Tom Cunningham has been an active trial lawyer and arbitrator for over 40 years. A graduate of the University of Texas Law School, Mr. Cunningham joined the firm now known as Norton Rose Fulbright in 1974 where he became a Senior Litigation Partner. In 1998, he founded his own firm to focus exclusively on the trial and arbitration of business cases.
Mr. Cunningham’s extensive trial and arbitration experience covers a variety of substantive areas, including energy, oil and gas, construction, hospitality, contracts, business torts, fiduciary liability, estates, trusts, professional liability, officer and director liability, and product liability. Examples of his engagements include:
- Chair of a panel of arbitrators in a dispute involving allegedly defective oil field cement products and the alleged failure of the well.
- Chair of a panel of arbitrators in a dispute concerning the interpretation of a commercial lease.
- Sole arbitrator and subsequently mediator in a dispute concerning the acquisition, ownership and operation of producing and non-producing oil and gas interests.
- Arbitration counsel for an owner of an offshore mineral interest in a dispute regarding the acquisition and sale of the interest.
- Representation of a leading energy company in litigation over the acquisition and distribution of liquefied natural gas in Algeria and the United States.
- Arbitration counsel for a multi-national chemical company in a dispute concerning liability and allocation of risk related to asbestos claims.
- Representation of electric utilities in litigation over the construction of nuclear power plants.
- Representation of a construction manager in litigation over the construction of a steel mill.
- Representation of an oil and gas production company in litigation over the disposition of a block of oil and gas leases.
- Representation of one of the world’s largest hospitality enterprises defending seven class and derivative actions involving investments in branded hotel chains.
- Representation of several of the nation’s largest energy and mining companies in the Commercial Explosive Products Antitrust Litigation.
- Representation of one of the nation’s largest home products manufacturers in mass-tort litigation over allegedly defective plumbing products.
- Numerous engagements for an interstate gas pipeline company in a variety of cases involving gas purchase contracts, transportation agreements, and gas gathering partnerships.
- Numerous engagements in cases dealing with the financing, development, and operation of commercial real estate projects.
- Numerous engagements in cases involving wills, estates, testamentary trusts, tortious interference with estates and gifts, and the duties and liabilities of trustees and personal representatives. One such case resulted in two opinions by the Supreme Court of the United States addressing jurisdictional conflicts between state probate courts and United States bankruptcy courts.
- Numerous engagements for clients in professional liability litigation.
- Numerous appearances as an expert witness in arbitration and litigation involving the attorney-client relation and matters of professional responsibility.
Mr. Cunningham is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He chaired the Texas State Committee of the American College and he has served on a variety of other committees, including the National Trial Competition Committee, the National Moot Court Competition Committee, and the Legal Ethics and Professionalism Committee. Mr. Cunningham is also a member of the American Law Institute and the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Mr. Cunningham is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He serves as a member of the governing board of the CIArb North American Branch and as the President of the Texas Chapter. He is certified in mediation and dispute resolution by CEDR, London.Mr. Cunningham has served prominently in professional organizations and societies, and he has been a leader in promoting professional responsibility among lawyers and judges. He chaired the Texas Commission on Lawyer Discipline, the Texas agency that oversees and administers the system of lawyer professional responsibility. He also chaired the Texas State Judicial Conduct Commission, the body responsible for addressing complaints against judges in Texas. He authored portions of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, and served on the task force that created the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. Other professional activities include service as Chair of the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Texas Bar Foundation, and Chair of the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation.