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Thomas M. Williams

Member, Louisville

A Member of Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Louisville office since 1995, Tom serves as Co-Chair of the Arbitration & Mediation practice. He is also part of the Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits practice.

Tom has earned multiple distinctions for his professional accomplishments and community contributions. He is a past President of the Louisville Bar Association and has been recognized by Chambers USA as a “Leader in Kentucky.” According to the publication, he is “an extremely professional lawyer who treats each of his clients as if they’re number one.” In 2011, for his efforts in creating Thomas Merton Square and success in other civic endeavors, he was named Louisville Peacemaker of the Year by the Interfaith Paths to Peace.

Arbitration & Mediation: Tom approaches all disputes with the goal of securing a fair and equitable course of action and works to guide all parties to an agreement, without the expense and delay of litigation.

Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits: With more than 20 years of experience in this field, Tom offers a full scope of services that range from arbitration of collective bargaining agreements to counseling on workers’ compensation matters. He is a frequent lecturer, trainer and writer on employment law topics.

Public Benefit Corporation Services: Tom advises existing Public Benefit Corporations on various aspects of governance and compliance. He also occupies a unique position in the community that enables him to counsel new and existing businesses as they explore whether B Corporation status is appropriate for their needs.

Alcohol & Hospitality: Tom helps clients understand and navigate labor and employment matters specific to the beverage, hotel and travel industries.

Education
University of Cincinnati College of Law
1990, J.D.
College of William Mary
1986, B.A.
Admissions
Indiana
Kentucky

Recognition

  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, 2016, 2020
  • Best Lawyers in America®, 2015-present
  • Top 50 Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2017
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2017-present
  • Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer for Business, Labor & Employment, 2014-2017
  • Louisville Magazine Top Lawyer, Labor & Employment Law, 2012; Labor & Employment Law-Defense, 2013 and 2014
  • "Louisville Peacemaker of the Year" Award, 2011 
  • University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, Dean’s Service Award, 2009
  • Advanced a local ordinance naming "Thomas Merton Square" in downtown Louisville, 2008
  • "Spirit of Yes" Award from Leadership Louisville, 2003
  • Award for Professional Excellence, Louisville Society for Human Resources Management, 2002
  • Advanced congressional legislation creating an inscription at the Lincoln Memorial for Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, 2000. The inscription was dedicated on the 40th anniversary of the dream speech in August 2003.
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Affiliations

  • Louisville Bar Association, president, 2007
  • American Bar Association, member, Employment Rights and Responsibilities subcommittee, 1998-present
  • Louisville Society for Human Resources Management
  • Restorative Justice Louisville, Inc., founding board member
  • Partnership for a Compassionate Louisville, co-chair, 2011
  • Leadership Louisville "Connector," 2010
  • Leadership Kentucky, 2009
  • Leadership Louisville, board chair, 2009, programs chair, 2007-2008
  • Interfaith Paths to Peace, board member, 2008-present
  • Thomas Merton Institute, board member, 2008-present
  • Bingham Fellows, 2004 and 2018
  • Leadership Louisville, 2003
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Work Highlights

Violations of Agreements and Restrictive Covenants

SKO represented a provider of specialty patient care equipment that sued a consultant and its consulting business after an agreed upon Asset Purchase Agreement and Consulting Agreement’s restrictive covenants had been violated by the consultant. The provider sued for both monetary damages and injunctive relief. The Jefferson Circuit Court granted the provider’s motion for a temporary injunction against the consultant under the Consulting Agreement, but denied the motion for a temporary injunction against the consultant under the Asset Purchase Agreement. Because the Asset Purchase Agreement provided greater injunctive protection, the provider filed an interlocutory appeal pursuant to CR 65.07. The Kentucky Court of Appeals agreed with the provider that the Jefferson Circuit Court had erred in denying injunctive relief under the Asset Purchase Agreement, and reversed the Jefferson Circuit Court’s decision on that issue. This was a notable decision because the standard of review for a party seeking interlocutory relief from a trial court’s decision to grant or deny a temporary injunction is a clear abuse of discretion.

Kentucky Civil Rights Act & Disability Discrimination

Successfully represented a company and one of its executives against claims by plaintiff for alleged disability discrimination, retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. SKO represented the company during investigations by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After the EEOC found no wrongdoing, the plaintiff filed claims in the Pulaski Circuit Court. After three years of litigation, we obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims. SKO then successfully represented the company on appeal. The Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed the Pulaski Circuit Court's order dismissing all claims and denied the Plaintiff's petition for a rehearing.

News Publications Seminars
June 16, 2016, June 21, 2016
Young Professionals Association of Louisville, Develop Series: The Key to Negotiations, PNC/Paycor Department of Labor Overtime Seminar
Fellowship of Reconciliation Monthly Luncheon, Compassionate City Initiative Update, Sept. 15, 2011
Leadership Louisville 2012 Class, Connector Project and Social Capital Update, Sept. 13, 2011
Annual Legal Update, Society for Human Resources Management, 2005 to 2008