Thomas Cooper’s practice is focused on tax planning, trust and estate planning and administration, business succession, and transactional and business matters that arise in connection with the acquisition, ownership, and operation of closely held businesses. 


Thomas supports clients’ existing and prospective business interests, including representing family offices and independent sponsors in their acquisitions of closely held businesses and other investments, advising on capital structures and prospective liquidity events, business succession planning for family members and key employees such as buy/sell and equity compensation arrangements, business operations and family office structures, and life insurance arrangements. He regularly works with business owners and investors and their related family members, c-level executives and other business operators, accountants, wealth managers, corporate fiduciaries, life insurance providers, and family office advisors in arriving at comprehensive, creative, and practical solutions to achieve his clients’ objectives.

Thomas’ estate planning and trust and estate administration practice focuses on advising on, implementing, and administering estate plans and trust arrangements. This aspect of his practice works in tandem with sophisticated estate, gift, generation-skipping, and income tax planning, including the use of family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, family office investment vehicles, irrevocable trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), and charitable planning. He has particular experience advising owners of family offices, principals of private equity and hedge funds, and founders of venture capital-backed companies with the unique aspects of estate and tax planning involving their business interests.



  • Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates, 2023
  • Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates "Ones to Watch," 2021-2022


Blogs and Resources




  • Co-Author, “Family Offices: Unique Capital Allocation And Structuring Considerations”, Private Wealth Magazine, November 2018
  • Author, “Business Tax Planning and Fiduciary Income Tax After Tax Reform”, The Will & The Way, February 2018
  • Co-Author, “Individual Estate and Tax Planning After Tax Reform”, The Will & The Way, February 2018
  • Co-Author, "Tax Consequences of Section 736 Liquidating Distributions to a Partner," West’s Estate, Tax, and Personal Financial Planning, May 2014

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Business Structuring and Succession from a Stakeholder Perspective, Queens University Estate Planners Day, May 2023
  • Speaker, Estate and Gift Tax and Fiduciary Income Tax Recent Developments, ABA Hybrid 2022 May Tax Meeting, May 2022
  • Speaker, Closely Held Business Dispute Resolution, ABA Hybrid 2022 May Tax Meeting, May 2022
  • Speaker, Tax Recent Developments, ABA Virtual 2022 Midyear Tax Meeting, February 2022
  • Speaker, Trusts as Owners of Businesses, ABA Virtual 2021 Fall Tax Meeting, September 2021
  • Speaker, 33rd Annual Real Property Trusts & Estates (RPTE) Virtual National CLE Conference, “Potential Partnership Tax Pitfalls for Planners”, April 2021
  • Panelist, “Tax Proposals of the Presidential Candidates”, ABA Virtual 2020 Fall Tax Meeting, September 2020
  • Speaker, Federal and State Recent Developments, North Carolina Bar Association 40th Annual Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Program, July 2019


J.D., Emory University, with honors; Managing Editor, Emory Law Journal

B.A., University of Virginia


  • North Carolina
  • Texas
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Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates, 2023

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