J. Thomas MacFarlane

Clark Hill PLC
B.A. majors in History and Business
Class of 1983
Alma Mater:
Alma College

Independent Alum of the Day

J. Thomas MacFarlane is an attorney with Clark Hill PLC. Tom works extensively with individuals on estate planning, tax planning and probate matters and with businesses on succession planning and corporate restructuring. Tom counsels clients on the various wealth preservation strategies which are available to high net worth individuals. He is also frequently asked to represent beneficiaries or fiduciaries in complex estate contests and trust disputes.

Tom has represented clients in all aspects of corporate law and has counseled individuals, partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations on a variety of tax and business planning issues. He has represented clients in tax audits and tax disputes before the courts and before state and federal administrative agencies.

Tom frequently lectures on estate planning and business planning topics. He has published numerous articles on estate planning, tax planning and business planning.

Tom serves as the leader of Clark Hill's Personal Legal Services Group. He is active in numerous business and community organizations. He currently serves as a Director of the Detroit Athletic Club, the Detroit Athletic Club Foundation, the Michigan Science Center, Rose Hill Center, and the Science and Engineering Fair of Metropolitan Detroit. Tom is a past President of both the Rotary Club of Detroit and the Detroit Executives Association.

In 2013, Tom was recognized by the publication Best Lawyers as “Lawyer of the Year” in Detroit in Trusts and Estates Litigation. Also in 2013, Tom was named a Michigan Leading Lawyer in Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law, having been selected by his peers as one of the top 5% of practitioners in the state. He is also a Charter Member of the Michigan Leading Lawyers Advisory Board.

Tom is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and is a member of Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises. He has also been repeatedly listed in the Best Lawyers in America and Michigan Super Lawyers.

My motivation

I find it very rewarding to help people who come to me for my advice. This is the reward that keeps me going.

My latest accomplishments

Named a Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers

Next big goal

Help the Michigan Science Center build an endowment.

Why is choosing your own path important?

It is the best way to keep life interesting and fun. I have a wide variety of interests. I always have interesting things I want to do the next time I have a free moment, which rarely occurs.

Favorite place on campus

TKE House

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