Tom Alan Cunningham


Counsel, Arbitrator – Domestic, Arbitrator – International


Commercial / Business, Energy / Oil & Gas

Languages Spoken







United States



Organization/Company Name

Tom Alan Cunningham PLLC



E-mail Address

Tom Alan Cunningham

Tom Cunningham has been an active trial lawyer and arbitrator for over 45 years.  A graduate of the University of Texas Law School, Mr. Cunningham joined Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P. in 1974 where he became a senior litigation partner.  In 1998, he founded a boutique litigation firm to focus exclusively on the trial and arbitration of complex business cases.

Mr. Cunningham’s extensive trial and arbitration experience covers a variety of substantive areas, including energy, oil and gas, hospitality, contracts, business torts, fiduciary liability, intellectual property, estates, trusts, professional liability, officer and director liability, and product liability. Examples of his engagements include:

  • Chair of the panel in a AAA arbitration involving supply of allegedly defective oil field cement products causing the failure of the well;
  • Chair of the panel in a AAA arbitration concerning the interpretation of a commercial lease;
  • Member of the panel in an AAA arbitration asserting damages arising out of alleged improper assembly of a down-hole tool.
  • Member of the panel in an LCIA arbitration concerning the purchase and sale of a an oil and gas company in Malaysia;
  • Member of the panel in an ICDR arbitration concerning the purchase and sale of energy-related business assets in Brazil;
  • Member of the panel of a CPR arbitration alleging product defects in the pipelines comprising an oil field gathering system;
  • Sole arbitrator is a dispute concerning the acquisition, ownership and operation of producing and non-producing oil and gas interests;
  • Lead trial counsel for a leading energy conglomerate in litigation over the acquisition and distribution of liquefied natural gas in Algeria and the United States;
  • Lead trial counsel for one of the world’s largest hospitality enterprises defending seven class and derivative actions involving investments in branded hotel chains;
  • Lead plaintiffs’ trial counsel for several of the nation’s largest energy and mining companies in the Commercial Explosive Products Antitrust Litigation;
  • Lead trial counsel for one of the nation’s largest home products manufacturers in mass-tort litigation over allegedly defective plumbing products;
  • Lead trial counsel for a major interstate gas pipeline company in a variety of cases involving gas purchase contracts, transportation agreements, coal gasification issues and gas gathering partnerships;
  • Lead trial counsel in numerous cases dealing with the financing, development, and operation of commercial real estate projects;
  • Lead trial counsel in numerous cases involving wills, estates, testamentary trusts, tortious interference with estates and gifts, and the duties and liabilities of trustees and personal representatives; one such case having culminated in two separate opinions from the Supreme Court of the United States dealing with the scope of jurisdiction of United States bankruptcy courts;
  • Lead arbitration counsel for an owner of an offshore mineral interest in a dispute regarding the acquisition and sale of the interest;

Mr. Cunningham is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and a member of the American Law Institute.  He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is certified in mediation and dispute resolution by CEDR, London.  He frequently serves as a sole arbitrator or member of a panel of arbitrators in commercial disputes, both domestically and internationally.  He is also frequently engaged to provide expert opinions and testimony in matters of professional responsibility and the attorney/client relation.

Mr. Cunningham has served prominently in professional organizations and societies, and he has been a leader in promoting professional responsibility among lawyers. He chaired the Texas Commission on Lawyer Discipline, the Texas agency that administers the system of lawyer professional responsibility.  He also chaired the Texas State Judicial Conduct Commission, the body responsible for addressing complaints against judges in Texas. He authored portions of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, and served on the task force that created the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure.  Other professional activities include service as Chair of the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Texas Bar Foundation, and Chair of the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation.