Thomas J. Collin
Tom is the senior member of the firm's Antitrust, Competition & Distribution practice. He has broad antitrust, dealer termination and unfair competition litigation and arbitration experience, and he advises manufacturing clients on substantive antitrust and distribution matters, including compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in international distribution networks.
Tom is a member of the Ohio State Bar and has been admitted to practice pro hac vice before state trial and appellate courts in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin and in 21 U.S. District Courts. He has represented clients under investigation by the United States Department of Justice and the Ohio Attorney General for violation of antitrust laws and clients charged with violation of antitrust laws by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission.
Tom has guided clients through complex product distribution issues, from realignment of dealer networks, to withdrawal from markets, to formulating domestic and international distribution strategies, to drafting dealer, distributor and agency agreements across a wide range of industries. His clients include manufacturers of both capital and consumer goods.
Prior to joining the firm, Tom served as a law clerk to Judge Myron H. Bright, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, from 1974 to 1975.
Selected Antitrust Cases
- Representing a manufacturer of flooring compounds for commercial construction applications in defending against counterclaims alleging secondary-line price discrimination under Section 2(a) of the Robinson-Patman Act, Dayton Superior Corp. v. Marjam Supply Co., No. 2:07-cv-05215-DRH-MLO (E.D.N.Y.); Dayton Superior Corp. v. Spa Steel Products, Inc., No. 1:08-cv-01312-FJS-RFT (N.D.N.Y.).
- Representing a manufacturer of electronic key duplication equipment in action alleging monopolization and attempted monopolization of key duplication equipment in Big Box retail stores, Hy-Ko Products Co. v. The Hillman Group, Inc., No. 5:10-cv-00992-DDD (N.D. Ohio), 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21938 (N.D. Ohio 2011) (denying motions to dismiss).
- Representing a manufacturer of high-pressure laminates in class action alleging price-fixing by manufacturers, In re High Pressure Laminates Antitrust Litigation, No. 00-MD-1368 (CLB) (S.D.N.Y.), and in related indirect purchaser actions in 11 states and the District of Columbia.
- Representing a manufacturer of magnetic iron oxide in class action alleging price-fixing by manufacturers, eMag Solutions LLC v. Toda Kogyo Corp., No. C-02-1611 (N.D. Cal.), and in related indirect purchaser actions in state courts in California, Massachusetts, Michigan and Kansas.
- Representing automobile dealers charged by Federal Trade Commission with agreeing to refrain from price advertising in violation of § 5(a) of the FTC Act, In the matter of Cleveland Oldsmobile Connection, 113 F.T.C. 1 (1990).
- Representing a food equipment manufacturer in action alleging refusal to deal in violation of Â§ 1 of the Sherman Act, Westman Commission Co. v. Hobart Corp., 796 F.2d 1216 (10th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 486 U.S.1005 (1987).
- Representing a real estate developer in action challenging commercial zoning under the Sherman Act, Mason City Center Associates v. City of Mason City, 671 F.2d 1146 (8th Cir. 1982).
Selected Dealer or Sales Representative Termination Cases
- Representing a manufacturer of outdoor power equipment in action alleging termination of sales representative agreement in violation of Minnesota’s sales representative statute, Gulliford Sales Co. v. Husqvarna Professional Products, Inc., No. 19-CV-00237 (D. Minn.)
- Representing a manufacturer of wireless two-way radios in action alleging termination of sales representative agreement in violation of California's Independent Wholesale Sales Representative Contractual Relations Act of 1990, The Sales Group, Inc. v. RELM Wireless Corp., No. 2:17-cv-02347-JAK-FFM (C.D. Cal.).
- Representing a manufacturer of outdoor power equipment in action alleging termination of sales agency agreement in violation of the Texas equipment dealer statute, Relco Military Sales, Inc. v. Husqvarna Outdoor Products, Inc., No. 3:09-cv-1350 (N.D. Tex.).
- Representing a manufacturer of material handling equipment in action alleging wrongful termination of dealership under Minnesota Heavy and Utility Equipment Manufacturers and Dealers Act and Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law, Minnesota Supply Co. v. Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc., 822 F.Supp.2d 896 (D. Minn. 2011) (granting motion to dismiss).
- Representing a manufacturer of high pressure laminates against claims of price discrimination and other violations of Massachusetts General Laws ch. 93A in connection with termination of a distributor, Prime Plywood & Panel, Inc. v. Formica Corp., No. 09-cv-30212 (D. Mass.).
- Representing a manufacturer of material handling equipment in action by terminated dealer alleging violation of Illinois Franchise Disclosure Act, To-Am Equipment Co. v. Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc., 152 F.3d 658 (7th Cir. 1998).
- Representing a boat manufacturer in action for termination of dealership in alleged violation of ch. 93A of Massachusetts General Laws, Atlantic Sport Boat Sales, Inc. v. Cigarette Racing Team, Inc., 695 F.Supp. 58 (D. Mass. 1988).
Selected Other Business Cases
- Representing a manufacturer of outdoor power equipment in action challenging constitutionality of New Hampshire legislation regulating the relationship between manufacturers and their dealers, Deere & Co. v. State of New Hampshire, 130 A.3d 1197 (N.H. 2015), cert. denied, 137 S.Ct. 39 (2016).
- Representing a manufacturer of metal forgings for heavy-duty truck axles in action alleging misappropriation by competitor of trade secrets about manufacturing processes, King-Indiana Forge, Inc. v Millennium Forge, Inc., No. 1:07-cv-0341-JDT-WTL (S.D. Ind.).
