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Thomas Raphael QC

BA (Oxon), BA (Cantab), FCIArb

Thomas Raphael QC was made a Silk in 2015, and has been a tenant at 20 Essex St since November 2000. He has a busy practice in the fields of general commercial law and private international law, with a particular focus on banking, financial services, shipping, commodities, offshore energy, insurance and reinsurance, and a growing practice in cross-over cases involving intellectual  property, competition law, and commercial  law. He has argued cases at all levels of the English courts.

Thomas was part of the team which won the House of Lords case of Masri v CCC (No 4) [2010] 1 AC 903; and recently appeared in the Supreme Court in Actavis v Eli Lilly [2017] UKSC 48. He also recently led a team of four counsel including another senior silk in the major jurisdiction dispute of Fujifilm Kyowa v AbbVie Biotechnology [2016] EWHC 2204.

He is the author of "The Anti-Suit Injunction" (OUP), the standard work on anti-suit injunctions, which has recently been cited with approval and adopted by the Commercial Court, Court of Appeal, and the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, in a large number of cases, including Deutsche v Highland [2009] EWCA Civ 725; and C-536/13, Gazprom OAO; and The Yusuf Cepnioglu [2016] EWCA Civ 386.

He frequently appears in commercial arbitrations, before the ICC, LCIA and other trade specific arbitral forums including the LMAA, LME and RSA, in cases concerning subjects such as mobile telephone contracts, international construction, superyachts, shipbuilding, charterparties, commodities, patent licensing and FRAND.

Thomas accepts appointments as an arbitrator and has sat as arbitrator in international arbitrations. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. 

He also acted as an expert witness of English law in foreign courts, including the French, Italian and Belgian courts.

He speaks fluent French.


  • General commercial law
  • Private international law
  • Shipping
  • Banking and financial services
  • Insurance and re-insurance
  • Commodities
  • Competition

Principal Cases: 

Private International Law

The Unwired Planet International Ltd v Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [2017] EWHC 2831 (Pat) - an application for an anti-suit injunction in large scale FRAND litigation involving telecoms licensing.

Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Byologics Company Ltd v Abbvie Biotechnology Limited [2016] EWHC 2204 - in a major intellectual property dispute, worth £1.2m per day, a jurisdictional question of general importance relating to the scope of the Court's powers to serve proceedings out of the jurisdiction under CPR Part 6 and the Brussels I Recast. Thomas Raphael QC led a team of four counsel including another QC.

Chugai Pharmaceutical v UCB Pharma SA [2017] FSR 45 - a dispute about important points of justiciability in pharmaceutical litigation.

Anan Kasei v Molycorp Chemicals & Oxides [2016] EWHC 1877 - the resolution of a major point of principle on the scope of Article 24(4) of the Brussels I Recast and the ECJ decision in GAT v LUK.

Actavis v Eli Lilly [2012] EWHC 3316 (Pat); [2013] EWHC 3479; [2013] EWCA Civ 517; [2014] 4 All ER 331; [2015] EWCA Civ 666; [2015] EWHC 2124 - a ground-breaking claim, concerning the cancer drug pemetrexed, in which Actavis asserted and obtained jurisdiction over the non-UK designations of a European patent and issues arose as to whether the Rome II Regulation meant that the lex causae applied to the conditions for negative declaratory relief. It is one the lead cases on the Rome II Regulation. Thomas Raphael QC led the private international law elements of the case.

Future Investments v FIFA [2010] ILPr 34 - a jurisdiction challenge in an intellectual property claim against FIFA in respect of broadcasting rights to the World Cup.

The Masri v CCC litigation, which gave rise to numerous judgments of the High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords on fundamental questions of jurisdiction and the court's extra-territorial powers, including: Masri v CCC (No 2) [2009] QB 450 (CA) - an extra-territorial receivership order; and Masri v CCC (No 3) [2009] QB 503(CA) - an anti-suit injunction to restrain re-litigation of English proceedings); [2010] 1 AC 903 - applications for the examination of foreign directors of foreign companies under CPR 71.

General Commercial

Commercial arbitration against a state (2017) a major arbitration involving claims against a state arising out of the breakdown of a privatisation agreement.

