Thomas D. Rees
Labor & Employment Attorney

Labor & Employment Attorney Thomas D. Rees handles litigation and dispute resolution for businesses and schools in and around Pennsylvania.

High Swartz
Norristown Office

Montgomery County, PA

Thomas D. Rees heads the firm’s Litigation, Employment Law and Education Law Practices. He focuses his practice primarily on employment and labor law and private education law. In the employment area, Tom represents employers in litigations over employment terminations; restrictive covenants, trade secrets, and other employee mobility issues; employment discrimination and sexual harassment matters; employment contract disputes; and defamation and privacy related matters. Tom also serves employers in a wide variety of non-litigation matters, including contract negotiation, preparation of policies and procedures, and hiring and termination. These services help employers to avoid and resolve disputes without resorting to the courtroom.

In the education area, Tom represents a number of independent schools in the Philadelphia area, handling employment, student discipline, contract, and governance matters. Tom also handles complex litigation and dispute resolution in the areas of land use and zoning law and government regulation.

Some of Tom’s noteworthy accomplishments include:

  • Successfully defended nonprofit independent school against taxing entity’s attempt to revoke school’s tax exemption on the ground of single gender status.
  • Successfully defended independent school against two injunction actions by students’ parents’ arising from school’s discipline of students.
  • Obtained dismissal of arbitration parties’ suits against an association and successfully blocked subpoena attempts against them and the association on grounds of arbitral immunity.
  • Won summary judgment for magazine publisher dismissing action for violation of a post-employment restrictive covenant.
  • Served as expert for former executive in action to forfeit executive’s deferred compensation for alleged violation of restrictive covenant.
  • Testified as expert witness for plaintiff in action for wrongful use of civil proceedings (Dragonetti Act) after plaintiff successfully defended against action for breach of restrictive covenant.
  • Obtained preliminary injunction enforcing post-employment restrictive covenant for computer distributor against former salesperson.
  • Obtained summary judgment for former employee dismissing Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim by former employer.
  • Successfully opposed injunction attempt by police union against appointment and tenure of municipal police chief.
  • Obtained dismissal for private nonprofit agency of civil rights act claim for wrongful discharge by terminated employee.
  • Has written articles and presented on the following topics:
    • employment contracts
    • at will employment
    • social media in the workplace
    • private school student discipline
    • employee mobility including non competition agreements and trade secrets
    • intentional interference with employment contracts
    • employee duty of loyalty
    • employment disputes involving shareholders
    • legal ethics including ethical issues facing high profile attorneys
    • sexual harassment
    • family and medical leave (FMLA)
    • employee privacy
    • wage payment and collection law
  • Has served as a Board member and Board president of three major civic institutions in his community- a regional art center, the free library, and the civic association.

Tom serves as an employment arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. He often speaks on employment and education law topics before Bar Association and private industry groups.


Get to Know Labor & Employment Attorney Thomas D. Rees

Affiliations & Honors

  • Montgomery Bar Association – Co-Chair of the Education Law Committee; Past Chair and Co-Chair of the Employment Law Committee; Employment Law course planner and lecturer; Past Chair of the Real Estate and Land Use Planning Committee
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association – Past Chair of the Municipal Law Section
  • Pennsylvania Bar Institute – Employment Law course planner and lecturer
  • American Arbitration Association – National Panel of Employment Arbitrators member
  • Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (and predecessor Chambers), VP/General Counsel, 1998-2011

Honors

  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Selected to Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Employment Law, 2004, 2007-present
  • “Corporate Counsel” Business Edition Magazine, Super Lawyer – Employment Law, 2008-2016
  • Best Lawyers in America, Employment Litigation, 2018-2019
  • “Main Line Today” Top Lawyer, 2019
  • Recipient of the Kenneth R. Taylor Award for Excellence in Chamber Service, 2001

Activities

  • Main Line Art Center, Director (2012-2018), Board President (2013-2015), Board Secretary (2015-2018)
  • King of Prussia Rotary, 2004-2017 (Speaker Chair, 2014-2015)
  • Gladwyne Free Library, Board of Trustees Member (2000-2005 and 2007-2012) and President (2004-2005)
  • Gladwyne Civic Association, President (1995-1997)

Practice Areas

Background

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1976
  • Pennsylvania, 1977
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1977
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1978
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1982

Education

  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1975
  • Stanford University, A.B., 1971 Honors: Dean’s List; Major: Political Science

Thomas D. Rees Legal Insights

US Supreme Court Limits Scope of Computer Fraud Law

On June 3, 2021, the United States Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision on the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”). Van Buren v. United States, _ U.S. __, 141 S. Ct. 1648, 2021 WL 2229206, 2021 U.S. Lexis 2843. The Court held that the CFAA prohibited only the gathering of information […]

Read More


Pennsylvania Supreme Court Invalidates No-Hire Contracts

The Court held that the no-hire contracts were an unreasonable restraint of trade in violation of public policy. The Supreme Court’s decision continues the Pennsylvania appellate courts’ movement to limit employers’ restrictions on ex-employees’ ability to work. As the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held in Hess v. Gebhard & Co., 808 A.2d 912 (Pa. 2002), a […]

Read More


Client Testimonials

Anna S.

“High Swartz have been our attorneys for 20 years. We are just an average family who needs help once in awhile with legal matters like creating wills & healthcare directives, real estate transactions, tax & estate planning and employment contracts. We have worked with Tom Rees and he is top notch — thorough, knowledgeable and extremely professional.”