TOMAS VAIL > Vail Dispute Resolution > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Vail Dispute Resolution
7 Bell Yard


Tomas Vail is an international lawyer based in London, with over a decade of arbitration experience. He is fluent in English, French and Russian. Mr Vail is recognised as a leading arbitration practitioner by Chambers UK, Legal 500 UK and Who’s Who Legal (including being recently listed as one of 15 “Most Highly Regarded” arbitration practitioners in EMEA). He has served in leadership positions of several prominent arbitration organisations and initiatives, including as an Advisory Board member of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration. He serves as a legal specialist to the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative and in this capacity presented to the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan on arbitration matters.

Mr Vail is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and regularly sits as arbitrator under the rules of major arbitral institutions. He is listed on the arbitrator databases of the LCIA, ICC, SCC, SIAC, AIAC, KCAB, VIAC. He regularly speaks and publishes on aspects of international arbitration and public international law. His recent writings include two book chapters: one on the Brčko Arbitration, in a book on non-state actors under international law (Nijhoff Brill); and a second on tribunal appointed experts, in a commentary on the UNCITRAL Model Law (Cambridge University Press).

Further to his role as arbitrator, Mr Vail represents clients throughout the world, most frequently in Russia and the CIS, Eastern Europe and Africa, conducting disputes under the LCIA, SCC, ICC, ICSID and UNCITRAL rules and related court litigation. He has particular experience of the petroleum and mining industries, advising on high-value disputes between energy companies and states/state-owned entities. Mr Vail’s experience includes independently negotiating aspects of multi-billion dollar disputes and settlements at the highest levels of government, on behalf of both states and investors. He also has experience of complex disputes in the construction, telecommunications, financial services, commodities, consumer goods and manufacturing sectors, including joint-venture and post-M&A disputes.


Between 2010 and 2016, Tomas worked in the international arbitration group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. From 2016 to 2019, he was a member of the international arbitration team at White & Case. At all of these times, each team was respectively ranked “Number 1” in the Global Arbitration Review’s list of the world’s top international arbitration practices. He founded Vail Dispute Resolution in 2019.



  • English (native)
  • Russian (native)
  • French (fluent)


  • Solicitor, Senior Courts of England and Wales
  • Attorney and Counsellor at Law, New York


  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)
  • Appointed as legal specialist in international arbitration to the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative
  • Advisory Board member of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) and 2017-2019 UK Chair of the Young ITA
  • Member of 2017-2019 Y-ADR Steering Committee of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR)
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Russian and CIS Arbitration Network (RCAN)
  • Member of Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN), British Russian Law
  • Association (BRLA), Anglo-Russian Law Association (ARLA), Russophone Lawyers in International Commercial Arbitration (RYUMKA)


  • American University Washington College of Law, Juris Doctor
  • Masters studies at Université Paris X Nanterre in International Commercial Arbitration and Private International Law
  • Macalester College, Bachelor of Arts

Lawyer Rankings

London > Dispute resolution > International arbitration

(Firms to watch)

Acting for both states and investors in investment treaty arbitration proceedings, disputes practice Vail Dispute Resolution was established in 2019 by arbitration specialist Tomas Vail, a former White & Case LLP senior associate.

London > Dispute resolution > Public international law

(Firms to watch)

Advising on all aspects of investor-state arbitration, independent disputes practice Vail Dispute Resolution was launched in 2019 by former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and White & Case LLP arbitration lawyer, Tomas Vail.