Tom Henderson has been recognized by his peers for inclusion as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers. Both are select groups of attorneys with significant trial practice and results. His experience in the courtroom allows him to guide clients to the best possible outcome in each case. He regularly appears in court on behalf of clients in construction, personal injury, product liability, dram shop, and workers’ compensation matters.

Tom serves as city attorney to central Iowa municipalities and represents them in meetings, planning, and community management issues including legislation, personnel, development, open meetings, and other issues including cases that have gone to the Iowa Supreme Court. As a result of his experience as a city attorney, he also represents clients with regard to development and zoning matters before both county and city governments.

He regularly represents businesses in the hospitality industry in dram shop and liquor liability matters. Clients include restaurants and bars in central Iowa. Tom’s service provides analysis, negotiation, and if necessary, court appearances on behalf of the insurer and insured. He has had multiple successes at the Iowa Supreme Court in dram shop cases that have helped define the law in this area.

Notable Work:

  • City Attorney, City of Grimes, Iowa, 1991—present
  • City Attorney, City of Elkhart, Iowa, 2017—present

Contact Tom today or call 515-288-6041 for more information. 



  • Member Attorney, Whitfield & Eddy Law
  • Co-Chair, Whitfield & Eddy Law Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, 2022— present
  • Co-chair, Whitfield & Eddy Litigation Practice Group, 2016—2017
  • City Attorney, City of Grimes, Iowa, 1991—present

Activities and Affiliations

  • Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • American Inns of Court (Blackstone Inn of Court)
  • Iowa Defense Counsel Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association (Chair: Public Relations Committee, 2009—2015; Chair: LawPAC, 2006—present; Chair: Annual Meeting Committee, 1991—1994; President: Young Lawyers Division, 1987—1988; Litigation Section Council, 1990—1992; Board of Governors, 1986—1988; Scope and Correlation Committee, 2004—2005)
  • Iowa Association for Justice
  • Order of the Barristers
  • Polk County Bar Association


  • Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers 60th Annual Seminar, February 2022
  • Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers 59th Annual Seminar, February 2021
  • Fundamentals of Federal Practice Seminar, Iowa State Bar Association, October 2020
  • Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers Seminar, February 2020
  • American College of Trial Lawyers Iowa Fellows Meeting, August 2019
  • Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers Seminar, February 2019
  • Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers Seminar, February 2018
  • Iowa Municipal Attorneys Association Annual Seminar, November, 2017

News & Events

Events & Speaking Engagements

Honors & Recognitions

Honors & Recognitions

  • Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected by Best Lawyers in America as the Des Moines area's 2020 "Lawyer of the Year" in the area of Litigation - Insurance
  • Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America as a top-ranked attorney in Food and Beverage Law, Litigation - Construction, and Litigation - Insurance (2016—2024)
  • Selected for inclusion in Great Plains Super Lawyers as a top-ranked attorney in Personal Injury General: Defense (2020—2022)
  • Salvation Army of Des Moines, Iowa Begie Hefner Award, 2019

Cases Presentations & Publications

Cases Presentations & Publications

Published Cases:

  • Lukken v. Fleischer, 962 N.W.2d 71 (Iowa 2021)
  • Estate of West v. Domina Law Grp., 981 F.3d 652 (8th Cir. 2020)
  • Hollingshead v. DC Misfits, LLC, 937 N.W.2d 616 (Iowa 2020)
  • Torrence v. Murphy’s Bar & Grill, 884 N.W.2d 223 (Iowa Ct. App. 2016)
  • City of Asbury v. Iowa City Dev. Bd., 723 N.W. 2d 188 (Iowa 2006)
  • City of Dubuque v. Iowa Dist. Court, 725 N.W. 2d 449 (Iowa 2006)
  • Dorrian v. Hazel’s Blue Sky Diner (in Re Estate of Ballard), 563 N.W. 2d 609 (Iowa 2002)
  • Rife v. D.T. Corner, Inc., 641 N.W.2d 761 (Iowa 2002)
  • Nesbit v. Myers, 576 N.W.2d 613 (Iowa Ct. App. 1998)
  • Des Moines Metro. Area Solid Waste Agency v. Grimes, 495 N.W.2d 746 Iowa 1993)
  • Grimes v. Polk County Bd. of Supervisors, 495 N.W.2d 751 (Iowa 1993)
  • Tanberg v. Ackerman Inv. Co., 473 N.W.2d 193 (Iowa 1991)
  • Acceptance Ins. Co. v. United States Fire Inc. Co., 471 N.W.2d 791 (Iowa 1991)
  • In re Estate Rucker, 442 N.W.2d 113, (Iowa 1989)

Selected Publications, Presentations and Teaching Appointments:

  • Panelist, "Iowa's Mock Trial National Champions: Past, Present, and Future," Polk County Bar Association Luncheon, Des Moines, Iowa, January 2024
  • Panelist, "Hate Speech and Violence Against Religion," 10th Annual Iowa Religious Freedom Day Fairness For All Summit, Des Moines, Iowa, April 2023
  • Presenter, “Dram Shop Primer: Defense & Plaintiff Perspectives,” Iowa Association for Justice Trial Lawyers Conference, February 2018
  • Presenter, “Iowa Dram Shop Law,” Iowa Defense Counsel Association 48th Annual Meeting and Seminar, September 2012
  • Presenter, “Ethics Workshop,” Iowa Association of Marriage and Family Therapist Annual Conference, April 2012
  • Presenter, “Iowa’s Dram Shop Law,” Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers Meeting, March 2005
  • Adjunct Professor, “Settlement Negotiations” and “Client Counseling & Interviewing,” Drake University Law School, 1983-1992


Drake University Law School, J.D.

  • Moot Court Board

Drake University, B.A. cum laude

  • Student Body President
  • Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society


  • Iowa
    U.S. District Court - Northern District of Iowa
    U.S. District Court - Southern District of Iowa

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