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“John Thomas is one of a kind and a CEO’s best friend. I spent my career building and growing a company I loved. When lawsuits threatened it, I turned to him for help. Not only did he chart a path forward, but he leveraged what was happening in the courtroom into a business strategy we could use in the boardroom. John is an attorney who never waivers. Who keeps pressing forward in lockstep with his clients’ goals. If I have to go into a foxhole, I want him with me.”
- Steve Stagner, President & CEO, Mattress Firm (Former)

About John B. Thomas


John B. Thomas is the co-founder of Houston-based commercial litigation boutique Hicks Thomas LLP. Known for his deep experience in handling complex commercial litigation, Mr. Thomas and the firm’s lawyers represent both defendants and plaintiffs in lawsuits involving oil and gas, securities, environmental matters, banking, transportation, intellectual property and health care.

Mr. Thomas has been named to Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in America and Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Litigators in America, listed in Best Lawyers in America for his work in Commercial Litigation and Intellectual Property Litigation, selected as a Texas Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters for every year since its inception, listed by Chambers USA as one of the leading lawyers in the country, and has an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubble. He also is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

Mr. Thomas received his law degree from The University of Michigan Law School, and earned his undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University, where he was a Division I athlete. Following law school, he clerked for Edith H. Jones, Chief Judge (former) of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Practice Emphasis


  • Juris Doctor, University of Michigan Law School
  • Bachelor of Science, Western Michigan University, Division I Athlete (Wrestling)

Honors & Distinctions

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Chambers USA Leading Lawyers for Business – Environmental Litigation
  • Judicial Clerkship, Honorable Edith H. Jones, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Texas Super Lawyers - Business Litigation (2003-present)
  • Benchmark Litigation Star (2024)
  • Recognized in Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers (2023-2024)
  • Recognized in Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in Environmental Law (2023-2024)
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America (2018-2024)

Representative Cases

Attorneys who don’t understand your business and its long-term goals won’t get you very far. For John Thomas, the goal is to anticipate his client’s needs from the courtroom to the boardroom. To solve the problem at hand, as well as those you may face six months down the line.

The ability to craft business-centered legal strategies is what he’s known for, and why CEOs and general counsels across the country have come to rely on his counsel and expertise. Those he’s served include…

…Mattress Firm, Inc. (one of the country’s largest retailers) as national counsel for businesses at risk of losing their properties as a result of closures precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also represented the company in highly publicized litigation against its long-time supplier Tempur-Sealy, Inc. after news of the breakup resulted in TSI stock dropping nearly $1 billion in market capitalization.

…Ina-Naftaplin (the Croatian National Oil Company “INA”) in international arbitration tried in London and New York and involving claims that INA was guilty of tortious interference with a Texas company’s alleged rights to a Syrian oil concession.

…The King Ranch against Exxon when the ranch barred its mineral lessee’s access to its land-based on claims of improper operating practices.

…Union Pacific Railroad in litigation against a major Gulf Coast plastics shipper who claimed over $100 million in damages for the alleged breach of a favored nation’s clause in a rail transportation contract.

…JP Morgan Chase before the International Arbitration Association involving its claim for damages for breach of the joint venture agreement that established one of the largest credit card portfolios in the world.

…Occidental Petroleum in international arbitration against BP following its $3.6 billion acquisition of Permian-based assets.

…The Independent Directors of Reliant Energy (including former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker) in numerous proceedings spawned by federal investigations and lawsuits resulting from allegations that the company engaged in improper commodity trading practices.

With a practice that’s served both plaintiffs and defendants for over 30 years, clients have come to know Mr. Thomas as an attorney who hits the ground running.

Hear What Clients Have to Say

Watch and listen to how one client describes the client-focused service provided by John Thomas and the Hicks Thomas LLP team:

John Thomas in the news

One area Mr. Thomas excels in is advocating on behalf of his clients in cases being litigated in the court of public opinion. Whether in the courtroom or speaking with a reporter, he understands how to make his client’s case and aggressively pursue their goals. Watch news reports on one of his highly publicized cases below:

  • Hilton Pool Death Lawsuit
  • Hilton Pool Death Lawsuit Interview
  • Attorney John Thomas on FOX26

John b. Thomas' awards