Thomas M Hefferon

Thomas M. Hefferon

Partner
Thomas M. Hefferon
Washington, DC
+1 202 346 4029

Tom Hefferon, partner and former co-chair of Goodwin’s Financial Industry Litigation practice, focuses his practice on civil litigation and government enforcement matters, with particular emphasis on the banking and consumer financial services industries. Mr. Hefferon frequently provides compliance advice and litigation risk analysis to industry clients.

Experience

Mr. Hefferon has a national practice concentrating on defending prominent financial institutions facing class action lawsuits pending in a large variety of state and federal courts. These cases typically arise under state and federal laws, including the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Fair Housing Act (FHA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), state and federal unfair and deceptive acts and practices laws (UDAP), other consumer lending statutes and regulations, bankruptcy laws and the common law.

The matters at issue in these cases include fair lending; the legality under RESPA of a variety of business practices; federal preemption; arbitration; assignee liability; loan servicing; foreclosure, bankruptcy and default issues; and claims that challenge various lending practices under a wide variety of federal and state statutes, including UDAP laws. He has an active practice before numerous state and federal courts. In the last several years, Mr. Hefferon and others in the group have defended more than 200 putative class actions, most of which were brought as nationwide class actions, and have been lead counsel in four multidistrict litigation proceedings. He also is acting and has previously acted as lead counsel to mortgage industry trade associations appearing as amicus curiae in cases that present significant issues for the consumer credit industry, and as counsel to trade associations in connection with regulatory comment letters.

In the 2011 Term, Mr. Hefferon 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. Mr. Hefferon also has presented oral argument in most federal circuit courts and in a number of state supreme and lower appellate courts. 

Mr. Hefferon also represents financial institutions and trade groups in a variety of contested matters in court and before federal and state administrative agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, numerous state attorneys general, and state banking agencies. He is actively representing consumer finance companies in CFPB examinations and enforcement proceedings.

In addition to his specialty area, Mr. Hefferon has represented a range of corporate and individual clients, and has substantial experience in complex commercial disputes, including contract litigation, insurance disputes, lender liability cases and litigation arising in connection with bankruptcies filed under Chapters 7, 11 or 13. 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.

Professional Activities

Mr. Hefferon is a member of the American Bar Association, and other state and local bar associations.

Professional Experience

During the 1989-1990 academic year, Mr. Hefferon was an adjunct assistant professor of law at Boston College Law School while on leave of absence from Goodwin.

Credentials

Education

JD1986

The University of Chicago

(magna cum laude)

BA1982

Trinity College

(magna cum laude)

Admissions

Bars

  • Virginia
  • Massachusetts
  • District of Columbia

Courts

  • 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

Mr. Hefferon has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for his work in Financial Services Regulation Law and Litigation - Banking and Finance 2022-2023.

Benchmark Litigation recognizes Mr. Hefferon as a 2021 Litigation Star in Washington DC for his work in Appellate. Mr. Hefferon has been selected repeatedly for inclusion in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, U.S. News-Best Lawyer's and The Legal 500 U.S. He also has been named to BTI Consulting Group’s “2013 Client Service All-Star Team.”

Publications

Mr. Hefferon 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 litigation issues, including, for more than a decade, a twice-annual American Conference Institute program on class action litigation in consumer lending.

Mr. Hefferon’s recent speaking engagements and publications include:

  • Mortgage Bankers Association’s Regulatory Compliance Conference 2021 — Ongoing Developments Track: Major Litigation (September 2021) 
  • Mortgage Bankers Association’s Legal Issues & Regulatory Compliance Conference 2021 — General Session: Major Litigation (May 2021)
  • “Fair Lending Considerations in a COVID-19 World: Rules Still in Play,” (July 2020)
  • “Fair Lending Considerations in a COVID-19 World: Fair Servicing and Consumer Relief in the U.S.,” (May 2020)