David Thoms, Of Counsel, Warner Norcross + Judd LLP

November 5, 2018


Q. You have a great career in law that includes a wealth of knowledge in the fields of gift and estate planning, wealth transfer, family business succession planning, and nonprofit organizations, and you give trusted legal counsel to individuals, families, and businesses throughout the region. What do you enjoy the most in your practice?

I have been fortunate to enjoy a career assisting clients to resolve life issues and to work with a large array of good minds. It is the issue resolution process that I enjoy the most about the practice. I enjoy working with the clients with varying fact patterns to develop unique solutions that answer good tax, business, gift, and estate planning issues for the individual clients. With non-profit organizations I enjoy helping with governance issues, funding issues, etc. to help the non-profit to reach its mission to benefit society as a whole.

Q. You’re also an active member of numerous organizations where you provide your expertise, time, and finances. You’ve also received a lot of distinctions from those organizations. Which one was the most significant to you?

Yes, I have been honored with a number of awards for my volunteer and professional activities. I really think of them as a tool to help me further  the objective of the organization and less of an honor to me. The William Booth Award, given by The Salvation Army, was certainly a lovely honor and is a general recognition of my service to the community as a whole and not just The Salvation Army. So, I was very touched to receive that award. Of course, the rosette as an “officier dans l’ordre des palms academiques”  came as a great surprise with a lovely ceremony at the French Ambassador’s residence in Washington, DC. I have very much enjoyed my long affiliation with the Alliance Française and hope that I have promoted the French language even though I personally forget more and more of it each year.

Q. You’re a real Francophile. Why do you have this passion for la Francophonie?

During my undergraduate school days, I had the privilege to study at l’Université de Caen. While living with a French family during the DeGaulle years, I could not but be struck with the need to encourage French-American understanding through a better knowledge of French language and culture. Thus, the thrust of my various Francophile and Francophone activities has been focused on being involved with the advancement of French-American relations. This advancement can be achieved on a person-to-person basis or by involvement with institutional activities. Perhaps I am a frustrated diplomat!

Q. Since 2013, you’ve been a member of the Board of Directors of the French-American Foundation. What do you like about our organization and what would you like to accomplish?

The French-American Foundation, through its journalism prize, its translation prize and its Young Leaders program advances knowledge of French language and culture, including political understanding. We have truly chosen a number of people for the Young Leaders program who have become important leaders. I would be hopeful that we can continue to be so lucky as to identify such upcoming leaders. On a personal level, I do enjoy the members’ breakfast or lunch programs on pertinent topics.

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