Litigation & Arbitration


Christian Toms is a Partner in the Firm's Litigation & Arbitration Practice Group. He has experience in a wide range of disputes, in particular those arising from complex financial arrangements and investments, as well as director/shareholder and joint venture disputes. His previous experience at the Criminal Bar also gives him an invaluable insight when advising on financial regulatory matters. 

Chris acts for a diverse group of international clients, having previously acted for and against investment banks, hedge funds, pension funds and other investors, as well as individuals and corporates in industries as diverse as technology, construction, motor racing and pharmaceuticals. Chris also has experience in confidential applications for privacy injunctions, and competition law related matters.

Chris is highly regarded and noted in The Legal 500 for the areas of Banking Litigation: Investment and Retail; Commercial Litigation: Premium; and Fraud: Civil. Chris is also listed in the London Super Lawyers List for the area of Commercial Litigation. Chris has been recognised as a “highly focused, technically excellent partner with broad shoulders and an eye on the result at all times," (The Legal 500, 2021), for his “particular experience in complex financial disputes, arising from investment banking and funds work” (The Legal 500, 2018), and he has been described as “tenacious” (The Legal 500, 2015), “attuned to clients’ interests” (The Legal 500, 2014) and is “noted for his helpfulness and intelligence” (Chambers & Partners, 2013). He was a lead member of the “pugnacious and effective“ Brown Rudnick team who acted for a Dutch pension fund against Goldman Sachs (The Legal 500, 2014).

In 2020 Chris was appointed a Recorder (Deputy Circuit Judge) by HM The Queen, on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.  Chris continues in practice at Brown Rudnick whilst undertaking his judicial responsibilities.

Before joining Brown Rudnick, Chris was an associate barrister with the then Lovells LLP. Prior to that, he spent a number of years as a tenant in London chambers working as a criminal barrister, defending and prosecuting in a wide variety of cases.

In addition to his fee earning work Chris has a keen interest in pro bono and leads the Firm’s London Office initiatives in this area.

Chris is also a Director of Brown Rudnick's Charitable Foundation and Center for the Public Interest. 



Acting for an international investment banking firm in a claim arising from an equity trading dispute with a Bermudian entity.

Advising a health and well-being charity in a dispute arising out of event cancellations occurring during a pandemic.

Advising in a real estate joint venture dispute.

Acted in a successful strike out of a claim for dishonest assistance (Goldtrail Travel v Grumbridge [2020] EWHC 1757 (Ch))

Acted for a charitable organisation in a construction dispute adjudication.

Advised an individual subject to an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Advised on a joint venture dispute concerning interests in England and Argentina.

Advised a fund in the context of a potential investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Acted for an individual in a High Court challenge to a US Letter of Request seeking oral evidence for use in US proceedings.

Advised in a fraud/banking litigation matter, and coordinating activity in Barbados, Ireland, Australia, Singapore and Indonesia.

Acted in ICC Arbitration proceedings on behalf of a Middle Eastern Bank in dispute with a European Bank.

Advised a Special Servicer within an insolvent CMBS structure in respect of potential claims concerning secured assets for the benefit of Noteholders.

Advised a financial services company on potential warranty claims arising out of its acquisition of a pensions investment /advisory business.

Acted in a dispute arising out of the acquisition of a global food franchise business.

Advised a global pharma business with operations in India, Europe, Hong Kong and the US, in relation to joint venture disputes with shareholder/directors.

Advised the Joint Administrators of a former high-street telecommunications provider as to the existence of potential claims related to the insolvency of the business.

Advised in connection with freezing injunctions and related issues arising out of legal actions being pursued by a Russian bank.

Advised a Cayman based Investment manager in respect of holdings in an Irish listed company and related litigation proceedings before the Irish High Court.

Advised an investment fund in respect of disputed contractual entitlements under Notes acquired pursuant to the terms of a CMBS issue.

Acted for a client in urgent injunctive proceedings in respect of proceedings involving Rhode Island, New York, US Federal Bankruptcy, and English law.

Advised on potential Judicial Review proceedings against the Welsh Assembly and Welsh Audit Office.

Acted in proceedings brought by a client in the textile industry for repudiatory breach of a services contract.

Acted for a Founder shareholder of an online beauty business in respect of a share value dispute with fellow shareholders/directors.

Advised a US fund in relation to hybrid instruments issued in Italy.

Advised a client with operations in Russia in respect of a franchise dispute with a global fast-food brand. The matter was governed by ICC arbitration and involved consideration of the impact of geopolitical events in Russia and Ukraine.

Acted for Dutch pension fund, Pensioenfonds Vervoer, and related parties, in a professional negligence claim against Goldman Sachs Asset Management International for damages in the region of €250 million. (Stichting Bedrijfstakpensioenfonds Voor Het Beroepesvervoer Over de Weg & Ors. v Goldman Sachs Asset Management International Limited)

Advised a US fund in relation to potential claims under a trade confirmation against an Icelandic Bank and an international Investment Bank.

Acted for an Austrian Investment firm in dispute with a US Bank arising out of a high grade CDO transaction.

Acted for various individuals in connection with derogatory and defamatory statements posted by various other individuals on online bulletin boards.

Regularly act for AIM listed entities and their related group companies in connection with commercial disputes and internal Director/Shareholder matters.

Appeared as co-counsel in an LCIA arbitration on behalf of an LLP in dispute with one of its members over termination rights.

Acted for an entity with specific territorial rights to a global food franchise brand, in dispute with certain of its shareholders and an international investment bank.

Acted for Noteholders in ‘tranche warfare’ proceedings before the English High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court concerning the ‘balance sheet insolvency test’ and English securitisations. (BNY Corporate Trustee Services Ltd v Eurosail-UK 2007-3BL Plc & Ors).

Acted in a joint venture dispute subject to ICC arbitration in Vienna involving various jurisdictions including the BVI, Croatia and Malta.

Advised an investment fund in respect of a potential Cayman dispute arising out of a purported in specie redemption.

Acted for a Middle Eastern based family investment vehicle in a dispute with a global investment bank arising from losses suffered through investments in a hedge fund portfolio.

Acted for an Investment Bank in a contractual claim for recovery of an acquisition success fee.

Acted for a Canadian mining company in a HKIAC arbitration dispute with its Chinese joint venture partner over an energy project in Botswana.

Acted for one of the largest Coal producers in the world in a joint venture dispute relating to a mining project in Mongolia.

Acted for a leading car insurance brand in a joint venture dispute with its partner, a leading UK food retailer.

Advised a company involved in running global Motor Sport events on the defence of a threatened claim in the region of €2-3 million.

Acted for one of the construction companies responsible for upgrading key parts of the London underground rail network in an £11 million claim that went to adjudication.

Acted for IPCO (Nigeria) Limited in a matter involving proceedings in the English High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords concerning the enforcement of a New York Convention arbitration award, valued at over US$200 million, obtained by IPCO in Nigeria in late 2004. (IPCO (Nigeria) Limited v Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)).


St Catherine’s College, Oxford University – M.A. (Oxon), 2005
Inns of Court School of Law – Bar Vocational Course (Very Competent), 2000-2001
St Catherine’s College, Oxford University – B.A. (Hons) Jurisprudence, 2000

Bar Admissions

Recorder (Deputy Circuit Judge), England & Wales, 2020
Solicitor-Advocate, England & Wales, 2011
Barrister of England & Wales, 2001
Chapter Author, “Litigation & Dispute Resolution, England & Wales”, Global Legal Insights (2020)
Chapter Author, “Litigation & Dispute Resolution, England & Wales”, Global Legal Insights (2019)
Lead Chapter Author, “Financial Services Litigation, England & Wales”, Getting the Deal Through (2019)
Co-author, “The Role of Artificial Intelligence and Technology in Global Bankruptcy and Restructuring Practices”, INSOL International (July 2019)
Editor/Contributor, “2019 Global Survey on the Commercialisation of Disputes”, Brown Rudnick Publication (July 2019)
“Compulsion to mediate - providing access to mandatory cross-border mediation services”, Lexis Nexis (22 March 2017)
“Forex Claims: What, Who, How … And What Might Be?”
Financial Fraud Law Report, Lexis Nexis (February 2015)
INSOL International News Update, Issue No.9 (September 2014)
Co-author, “Open Season On Rating Agencies?", Law360 (12 December 2012)
Co-author, “The Turning Tide", The Global Legal Post (7 November 2012)
Co-author, “The European Mediation Directive—Legal and Political Support for Alternative Dispute Resolution in Europe,” Bloomberg Law Reports, Vol. 2 No. 1 (January 2011)
Speaking Engagements
Panel Member, "Prepare for the future: Emerging hot topics", INSOL International One Day Seminar, Tokyo (7 November 2019)
Chairman, Keynote Speaker – Financial Institutions Litigation Conference, London (26 September 2019)
Speaker, “Use of: capable technology; the legal risks from a cyber attack and the use of "fruit from a poisoned tree“, InfoLine’s Asset Tracing & Recovery Forum, London (31 October 2017)
Panel Member, “Gaining Clients Acceptance for Litigation Funding”, Litigation Funding 2017 Conference, London (2 October 2017)
Panel Member, “AI in the world of a litigator”, AIJA Annual Congress, Tokyo (28 August - 1 September 2017)
Round Table Q&A, “Dispute Resolution & Commercial Litigation”, Corporate INTL (2017)
Panel Member, “Technology and its revolutionary impact on the world of litigation”, Legal Week Commercial Litigation & Arbitration Forum, London (3 November 2016)
Panel Member, “Taking consent too far: the risk of criminal prosecution in arbitration”, AIJA Annual Arbitration Conference, Paris (11-13 June 2015)
Professional Affiliations
Board of Directors, Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation
International Bar Association (IBA)
International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA)
Commercial Litigators' Forum Committee Member
Awards and Honors
Recognised by The Legal 500 UK as a Recommended Lawyer for Fraud: Civil (2021). He is described as a "highly focused, technically excellent partner with broad shoulders and a eye on the result at all times."
Recognised by The Legal 500 UK as a Recommended Lawyer for Banking Litigation: Investment & Retail and Commercial Litigation (2014-2021)
Team Winner of The Legal 500 UK Crime Fraud & Licensing Firm of the Year Award for Fraud: Civil (2019)
Team Winner of The Legal 500 UK Crime Fraud & Licensing Firm (Specialism) of the Year Award for Fraud: Civil (2018)
Recognised in London Super Lawyers List for Commercial Litigation