Tom has over 25 years experience representing clients in a multitude of complex business and financial restructuring matters throughout Oregon and Washington. He also represents Pacific Northwest clients in bankruptcy cases in other courts throughout the United States. He has served as lead counsel to business debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, committees, and trustees in some of the larger Chapter 11 cases in Oregon and southern Washington. He also regularly represents Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees and receivers. Tom has litigated interest rate issues, asset valuation, Section 363 sale issues, use of cash collateral and adequate protection, relief from stay, preferences, fraudulent transfers, discharge, and contested Chapter 11 confirmation issues. He has argued appeals to the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Tom was Debtor's counsel in two of the most highly-publicized and complex Chapter 11 cases filed in the Pacific Northwest in the last decade in which he represented the Archdiocese of Portland and the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province. Those were the first Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization cases filed by a Catholic diocese and a Catholic religious order in the United States. Tom and the bankruptcy team at Sussman Shank litigated issues in those cases regarding canon and civil law, charitable trusts, property of the estate/ownership issues, future claims estimation, and a myriad of other issues in confirming plans of reorganization. He also provides counsel to other non-profit and religious organizations concerning the intricacies of both their religious and civil law structure and finances.
Tom is an active member of the Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Section, having served on its Executive, Annual Meeting, and Legislative Committees. He was Chairperson of the Section in 2006, Chair of the Legislative Committee from 1996-2001, and Chair of the Annual Meeting Committee from 2012-2015. For over 20 years he has instructed other lawyers on debtor-creditor and bankruptcy issues for the Oregon and Washington State Bar's CLE programs, has written numerous CLE articles, and is currently the co-editor of Sussman Shank's Pacific Northwest Bankruptcy Blog, which provides information and comments on debtor-creditor issues and bankruptcy cases to lawyers and other restructuring and bankruptcy professionals. He is also an active practitioner in southwest Washington bankruptcy cases, regularly appearing for clients in the Western District of Washington bankruptcy courts in Vancouver and Tacoma.
Tom has been recognized as one of the top attorneys in Oregon by both Best Lawyers® in America and Super Lawyers®. He has annually been included in the Super Lawyers® list in Bankruptcy and Debtor/Creditor Rights since 2007, and on the Top 50 List of all Oregon lawyers from any practice area since 2012. He is listed as one of the Best Lawyers® in America for his skills in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law and for Litigation - Bankruptcy. Tom is rated AV® Preeminent Lawyer in Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards.
Tom is originally from Texas, having graduated from the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business and the University of Houston Law School before moving to Oregon in 1988 to pursue his legal career. He has been a member of the Sussman Shank legal team since setting foot in Oregon and a partner in the firm since 1997.