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 and employment work.


  • 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.
  • Crime
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    Thomas is a criminal barrister with experience of appearing in the Crown, Youth and Magistrates’ courts. His practice covers the spectrum of criminal and quasi-criminal work: from cases of serious violence to technical road traffic and regulatory offences. Thomas is meticulous in preparing his cases and always provides practical, comprehensible advice to his clients. He prosecutes and defends.

    Prior to under-taking pupillage, Thomas was the project coordinator for Bars in Their Eyes, a pro-bono scheme that made young offenders aware of their obligations to disclose convictions and rights to withhold such disclosure under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Consequently, he is extremely well-placed to advise clients on the implications that convictions will have upon their employment prospects.

    Whilst at university, Thomas was taught about the medico-legal aspects of trauma by a Home Office pathologist. He has good working knowledge of forensic medicine and can deploy this in cases concerning physical injury.

    Thomas appears in cases involving:

    • serious violence
    • drugs, from simple possession to supply
    • child abuse images
    • sexual offences
    • burglary
    • fraud
    • theft
    • environmental offences
    • domestic violence
    • public disorder
    • criminal damage
    • allegations of police misconduct
    • drink driving
    • careless driving
    • speeding, from exceptional hardship to the calibration of speed cameras.

    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.
    • 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 M: Breach of Suspended Sentence Order (P). Defendant attempted to run defence of reasonable excuse but conceded that no such excuse existed under Thomas’ cross-examination.
    • 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 Bench not to disqualify on the basis of lack of knowledge.
    • R v T: Speeding (D). Successfully persuaded a Bench not to disqualify his client (a successful finance professional) by advancing exceptional hardship.
  • Employment and discrimination
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    Thomas has a budding employment practice.  He appears in proceedings in both the Employment Tribunal and the County Court from case management through to final hearings.  Cases in which Thomas has been instructed have involved:

    • disability discrimination
    • race discrimination
    • discrimination on grounds of religion
    • unfair dismissal
    • allegations of employee dishonesty
    • manipulation of performance statistics
    • notice pay
    • wrongful dismissal
    • bonus pay disputes
    • redundancy.


    • 18th May 2017

      Thomas Acworth on Essop & Ors Home Office and Naeem v Secretary of State for Justice. Thomas Acworth summarises an important decision given in Essop & Ors Home Office; Naeem v Secretary of State for Justice regarding indirect discrimination.

      View Publication


“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

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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