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Mark A. Thornhill

  • T: (816) 292-8119
    F: (816) 474-3216
  • Kansas City

Mark Thornhill specializes in White Collar Criminal Defense and Governmental Investigations and leads that practice at Spencer Fane. Mark’s white collar defense and investigation clients include business executives, medical and legal professionals and Fortune 500 corporations. Mark also specializes in Business Litigation related to shareholder rights and securities. Mark’s trial and regulatory work in this area includes derivative cases, securities fraud cases and regulatory proceedings on behalf of broker dealers. Mark has represented financial institutions for 20 years. In addition, Mark has extensive expertise with international business practices and international clients through commercial trials and arbitration matters.

Mark is recognized for his skills in the “Best Lawyers in America” and “Super Lawyers”, including the Corporate Counsel Edition. Mark started his career as a trial attorney in the Tax Division – Criminal Section at the Department of Justice.

Mark is active in civic affairs in Kansas City. He served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Truman Medical Center, Kansas City’s academic hospital. Mark also was President of the Board of the Kansas City Free Health Clinic and served on the Boards of the AIDS Service Foundation and Family Health Partners Insurance Company.


White Collar Criminal Defense and Governmental Investigations

Mark Thornhill started his career as a prosecutor at the United States Department of Justice. As a defense lawyer, he is recognized in “Best Lawyers in America” and in “Super Lawyers”. Mark’s white collar cases have involved virtually all federal economic and regulatory crimes. Mark’s work in governmental investigations includes representation of Audit Committees in Sarbanes-Oxley investigations of corporate executives. He represents broker dealers before FINRA and corporate directors and officers in proceedings before the SEC.

A description of many of Mark’s white collar cases follows:

  • Antitrust related to price fixing and market allocation

  • Bank fraud related to loan transactions Commodities Futures Trading related to energy contracts and cornering of markets

  • Embezzlement

  • Environmental Crimes related to chemical waste and product disposal under Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and to chemical discharges, interference with publically owned treatment works, falsification of records, and gold mining under the Clean Water Act

  • False Statements related to government investigations

  • FINRA investigations of broker dealer supervision and broker licenses

  • Habeas Corpus related to death penalty convictions

  • Healthcare Fraud related to the sale of medical devices, the provision of services, billing and coding, and kick-backs and referrals

  • Homicide

  • Identity Theft

  • Mail and Wire Fraud related to honest services, mortgages, insurance fraud, and other business transactions

  • Money Laundering

  • Public Corruption related to payments on government contracts and the use of government property

  • Sarbanes-Oxley Investigations related to executive expenses and theft and fiduciary breaches by executives

  • Securities Fraud

  • Securities and Exchange Commission Investigations of corporate executives

  • Tax Fraud related to tax shelters, tax evasion, and aiding and assisting the presentation of false return

  • Theft

Business Litigation

Mark Thornhill’s Business Litigation Practice emphasizes cases regarding shareholders and securities. Mark regularly defends corporate directors and officers against claims of fiduciary breaches in shareholder derivative actions. He also defends corporations and executives in federal securities fraud and Blue Sky cases. Mark’s active regulatory practice is before the SEC, FINRA and state securities commissions. Mark represents financial institutions in court and before regulators. Mark has expertise with European business practices through arbitration and court proceedings in Europe and the U.S. His knowledge of international business practices is important to clients who are in foreign-country litigation.

A description of Mark’s recent Business Litigation cases follows:

  • Shareholder Derivative cases defending a Fortune 100 telecommunications provider, a president of a garment manufacturer, directors of a precision equipment manufacturer, and a director of a food manufacturing company Blue Sky case defending the directors of a start-up horticultural product manufacturing company

  • Financial Institution cases regarding UCC Article 9 perfection, loan participation agreements, fraudulent lending practices, privacy policies, “lender liability”, trademark protection, special purpose entities, and matters before the Federal Reserve, OCC and FDIC

  • Fraud cases involving lawyers

  • Fraud cases involving mergers

  • Dealer Termination cases

  • Trade Secrets case regarding pricing, product design, and customers


  • American Bar Association
  • Litgation Counsel of America- Fellow


Selected for inclusion in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers® , 2008-2014

Listed in Best Lawyers®