University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, J.D., with honors, 1990, Order of the Coif; Moot Court Board
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.S., 1986
Tommy Holderness has resolved disputes and tried cases since 1990. His practice focuses on trust and estate litigation, taxes, shareholder derivative actions, money mismanagement claims and contract disputes. Tommy has helped several clients prevail in tax disputes against the North Carolina Department of Revenue in cases that went to the Court of Appeals, and he also helps clients avoid problems through pre-litigation counseling.
Tommy maintains an active pro bono practice, including the representation of low income tenants and low income individuals in conflict with the IRS.
He worked for the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1990-98.
Honors & Awards
- Woodward/White, Inc., The Best Lawyers in America, bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, litigation - trusts and estates, 2008-18
- Benchmark Litigation, North Carolina leading litigation attorney, general commercial, trust and estates, 2012-17
- North Carolina Super Lawyers, business litigation, 2006, 2010-17
- Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
- North Carolina Bar Association, William L. Thorp Pro Bono Award, 2012
- North Carolina Bar Association, Citizen Lawyer Award, 2011
- University of North Carolina School of Law, Pro Bono Publico Award, Alumnus of the Year, 2010
- Legal Aid of North Carolina, Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award, 2009
- Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont, Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award, 2007
In an action against a credit union, defeated plaintiffs’ motion for class certification for claims of negligence, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and conversion. Successfully moved for summary judgment on all claims and obtained affirmance on appeal.
Represented plaintiff on appeal only and convinced Court of Appeals to reverse the trial court’s entry of default against client. Moor v. County of Jackson.
Successfully moved to dismiss all claims against client after plaintiffs made numerous claims regarding the securitization of their mortgage. Holland v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage et al.
Successfully moved to dismiss derivative action regarding a supposed breach of fiduciary duty. Borchardt vs. BB&T.
Obtained denial of plaintiffs' motion for class certification relating to the defeasance of commercial loans. Avalon et al. v. Commercial Defeasance.
Negotiated settlements for plaintiffs and defendants in cases involving contract disputes and claims of money mismanagement, including several dozen related financial products lawsuits for a large corporate client in various states on the East Coast.
Assisted clients in response to governmental inquiries.
Trusts & Estates
Obtained summary judgment for the propounder of a will regarding claims of undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity. Estate of Steinberg.
Obtained a dismissal on the pleadings after plaintiff sought a payment from the trust. Caldwell v. Renfroe.
Obtained dismissal of case in which plaintiff sought to amend several trusts to remove defendant as a beneficiary. Affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Morris v. The E.A. Morris Charitable Trust.
Assisted nonprofit organization directors’ investigation and report regarding allegations after plaintiff sought control of the organization. Obtained dismissal of the complaint, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Morris v. Thomas.
Prevailed in a six-day trial regarding residency by devising trial strategy, examining witnesses and developing legal theories of first impression. Won on appeal to the North Carolina Business Court and Court of Appeals. Fowler v. Department of Revenue.
Obtained summary judgment for the full amount demanded after plaintiffs sought refunds of sales and use taxes. Lynnwood Foundation v. Department of Revenue.
News & Events
- Eight Named “Lawyer of the Year”Aug. 16, 2017
- Jan. 26, 2017
- Nov. 9, 2016
- Nov. 3, 2016
- Sept. 2, 2016
- Eight Attorneys Named "Lawyer of the Year"Aug. 15, 2016
- Jan. 27, 2016
- Oct. 21, 2015
- Aug. 18, 2015
- Aug. 6, 2015
- Aug. 4, 2015
- Jan. 21, 2015
- More Ranked Attorneys Than Any Other North Carolina Firm for Fifth Consecutive YearOct. 29, 2014
- Firm Topped North Carolina Rankings in Eight Practice AreasAug. 19, 2014
- May 1, 2014
- Jan. 21, 2014
- John R. Wester and Thomas P. Holderness Featured in North Carolina Lawyers Weekly on "Members Only: Plaintiffs must qualify for their own class"Nov. 25, 2013
- More Ranked Attorneys Than Any Other North Carolina Firm For Fourth Consecutive YearOct. 29, 2013
- Aug. 15, 2013
- Six Shareholders Among State’s Top 100 Attorneys, Two in Top 10Jan. 18, 2013
- More Ranked Attorneys Than Any Other North Carolina Firm For Third Consecutive YearNov. 9, 2012
- Aug. 23, 2012
- August 2012
- March 20, 2012
- Thomas P. Holderness and Adam K. Doerr write for Charlotte Business Journal, "Court ruling clouds key issues in NC fraud disputes"Feb. 17, 2012
- Seven Shareholders Among State’s Top 100 Attorneys, Two in Top 10Jan. 23, 2012
- Charlotte-based Firm Has More Ranked Lawyers Than Any Other North Carolina FirmNov. 16, 2011
- Sept. 1, 2011
- August 8, 2011
- April 21, 2011
- Seven Shareholders Included Among State’s Top 100 Attorneys, Two in the Top 10Jan. 21, 2011
- Oct. 19, 2010
- Aug. 9, 2010
- April 24, 2010
- Forty-Six Robinson Bradshaw Attorneys Named North Carolina Super Lawyers, North Carolina Rising Stars for 2010Jan. 28, 2010
- Aug. 10, 2009
- April 30, 2009
- Sept. 19, 2008
- Sept. 1, 2008
- Sept. 7, 2007
- May 29, 2007
- Jan. 18, 2006
Webinar via North Carolina Bar AssociationOct. 3, 2016
The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education
100 Friday Center Drive
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27517Feb. 13-14, 2015
William and Ida Friday Center
UNC School of Law
160 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, North CarolinaFeb. 14-15, 2014
- Oct. 7, 2013North Carolina Lawyers Weekly
- May 2013NCBA Tax Assessments
- Feb. 17, 2012Charlotte Business Journal
- Litigating Trust & Estate Disputes and the Importance of Counseling in Those MattersFebruary 2012UNC Festival of Learning
- First Presbyterian Church, Elder
- Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Board of Directors
- The Burrito Project
- Volunteer Basketball Coach