Thomas B. Spillane

Retired Partner


Thomas B. Spillane, Jr. is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. A seasoned business counselor, his practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, domestic and international joint ventures, restructuring transactions, bankruptcy acquisitions, executive compensation planning, director representation, project finance transactions and general corporate representation of public and private companies in a variety of industries, including automotive, technology, aerospace, real estate development, energy, casinos and health care. Thomas is former co-chair of the firm's Automotive Industry Team, and a member of the Transactional & Securities, Private Equity & Venture Capital and International Practices, as well as the Health Care Industry Team.

Thomas combines years of corporate legal representation along with his background as a certified public accountant at a Big 4 accounting firm, to advise clients on the appropriate structure and tax aspects of acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and management incentive compensation plans.

His vast business, transactional and joint venture experience includes the representation of numerous U.S., European and Asian automotive suppliers; private equity funds; real estate developers in commercial, industrial and retail developments; physician practices; senior executives in compensation arrangements and casino operators.

Representative Experience

Representative transactions handled by Thomas include, among other deals:

  • Acquisition of large global Tier 1 automotive supplier, including management of international aspects of transaction
  • Represent private equity funds on U.S. and international automotive transactions 
  • Acquisition of a company in the energy industry representing management and its co-investment with a private equity fund 
  • Sale of global automotive supplier company to a private equity fund 
  • Acquisition of several companies in aerospace and government contractors 
  • Sale of food distribution company 
  • Casino joint venture ($1B), including handling, development, management and licensing matters 
  • Sale of several companies to Chinese buyers 
  • Numerous joint ventures between physicians and hospitals, surgery centers and physician practice management companies 
  • Joint venture for construction of a stadium project 
  • Creation and unwinding of a strategic global joint venture for two large automotive suppliers 
  • Over 150 acquisition, sale and joint venture transactions of companies valued from $10-200 million involving buy-out funds or strategic industry buyers 
  • Numerous private placement offerings to raise equity or debt for a wide range of healthcare, real estate and technology companies 
  • Regularly represents senior executives and management groups in negotiating executive compensation and equity arrangements in acquisitions, divestitures, going private and restructuring transactions


Thomas has been Peer Review Rated as AV Preeminent®, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system. He has been selected for inclusion in the 2009 - 2017 Michigan Super Lawyers® lists as well as recognized as one of the Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers®. He was also selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Corporate Law (2018-2022).


Thomas earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and his law degree from Wayne State University.

Admissions and Professional Memberships

Thomas is admitted to practice in Michigan and is a former chairperson of the Business Entities Committee and the Partnership Committee of the State Bar of Michigan. Thomas is a member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, the American Institute of CPAs, the Michigan Association of CPAs and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association.

Community Engagement

Thomas serves on the board of directors for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Publications and Presentations

Thomas is a frequent author and lecturer on mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, commercial contract matters and executive compensation arrangements.