Tomas Vail | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice

Tomas Vail

Associate, London

T +44 20 7532 2488

E tomas.vail@whitecase.com

Overview

Tomas is an associate in the Firm's International Arbitration Group, based in London.

Tomas advises and represents clients in disputes throughout the world, most frequently in Russia and the CIS, Eastern Europe and Africa, including under the auspices of the LCIA, ICC, SCC and UNCITRAL rules. He also regularly represents both states and investors in investment treaty arbitrations under the ICSID rules, applicable bilateral and multilateral investment treaties and public international law.

Tomas has particular experience of disputes in the upstream petroleum industry, advising on investment treaty structuring, production sharing agreements, tax stability provisions and cost recovery mechanisms. He was also seconded to the dispute resolution team of an oil major. Tomas has experience of disputes in the telecommunications, mining, financial services, consumer goods and manufacturing sectors, including joint-venture and post-M&A disputes.

Tomas is an active member of arbitration associations and holds leadership roles in the Institute for Transnational Arbitration and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (Y-ADR). He regularly publishes and frequently presents on arbitration-related issues, such as at the St Petersburg International Legal Forum, Conference of the International Law Association and various conferences of the International Bar Association and the Institute for Energy Law. Tomas maintains an active pro bono practice advising states on aspects of investment treaty disputes, and in this capacity has been appointed as a legal specialist to the American Bar Association's Rule of Law Initiative. Tomas is listed on the LCIA database of neutrals/arbitrators.

Tomas was educated at the Washington College of Law, where he obtained a Juris Doctor degree, and completed his undergraduate studies in political science at Macalester College. As part of his legal education, Tomas completed graduate studies in international arbitration at Université Paris X – Nanterre, as well as placements with the US Department of Justice and the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris.

Tomas is a member of the bar in New York and is a Solicitor of England and Wales. He is a native speaker of Russian and English and is fluent in French.

Bars and Courts

  • New York State Bar
  • Solicitor of England and Wales

Education

  • JD, Washington College of Law
  • BA, Political Science, Macalester College

Languages

  • English
  • Russian
  • French

Experience

Acting for Russian Federation in an UNCITRAL arbitration pursuant to a BIT

Advising the Russian Federation in a multi-billion dollar investment treaty claim commenced by a high-profile individual under the UNCITRAL rules.

Acting for the Republic of Uzbekistan in an ICSID arbitration pursuant to a BIT

Representing the Republic of Uzbekistan in an ICSID arbitration under the Turkey-Uzbekistan BIT concerning a shopping complex.

LCIA arbitration in telecommunications industry

Representing an Eastern European telecommunications company in a post-acquisition dispute under the LCIA rules and related UK litigation.

UNCITRAL arbitration relating to a gas field in Kazakhstan pursuant to a PSA*

Advising a group of oil majors in a series of high-profile cost recovery and fiscal stabilization disputes with the Republic of Kazakhstan under the UNCITRAL rules arising out of a production sharing agreement, and negotiating a highly complex settlement agreement in relation to the Karachaganak gas field.*

ICSID arbitrations relating to a Ugandan oil block pursuant to a PSA*

Advising an international oil company in two ICSID arbitrations against the Republic of Uganda arising out of a production sharing agreement (in parallel to domestic tax proceedings).*

*Matters worked on prior to joining White & Case.

Speaking Engagements

"Investor Protection in Construction Disputes", 2017: IBA ECA (Europe Caucasus-Asia) Forum 2017,
UK

"Tax Disputes and Investor Protection", 2017: 6th IEL-IBA SEERIL International Oil and Gas Law Conference (Institute for Energy Law and the International Bar Association's Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law),
UK

"The call for specialised arbitrators, fora and procedures in energy arbitration", (moderator), 2017: ITA-IEL-ICC Joint Conference on International Energy Arbitration,
USA

Publications

  • The Brčko Arbitration: A Process for Lasting Peace between Non-State Actors, in Non-State Actors and International Obligations: Creation, Evolution and Enforcement (ed. James Summers), Nijhoff, 2017 (forthcoming)
  • The English courts' discretion on foreign policy issues post-Brexit, Commercial Dispute Resolution (with Ed Attenborough), 2017
  • Would World Duty Free v Kenya be decided differently today?, Global Arbitration Review, 2016