Thomas H. Shipps

Thomas H. Shipps - Maynes, Bradford, Shipps, Sheftel LLP

Thomas H. Shipps is a partner in the law firm of Maynes, Bradford, Shipps and Sheftel, LLP. His practice involves a broad spectrum of legal matters including: oil and gas leasing, energy development, complex commercial and real estate transactions, Indian law and economic development, natural resources law, intergovernmental relations and civil litigation.

Tom has also been a principal attorney in numerous cases in federal, state, and tribal courts regarding a wide variety of matters, and he has been the lead legal advisor in thousands of significant commercial transactions involving cumulative amounts in excess of $2 billion.

In recognition of his advocacy on behalf of Indian tribes with respect to federal mineral leasing activities, he was appointed by several respective Secretaries of the Interior to serve as a member of the Royalty Management Advisory Committee and the Royalty Policy Committee under the Clinton and both Bush administrations. He has been an author and presenter of scholarly legal papers at programs sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, the American Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Association. He also served for several years as a board member for the Indian Law Support Center in Boulder, Colorado.


  • Tom received his law degree from the University of Houston (J.D. 1979, President, Order of the Barons) and his undergraduate degree from Fort Lewis College (B.A. 1976, summa cum laude).

Admitted to Practice

  • State Bar of Colorado – 1979
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado – 1980
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Federal Circuit, the Ninth and Tenth Circuits
  • U.S. Supreme Court – 1995

Representative Experience

  • Best Lawyers’ 2012 Western Colorado Natural Resources Law Lawyer of the Year.
  • Legal advisor to and member of the management committee for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Growth Fund (2001-present).
  • Lead counsel, from the trial court through final argument before the Supreme Court, in the seminal federal case involving ownership of coal bed methane gas on federal and tribal lands. Amoco Prod. Co. v. Southern Ute Indian Tribe, 526 U.S. 865 (1999).
  • Principal draftsman of the Taxation Compact Between the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, La Plata County, and the State of Colorado of 1996.
  • Lead negotiator in the initial tribal gaming compact with the State of Colorado.