Thomas Shortland

Partner, London

Thomas Shortland

Partner, London

Tom Shortland is a partner and solicitor advocate in the London office of Cohen & Gresser. He is a member of the firm’s Litigation & Arbitration and White Collar Defense & Regulation practice groups.

Tom advises corporations and senior executives, particularly in the investment funds and financial services industries, on the prosecution and defence of complex commercial disputes, and on the navigation of sensitive and high-stakes investigations, regulatory inquiries, and follow-on litigation.

Tom has considerable experience of litigating, both as claimant and defendant, complex and high-value commercial disputes in the English Business & Property Courts, courts in overseas jurisdictions, and before international arbitration tribunals. He has particular expertise in disputes arising out of M&A and financing transactions, joint ventures and shareholdings, insolvency, and allegations of corporate misconduct. Tom is well-versed in group and collective action proceedings in the English courts and in the utilization of litigation finance.

In addition to his commercial disputes practice, Tom regularly advises on internal and disciplinary investigations, regulatory proceedings, director disqualification applications, and economic crime matters. He has handled investigations and prosecutions conducted by a range of UK authorities, including the Serious Fraud Office, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Competition and Markets Authority, Trading Standards and The Insolvency Service. Tom previously practiced as a principal Investigative Lawyer within the Bribery & Corruption Division of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office and draws on this experience when advising clients on compliance and defence strategies.

The breadth of Tom’s experience across commercial disputes and regulatory matters makes him ideally placed to assist corporations and senior executives in navigating complex contentious matters involving parallel investigations, inquiries and litigation.

Tom is regularly recognized in the legal directories. In The Legal 500’s UK guide, he has been identified as a “Rising Star” and a “Next Generation Partner” in Commercial Litigation: Mid Market, and as a key lawyer in Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates) and in Fraud: White Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals). The Legal 500 has described Tom as “combin[ing] intelligence with great commercial sense,” as being “very switched on for commercial and sanctions work, and with a very responsive and commercial approach,” and as a “standout partner [who has] broad experience and is very dedicated to his clients.” In 2023, he was identified as a “Future Leader” in the Who’s Who Legal guide for Commercial Litigation, a report which is described as identifying “standout practitioners in the litigation field” who are “singled out for their outstanding ability.”

Tom has an active pro bono practice. He regularly volunteers as an advocate in the English Business & Property Courts with the Chancery Bar Association’s Litigant in Person Support (CLIPS) Scheme and has on several occasions been a recipient of the CLIPS Pro Bono Champion Award. He is a mentor with the Social Mobility Foundation.

Prior to joining the firm, Tom trained and qualified in the London office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, where he practiced for over eight years. He graduated in Law from the University of Cambridge.

Tom Shortland is a partner and solicitor advocate in the London office of Cohen & Gresser. He is a member of the firm’s Litigation…


University of Cambridge, Selwyn College (B.A. 2009; M.A. 2012); University of Law (Legal Practice Course, 2010)

Bar Admissions

England & Wales (Solicitor-Advocate); Republic of Ireland (non-practicing)

Cohen & Gresser partner John Roberti has been recognized as a Thought Leader in the Competition section of the Who’s Who Legal (WWL) guide, and partner Thomas Shortland has been recognized as a Future Leader in the guide’s Commercial Litigation section.

The Competition report “brings together the insight, expertise, and wisdom of some of the world’s foremost competition lawyers and economists in a single report.” John joins a distinguished group of lawyers and other professionals who, according to WWL, “are worthy of special mention owing not only to their vast expertise and experience advising on some of the world’s most significant and cutting-edge legal matters, but also their ability to innovate, inspire, and go above and beyond to deliver for their clients.”

The Commercial Litigation report provides an in-depth analysis of the foremost litigators around the world who are singled out for their outstanding ability within this contentious context.” Tom is included among “standout practitioners in the litigation field” that WWL identified as future leaders in the market.

Who’s Who Legal is an organization that identifies the leading legal practitioners and consulting experts in business law based on comprehensive, independent research. The individuals featured in the guide obtained the largest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel, and other market sources.

The 2024 edition of The Legal 500 UK Solicitors guide has recognized Cohen & Gresser’s London office for excellence in Commercial Litigation and two White-Collar Crime and Defense categories: Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals) and Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates).

Richard Kovalevsky KC received recognition as a Leading Individual in the Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates) category, and Thomas Shortland is recognized as a Next Generation Partner in the Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market category. Additionally, John Gibson, Sir David Green CB KC, Ashley Collins, Patrick Ferguson, and Charlotte Ritchie are recognized as recommended lawyers.

Testimonials included in the tables praise the London team as “brilliantly innovative,” “top of the league,” and “standout stars in every way.” Client feedback also highlighted the team’s relentless persistence: “They will work unflaggingly and constantly until they have left no stone unturned and no potentially winning avenue unexplored.”

Opened in 2018, Cohen & Gresser’s London office provides legal services to clients around the world in a variety of disciplines. The office works closely across practices with colleagues in New York, Paris, and Washington, D.C., providing seamless support on sophisticated cross-border matters.

