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

Tomas Vail

Associate, London

T +44 20 7532 2488

E [email protected]


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

A native speaker of Russian and English, 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 and UNCITRAL rules. He also regularly represents both states and investors in investment treaty arbitrations under the ICSID and UNCITRAL rules, applicable bilateral and multilateral investment treaties and public international law. Tomas has been recognised by Legal500 as a "key" practitioner in the field of investor-state disputes (Legal500 UK 2018 Dispute Resolution - Public International Law).

Tomas has particular experience of disputes in the petroleum and mining industries, advising on corporate/nationality planning for investment treaty protection, 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, financial services, consumer goods and manufacturing sectors, including joint-venture and post-M&A disputes.

Tomas sits on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration and is currently the UK Chair of the Young ITA. He serves as a legal specialist in investment treaty arbitration to the American Bar Association's Rule of Law Initiative, advising on aspects of investment treaty disputes. He is also a member of the Y-ADR Steering Committee of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR), the Executive Committee of the Russian and CIS Arbitration Network (RCAN) and the Drafting Committee for the Prague Rules on Conduct of the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration. Tomas regularly publishes and speaks on aspects of international arbitration, 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 is listed on the arbitrator databases of the LCIA, VIAC and the Russian Arbitration Center.

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. In addition to Russian and English, Tomas is fluent in French.

Bars and Courts

  • New York State Bar
  • Solicitor of England and Wales


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


  • English
  • Russian
  • French


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

Oil/Gas Arbitration Involving States and State Entities: Selected Procedural and Substantive Issues, 2018: Young ITA, UK (moderator and speaker)

Presentation to the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan on "Investment treaty law and practice", 2017: American Bar Association's Rule of Law Initiative, Kazakhstan

"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 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, 2018
  • 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