Professional Biography

J. Thomas (Tom) Cristy Partner

  • Seattle

    D +1.206.359.8648

    F +1.206.359.9648


    1201 Third Avenue, Suite 4900

    Seattle, WA




Tom Cristy, a partner in the firm’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice, focuses on employee benefits, ERISA and executive compensation. Tom has more than 25 years of experience drafting and reviewing employee benefit plans and counseling clients with respect to employee benefits and executive compensation, including ERISA, qualified plans (pension, profit sharing, 401(k) and employee stock ownership plans), non-qualified deferred compensation, supplemental executive retirement plans, COBRA, health and other welfare benefit plans, cafeteria plans, fringe benefits and fiduciary compliance. He also counsels clients with respect to IRS and DOL audits and employee benefits litigation, as well as advises clients on employee benefits aspects of merger, acquisition, disposition and financing transactions.

Professional Recognition

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America 2005 - Present: Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law - ERISA, ESOPS, Executive Compensation, Fiduciary Responsibility, Pension, Health and Welfare, Qualified Plans
  • Listed in Washington Law & Politics, “Washington’s Super Lawyers,”  2010 - Present

Professional Leadership

  • American Bar Association, Tax Section
  • Western Pension and Benefits Conference, Member
  • Seattle Pension Roundtable, Member
  • Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants

Related Employment

  • Foley & Lardner, Milwaukee, WI, Associate, 1988 - 1992
  • Ernst & Young, Minneapolis, MN, Senior Auditor, 1982 - 1985




Areas of Focus

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Washington


  • The University of Michigan Law School, J.D.,
    cum laude, Order of the Coif
    , 1988,
    Managing Editor, Michigan Yearbook of International Legal Studies
  • University of Wisconsin, B.B.A., Accounting and Data Processing,
    magna cum laude
    , 1982