Tom Emslie-Smith

Tom Emslie-Smith

  • Called in 2016

Tom Emslie-Smith has a busy practice spanning all of Chambers’ core areas, including personal injury, employment, commercial and insurance, and general common law.

Tom is in Court nearly every day and regularly appears in Multi-track, Fast Track and small claim trials, disposal hearings and Employment Tribunal proceedings.

Tom has experience across the spectrum of civil law issues and writes advice, statements of case, schedules and counter-schedules for proceedings in the County Court and Employment Tribunal.

Personal Injury

Personal injury is a core area of Tom’s practice. He is regularly instructed on the Multi-track and Fast Track in trials, interlocutory hearings and disposals. Tom also provides advice on liability and quantum and drafts statements of case, schedules and counter-schedules.

Tom frequently handles matters in Court and on paper across the range of personal injury issues, including:

  • Employer’s liability
  • Highways Act 1980
  • Clinical negligence
  • Slip and trip accidents
  • Landlord’s liability
  • Defective Premises Act 1972
  • Pet liability
  • Fundamental dishonesty
  • Low Velocity Impact Defences

Tom is happy to consider accepting instructions on a CFA basis.


Tom has a keen interest in employment law. With a core focus on unfair dismissal and discrimination, he has advised and appeared before the Employment Tribunal in disputes involving:

  • Constructive dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • TUPE
  • Unlawful deduction of wages
  • Overnight workers and national minimum wage
  • Psychiatric harm

Tom is willing to take instructions for both claimants and respondents in interim and final hearings.



Tom handles cases involving insurance law, with particular knowledge of motor insurance and MIB claims. Recent experience includes a dispute involving his client’s liability to satisfy a judgment under s.151 Road Traffic Act 1988.

Credit Hire

Tom has built up an extensive knowledge in credit hire matters through regular instructions. He undertakes work on both claimant and defendant sides and has dealt with cases covering a broad range of credit hire issues.

General Common Law

Tom has Court experience in a range of common law cases including the following areas:

  • Landlord and tenant;
  • Product liability;
  • Property damage;
  • Household fires;
  • Building disputes;
  • Sale of goods and contractual disputes

Tom is happy to be instructed in interim and final hearings across Chambers’ broad spectrum of common law work.

Civil Fraud

Tom regularly represents parties in fundamental dishonesty trials, particularly those involving LVI and medical causation issues. He is well versed in arguments as to section 57, QOCS, and costs consequences upon findings of FD.

Tom also has experience of suspected fraud in the running of credit hire matters. He is regularly instructed in matters where enforceability of credit hire agreements is in issue and has appeared in several cases, with some success, in which illegality is raised as a defence.

Notable Cases

Successful for the Defendant in a mould induced asthma claim against a landlord (2019)
Tom represented the Defendant landlord in a claim by his tenant for financial loss and asthma symptoms claimed to be caused by mould. Upon commencement of her tenancy, the Claimant found that the bathroom floor beneath the lino was covered in mould. The landlord replaced the floor straight away but in the days that followed the Claimant woke up with respiratory problems. Tom successfully defended the claim and the Court found, notwithstanding the widespread presence of mould in the bathroom, that the Landlord had not breached any of his legal duties toward the Claimant.

Successful for the estate of a deceased cyclist (2018)
The Claimant (“C”) was knocked from his bicycle by the Defendant (“D”), who was making a left turn into a side street. C tragically had died before the trial, unrelated to the accident. Tom represented C’s estate at trial, where the judge found that D was at fault and C had not done anything that would merit a finding of contributory negligence.

Finding of 80% contributory negligence in a bicycle v pedestrian accident (2018)
The Claimant (“C”) cycled down a hill at speed at collided with the Defendant (“D”), a pedestrian who had stepped out onto the road and into C’s path. D was left with a serious brain injury and could not give evidence at trial. C had been convicted of Careless and Inconsiderate Cycling. Tom represented D and persuaded the trial judge to make a finding of 80% contributory negligence against C.

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Favourable settlement in a disability discrimination case (2017)
Tom provided pro-bono representation to a Claimant alleging discrimination and harassment against her employer on grounds of her autism spectrum disorder. Tom took charge both of the conduct of the litigation and the advocacy before the Employment Tribunal. A favourable settlement was reached.

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If you would like to instruct Tom Emslie-Smith or would like help or advice in doing so, please call and talk to our excellent clerking team, led by senior clerk Alan Kilbey MBE. Our phone number is +44 (0)20 7583 9241. Alternatively, please email us at

For more information about our clerking team, please click here for the clerks page.

Appointments & Memberships

Personal Injury Bar Association

Employment Lawyers Association

Bar Pro Bono Unit Volunteer Panel

Lincoln’s Inn

Education & Qualifications

Bar Professional Training Course, University of Law, Outstanding (2016)

Graduate Diploma in Law, Kaplan Law School, Commendation (2014)

MA (Hons) International Relations, University of St Andrews, 1st Class (2013)


Medical Protection Society Prize for Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence, University of Law (2016)

Buchanan Prize for BPTC Performance, University of Law (2016)

Advocacy Scholarship, University of Law (2016)

Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2014)

Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2013)

Dean’s List for Academic Excellence, University of St Andrews (2012 & 2013)

Personal Interests

Tom enjoys playing the guitar and has performed in a band in live music venues across London. He also enjoys playing and watching football, rugby, running and just about any other sport going.