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Thomas P. Branigan

Thomas P. Branigan

Executive Managing Partner

Tom Branigan is a trial lawyer. He has spent his entire legal career in the courtroom where he has tried cases from coast to coast. Through his national trial practice, he has appeared as trial or lead counsel in over 30 states and he has obtained major verdicts and judgments for automotive OEMs and suppliers, major financial institutions and international franchisors.

Among his notable accolades, Tom has been described by Chambers USA as "an admired product liability defense lawyer," (2011) and The Legal 500 (2009), in which his clients describe him as "determined, aggressive and perceptive – an excellent trial lawyer that they are happy to trust going into a big case – and an outstanding lawyer providing excellent legal service.”

Tom's clients come from a broad array of business and industry sectors including automotive, financial, chemical, consumer, franchising, hospitality, insurance, recreational vehicles, public utilities and emerging technologies. Tom has a proven track record of aggressive and cost-effective management and resolution of all facets of complex and high-exposure litigation including class actions, multidistrict litigation, appeals, arbitrations and mediations. He is routinely retained as lead counsel in “bet the company” cases and he has been counsel in many of the largest class action and MDL matters in history. He brings a solution-focused, analytical approach to problem solving and a leadership style that is in alignment with the objectives and culture of his clients. 

Tom is currently an elected member of the firm's Executive Committee and Chair of the firm's Policy Committee. He routinely speaks and writes about issues that are important to his clients and his practice, including autonomous driving technology, cybersecurity and is the co-author of: Michigan Product Liability and Automobile No-Fault Reform Legislation.


Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, 1988
  • Illinois, 2000
  • Ohio, 1999

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Utah


  • Michigan State University College of Law, J.D., 1988
    cum laude
    William P. Finch Evidence Award, 1988 
    Louis J. Colombo Award, Detroit College of Law Class of 1988 
    Editor-in-Chief, Detroit College of Law Review, 1987 - 1988
  • Wayne State University, B.A., 1985

Professional Associations

    • Product Liability Advisory Counsel
    • Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine
    • Defense Research Institute
    • Society of Automotive Engineers
    • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel
    • American Bar Association
    • Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
    • Oakland County Bar Association


    A list of trials is available upon request.


    • The Legal 500 
      —Named in Litigation: Product Liability Defense, Automotive/Transport, 2008 – 2011, 2018, 2020 – 2022
    • Chambers USA
      —Named in 2008 – 2013
    • The Best Lawyers in America
      —Listed in Product Liability and Commercial Litigation, 2015 – 2023
    • Who’s Who Legal, Product Liability Defense
      —Global Leader, 2022
    • The National Law Journal
      —"40 Under 40," 2002
    • Michigan Lawyers Weekly
      —Michigan Leader in the Law, 2012
    • Leading Lawyers Magazine, Michigan Edition
      —Top 100 Attorneys, 2015 – 2018
    • Irish Legal 100
      —Named in 2009 – 2013
    • Super Lawyers Magazine
      —Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006 – 2022
      —Top 100, 2007 – 2009, 2012 – 2014
    • Super Lawyers Business Edition
      —Top Lawyer, Product Liability and Commercial Litigation, 2009 – 2017
    • Martindale-Hubbell
      —Rated AV Preeminent

Recent News, Events and Blogs

Speaking Engagements

  • "Autonomous Vehicles Hot Topics & The Future of AV Litigation," Co-Presenter, Webinar, March 2020
  • "Examining the Next Generation of Emerging Autonomous Technologies," Co-Presenter, ACI Automotive Product Liability Litigation Conference, July 2019
  • "Product Liability Issues Related to ADAS on the Road Today," Presenter, ADAS and AV Legal Issues and Liabilities Conference, October 2019
  • "Proceed with Caution: Examining Legal Scrutiny of Autonomous Vehicles," Co-Presenter, Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, October 2018
  • "Legal, Liability, and Insurance: Key Remaining Barriers for CV’s and CAV’s," Panelist, ITS Michigan Annual Meeting, September 2019
  • "Managing Product Liability Litigation in the Automotive and Manufacturing Sectors: Legalities and Economic Realities," Moderator, ACI Automotive Product Liability Litigation Conference, July 2018
  • "And Now the Law: Product Liability, Cybersecurity, Privacy, Ethics, Insurance, And Regulatory Compliance of Autonomous Vehicles and Highly Automated Vehicle Technology," Panelist,  Autonomous Vehicle Safety Regulation World Congress, October 2017
  • "Self Driving/Autonomous Vehicles: Advancements in Technology, Complex Insurance Issues, Shared Vehicles, Engineering Design, Regulatory Concerns, Ethical Considerations, and Litigation Risk", ACI National Forum on Automotive Product Liability Litigation, June 2017
  • "Cyber Security/Hacking Issues with Vehicles: Safety Concerns, Liability Issues," ABA TIPS Emerging Issues in Motor Vehicle Product Liability Litigation, April 2017
  • "Legal Liability Issues Associated with Connected Vehicles," SAE Government Industry Program, January 2015
  • "VSA and Autonomous Cars: Overcoming the Product Liability Defense Challenges Associated with Vehicle Driver Assist Technologies, Sensor Technologies and Active Safety Systems; and Anticipating the Future of Claims Involving Autonomous Cars," ACI Automotive Product Liability Litigation Conference, June 2014
  • "Putting Plaintiffs to the Test When They Advance Theories to See What Sticks: Side Curtain Air Bags," ACI Automotive Product Liability Litigation Conference, June 2012
  • "The Impact of Product Liability Pattern Litigation in the 21st Century on the Automobile Industry," Client Seminar, September 2010 
  • Young Lawyers Trial Techniques Seminar, The Defense Research Institute, 1993 and 1994
  • Andrews Automotive Litigation Reporter - Courses, Lecturer
  • "Defending the Product During and After the Manufacturer's Mea Culpa," American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, 2001