Thomas Acworth

Year of Call: 2014
Email Address:
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Telephone: 01962 868 884

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Thomas Acworth completed his pupillage at 3PB under the supervision of Colin McDevitt, David Reid and James Dawson.  He became a tenant in October 2016.  Thomas’ practice is crime-centric.  He also undertakes commercial work.


  • Crime
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    Thomas Acworth appears in the Crown, Youth and Magistrates’ courts.  His practice covers the spectrum of criminal and quasi-criminal matters: from cases of serious violence to technical road traffic and regulatory offences.  Thomas prepares his cases meticulously.  He prosecutes and defends.

    Prior to undertaking pupillage, Thomas ran a pro bono project at HMYOI Feltham, which focussed upon re-entry into employment following release.

    Recent Cases

    • R v A: Murder and Attempted Murder (P).  Led by Nigel Lickley QC. Deceased fatally stabbed by his mother’s boyfriend following a dispute at a New Year’s Eve party.  Following the infliction of the wound on the deceased, the accused then stabbed the deceased’s father.  Noting junior with responsibility for preparing schedules of evidence (blood spatter, financial records and custody timeline), editing ROTIs and drafting admissions.
    • R v M & N: Robbery (D): Street robbery arising from dispute over drugs purchased in joint transaction.
    • R v H: Bankrupt acting as Company Director (P): Defendant set up two companies whilst bankrupt, one of which traded for an extensive period.
    • R v K: Disclosing Private Sexual Images (D): Successful defence based on consent and lack of intent to cause distress.  Defendant put images online at the request of C, who wished to make her boyfriend jealous.
    • R v Y: Battery (D): Successful defence of client charged with beating his young son and former partner.  Thomas persuaded the court that the complainant had fabricated the allegations to get legal aid in family proceedings.
    • R v Q: Public Order and Assault PC (D).  Vulnerable client charged with a string of offences at hospitals and doctors’ surgeries.  Successful defence of absence of mens rea.
    • R v K: Theft and Battery (D). Successful defence of client charged with stealing from his sister and assaulting his mother.
    • R v I: Pitch Encroachment (D).  Persuaded CPS to withdraw application for Football Banning Order.
    • R v P: Fraud (D): Client pleaded to fraudulent misuse of gift cards, which totalled thousands of pounds.  Sentenced to a Community Order with RAR days but no other requirements.
    • R v H and Others: Public Order (D): Client used stun gun on homeless woman living in a park, contested a Newton hearing unsuccessfully and showed no remorse in his PSR.  Suspended sentence secured.

    Motoring Law

    • R v X: Careless Driving (P).  The Defendant’s 4x4 was involved in a serious collision in rural Dorset.  The Defendant and his witness both conceded that the offence had been committed under cross-examination from Thomas.
    • R v U: Driving whilst Disqualified (D).  Successful special reasons application.  Despite the client being present in court when his original disqualification was imposed, Thomas persuaded the Magistrates not to disqualify on the basis of lack of knowledge.
    • R v F: Speeding (60 in a 30) (D).  Appeal to Crown Court.  Persuaded court to impose 3 points because client had been offered a fixed penalty notice.  Client avoided disqualification.
    • R v T: Speeding (D).  Successful exceptional hardship application on behalf of a finance professional.
    • R v A: Failing to Provide a Specimen and Careless Driving (D).  Court appointed advocate for private soldier involved in road traffic collision with a senior officer.
  • Commercial
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    Thomas is regularly instructed by claimants and defendants in a wide array of commercial matters including contractual disputes, credit hire and insolvency proceedings. He appears in court at all stages of proceedings from case management hearings through to trial. In addition to his court-based practice, Thomas accepts instructions to settle proceedings, advise in writing and advise in conference.

    Prior to joining 3PB, Thomas worked for a boutique commercial litigation firm and an international insurance law firm.  During his time at these City solicitors, he gained considerable experience of financial mis-selling actions and a broad spectrum of professional negligence litigation.

    Recent cases

    • Re A Bankrupt: Bankruptcy Appeal in the Chancery Division before HHJ Pearce-Higgins QC. Bankrupt claimed that a herd of beef cattle belonged to his infirm mother. Thomas successfully opposed the Bankrupt’s appeal against an interim order for delivery up and sale of the cattle.
    • Re B (A Bankrupt): Application to reconsider following the emergence of new evidence that suggested the Bankrupt had deliberately misled the court. Heard in the Chancery Division before Newey J.
    • ABC Ltd v X: Debt recovery. Thomas represented a client who was being sued by her former partner’s company for renovation work. Following his robust opposition to the introduction of late evidence, the opposition agreed to discontinue the action.
    • X Plc v TT Ltd: Debt recovery. Following Thomas’ cross-examination of the Defendant’s sole director, the judge not only found in favour of Thomas’ client but also made a costs award against the Defendant, deeming its conduct unreasonable.
    • XYZ Plc v RL Ltd: Penalty clauses and unfair contract terms.  In the face of Thomas’ submissions, the corporate claimant was unable to substantiate its case, which was dismissed in its entirety.


“I would ask you to please pass on my appreciation to the barrister, Tom Acworth, who stepped in at short notice.  If you could pleas thank him on my behalf (being my first time in court) for the way in which he discussed the case with me, briefed me on the likely process once we were in court, and put me at ease. He was personable, professional and conducted matters astutely in court.” - Client’s email to instructing solicitors

“I wish to commend Mr Thomas Acworth on his wholly knowledgeable, competent and professional representation.  Mr Acworth controlled the case from the start and was able to cite several relevant historical cases, demonstrated a thorough knowledge of contract law and was fully conversant with all of the details of our case. As such, the claimant was unable to substantiate or justify their claim and they completely unravelled under Mr Acworth’s questioning.” - Client’s email to instructing solicitors

“He was obviously very well prepared as evidenced by the way he presented the case and dealt with cross examination of witnesses, and the Magistrates felt that his advocacy in court was at a level beyond that expected of an advocate of his experience.” - Legal Adviser to Magistrates

“The client telephoned the office last week to say he was very impressed with you and to pass on his thanks.” – Instructing solicitor

Academic qualifications

  • BPTC (Kaplan)
  • LLB (Newcastle University)


  • Academic Scholar (Canford School)
  • The Luboshez Award (Middle Temple)
  • Arnold and Porter Prize for Competition Law (N’cle)
  • Pinsent Masons Prize for Public Law (N’cle)
  • Cartmell Shepherd Mooting Prize

Professional bodies

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Western Circuit

Direct Access

Thomas Acworth is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.

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