The Legal 500 UK Solicitors reflects the best lawyers and law firms in the UK following extensive research, interviews, and analysis of tens of thousands of submissions.

International law firm Cohen & Gresser is pleased to announce that Thomas Shortland has been promoted to partner, and Benjamin Zhu and Louise Le Guilchet have been promoted to counsel.

“Congratulations to Tom, Ben, and Louise on their well-deserved promotions,” said Lawrence T Gresser, global managing partner of Cohen & Gresser. “They are a talented group of lawyers who have demonstrated an extraordinary dedication to client service. All three represent Cohen & Gresser’s core values of excellence, integrity, and respect, and we are pleased to recognize their significant achievements and the impact they have within their practices and at the firm.”

Thomas Shortland – Partner, London

Tom Shortland represents corporations and individuals in a range of commercial and business disputes in the English courts, courts in overseas jurisdictions, and in international arbitrations. He also advises on internal and disciplinary investigations, regulatory proceedings, and financial crime matters. Tom has been recognized in The Legal 500 UK’s guide as a “Rising Star” in Commercial Litigation and as a key lawyer in Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime.

Benjamin Zhu – Counsel, New York

Ben Zhu focuses his practice on litigation and white collar defense matters. He has represented corporations and individuals in a range civil and criminal matters, including complex commercial disputes, mass tort litigation, legal malpractice actions, and government investigations. He has been named a Rising Star in New York by Super Lawyers since 2021. Ben is a magna cum laude graduate of the New York University School of Law, where he received the Order of the Coif and was a Notes Editor of the Law Review.

Louise Le Guilchet – Counsel, Paris

Louise Le Guilchet focuses her practice on complex litigation (including general civil and commercial matters, shareholder disputes, and post-acquisition litigation) as well as internal and regulatory investigations. Louise holds a master’s degree in Private International Law and International Trade from the Université Panthéon-Assas and a master’s degree in International Finance from HEC Paris (Grande Ecole).

International law firm Cohen & Gresser has been recognized by The Legal 500 UK for its “wide international reach” and “seamless collaboration” on cross-border investigations and disputes. Client commentary highlights C&G’s London office as “the go-to team for risk advisory” work and notes that clients should “instruct them before the other side does.”

C&G is recognized as a leading firm in the Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates) category. The guide emphasizes the firm’s work with respect to the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and notes that the team is “distinguished by its ability to draw on the expertise of experts in Washington, DC, New York, and Paris” for its multi-jurisdictional work. Clients highlight the team’s “astonishing depth of knowledge,” “strong connections to authorities,” and “razor-sharp analytical skills.”

The Legal 500 also recognized C&G in the Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals) category. The guide notes that the firm is known for “housing a very strong team of white-collar crime specialists” who are “well-versed in representing senior executives and high-net-worth individuals” in all types of cases and investigations. Clients highlight the practice’s “terrific experience in the most high-profile and difficult cases” and praise the diverse experience each team member brings to the firm’s cases, including as city lawyers, ex-SFO prosecutors, solicitors from crime boutiques, and barristers.

C&G is also recognized as a leading firm in the Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market category. The guide recognizes the firm’s experience in complex, cross-border commercial litigation and highlights the team’s strength in financial services representations, particularly with respect to investment funds litigation and banking and financial services disputes. Clients applaud the practice as “well organized and accessible” and underscore the team’s ability to “give you a full picture” and “summarise the essential of what needs to be known.

In addition, Richard Kovalevsky QC has been recognized as a “Leading Individual” for Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates). Richard, who joined C&G in November 2020, is described by clients as “clever and experienced” and a “major addition for the firm.”

Ranked Practice Areas:

  • Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates)
  • Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals)
  • Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market
Recognized Individuals:

  • John Gibson: Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market; Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals); Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates)
  • Richard Kovalevsky QC: Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market; Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals); Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates)
  • Jumana Rahman: Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market
  • Thomas Shortland: Commercial Litigation: Mid-Market; Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates)
  • Tim Harris: Fraud: White-Collar Crime (Advice to Individuals); Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime (Advice to Corporates)
About The Legal 500: The Legal 500 analyzes the capabilities of law firms across the world. Its rankings “highlight the practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel.”

Cohen & Gresser LLP advised private equity firm Limerston Capital in its acquisition of Forensis Group Limited and Forensic Axis Limited (trading respectively as Forensic Access and Axiom International), specialists in forensics science services and premier providers of international institutional reform and capacity building. The combined acquisition will form the basis of a new, comprehensive international criminal justice services provider. Management and founders, led by Professor Angela Gallop, will retain a significant minority shareholding as part of the transaction and will work with Limerston Capital to expand the businesses through organic growth and strategic acquisitions. The terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

Cohen & Gresser announces the promotion of Thomas Shortland to counsel in the firm's London office. Tom advises on a broad range of commercial and business disputes, including English High Court litigation, international arbitration, internal investigations, and regulatory proceedings.

