Tom’s financial relief practice encompasses matrimonial finance, Schedule 1 applications, cohabitation claims and claims under the Inheritance Act. His children law practice includes internal and external relocation, child arrangements disputes and international child abduction. Tom is a ranked Junior in Chambers and Partners 2022 for both matrimonial finance and children.
Tom is instructed across a broad spectrum of financial work, including matrimonial finance, financial provision under Schedule 1 of the Children Act, cohabitation claims and Inheritance Act disputes. He is available to act and has acted as a private FDR ‘judge’. He is a co-author of the 1KBW book on Trusts in Matrimonial Finance Proceedings and assisted with several chapters in the latest edition of Jackson’s Matrimonial Finance.
Cases of interest include:
Waggott v Waggott  EWCA Civ 727, Court of Appeal.
WT v HT  EWHC 570 (Fam), High Court, Baker J
Crowther v Crowther  EWCA Civ 2698, Court of Appeal.
A v A  EWFC 62
Tom also has a particular interest in civil claims brought under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. He is often instructed to advise and represent clients in these claims and has lectured widely on the topic.
Tom is regularly instructed in international child abduction cases at all stages. He co-authored the 1KBW Handbook on Child Abduction, published in October 2020.
Cases of interest include:
re W (A Child)  EWCA Civ. 2152 (Civ), Court of Appeal
Borg v El Zubaidy  EWHC 432 (Fam), High Court, Mostyn J – Committal.
 JCA 141A – Court of Appeal (Samedi) in Jersey
Tom’s private law children practice encompasses the full range of applications under the Children Act. Recent cases of interest include a successful application for leave to remove, successfully resisting an application for a change of surname, and a case involving serious allegations of domestic abuse.
Tom is available to conduct private FDRs. A solicitor for one of the parties at a private FDR commented subsequently:
“I would not hesitate to instruct Tom Dance again as a private FDR Judge. His thorough preparation was evident from the outset. He offered a fair, calm and measured approach in his indication, which enabled the parties to settle…This is most definitely the future for family practitioners, even for modest asset cases the benefits are undeniable and it certainly abolishes the costs wasted waiting in court to get before a judge with a busy list.
I shall definitely be recommending Tom as a private FDR judge to colleagues and 1KBW in general as I was extremely impressed with how the process was handled remotely and made easy for the practitioners.”
Reputation & Awards
“Polished and impressive on his feet. Judges respect and listen to him and clients trust him. He prepares thoroughly and considers every aspect of the case.”CHAMBERS & PARTNERS 2024
‘His advocacy is excellent, his cross-examination is razor sharp and his advice to clients is reasonable and realistic.’ – Chambers & Partners, 2024
“Thomas is a great advocate, who is always thoroughly prepared and has an excellent manner with clients. He has a real ability to simply complex matters, and is someone who provides strategic, realistic advice to clients.” – Chambers & Partners, 2024
“His advocacy is excellent, his cross-examination is razor sharp and his advice to clients is reasonable and realistic.” – Chambers & Partners, 2024
‘Thomas is an excellent advocate, even amongst the toughest opponents. He has great judgement and cuts through to the real issues. He is available and responds quickly and comprehensively.’ – Legal 500, 2024
“Tom Dance’s wisdom, sense and calm aura belie his years. He’s technically precise and is thoroughly likeable and compassionate.” “He’s very bright and quick-thinking on his feet.”
– Chambers & Partners, 2023
‘Thomas is a definite star of the Bar in the making and smooth advocate who always gains the ear of the court.’
– Legal 500, 2023
“He is reasonable, realistic and someone who knows how to get the judge’s ear.” “Thomas is charming and able to build a good rapport with all parties, which assists with negotiations”
– Chambers & Partners, 2022
Awards and Scholarships
- Middle Temple: Lord Justice Sachs Exhibition.
- Oxford University: John V Lovitt prize for Jurisprudence
- Bar Professional Training Course, BPP (Holborn)
- LLM (Jurisprudence), University College London
- BA (Hons) in Law (Jurisprudence), University of Oxford, Christ Church
- Family Law Bar Association
- Resolution (Associate Member)
- French – conversational
- Dutch – poor
Named Contributor, Atkin’s Court Forms, Chapter K: Registration and Enforcement of Maintenance Orders.
Sub-editor of Jackson’s Matrimonial Finance, Chapters 2 to 9
Tom is obsessed with ceramics and is a fanatical tennis player. Of a Sunday afternoon, he will either be on court imagining he is treading the soft turf of Wimbledon, or hunched over a pottery wheel. Other interests include guitar, piano and groundlessly asserting that he could have been a Michelin starred chef