Law360 Recognizes John Thompson’s Pro Bono Work on HAVEN Act

October 16, 2019

In its Oct. 6 “ Pro Bono Spotlight,” Law360 noted the role Washington, D.C., partner John Thompson played in securing passage of legislation to help U.S. military veterans shield disability and other Veterans Administration benefits in bankruptcy proceedings. The article explained how Thompson and a team of lawyers came together “to help tweak the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and protect an important stream of benefits for millions of Americans.”

McGuireWoods and its public affairs arm, McGuireWoods Consulting, worked pro bono on the Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act. The law excludes VA benefits from being counted as disposable income when determining eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, treating them the same as Social Security benefits.

The Law360 article detailed how Thompson and a “Tiger Team” of lawyers rallied bipartisan support for the measure, which was enacted in August. Team member Jay Bender described Thompson as “a bit of a legislative geek” who could recognize almost every senator the team saw as they made the rounds on Capitol Hill.

The article also quoted the wife of a disabled veteran who described how the new law will help the couple save $65,000 and shorten their debt repayment period from five years to three years.

“We couldn’t have done it without the bill,” she said.

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