Chris Thomas

Counsel, London



Chris Thomas is a counsel in our International Trade Practice Group, based in the London office. His practice covers a broad range of compliance and trade-related matters, including sanctions and export controls, foreign direct investment screening, trade remedies, customs, WTO law, and international trade disputes. He brings over 15 years of experience from government, the private sector, and academia to bear when advising clients.

Before joining White & Case Chris was a senior lawyer with the UK Government, where he led the team responsible for advising the Department for International Trade (DIT) on all legal matters relating to export controls and sanctions. This included advising the Export Control Joint Unit on legislative, policy, licensing, and operational matters.

During his time at DIT, Chris was also responsible for advising on free trade agreement negotiations (including for the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement), the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, UK customs and tariff policy, and the WTO goods agreements. He was also the lead lawyer responsible for steering the Trade Act 2021 through Parliament.

Earlier in his career, Chris was an assistant professor at the London School of Economics & Political Science, where he taught international trade law, investment treaty law, the law on the use of force, and public international law. He has a PhD in international trade law from the University of Cambridge, where he was a WM Tapp Scholar and Honorary Cambridge Commonwealth Trusts Scholar.

Before moving to the UK, Chris was a solicitor at a leading Australian law firm.

Bars and Courts
High Court of Australia
PhD in Law
Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge
LLB (Hons)
University of Melbourne
University of Melbourne
Dip Arts, English Literature
University of Melbourne


Speaking Engagements

"The fight against forced labor in supply chains: How to stay compliant in the US, EU and UK," co-sponsored by Lexology, March 30, 2023, Webinar