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In Memoriam

Bartlit Beck is deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and partner, Tom Stephens, who passed away on September 17, 2021.

Tom was a beautiful soul who loved with his whole heart, exemplifying what it means to be a true partner and friend. Among his exceptional attributes were his philanthropy, sense of adventure, artistry, and his competitive and mischievous nature. Tom was a consummate attorney, author, wine enthusiast and sports fan.

Colleagues and clients described Tom as generous, eternally positive, humble, and a trusted advisor. They found Tom to be "an incredibly hard worker who [was] both thorough and creative in his counsel."

Tom’s deep intellectual curiosity, passion for his craft and loyalty to clients and colleagues was unparalleled. The value of his friendship, good humor, unflagging devotion to our firm’s best interests, and his zealous representation of clients cannot be measured or replaced.

Tom is survived by his husband, Todd, his feline family Koz and Otto, Todd’s family members: Lance Enders; Laurie and Tim MacArthur; Bob Enders; Marlena, Tucker, and Hunter Ro Hinchliffe; and Mitch and Katie MacArthur as well as Tom’s loving and devoted immediate family members: his brother, Bill, and sister-in-law, Theresa, along with nieces and nephews: Tania, Josh, Asher, and Portia Hattig; and Greg Stephens.

Tom will be greatly missed as part of our Bartlit Beck family.

Click here for Tom’s obituary.

More about Tom

Tom Stephens advised and counseled clients on corporate and securities law for more than 35 years. During his career, Tom specialized in mergers and acquisitions, capital formation, securities regulation, and private equity/hedge funds. His experience included negotiated acquisitions; leveraged buyouts; public equity and debt offerings; startups and venture capital investments; hedge and private equity fund structuring; securities law disclosure and compliance; and hostile takeovers, tender offers, and proxy contests.

Tom authored a well-regarded treatise, Beneficial Ownership Reporting-Schedules 13D and 13G. The treatise, first published 1996 and updated periodically since (most recently in 2018), is part of the Corporate Practice Series published by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., Washington, D.C. Tom also wrote in legal journals including The Colorado Lawyer and spoke at CLE presentations.

For over fifteen years Tom was recognized in Chambers & Partners' USA Guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business. Clients interviewed over the years by Chambers described Tom as "an incredibly hard worker who is both thorough and creative in his counsel" and praised his "technical skills and strategic expertise" and "judgment, speed and accuracy." Clients were "quick to highlight [Tom's] responsiveness and deep knowledge" and described him as "patient, clear thinking and assertive."

Tom was a 1984 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review. Prior to attending Harvard, Tom earned a master’s degree from Princeton's School of Public and International Affairs in 1976, and served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Parole Board, where he was instrumental in rewriting New Jersey's parole statute. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado in 1974.

Notable Experience

Private equity/hedge fund formation and operations. Gotham Asset Management (Joel Greenblatt and Rob Goldstein's funds), Platte River Equity, Sessa Capital, Punch Card Capital, Estabrook Absolute Return Fund, Springhouse Capital, Kirkwood Capital, Caburn Capital, North American Premier Properties.

Joint ventures. AEXCO Petroleum, Titanium Metals, Amalgamated Sugar Company, American Steel Wool.

Investments in private equity and hedge funds. Investments by the Daniels Fund, Cheyenne Capital, The University of San Diego, Gates Capital, Colorado College, the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association in a variety of alternative investments.

Initial public offerings. Company counsel for Celestial Seasonings, Titanium Metals, Gaiam, Real Goods Solar.

Startups and venture capital. Company counsel for TransZap, OpenPeak, Radiospire Networks, Eichrom Industries, Impressio Tech.

Proxy contests and disputed takeovers. Sessa Capital (proxy contest against incumbent directors of Ashford Hospitality Prime, Inc.); Stewart R. Horejsi (closed-end mutual funds – Neuberger Berman Real Estate Income, First Financial, USLIFE Income, and Preferred Income Management); Cortech (management defense to hostile proxy contest); Punch Card Capital, Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Advisers, and Duma Master Fund (stock purchase agreements with Companhia de Bebidas das Américas – AmBev in connection with Ambev's tender for shares of Quilmes Industrial (Quinsa), Société Anonyme).

Significant mergers and acquisitions.


Clements National: Sale (connector manufacturer) to Winchester Electronics Corporation/Audax Private Equity.

Compx International: Acquisitions of Chicago Lock Company (hardware) and Thomas Regout Holding N.V., (a Dutch manufacturer of hardware and drawer slides).

Kentek Information Systems: Leveraged public company buyout (management of printer manufacturer) by management.

Consumer Products

Celestial Seasonings: Public company merger with Hain Food Group (now Hain Celestial Group).

Dover Saddlery, Inc.: Public company sale (equestrian products retailer) to Webster Capital.

Estes-Cox: Leveraged acquisition (manufacturer of model rockets) by management, and the later sale of the company to Hobbico.

Real Goods Solar: Acquisitions of Alteris Renewables and Regrid Power (solar installers).


Aavid Thermal Products: Sale of company (thermal management solutions for electronics) to Nautic Partners, LLC.

Fluent: Sale of company (fluid dynamics software) to ANSYS.

Stratos International: Sale of public company (designer/manufacturer of interconnect components and subsystems) to Emerson Electric Company; represented Sterling Holding Company (connector manufacturer) in its earlier merger with Stratos.

Willis Stein & Partners: Leveraged public company acquisition of Aavid Thermal Technologies (thermal management manufacturer for electronics).


Tejas Gas: Merger (midstream energy company) with Shell Oil Company ($1.45 billion).

TransZap: Sale of company (oil and gas industry SaaS provider) to Accel-KKR, a private equity firm.

Natural Resources

Titanium Metals Corporation: Acquisitions of Wyman-Gordon (titanium melting operations), Loterios, S.p.A. (Italian titanium company), and Axel Johnson Metals (titanium melting and scrap assets).

Education & Honors

Harvard Law School, 1984, J.D., cum laude

Editor-in-Chief, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review

Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs, 1976, Masters of Public Affairs and Urban Planning

University of Colorado, 1974, B.A., summa cum laude 

Awards & Recognition

Phi Beta Kappa

Val B. Fischer Award

Recognized in:

Chambers USA Client's Guide

The Best Lawyers in America (Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law)

Colorado SuperLawyers

LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell as AV® Preeminent Rated™ 5.0 out of 5


  • Colorado 
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