Thomas W. White

Retired Partner

Thomas White practiced corporate and bankruptcy law at WilmerHale from 1983 to 2017, where he was one of the firm's leading practitioners in the area of corporate governance and disclosure, with extensive experience representing corporate and institutional clients in complex business transactions. Mr. White also served as General Counsel of the firm for nine years. He retired in 2017.

At WilmerHale, Mr. White advised numerous Fortune 100, mid-cap, and small-cap companies and their boards and management on key issues under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, including internal control over financial reporting, attorney responsibility policies, director/officer loans, whistleblowers and auditor independence. He also advised clients and their boards and management on difficult corporate law, securities and accounting issues, and in conducting internal investigations.

Mr. White has  particular experience in legal aspects of accounting and auditing. He currently serves as a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council (FASAC). He founded Focus on Audit Committees, Accounting and the Law, a WilmerHale blog that provides a legal perspective on developments in accounting standards, financial reporting, auditing and regulation of the accounting profession. As General Counsel of WilmerHale, Mr. White advised internal and external clients on professional responsibility and legal practice issues.

Since retiring from WilmerHale, Mr. White’s focus has been teaching activities.  Beginning in September 2018, he will be a Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School, where he will teach a course on “Governance of Financial Reporting.”  In January 2018, under the auspices of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative, he taught a course on Accounting for Lawyers to a class of 26 female law students and recent law graduates at Prince Sultan University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 


Mr. White was the host of WilmerHale's Focus on Audit Committees, Accounting and the Law blog, which provides a legal perspective on developments in accounting standards, financial reporting, auditing and regulation of the accounting profession. The blog primarily focuses on identifying and analyzing developments that are important to audit committees and their advisers.

Community Involvement

Mr. White has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Maya Angelou Charter School in Washington DC and its parent organization, See Forever Foundation, since 2016.

Mr. White served as member of the Board of Covenant House Washington, which serves homeless and at-risk youth in Washington DC and adjacent communities, from 2005 to 2017.  He served as chair of the Board from 2007 to 2011.

Professional Activities

Mr. White was a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council. He is former co-chair of the National Conference of Lawyers and CPAs, a joint body of the American Bar Association and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Mr. White has served as Chair of the Audit Responses and Law and Accounting Committees of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association. He is a co-editor of the Auditor's Letter Handbook (2d ed. 2013). Mr. White has appeared frequently in programs and panels on accounting, auditing and corporate governance issues, including before organizations such as the Association of Corporate Counsel—National Capital Region, the National Association of Corporate Directors and Practicing Law Institute.


Honors & Awards

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2005-2019 editions of the Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights, M&A law and Corporate Governance and Compliance law
  • Recommended in the 2017 edition of The Legal 500 United States for M&A/Corporate and Commercial: Corporate Governance
  • Nominated by clients and peers for inclusion in the 2012-2015 editions of The International Who's Who of Corporate Governance Lawyers
  • Selected by his peers as a leading attorney in Washington DC in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 editions of Super Lawyers

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Columbia Law School, 1978

      Articles and Book Review Editor, Columbia Law Review; James Kent Scholar
    • AB, Harvard University, 1975

      magna cum laude
  • Admissions

    • District of Columbia

    • New York

    • Virginia

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. Harold Leventhal, US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1978 - 1979



Unless you are an existing client, before communicating with WilmerHale by e-mail (or otherwise), please read the Disclaimer referenced by this link.(The Disclaimer is also accessible from the opening of this website). As noted therein, until you have received from us a written statement that we represent you in a particular manner (an "engagement letter") you should not send to us any confidential information about any such matter. After we have undertaken representation of you concerning a matter, you will be our client, and we may thereafter exchange confidential information freely.

Thank you for your interest in WilmerHale.