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Thomas S. Vangel, a partner at Murtha Cullina, has extensive experience representing clients in the areas of business litigation and bankruptcy.

Tom’s litigation practice includes commercial, franchise, automotive, banking, director and officer liability, landlord/tenant, and non-compete litigation. In his bankruptcy practice, Tom is devoted to the representation of Chapter 7 and 11 Trustees, secured and unsecured creditors, landlords and creditors’ committees. He also frequently represents corporate clients in defending complex preference claims and other litigation brought by bankruptcy estate representatives. Tom has significant trial experience in the state and federal courts in Massachusetts.

Tom has lectured to various groups including the Norton’s Bankruptcy Litigation Institute, the National Association of Credit Management, American Bankruptcy Institute, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education and the MIT Center for Real Estate. He is a former member of the adjunct faculty at New England School of Law and a former Managing Editor of the New England Law Review.

Tom serves as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and is co-chair of the firm's Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights practice. He is a former chair of the firm’s Business Litigation practice as well as the former chair of the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. Tom served as managing partner of the firm's Boston office from 2000 to 2003.

  • In January and February 2014, successfully represented a publicly traded regional bank in lender liability case involving a failed 108-unit housing development.  After a ten-day trial in Superior Court, recovered $4.8 million judgment for the bank client plus attorneys’ fees and defeated entirely a $5.8 million counterclaim asserted by the developer.

  • Represented the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers and two individual dealers before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in May 2014 in a landmark franchise law case involving Tesla Motors.

  • Represented the Chapter 7 Trustee in several litigation matters in the case of In re: Inofin, Inc., a sub-prime automotive lender to a large number of used car dealers throughout New England.

  • Represented the Chapter 7 Trustee in all matters concerning the Bluewater Hld. Corp. case including claims regarding the validity and priority of liens and director and officer liability claims.

  • Recovered $11 million judgment in August 2011 for a bank client in the Massachusetts Superior Court in connection with litigation brought against guarantors of a failed 200-unit condominium development.

  • Represented the Chapter 7 Trustee in all matters in the Get Connected, Inc. case including director and officer liability claims and all litigation brought in this case.

  • Co-Author, “Lawmakers File Bills Affecting Dealers,” Massachusetts Auto Dealer (April 2023)

  • Co-Author, “Factories Failing to Pay Markup on EV Battery Replacements,” Massachusetts Auto Dealer (March 2023)

  • Co-Author, “FTC Seeks to Ban Non-Compete Agreements,” Massachusetts Auto Dealer (February 2023)

  • Co-Author, “Be Wary of New Franchise Agreements,” Massachusetts Auto Dealer (January 2023)
  • Co-Author, “EV Rollouts Take Aim at Franchised Dealers,” Massachusetts Auto Dealer (December 2022)
  • Co-Author, “A Warning Sign to Massachusetts Auto Dealers,” Massachusetts Auto Dealer (November 2022)

  • "E & O and D & O Liability Insurance and Claims in Bankruptcy," American Bankruptcy Institute (2014)

  • “Practical Pointers for Dealing with Non-Compete Agreements,” Association of Employment Professionals (2011)

  • Co-author, "When it comes to terminating a restaurant franchise, know all facets of the relationship," Restaurant News (May 1999)

  • Co-author, “Hot Topics in Franchise and Distribution Law," MCLE (1999)

  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Trial Practice and Procedure Committee Former Member

  • Boston Bar Association, Bankruptcy and Litigation Sections

  • American Bankruptcy Institute

  • Boston Lawyers Group, Executive Committee (2009-2018)

  • South Shore Hospital, Board of Directors (2005-2016)

  • Hingham Yacht Club, Executive Committee (2007-2015)

  • Caritas Communities, Inc. Braintree, MA, Director (1998-2001)

Areas of Focus