
  • An adjudication jurisdiction dispute.

As a pupil, Gethin was a member of the winning team in the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators Mediation Skills Competition 2018.

Financial Services & Banking


Gethin is developing a practice in financial services & banking law. Gethin is currently consultant counsel to the Financial Ombudsman Service, where he advices on a wide range of issues under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

Recent matters include:

  • Advising as to apparent and ostensible agency;
  • Advising as to the meaning of ‘credit’ and the scope of ‘financial accommodation’;
  • Advising as to issues arising from application of Anderson v Sense Network [2018] EWHC 2834 (Comm).

Gethin also has a particular interest in the regulation of cryptoassets.

Regulatory & Disciplinary


Gethin has a keen interest in regulatory and disciplinary law. His experience includes:

  • Acting in proceedings before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
  • Advising the Financial Ombudsman Service as consultant counsel.
  • Advising the Office for Students as consultant counsel.
  • Acting on behalf of the Civil Aviation Authority, in a successful strike out application of a claim in relation to a decision to provisionally suspend a pilot’s medical certificate in the High Court.

During pupillage, Gethin gained experience of a range of regulatory and disciplinary matters, including:

  • Drafting a witness statement for a Registrant in proceedings before the HCPC Tribunal;
  • Drafting an advice in relation to proceedings before the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons;
  • Drafting summary grounds of defence in a judicial review challenge to an interim order of the General Medical Council.

Gethin has also gained experience of regulatory law whilst working in electoral law and misconduct in public office at the Law Commission.

EU Law


Gethin has a very keen interest in EU law. His recent EU law experience includes acting as junior counsel to Katherine Apps, assisting to advise in respect of a matter arising out of Brexit.

Gethin has also recently written an article on Canary Wharf (BP4) T1 Ltd v European Medicines Agency [2019] EWHC 335 (Ch), published by Thompson Reuters’ Practical Dispute Resolution Blog.

Civil Liability


Gethin appears regularly in the County Court. He has experience of various types of hearings including applications from relief from sanctions, specific disclosure, approval of settlements for infants and protected parties, as well as costs and case management hearings. He also undertakes both drafting and advisory work.

Gethin has experience of public liability and employers’ liability claims, as well as claims in which fundamental dishonesty is alleged.

During pupillage, he gained broad experience of civil liability matters including:

  • A claim brought by a dependent under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976
  • Research for the purposes of drafting an advice on vicarious liability, applying Cox v Ministry of Justice [2016] UKSC 10 and Armes v Nottinghamshire County Council [2017] UKSC 60;
  • Drafted an advice, and a defence, in relation to clinical negligence claims brought against both the NHS and a private healthcare provider, which raised issues of non-delegable duty and vicarious liability;
  • Part 20 Claim by an employer against independent contractor for indemnity or contribution;
  • Drafted schedules of loss and counter schedules, including for claims concerning traumatic brain injury and chronic pain.

As noted above, during pupillage Gethin also gained experience of group litigation nuisance claims.

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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