Tom Panoff focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation involving financial services and fintech companies, antitrust matters and other high-stakes commercial cases. He practices before trial and appellate courts around the country, having litigated matters in over 30 states and approximately half of the 94 U.S. district courts. Tom also frequently conducts internal investigations for companies and boards of directors, as well as handles investigations by federal and state regulators. In addition, Tom regularly counsels clients on corporate governance and advises alternative investment funds on evaluating litigation exposure for assets.
Tom’s wide-ranging financial services practice covers complex litigation and multi-defendant class actions and mass actions involving mortgage securitization, RICO, fraud, conspiracy, Ponzi schemes, corporate veil piercing, anti-money laundering, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), mergers and acquisitions, qui tam, and numerous consumer statutes (e.g., FCRA, FDCPA, RESPA, TCPA, TILA, etc.). Tom also regularly advises fintech companies on legislative, compliance, regulatory and litigation matters.
Internal investigations that Tom conducts for companies and boards of directors are frequently global in scope. Tom has extensive experience working with C-suite executives and boards in managing media strategy surrounding investigations and implementing post-investigation remediation plans.
Tom’s antitrust practice, which frequently involves representing financial institutions, includes criminal antitrust investigations before the Department of Justice and foreign competition authorities and civil lawsuits involving alleged price fixing, market allocation, attempted monopolization and tying. Tom also has extensive experience in merger review matters.
Tom also regularly represents clients in high-stakes commercial disputes involving trade secrets and intellectual property, breach of contract, indemnification, cybersecurity and executive-level non-competition issues, many of which are global in nature.
Tom joined Mayer Brown after serving as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert P. Young, Jr. of the Michigan Supreme Court (2004-05) and earning an LLM in UK and EU commercial law from the University of Cambridge (2005-06).
- Advised numerous FinTech companies on complex litigation, regulatory compliance and strategic initiatives.
- Represented RMBS participants in various multi-million dollar litigation matters, including repurchase disputes, indemnification demands and challenges to the securitization process.
- Represented leading investment banks, mortgage lenders and securitization trusts in numerous cases around the country challenging the use of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS).
- Representative Opinions: State of Ohio ex rel. Flaiz v. MERSCORP, Inc., --- N.E.3d --- (Ohio Ct. App. 2017); MERSCORP, Inc. v. Delaware County, PA, 160 A.3d 961 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2017); Kubic v. MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., 785 S.E.2d 595 (S.C. 2016); Boyd County ex rel. Hedrick v. MERSCORP Inc., 614 F. App’x 818 (6th Cir. 2015); Welborn v. Bank of N.Y. Mellon Corp., 557 F. App’x 383 (5th Cir. 2014); County of Ramsey v. MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., 776 F.3d 947 (8th Cir. 2014); Plymouth County, Iowa v. MERSCORP, Inc., 774 F.3d 1155 (8th Cir. 2014); Macon County, Ill. v. MERSCORP, Inc., 742 F.3d 711 (7th Cir. 2014); In re: Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., 754 F.3d 772 (9th Cir. 2014); Union County, Ill. v. MERSCORP, Inc., 735 F.3d 730 (7th Cir. 2013); Brown v. MERS, Inc., 738 F.3d 926 (8th Cir. 2013); Town of Johnston, R.I. v. MERSCORP, Inc., 950 F.Supp. 2d 379 (D.R.I. 2013); Jackson County, Mo. v. MERSCORP, Inc., 915 F. Supp. 2d 1064 (W.D. Mo. 2013); Christian County Clerk v. Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., Inc., 515 Fed. App’x. 451 (6th Cir. 2013); State of Cal., ex rel. Bates v. Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., Inc., et al., 694 F.3d 1076 (9th Cir. 2012); Cervantes v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 656 F.3d 1034 (9th Cir. 2011); Trevino v. MERSCORP, Inc., et al., 583 F. Supp. 2d 521 (D. Del. 2008).
- Advised numerous hedge funds and private equity firms in evaluating potential litigation exposure for pools of assets.
- Represented national mortgage lenders and servicers in class actions and mass actions around the country defending against alleged violations of various consumer statutes and common law causes of action.
- Representative Opinions: Nicklaw v. CitiMortgage, Inc., 839 F.3d 998 (11th Cir. 2016), reh’g denied,855 F.3d 1265 (11th Cir. 2017); Zia v. CitiMortgage, Inc., 210 F. Supp. 3d 1334 (S.D. Fla. 2016); Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Wolf, 444 S.W.3d 685 (Tex. App. 2014); Moody v. CitiMortgage, Inc., 32 F. Supp. 3d 869 (W.D. Mich. 2014); Abraham v. Am. Home Mortg Servicing, Inc., 947 F. Supp 2d 222 (E.D. N.Y. 2013).
- Represented multinational corporations in criminal antitrust and merger review investigations before the Department of Justice and foreign competition authorities.
- Represented numerous multinational corporations in multi-billion dollar civil antitrust cases alleging price fixing, market allocation, attempted monopolization and tying. Industries involved include, financial services, chemicals, computer memory technology and steel.
- Represented commodities exchanges and national brokerages in merger and acquisition litigation.
- Represented international auto manufacturer in €400 million ICC arbitration.
University of Cambridge, LLM, UK & EU commercial law
Harvard Law School, JD
Supervising Editor, Harvard Journal on Legislation
Harvard Business School, John F. Kennedy School of Government
(graduate coursework during law school)
University of Michigan, BBA, high distinction
Phi Beta Kappa, Beta Gamma Sigma
- District of Columbia
- US District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- US District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
- US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- US District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- US District Court for the District of Columbia
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- US District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
- US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- Board of Directors, Chicago Bar Foundation