Thomas A. Cunningham
Founding Principal | 1949 - 2022
My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.
- Robert Burns
Cunningham, Vogel & Rost is deeply saddened by the passing of Thomas A. Cunningham, one of the founding principals of the firm. Tom was a great friend, law partner, and mentor who possessed an exceptional legal mind and a dry wit. He was extremely loyal to and passionate for his clients and was never satisfied until he had done everything he could to secure the best result for his clients and its public constituents. Tom was one of the hardest working attorneys any of us have known and often would have any requested work for a client completed by the time they opened their inbox in the morning. All of us will miss him greatly.
Tom received a B.F.A. in Design from Syracuse University, and a Masters in Planning from Rutgers University. He served over 18 years in urban planning as a consultant to local, state, and federal governments and was a charter member of The American Institute of Certified Planners. He received his J.D. from Boston University School of Law, where he served as Managing Editor of Boston University Legislative Services.
Throughout his career, Tom excelled in the areas of public finance, redevelopment, and local governmental law, by calling on his extensive experience in the use of economic incentives for development projects and capital financings for local governments and public agencies utilizing such financing tools as general obligation bonds, special obligation bonds, alternative revenue bonds, certificates of participation, leasehold revenue bonds, industrial revenue bonds, TIF Bonds, NID Bonds, Chapter 100 Bonds, 501(c)(3) Bonds and tax anticipation notes.
Tom was among the very few municipal lawyers listed as Sole Bond Counsel in The Bond Buyers Municipal Marketplace (the Red Book) since 2002 and participated in local government financings totaling nearly three quarters of a billion dollars.
Mr. Cunningham also served as City Attorney for the cities of New Florence, Ste. Genevieve, Olivette, and St. Ann, and as Special Public Finance/Redevelopment Counsel to over 50 cities and special taxing districts in Missouri and Illinois. He was a frequent lecturer statewide on the use of public incentives and redevelopment tools in Missouri and Illinois and the co-author of the Urban Redevelopment chapters of the Missouri Bar Continuing Legal Education Deskbooks on Real Estate Law and on Local Government Law.
Tom’s career can best be summarized though by his loyal clients who often just said he was their favorite lawyer and one of the smartest they had ever met.