- Representing a material handling equipment dealer in action by competing dealer alleging tortious interference in dealer's relationship with supplier, DuPage Forklift Service, Inc. v. Material Handling Services, Inc., 744 N.E.2d 845 (Ill. 2001).
- Representing a manufacturer of heating and air conditioning control equipment in action against former employees and new employer for misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of noncompetition covenants, Honeywell Inc. v. Brewer-Garrett Co., 1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 6017 (6th Cir. 1998).
- Representing a manufacturer of heating and air conditioning control equipment in action against competitor for false representations about environmental control equipment for commercial buildings in violation of Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, Honeywell Inc. v. Control Solutions, Inc., 33 U.S.P.Q. 2d 2017 (N.D. Ohio 1994).
- Representing a paint manufacturer in action against competitor for misappropriation of secret latex paint formulations, Glidden Company v. Sherwin-Williams Co., No. C84-3836 (N.D. Ohio).
- Representing a manufacturer of roll-forming equipment in action by competitor for alleged misappropriation of proprietary information about manufacturing processes, InterRoyal Corp. v. Sponseller, 889 F.2d 108 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 494 U.S. 1091 (1989).
- Representing a restaurant franchisee in action by competitor alleging false advertising under Section 43(a) of Lanham Act, Frisch’s Restaurants, Inc. v. Elby’s Big Boy, 670 F.2d 642 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 916 (1982).
Advising on Antitrust, Distribution and Competition Matters
- Drafting and advising on the terms of dealership, distributorship and sales representative agreements for clients engaged in the manufacture or supply of computer circuit boards, wireless two-way radios, industrial electric motors, welding equipment, high-pressure laminates, commercial food equipment, plumbing supplies, cabinetry, chemicals, outdoor power equipment, material handling equipment, and construction equipment.
- Advising manufacturing clients on termination or appointment of dealers and distributors under the laws of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, other nations and the European Union.
- Advising manufacturing clients on international distribution issues, including compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and foreign laws prohibiting bribery and corruption in connection with the sale of goods.
- Advising manufacturing clients on the legality of product distribution restraints under state and federal antitrust laws and European Union competition law.
- Advising manufacturing clients on the legality of product pricing and discounting under state and federal price discrimination laws.
- “Selling Through Dealers – Antitrust Guidelines for Manufacturers,” Thompson Hine Antitrust Law Guidelines, April 2021
- “United States: Vertical Restraints,” published annually in The Antitrust Review of Americas, Global Competition Review, 2014-18
- Editor, Antitrust Handbook for Franchise and Distribution Practitioners, American Bar Association, 2008
- Editor, Antitrust Law and Economics of Product Distribution, American Bar Association, 2006
- Contributing author, Proof of Conspiracy Under Federal Antitrust Laws, American Bar Association, 2010
- Ohio Business Competition Law, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing, 1994
- Editor, Punitive Damages and Business Torts: A Practitioner's Handbook, American Bar Association, 1998
- "State Franchise Laws and the Small Business Franchise Act of 1999: Barriers to Efficient Distribution," 55 Business Lawyer 1699, 2000
- Editor-in-Chief, International Antitrust Bulletin, a quarterly publication of the International Committee of the Section of Antitrust Law of the American Bar Association, Oct. 2015-June 2017
- Moderator and speaker at numerous programs, seminars and institutes, including programs of the Section of Antitrust Law, Section of International Law and Forum on Franchising of the American Bar Association and the Conference Board's Council of Chief Legal Officers
- AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (2015 to present)
- Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2014 for Antitrust Law, Commercial Litigation, and Litigation-Antitrust; named the Best Lawyers® 2022 Litigation-Antitrust "Lawyer of the Year" in Cleveland
- Selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers list for Antitrust Litigation, 2006-2012, 2014-2021
- Listed since 1994 in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Law
- Listed in Chambers USA as a leading lawyer nationally in Franchising (2007 to 2016) and in Ohio in Antitrust Litigation (2007 to present)
- Listed in Global Competition Review’s Who’s Who Legal: Competition, a guide to the world's leading competition lawyers and economists (2017 to present)
- Member, Board of Advisors for The Antitrust Counselor (Business Laws, Inc.) (1995 to 2005)
- American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law: Co-Chair, International Committee (2019-date); Vice-Chair, International Committee (2013-19); Vice-Chair, Unilateral Conduct Committee (2010-12); Chair, Joint Conduct Committee (2008-10); Chair, Distribution and Franchising Committee (2002-05); Chair, Annual Meeting Committee (2001-02); Chair, Business Torts and Unfair Competition Committee (1995-98)
- Ohio State Bar Association, member of Board of Governors of Antitrust Section (1988-98)
Community and Civic Activities
- The Citizens League of Greater Cleveland, President, 1997 to 1999
- The Citizens League Research Institute, member, Board of Trustees, 1999 to 2002
- Federation for Community Planning, Cleveland, member, Research Advisory Council, 2001 to 2002
- Cleveland Council on World Affairs, member, 2008 to date
- Cleveland Committee on Foreign Relations, member, 2008 to date
- Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, member, Board of Trustees, 2009 to 2015; Secretary, 2012 to 2015
- City of Brecksville, Ohio, member, Board of Zoning Appeals, 2020 to date
- National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio, volunteer, 2020 to date
August 19, 2021