Thomas has been a disputes lawyer for the last 25 years and is one of the most experienced disputes counsel in the German market. He advises corporations of all sizes in all aspects of litigation and international arbitration, with a focus on disputes for industrial clients, disputes originating in plant- and civil construction work and M&A transactions. Being a disputes lawyer and coming from the back end of a project, Thomas also focuses on major projects advice. He is the president of the Chinese-European Legal Association and has a special expertise in the East Asian markets and in particular Greater China.
Thomas has been advising on some of the most prominent infrastructure and construction projects of the last decade including underground and overground railway projects, road construction projects, pulp mill projects, coal fired and nuclear power plants, off-shore windfarms, solar farms, photovoltaic cell production and high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter platforms.
In 2002, Thomas was counsel to one of the early international "space arbitration" cases dealing with an international satellite system. His work on the Flex-N-Gate Supreme court case in Germany, originating in an M&A transaction was described as "Arbitrator's nightmare". It gave parties to arbitration confidence about the rule of law in arbitration and guided arbitrators to comply with arbitration rules. Thomas himself regularly sits as an arbitrator in arbitrations e.g. under DIS, ICC, CIETAC, UNCITRAL, PCA Vienna and Swiss Rules.
The market considers Thomas as a "market leading arbitration and disputes specialist" (Legal Monitor, April 2016), as a "brilliant litigator" (Leaders League, November 2015) and been "feted for his disputes resolutions skills" and "vast experience in plant and civil construction-related disputes" (Who's who legal, Germany 2014) , He "is respected across the German bar for his work on industrial and civil construction disputes both in court and in arbitration (Who is who legal, Germany 2015).
Thomas' experience includes:
- counsel to a 1 bio. EUR ICC arbitration dealing with all aspects of the planning and construction of a modern coal fired power plant located in the west of Germany
- counsel to a 1 bio. USD ICC arbitration on defects, change order and delay and disruption during the construction of one of the most iconic building worldwide in Dubai (UAE)
- counsel to a 600 mio EUR dispute on the engineering, procurement, and construction management of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter platforms based in the German Northern Sea
- counsel to 230 mio EUR DIS arbitration arbitrated for close to eight years and followed by successful state court annulment procedures on a failed international M&A transaction in Frankfurt (Germany)
- counsel to a series of 17 arbitrations (also described as Katyusha arbitration) on defects and delay and disruption claims originating in the construction of an 850 mio EUR pulp-mill project in Sachsen-Anhalt (Germany)
Thomas studied law at the Universities of Münster, Osnabrück and Bonn (Germany). After an interval with the Austrian Law Firm of Cerha, Hempel, Spiegelfeld in Vienna, Thomas joined a competitor law firm in Germany and practised with this firm for close to 25 years. He joined Hebert Smith Freehills in 2015.