Tad Davis

On December 28, 2022, Davis & Harman LLP lost our dear friend and founder, Thomas A. "Tad" Davis.

In 1985, Tad and the late William Harman co-founded the firm, concentrating its practice on their joint expertise in the taxation of life insurance products and companies. Tad's detailed knowledge of the law extended to other legislative and regulatory issues in the area of tax, financial markets, agricultural policy, and the horse industry. His expertise on tax issues relating to the horse industry was widely recognized, and he authored the Horse Owners and Breeders Tax Handbook, the leading authority on these issues.

Tad was a brilliant lawyer and legislative strategist. His mastery of how to navigate Capitol Hill and get things done for his clients was legendary. Still, all his many successes were accomplished discretely through the force of his arguments and his comprehensive knowledge of the intricacies of the legislative process.

Perhaps Tad’s greatest strength, and the secret of his successful life and career, was that he genuinely liked people – all people. He treated Capitol Hill staff with the same respect he gave Members of Congress and everyone else he encountered. Tad strongly believed that an effective advocate needed to be professional, honest, happy, and kind. He never wavered from those principles.

Tad was devoted to Davis & Harman, always going the extra mile for the firm. No task was too big, or too small, for him to tackle. When checking out potential office space, Tad climbed a ladder to the twelfth floor of the Willard office building (then under construction) to check out potential space for the firm. After enjoying the spectacular view of the Washington Monument, Tad sealed the deal making Davis & Harman the first tenant in the building. Almost as much as he loved walking the halls of the Capitol, Tad loved our office building and its occupants. He knew every person in the building, and always stopped to ask how all were doing. He never missed checking in with the security guard on the way to the elevator.

Tad enjoyed sharing our terrace and its view and often invited tourists he met on the street to come up for a cold bottle of water and have their picture taken with the Washington Monument in the background. On July 4th, Tad would arrive at the office early in the day to help load the ice chests and anchor down the tent before hosting the annual party that night. Long after the fireworks ended, Tad remained on the terrace for as long as his guests wanted to enjoy the evening and view.

Tad will be remembered as a witty and compassionate man who dearly loved his family and friends. He was always eager to help others through his good counsel and guidance or just by taking the time to listen to them. We learned many legal and life lessons from Tad, and were privileged to be his colleagues. Under Tad’s leadership, Davis & Harman has grown over the years, but the firm remains rooted in the principles Tad established years ago. We are proud that our firm bears his name and carries on his legacy.

The Willard
1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20004
Tel 202-347-2230
Fax 202-393-3310