Thomas Coke-Smyth


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QEB News: Tom Coke-Smyth represents family of L/Cpl Brynin at the inquest into his death in Afghanistan
18.01.2017 More >

QEB News: Selva Ramasamy and Tom Coke-Smyth speak at Army Professional Training Conference
02.06.2016 More >

QEB News: Tom Coke-Smyth represents the family of LCpl James Brynin, soldier killed in friendly fire incident
16.03.2016 More >

QEB News: David Spens QC and Tom Coke-Smyth comment in the Press Gazette on the latest developments in Operation Elveden and the changes introduced by the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015
9.6.2015 More >

QEB News: Narrative conclusion in inquest into ‘friendly fire’ deaths of Captain Sawyer and Corporal Winter
12.3.2015 More >

QEB News: Tom Coke-Smyth and Polly Dyer provide Case Management training to members of the LBLA
18.11.2014 More >

QEB News: New Tenants
7.2.2013 More >

Tom Coke-Smyth

Call 2011

BA (Hons) History, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford – Class 2:I
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Graduate Diploma in Law – Distinction
Bar Professional Training Course - Outstanding

Practice: Crime, Fraud, Regulatory, Inquests & Inquiries, Military


Tom joined QEB Hollis Whiteman in September 2011. His practice encompasses all aspects of chambers’ work.

Financial Crime

Tom was part of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) disclosure team on Operation Tabernula, the most complex Insider Dealing case ever prosecuted by the FCA. He also has experience of the FCA’s regulatory enforcement and offences under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and has experience advising the global financial crime division with internal regulatory matters.

He has experience of contested confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and is particularly familiar with the complexities of equitable interests in land in this context. Tom has assisted in cases of fraud, financial and business crime and has experience of preparing cases of MTIC fraud before the Tax Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal for HMRC. He is also a committee member for the Young Fraud Lawyer’s Association (YFLA).

Tom was also part of the QEB Hollis Whiteman team which successfully completed in early 2016 a year long regulatory project for a leading global bank spanning several countries, including secrecy and offshore jurisdictions. The team provided “invaluable assistance” enabling the bank to considerably improve the application and effectiveness of its AML regime, meeting a challenging spring 2016 deadline imposed by the FCA.


Health care

Tom is regularly instructed by the GMC and is currently on their developmental list of advocates.

Tom acts for the GDC and has experience of presenting the full range of hearings on their behalf. Recent substantive hearings have included serious allegations of dishonesty, misconduct arising out of serious clinical failings involving complex expert evidence, and under guise investigations dealing with work beyond the scope of practice.

Prior to this Tom spent time seconded to the NMC as a case presenter in 2014, although he now welcomes the opportunity to defend in these proceedings.

In 2013 Tom spent 6 months seconded to the GMC during which time he worked as part of the Fitness to Practise policy team on modernising the GMC’s Fitness to Practise Rules. He also worked to develop policies for criminal disclosure from the police in relation to fitness to practise proceedings. From this work he gained an extensive understanding of the health care regulatory framework and the key issues involved in fitness to practise proceedings.

Tom also has experience of defending in front of the HCPC and of advising the GCC in respect of case management and presentation of cases.

Sports Law

Tom has experience of sports regulatory proceedings for the Rugby Football Union Disciplinary Committee, upon which his supervisor presided. He also assisted his supervisor who appeared for the defence during the trial of Pakistani cricketers accused of match fixing.

General Crime

Tom’s criminal practice encompasses the full range of offences and he regularly appears in the Crown Court for both the prosecution and the defence.

Tom is regularly instructed for the defence either privately or on legal aid. He has recently defended in cases involving conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, affray and sexual assault.

For the prosecution cases include the successful prosecution of a conspiracy to defraud involving the “ringing” or fraudulently altering of motorcycle identities. In December 2013 he was led in the successful prosecution of Operation Farmer which involved a series of sophisticated cash in transit robberies committed over a nine month period.

Tom is a CPS level 2 prosecutor.

Driving Matters

Tom has experience both prosecuting and defending the full range of motoring offences. Notable successes include the successful argument of special reasons in relation to a defendant charged with driving whilst disqualified following a recent ban and the successful exclusion of urine sample evidence resulting in acquittal for a charge of drink driving.

Inquests and Inquiries

In 2012, Tom was seconded to the Department of Health for a number of months as a junior member of the Inquiry team to assist in the preparation of the report arising from the Public Inquiry into the failure to regulate the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Between 2013 and 2015 he was instructed as junior to Philip Evans to represent the families of two soldiers killed in a friendly fire incident on operations in Afghanistan in 2009 at the Article 2 inquest into their deaths. In his conclusions the Coroner found that failure to include in the Javelin safety case its use in an anti-personnel role resulted in an inadequate assessment of the risks in that role and this contributed to these deaths.

In March 2016 Tom represented the family of a soldier killed in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan in October 2013. Following a successful application on behalf of the family, the matter has been adjourned to allow the Service Prosecuting Authority to consider afresh possible a charge of unlawful act manslaughter.


Tom maintains a strong interest in court martial cases and criminal cases involving service personnel and is able to use his own experience whilst serving in the army to obtain the best possible results for clients. He possesses first-hand knowledge of the particular challenges associated with service life and is well aware of the impact these can have in both court martial and criminal proceedings.

Previous Employment

Tom served for four years in the British Army between 2005 and 2009 where, following training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he commissioned as an officer into the Parachute Regiment. He served with the Parachute Regiment as a platoon commander on Operation Herrick 8 in Helmand province, Afghanistan. At Sandhurst he was awarded the Sheikh Al Sabah Prize for overall best performance in Defence and International Affairs.

Prior to joining chambers, Tom interned in 2011 as parliamentary assistant to Baroness Scotland QC in the office of the Shadow Attorney General. During this time he worked on a wide variety of legal issues and assisted in preparing speeches, conducting legal research, and pro bono legal activities.


Criminal Bar Association
Association of Military Court Advocates
Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
Young Fraud Lawyers Association (Committee member)


2012 - Inner Tempe Sweet and Maxwell Pupillage Award

2006 – Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, prize for best performance in Defence and International Affairs

Notable cases:

FCA v Bank (2015)
International financial-regulatory remediation project across assorted countries, including secrecy jurisdictions, on behalf of a prominent international bank.

GDC v S (2015)
Represented the GDC in proceedings against a dentist accused of failing to diagnose a malignant ulcer.

Inquest into the deaths of Captain T Sawyer & Corporal D Winter (2015)
Article 2 inquest into friendly fire incident in Afghanistan.

R v Janulevicius & others (2015)
Successful prosecution for conspiracy to defraud by false representation by motorcycle “ringing”.

NMC v B (2014)
Represented the Nursing and Midwifery Council against registrant charged with multiple counts of medical administration error

R v D (2014)
Defence in confiscation where successfully argued against prosecution case that defendant had an equitable interest in the fa

R v G (2014)
Junior defence counsel in multi-million pound conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

R v Goodman and others (2014)
Assisted in the defence of Clive Goodman, former editor of the News of the World in the phone hacking trial.

R -v- Griffiths & others (2013)
Junior prosecution counsel (cash-in-transit robberies)

Harrow Council v Undre (2013)
Successful prosecution under the Welfare of Farmed Animal Animals (England) Regulations 2007 for failing to adequately feed a

Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry (2013)
Public Inquiry into failings at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

R v AH (2012)
Conspiracy to commit violent disorder.  Successful submission of no case to answer.

R -v- D (2012)
Acquittal of youth charged with ABH.

R -v- L (2012)
Acquittal of sexual assault.