The Unwired Planet International Ltd v Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [2017] EWHC 2831 (Pat) - an application for an anti-suit injunction in large scale FRAND litigation involving telecoms licensing.

A v B [2017] 2 Lloyds Rep 1 - a challenge to an arbitration award raising novel issues on the applicability of the heads of s. 68.

Actavis v Eli Lilly [2016] EWHC 234 (Pat) - in the context of a large-scale intellectual property dispute, Thomas Raphael QC handled the commercial aspects of the dispute, including issues of contract law and estoppel.

Licensing/FRAND arbitration (2015) - a high value licensing arbitration involving questions of FRAND.

IPCO v Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation - a claim in respect of enforcement of a $150 million Nigerian arbitration award (Comm Ct, 12 March 2013).

Wright v Deccan Chargers Sporting Ventures Ltd [2011] EWHC 1307 (QB) - a jurisdiction challenge in a claim for wrongful dismissal of the claimant as chief executive officer of Deccan Chargers, an Indian Premier League cricket team.

Applications by British Airways plc, British Midland Airways and EasyJet Airline Company Limited in respect of the route London-Cairo/Alexandria (CAA, SCAC 1/10) - hearing before the Civil Aviation Authority on the allocation of route frequencies.

Tramtrack Croydon Limited v London Bus Services Ltd [2007] All ER (D) 14 (Comm Ct) and London Bus Services Ltd v Tramtrack Croydon Limited [2006] EWCA Civ 1743 (CA) - two actions for declaratory relief about the interpretation of the 99-year PFI for the Croydon Tramlink.

Russell Grant Ltd v Scott Equipment Company [2005] EWCA Civ 156; (2005) 149 S.J.L.B. 266 (CA) - an appeal in a case concerning the sale of machinery.

Banking and Financial Services

Deutsche Trustee v Bangkok Land (2016-7) - a dispute about payment under corporate bonds involving issues of limitation of actions.

The RBS Rights Issue Litigation (Greenwood v Goodwin and others) - the claim in respect of RBS's £12bn rights issue of April 2008. Issues resolved so far included key procedural questions as to the management of group litigation. Judgments from hearings at which Thomas Raphael appeared include Greenwood v Goodwin [2014] EWHC 227; [2014] EWHC 227; and Greenwood v Goodwin [2014] 609.

Cukurova Finance International Ltd v Alfa Telecom Turkey Ltd [2013] UKPC  25 -  a major dispute about the control of a Turkish mobile telephone company, involving anti-suit injunction and relief from forfeiture against loam transactions.

Cassa di Risparmio della Repubblica di San Marino SpA v Barclays Bank Plc [2011] EWHC 484 - a major trial in respect of the alleged mis-selling of 700m euros worth of structured notes linked to CDO2s.


Charterparty arbitration (2017) - a recent charterparty arbitration raising significant issues about implied indemnities and liens.

OW Bunkers [2015 - 2016] - Thomas Raphael QC has been recently involved in a number of arbitrations, and high court cases, in the ongoing OW Bunkers litigation.

Superyacht arbitration (2013) - a major arbitration about the sale of a superyacht.

BP Oil International v Target Shipping Ltd [2012] 2 Lloyds Rep 245; [2013] 1 Lloyds Rep 561 - a claim as to the interpretation of the freight provisions in a voyage charterparty.

Transpetrol Maritime Services v SJB (Marine Energy) BV [2012] 1 Lloyds Rep 564 (CA)- a claim in relation to oil major warranties in a voyage charterparty.

Acergy Shipping Ltd v Société Bretonne de Reparation Navale SAS [2012] 1 All ER (Comm) 369 - a 30m euro claim arising out of a contract for ship repair.

Ulisses Shipping Corporation v Fal Shipping Co. Ltd (The "Greek Fighter") [2006] 2 CLC 497 (Comm Ct) - a claim by the owners of a vessel against her charterers after she was confiscated by the UAE authorities.

Front Carriers Limited v Atlantic & Orient Shipping Corp (The "Double Happiness") [2007] 1 Lloyd's Rep 131 (Comm Ct) - the trial of a claim for a declaration that an arbitration tribunal had jurisdiction.

P&O Nedlloyd Limited and another v M&M Militzer & Munch International Holding [2003] 1 Lloyd's Rep 503 (Comm Ct) - the trial of a claim for mis-delivery of cargo.


