University of Florida Levin College of Law, J.D.
University of Florida, B.A. in Business Administration
Thomas Villanti concentrates his practice on complex family law cases, including the distribution of multi-million dollar estates and complicated child custody disputes. His comprehensive representation includes all aspects of family law, including contested court proceedings, complex negotiation, in-depth financial analysis and the preparation of sophisticated prenuptial agreements.
Thomas' clients often present extraordinary financial and privacy concerns relative to their prenuptial, divorce, custody and parentage needs. Thomas is known for his strong business and financial background, efficient work-style and cool, confident demeanor. As a compassionate advocate, Thomas clearly and consistently communicates with his clients to make a potentially overwhelming experience easier to manage and understand. He strives to obtain financial and emotional security for his clients as they embark to the next chapter of their lives.
Thomas has represented former and current players of numerous professional athletic organizations, including the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Bulls, Texas Rangers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Falcons, Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, Miami Marlins, Detroit Tigers and the Tennessee Titans. He equally represents the spouses of celebrities and has served as family law counsel for several sports agents, broadcasters, disc jockeys and others in the entertainment industry. Thomas co-authored a monthly column, “Sporting Judgment,” for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and writes articles for various sports and entertainment magazines. His publications highlight the unique family law issues that arise with sports and entertainment professionals.
Thomas has the knowledge, resources and network to manage cases nationwide. He and his firm are often consulted by out of state counsel with respect to complex family law issues. Thomas’ collaborative efforts on complicated multi-state cases have helped clients throughout the country meet and exceed their goals.
The legal community consistently recognizes Thomas as an effective advocate for his clients. He was named a 40 Under 40 Illinois Attorney to Watch by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin in 2019 and National Trial Lawyers named him a Top 40 Trial Lawyer Under 40 in 2014. Illinois Super Lawyers magazine named Thomas to the “Rising Stars” list 2011-2018 and to the "Super Lawyers" list in 2020. Leading Lawyers magazine has also recognized Thomas' family law expertise for many years. Thomas is an active member of his community, sitting on the board of directors for Chicago’s University of Florida alumni association and serving as a committee host for a Chicago-based domestic violence organization.
Honors and Awards
- The Best Lawyers in America (2020-2024)
- Law Bulletin Media - 40 Under Forty Illinois Attorneys to Watch (2019)
- Leading Lawyers Network - Leading Lawyer (2018,2020)
- Leading Lawyers - Emerging Lawyer (2015-2017)
- Illinois Super Lawyers (2020-2023)
- Illinois Super Lawyers - Rising Star (2012-2018)
- The National Trial Lawyers - Top 40 Trial Lawyer Under 40 (2014)
- Urban Initiatives - Associate Board Member
- Chicago Bar Association
- Illinois State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- "Direct and cross examination of experts in a family law case," Chicago Bar Association YLS Family Law, January 3, 2018
Articles and Publications
- Instant Replay Creates All Kinds of Issues
- Athletes Try to Keep Proceedings Quiet
- NHL Lockout Affects Support Proceedings
- Athletes Cannot Avoid Family Obligations
- In Divorce, as in Sports, The Preference is For A Level Playing Field
- Child Support Factors Into Financial Woes
- Privilege Issues Pop Up with “Handlers”
- Sports World Faces Social Breakthrough
- Kobe Bryant Fails to See Benefit of Premarital Agreements in Athletics
- Humphries Attempts A Buzzer Beater on Prenup With Kardashian Via Petition for Annulment
- Athlete Disproves Paternity in Court and Avoids Paying Child Support
- Arrest for Domestic Violence Can Seriously Impair an Athlete's Career
- Expert Advice Helps Athletes Handle Family Law Issues