Tom McNeill ADR

Experienced Arbitrator Service

As trial counsel, I have served as lead counsel in more than 100 arbitrations, before AAA, JAMS and CPR.

Rooted in that experience, I have served as an arbitrator in cases tried to final award, both as the sole arbitrator or as member of a panel of three.

As an arbitrator, I prepare to the same painstaking level of detail as I did as an advocate for his clients with cases before judges and arbitrators.

I adjudicate to fast-paced schedules and absolute merit-based awards, without “compromise” outcomes — a crucial difference from the mediation paradigm.


Client Testimonials

We engaged Tom as a mediator for a complex, high-stakes, multi-party, multi-jurisdiction, dispute involving overlapping IP and M&A litigation. Four separate but overlapping lawsuits between the parties had been pending for years. Prior to Tom’s engagement, they had mediated four times without making any progress. Each party was entrenched on both monetary and non-monetary terms. None of the lawsuits could settle unless they all settled. We were not optimistic. Tom dove right in. It was immediately apparent that he had quickly gained a deep knowledge of the procedural posture, the facts, and the competing positions of the parties in each case. This was no easy feat. He also took the time to understand each parties’ personal views and motivations. Tom’s approach was thoughtful, and his knack for knowing where, when, and how to meaningfully press each side was remarkable. But these are qualities to be expected of a mediator of Tom’s caliber and although they were essential to the process, standing alone, even the most skillful shuttle diplomacy would not have settled the disputes. What sets Tom apart – and what ultimately got the parties to reach a global resolution – was Tom’s persistence. When the process seemed to stall, he kickstarted it. When the differences between the parties seemed insurmountable, he built small areas of common ground to work from. When it seemed like all parties believed that negotiations were at an end, he resuscitated them. Ultimately, Tom facilitated a global resolution, a good result for all involved. I have never worked with a mediator so relentlessly dedicated to my case. I highly recommend Tom for any mediation, particularly if you need a mediator who is willing to go above and beyond.

K.J. Edward Fornell and Bill Cramer |  Partners Clark Hill - Detroit & Dallas

Tom has several abilities that make him a terrific mediator. He has the intelligence to quickly comprehend complex legal issues, the litigation experience to combine with that intelligence to gain a real understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of everyone’s case, and the dedication to use these skills to the parties’ advantage. But the reason I would recommend Tom without hesitation is that he has the rare ability that I prize most in a mediator – the ability to deliver bad news in a way that does not cause a party to give up on the settlement process. Tom can communicate to a party that it has a weakness in its case, or that its adversary is not going to agree to a desired ask, in a way that increases, rather than decreases, the chances for settlement. There is no rarer or more valuable quality in a mediator, and Tom has it.

Joe Grekin |  Partner Schaefer and Weiner

In 40+ years of practice, Tom is easily my favorite mediator. Why? Tom is super smart, always prepared, tireless, relentless, patient, nimble, creative, humorous, respectful, and gracious. My cases with Tom have involved totally different subject matters which were not within his areas of expertise but that was not important. Tom can work with and through any complex legal and factual scenario deftly while managing participants with varied backgrounds, perspectives, and roles. If he can see a path to resolution, he will not give up until the parties can see it, too, even if takes a very long time to get there. Whether the issue is in litigation or, even better, if the parties want pre-litigation resolution, I heartily recommend Tom as your mediator.

Janet Davis |  Partner Cozen O’Connor, Chicago

Tom is an exceptional mediator. He works diligently with the parties prior to, and during, the mediation to thoroughly understand the issues and risks the parties face in litigation. I especially appreciate Tom’s tenacity in keeping the mediation process moving, even when it seems like impasse may be near. Tom’s style is measured and reasoned. Tom focuses on the merits of the case, which is an approach that both lawyers and their clients appreciate.

Steve McKenney |  Partner Altior Law

Tom is excellent. He is creative, patient, energetic, and politely relentless—all with the goal of helping the parties reach their own settlement. He immerses himself in the case. Tom’s strategy of personally meeting with each side separately a day or two before the mediation helps launch the mediation in the right direction: It allows the client to be heard and understood (mediation may be the client’s only “day in court”); it gives Tom an opportunity to ask tough questions (“show me the document or case that proves this”); and by addressing these matters before the mediation, it saves time at the mediation itself. His nearly 40 years of trial experience in business litigation and serving as a co-author of Michigan Business Torts give him credibility with counsel and clients alike.

Doug Toering |  Mantese Honigman Past Chair, Business Law Section, State Bar of Michigan

Tom settles cases better than anyone else. He devotes a deliberate, analytical approach to understanding the pressure points of the case from each side’s perspective. His process is hands on. From the earliest contact, he marshals all of the pertinent information, and gets to the nub of the parties’ best – and worst – arguments. Tom is prepared to discuss important case details with each side at the first preparatory conference. He simply isn’t the kind of mediator who shows up and tries to play ping pong with the numbers. Tom will understand your case and will understand its value to you, your client, and your opponent. At the end of the process, the clients will know they were heard, and understood, and that they were engaged in that process. They will understand exactly how the parties got to the settlement, and will feel like the deliberative process worked. Tom is at the forefront of ADR. He is second to none.

Kassem Dakhlallah |  Founding Partner Hammoud, Dakhlallah & Associates