8235 Forsyth Blvd., Suite 700
St. Louis, MO 63105

Thomas A. Durphy, Partner

Thomas A. Durphy, Partner

Tom Durphy practices in the areas of real estate, commercial transactions, business representation, commercial litigation, and education law.

Tom’s real estate projects include drafting and negotiating contracts, due diligence reviews, preparing and recording deeds, quiet title and adverse possession cases, eminent domain claims, and license and easement agreements. His experience has enabled him to advocate at one time or another for both sides of these types of transactions. That experience is advantageous in identifying issues and opportunities in a wide range of real estate matters from multiple perspectives.

In business representation, Tom has drafted comprehensive and thoughtful agreements such as shareholder agreements, LLC operating agreements, buy/sell agreements, stock purchase agreements, real estate contracts, leases, employment agreements, and other transactional documents. Tom’s central motivation is to help his clients identify and solve their issues in the most efficient manner possible.

With respect to commercial litigation, Tom practices in both federal and state trial courts in Missouri and Illinois.  His business litigation matters include real estate, commercial issues, employment construction claims, unfair competition issues and contract disputes.

Tom has a comprehensive education law practice having represented all types of public and private educational entities.  His practice includes representing institutions regarding board governance, policy matters, various personnel issues, including terminations, state and federal discrimination claims, student matters, discipline, special education, section 1983 claims, Open Meetings law, and other issues.

Areas of Practice

  • Business Law
  • Real Estate
  • Litigation
  • Education


  • St. Louis University, J.D.
  • Syracuse University, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Illinois

Professional Associations, Memberships & Honors

  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (Member, Individual Rights, Responsibilities and Litigation Committee)
  • American Bar Association (Member, Sections on: Business Law and Individual Rights and Responsibilities)
  • The Missouri Bar (Member, Professionalism Committee)
  • Illinois State Bar Association

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • School Speech in a Time of Protest, Missouri Public Charter Schools Association, 2018
  • A View from the Office: Best Practices in Working with Employees, KIPP 2018
  • Conflicted: Traps for Unsuspecting Boards, Missouri Public Charter Schools Association 2017
  • Transgender Students, The Courts, and OCR, Missouri School Boards Association, 2016
  • Regular Panelist at Mastermind St. Louis regarding business and business development issues, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Shands, Elbert, Gianoulakis & Giljum, LLP assists clients with Commercial Litigation, Civil Litigation, Education Law, Business Law, Labor and Employment Law, Estate and Tax Planning, Real Estate Law and Professional Liability Defense in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis and St. Charles Counties and throughout Missouri and Central and Southern Illinois.

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