Howe PSM QC, Tom

Chief Counsel Dispute Resolution

Tom is AGS’s most senior dispute resolution practitioner, and has professional oversight and responsibility for AGS’s Dispute Resolution practice across Australia.

He advises on all issues relating to public law matters, and has delivered in-house counsel services for more than 30 years, leading to more than 250 published decisions of courts and tribunals. Amongst these are many precedent-setting cases.

Tom’s practice also includes providing high-level advice to ministers, departmental secretaries and chief executive officers in very complex and high-profile matters; acting as legal adviser to commissions and inquiries; advising departments and agencies on issues concerning damages and compensation claims, including the establishment and operation of special-purpose compensation schemes. He regularly performs the role of Acting Solicitor-General.

Tom was appointed a Commonwealth Queen’s Counsel in 2007 in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to Australian law and the Australian Government over many years of outstanding service, and was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2015.

He is a founding member of the Australian Dispute Resolution Advisory Council.

Recent experience

Tom’s most recent cases have included:

  • appearances before the Full Court of the Federal Court in judicial review
  • appeal proceedings under the Migration Act and the Fair Work Act.

Qualifications

Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Arts, Australian National University, 1982

Recognition

Tom was appointed as Commonwealth Queen’s Counsel in 2007 in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to Australian law and the Australian Government over many years of outstanding service.

His contribution to Commonwealth legal services was further recognised by the award of a Public Service Medal in 2015, for 'providing the highest level of guidance to the Government and its lawyers on significant and sensitive Commonwealth litigation, shaping substantial areas of public law and practice in areas as diverse as national security, employment law, administrative law and parliamentary privilege.’

Tom has been a Fellow of Resolution Institute and is a member of the Australian Academy of Law.