Tom Hefferon, partner and former co-chair of Goodwin’s Financial Industry practice, focuses his practice on government enforcement and civil litigation matters, with particular emphasis on the banking and consumer financial services industries. Tom also frequently provides compliance advice and litigation risk analysis to industry clients.
Tom has an active enforcement-oriented practice, representing financial institutions, market participants, investors, service providers and individuals in the consumer financial services industry. Tom appears regularly before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the federal banking agencies, and numerous State attorneys general and State banking or other regulatory agencies. Tom also has defended a number of prominent enforcement actions, including several large matters brought by CFPB. Among the subjects that have been at issue in these enforcement investigations, settlements or contested matters are fair and responsible lending, unfair or deceptive practices, payments, credit and debit cards, fintech, mortgage servicing, privacy and data security, small dollar and installment lending, marketing and advertising, and the potential liability of officers, lenders and investors.
Tom’s national practice also concentrates on defending class action and impact lawsuits involving consumer financial services products and practices, in a large variety of state and federal courts. These cases typically arise under state and federal statutes – such as the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), or state unfair and deceptive acts and practices laws (UDAP) – and under the common law. The matters at issue in these cases include fair lending; payments; the legality under RESPA of a variety of business practices; federal preemption; arbitration; assignee liability; loan servicing; default issues; and claims that challenge various types of loan origination practices. Tom also acts as lead counsel to industry trade associations appearing as amicus curiae in cases that present significant issues for the consumer credit industry.
In the 2011 Term, Tom argued in the United States Supreme Court, for the Respondent in Freeman v. Quicken Loans, Inc. The case involved an important consumer credit question under RESPA, which the Court decided unanimously in his client’s favor. 566 U.S. 624 (2012). Tom also has presented oral argument in most federal circuit courts and in a number of state supreme courts.
In addition to his specialty area, Tom has represented a range of corporate and individual clients, and has substantial experience in complex commercial disputes. He has been sole or joint lead counsel in the trial of cases in federal and state courts in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Missouri, Texas, and Illinois.
Areas of Practice
Tom is a member of the American Bar Association, and other state and local bar associations.
During the 1989-1990 academic year, Tom was an adjunct assistant professor of law at Boston College Law School while on leave of absence from Goodwin.
The University of Chicago
(magna cum laude)
(magna cum laude)
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court of North Dakota
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Massachusetts
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Maryland
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Recognition & Awards
Tom has been selected repeatedly for inclusion in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (as a Star Individual in “Financial Services Regulation Consumer Finance (Litigation)”), U.S. News-Best Lawyer's, America’s Best Lawyers, and The Legal 500 U.S. (as a Hall of Fame Individual in “Financial Litigation”).
Tom frequently appears as a panelist at continuing legal education seminars and Mortgage Bankers Association and American Bar Association meetings. He has co-chaired numerous seminars on consumer credit topics, including, for more than a decade, a twice-annual American Conference Institute program on consumer class actions.