Rotenberg v Sucafina SA [2011] EWHC 901; [2012] 2 Lloyds Rep 54 (CA) - an arbitration application concerning the operation of the rules of the Coffee Trade Federation.

P Kruecken v Agrital Import Export SRL (Comm Ct, 04 May 2011) - a dispute concerning the terms on which the Court could dismiss an arbitration appeal under section 67 of the Arbitration Act 1996.


A marine insurance arbitration (2015-2016) - a marine insurance arbitration involving transborder litigation in the Federated States of Micronesia.

CNA Insurance Co. Ltd v Office Depot International (UK) Ltd [2005] Lloyd's Rep IR 658 (Comm Ct) - an application for an anti-suit injunction to restrain proceedings before the courts of Florida.

HIH Casualty and General Insurance Ltd v AXA Corporate Solutions [2002] Lloyd's Rep IR 237 - a film finance reinsurance dispute.


Tesco Stores Ltd v Off ice of Fair Trading [2012] CAT 31 - acting for the OFT before the Competition Appeal Tribunal resisting Tesco's appeal against the OFT's finding that Tesco had unlawfully participated in a cartel to raise the price of cheese in 2002/2003.

Applications by British Airways plc, British Midland  Airways and EasyJet  Airline  Company  Limited  in respect of the route London-Cairo/Alexandria (CAA, SCAC 1/10) - hearing before the Civil Aviation Authority on the allocation of route frequencies.

Easyjet v Liverpool Airport Plc - a case concerning restrictive clauses preventing Easyjet from flying from Manchester Airport.

Education and Career: 

Magdalen College, Oxford: BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge: BA in Law.

Slaughter and May Prize for the top First in Law at Cambridge University.


"Do as you would be done by: System-Transcendent Justification and Anti-Suit Injunctions" [2016] LMCLQ 256

"The Anti-Suit Injunction" (OUP, 2008), the standard work on anti-suit injunctions.

"The Problem of Horizontal Effect" (EHRLR 2000, Issue 5).

Appointments and Society Memberships: 

Supporting member of the LMAA

Lectures and Teaching: 

Frequent lectures on commercial and private international law and international arbitration

A lecturer at the European Academy of Law, Trier on issues of European private international law


"He's absolutely first-rate - he has a good depth of knowledge and understanding of the instruments and the way they operate. He has a really incisive approach." Chambers UK Bar Guide 2016 (Banking and Finance)

"Extremely bright and a very strong advocate." Chambers UK Bar Guide 2016 (Commercial Dispute Resolution)

"A very highly regarded banking barrister" Legal 500 2016 (Banking and Finance)

"Very hardworking, determined and relentless in his pursuit of even difficult points." Legal 500 2016 (Commercial Dispute Resolution)

"Has a strong commercial litigation practice... He is experienced in complex technical cases of substantial value... He can turn his hand to a lot of areas, and has a very good client manner." "He has a strong economic grasp." Chambers UK Bar 2015 (Banking and Finance)

"Highly regarded for his cerebral and knowledgeable approach to substantial commercial cases, particularly those in the financial sector... Outstandingly bright and always seems to be a couple of steps ahead of everyone. His paperwork is outstandingly good." Chambers UK Bar 2015 (Commercial Dispute Resolution)

 'A clever and commercial barrister for financial markets work.' (Legal 500 2014, Banking)

'One of the cleverest juniors' (Legal 500 2014, Commercial Dispute Resolution)

'First-rate advocate' (Legal 500 2014, Shipping)

"Thomas Raphael is "an outstandingly bright" junior, who is "developing strongly as an advocate" and is viewed by some as "a star in the making"." Chambers UK Bar 2013 (Banking and Finance)

"Thomas Raphael possesses "a first-class brain," according to instructing solicitors. "He has strong tactical awareness and expresses himself well on paper and, if anything, even better on his feet"." Chambers UK Bar 2013 (Commercial Dispute Resolution)

"The 'formidably bright and knowledgeable' Thomas Raphael is 'an undoubted star of the future'." Legal 500 2012 (Banking and Finance)

"Thomas Raphael ... is 'extremely clever and hardworking with a keen eye for the minutiae within a case'..." Legal 500 2012 (Shipping)

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