If we are fortunate, we have pursuits we follow through our entire lives. For Tom Xanders, one such pursuit is fishing – in particular, fly-fishing. He likes standing in the middle of a river, against a backdrop of natural beauty. There’s nowhere in the world you can fly-fish that isn’t beautiful, he says.
“That’s when I can totally clear my head. I’m usually by myself or with a friend or my dad and my brother. So all I’m thinking about when I’m fly-fishing is fly-fishing. Everything else goes away.”
Tom grew up in Indian Hill. His family has always been into fishing, hunting, skiing and camping. Being outdoors, in other words. He was 13 when his father took him on his first hunt. Tom took up fly-fishing at the University of Georgia, in the mountains of northern Georgia. He has caught most every kind of trout you can think of in places like Colorado and Wyoming and bonefish and tarpon in Belize.
His father and brother both go by the nickname Zum. Tom can’t remember ever having any serious contentious moments with his dad, who is also an attorney. Tom says they’re both analytical, solution-oriented, and even-keeled. From his mother, Tom learned to stand up for his beliefs and to work hard toward his goals. His environmental science teacher during his senior year in high school helped him make the connection that the outdoors was actually something that could be studied in an academic sense. So he applied to the College of Agriculture at the University of Georgia, where he majored in environmental economics and management.
His first real job was in construction, the summer after his freshman year. “That job instilled a work ethic. You’re working with people who show up and physically work hard every day. I never heard them complain. It’s a quality I want to bring to my practice.”
Tom always counted on going to law school. Although his father, grandfather and great-grandfather practiced law, being an attorney wasn’t expected of him -- it was something he expected of himself. He liked that it didn’t seem easy, that he would be working directly with people and that it would be intellectually challenging.
“The more transactional side of law appeals to me. Usually, you’re dealing with clients on a good day. They’re buying something, or they’re getting something … you’re not always trying to fix a problem. It’s more that you’re trying to reach a mutually satisfying agreement.”
Tom says his family is extremely important to him. His parents taught him early on that travel is an important part of life – “seeing different parts of the world gives you a better perspective.” He would like to travel to Southeast Asia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, India and Alaska. “I will not die until I’ve been fishing in Alaska.”
He compares success in law to the art of the angler. “It’s a matter of enjoying what you do – and realizing there’s always more to learn, that you can always do better.”
Tom practices in the areas of real estate law and corporate law. He primarily assists clients with the acquisition, sale, and leasing of commercial and residential real property. Tom has extensive experience negotiating and drafting purchase contracts, leases, easements, title cure documents, and a variety of other instruments connected with the transfer and use of commercial real estate. He also advises clients in all aspects of real estate due diligence, including title and survey review, site plan approval, and use and development considerations.
Tom also counsels clients on construction-related matters, including tax abatements, development incentives, site acquisition, and financing.
Representative matters include acting as counsel in the acquisition, leasing, management and ultimate disposition of a 74,000 SF Class A multi-tenant office building; acting as counsel to a local real estate investment firm in the disposition of a nation-wide portfolio of properties; the negotiation of complex multi-family development and medical office building ground leases; and acting as Lender’s counsel in the collateralization of a $250 million loan facility. Lead counsel in the acquisition, financing, and construction of a $100 million manufacturing and storage facility for a nationwide manufacturer.