Cohen & Gresser announces the expansion of its White Collar Defense & Regulation and Litigation & Arbitration groups in London with the addition of Thomas W Shortland. Tom advises on a broad range of domestic and cross-border disputes including civil, regulatory, and criminal matters. Prior to joining C&G, Tom practiced at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton where, between 2015 and 2016, he was seconded to the Bribery & Corruption Division of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office as an Investigative Lawyer.
In his first speech as Director of the UK Serious Fraud Office, Nick Ephgrave last month expressed provisional support for financial incentives to whistleblowers in cases alleging significant economic crime. This marks a strategic shift as he seeks new approaches to expedite investigations and prosecutions.

In this Client Alert, John Gibson, Thomas Shortland, and Ashley Collins explore the divergent approaches to whistleblower payment schemes in the UK and the U.S. and shed light on the challenges and opportunities faced in this area by the current Director of the SFO.

Last week, the UK’s Insolvency Service published statistics on its enforcement activities and outcomes during the last financial year. The Report describes The Insolvency Service’s enforcement activities in the areas of director disqualifications, company enforcement actions, bankruptcy and debt relief matters, and criminal prosecutions. It also illustrates certain enforcement trends in director disqualifications.

In this C&G Client Alert, Thomas Shortland, John Gibson and Ashley Collins:

  1. highlight three trends in director disqualification enforcement which emerge from the Report;
  2. suggest factors that may have contributed to these trends; and
  3. discuss whether these trends are likely to continue.

They also provide some insights on contested disqualification proceedings from recent cases.

On February 15, significant changes to the regime for the disqualification of company directors entered into force.

The Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Act 2021 provides, for the first time, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy with powers to investigate and pursue disqualification proceedings against directors of dissolved companies.

The reforms to the director disqualification regime, and the increase in the circumstances in which a company director may be subject to disqualification proceedings, will be of note to company directors and to providers of directors' and officers' liability insurance.

In this C&G client alert, Thomas Shortland discusses the scope of the reforms and identifies factors that may affect how frequently the new powers will be exercised.

(This article was originally published in Law360.)

John Gibson, Tim Harris, Thomas Shortland, and Tom Orange authored the England & Wales chapter of the International Comparative Legal Guide - Corporate Investigations 2022. In this Q&A-styled publication, the authors answer frequently asked questions about conducting corporate investigations in the UK, including key considerations for deciding whether to conduct an internal investigation, self-reporting and cooperation with enforcement authorities, the investigation process (such as the conduct of witness interviews and data collection), the limits of legal privilege and many other pressing topics.

The UK Supreme Court recently handed down its hotly-anticipated judgment in the business interruption insurance test case (FCA v Arch and others [2021] UKSC 1). The judgment extends, in certain respects, findings in favour of certain policyholders of business interruption insurance made by the High Court. In this client alert, Jumana Rahman, Thomas Shortland, and Charlotte Ritchie focus on the implications of the Supreme Court judgment for causation issues in insurance law and the wider law and address the consequences of the judgment for various key stakeholders.

In this C&G client alert, Jumana Rahman, Thomas Shortland, and Charlotte Ritchie consider the outlook for business interruption policyholders and insurers in the wake of judgment in the FCA’s test case, and take a look at what the insurance community has learned so far about COVID-19 and business interruption insurance.

In this C&G client alert, Jumana Rahman, Thomas Shortland, and Charlotte Ritchie discuss the legal and practical implications of the UK Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the reflective loss principle in Sevilleja v Marex.
In this C&G Client Alert, Jumana Rahman, Thomas Shortland, and Charlotte Ritchie examine the developing tension in the UK between insurers and policyholders regarding business interruption claims arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

John W Gibson, Thomas Shortland, and Ashley Collins outline the key factors company directors must consider when making business decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they may face scrutiny from a range of interested parties including creditors, employees, trade unions, landlords, customers, regulators, insolvency practitioners, and possibly law enforcement.

On 13 March 2023, Thomas Shortland spoke at an event run jointly by the Chancery Bar Association and the Judges of the Business and Property Courts (Chancery Division). The purpose of the event was to encourage barristers and solicitor advocates to participate in the Chancery Bar Association’s Litigant in Person Support (CLIPS) Scheme. CLIPS is the Chancery Bar Association’s flagship pro bono scheme run in association with Advocate (the Bar’s national pro bono charity) and with the assistance of members of other specialist bar associations. The scheme provides on-the-day assistance to unrepresented litigants in the daily Interim Applications List in the Chancery Division and in the Business and Property List at Central London County Court. Tom spoke at the event alongside The Honorable Mr Justice Fancourt, Andrew de Mestre KC (4 Stone Buildings) and Emma Horner (4 Stone Buildings).
Thomas Shortland participated in a panel discussion as part of a seminar run by Practising Law Institute entitled "Cross-Border Trends, Tactics, and Strategic Insights: What European and U.S. Lawyers Should Each Know About Litigating Abroad."  The panel discussion concerned trends in U.S. class actions, how they affect the road ahead for class/group claims in Europe, and the impact of litigation funding on litigation in Europe.
Tim Harris and Thomas W Shortland spoke about the UK experience of resolving corporate criminal wrongdoing through Deferred Prosecution Agreements at the White Collar Academy’s Anti-Corruption Conference in Amsterdam.