Thomas Kiernan Principal Associate

Speaks:  English

Qualified: 2018 - Solicitor of England and Wales

Primary office:  Birmingham

Thomas Kiernan

Thomas Kiernan is a real estate disputes Principal Associate based in Birmingham.

Tom's clients include commercial property developers, major house builders, investment funds and high street retailers. Tom works with his clients in order to deliver the best and most commercially-effective strategies for avoiding, tackling and closing down disputes as they arise where possible.

Tom advises on a wide of range of commercial property matters for a number of household names on their property disputes. Tom has considerable experience in advising on commercial developments, with a particular focus on rights of light, restrictive covenant and mines and mineral disputes.

In his spare time, Tom is an avid fan of rugby league. In addition to being a regular season ticket holder for his local semi-professional club (the Midlands Hurricanes), he is also an ambassador for the Hurricanes' Supporters Club who aim to grow the sport in the region.


Tom's recent experience includes:

  • Successfully acting for Bloor Homes in obtaining an expedited injunction in the High Court that prohibited protestors from continuing to occupy a tree on the public highway that needed to be felled as part of the development (Bloor Homes Limited v Emerick-Callow and others [2022] EWHC 3507 (Ch);
  • successfully acting on behalf of Sainsbury's and the Co-op in respect of the widely publicised Supreme Court decision concerning business rates and whether ATMs located within and outside of their stores should be separately rated. If unsuccessful, this could have cost the supermarkets c. £300 million in additional rates liability (Cardtronics UK Ltd and others v Sykes and others [2020] UKSC 21);
  • acting on behalf of the City of London and the London Borough of Southwark in respect of their Supreme Court case against Transport for London which concerned the scope of a highway transferred to TFL under a statutory instrument (London Borough of Southwark and another v Transport for London [2018] UKSC 63);
  • successfully acting on behalf of a national supermarket chain defending a multi-million pound contractual dispute concerning its refusal to acquire land for the purpose of building a store;
  • advising and acting on behalf of the Official Receiver in respect of the well-reported liquidation of a multinational construction company. Tom's role included preparing and issuing a substantial number of notices of disclaimer, advising the liquidator on various claims against the company and pursuing a landlord debtor for payment of a substantial incentive fee in a complex and fast-moving piece of litigation;
  • advising a new developer on various issues raised by a complex development project in central London (including rights of light negotiations, the potential impact of restrictive covenants and the status of various secure tenants on negotiations);
  • acting on behalf of a national construction and property group in respect of defending a complicated and valuable overage dispute; and
  • successfully obtaining vacant possession by way of an interim possession order of a unit in Kingston that had been fraudulently let to an unidentified third party.


Tom went the extra mile to make our case bulletproof such that even though it was fully contested…there was no possible defence that they could realistically run

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2024

    • Career
      July 2024
      Gowling WLG (UK), Principal Associate
  • 2022

    • Career
      July 2022
      Gowling WLG (UK), Senior Associate
  • 2021

    • Career
      November 2021
      Gowling WLG (UK), Associate
  • 2018

    • Career
      September 2018
      Dentons UK and Middle East LLP, Associate
    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Qualified, Solicitor of England and Wales
  • 2016

    • Career
      August 2016
      Dentons UK and Middle East LLP, Trainee
  • 2015

    • Career
      July 2015
      DWF LLP, Paralegal
    • Education
      BPP, Legal Practice Course
  • 2014

    • Education
      University of Lancaster, Law