Photo of F. Thomas  Hecht

F. Thomas Hecht

Partner

Practice Groups

Education

University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1975

Stanford University, A.B., 1966

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Colorado

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • Various District Courts

Mr. Hecht has litigated cases at all levels of state and federal courts. He has represented clients at trial, in arbitrations, and on numerous appeals including appeals before both the Illinois and United States Supreme Courts. He is a member of the 5th, 6th, 7th, 10th and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals as well as the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. He is also a member of the firm's Executive Committee.

Some of Mr. Hecht’s significant experience includes:

Professional Liability Matters

  • Mr. Hecht has represented federal regulatory agencies in numerous investigations and prosecutions arising out of the failure of financial institutions throughout the country. This work has included some of the largest and most visible civil actions against officers, directors, accountants and law firms implicated in the failure of such institutions. He has been responsible for recoveries in excess of $500 million by adjudications and settlements. These cases typically require extensive investigations and discovery, competent document control, wide-ranging motion practice and, substantively, claims for breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, gross negligence, and unjust enrichment.
  • Mr. Hecht also represents various professionals and professional organizations defending them from claims made by former clients or by regulatory agencies. He also provides counsel to boards of directors concerning their fiduciary duties and duties to regulatory entities.

Environmental Torts

  • Mr. Hecht represents federal and states agencies in a variety of environmental matters -- principally defending large tort claims. For example, Mr. Hecht represented the Chicago Housing Authority (“CHA”) in a 10,000 plaintiff “mass action” involving claims in excess of $500 million arising out of the presence of PCBs, PAHs and an assortment of other containments at a CHA development on the South Side of Chicago. After a mistrial was declared following Plaintiffs’ counsel’s misconduct at the first of several trials, the case settled.
  • Mr. Hecht also represented the CHA asserting asbestos property damage claims in the Johns Manville bankruptcy proceedings, securing a substantial recovery for the agency.

Constitutional and Civil Rights Litigation

  • Mr. Hecht has a substantial background in Constitutional litigation and civil rights disputes. He has defended developers and owners against claims of discrimination; he has prosecuted such claims on behalf of individuals and organizations subjected to such misconduct.
  • Mr. Hecht has also litigated significant cases involving the Establishment Clause, search and seizure disputes, government responsibilities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and Supremacy Clause challenges to local efforts to control federal housing programs by restrictive zoning and eminent domain proceedings.
  • Mr. Hecht has represented Illinois taxpayers against former Governor Rod Blagojevich and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services in a Cook County lawsuit and the resulting appeals to the Illinois Appellate and Supreme Courts challenging as unconstitutional a taxpayer funded health insurance program instituted by Defendants. The lawsuit figured prominently in the impeachment of the former Governor. The lawsuit was a part of the articles of impeachment.

Memberships

American Trial Lawyers Association

Civic

American Civil Liberties Union

Distinctions

  • Illinois Leading Lawyers 2013
  • Illinois Super Lawyers – Litigation, 2005-2012