Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C.

Thomas C. Hoffman, II

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Practice Areas


  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D.
  • Pennsylvania State University, B.S., Accounting

Admissions & Certifications

  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Alaska
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Tax Court

Professional Affiliations

  • Erie County Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Tax Section Member, Real Property & Probate Section Member
  • Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Tax Division Member

Thomas C. Hoffman, II has represented thousands of businesses and high net worth individuals during his career as a lawyer and CPA. He has helped plan hundreds of business successions for a diverse group of clients, including entrepreneurs engaged in manufacturing, oil & gas, timber, publishing and other industries in more than 15 states. He began his career as a CPA with Ernst & Young in Pittsburgh from 1990 to 1993.

Mr. Hoffman often uses atypical approaches seeking the best possible solution for clients’ complex ambitions and circumstances. He works closely as a team with clients’ accountants, bankers, insurance agents and wealth management advisors, aspiring to provide high quality, seamless client care. He also taps into his own working group of key strategic legal and tax advisors, including former IRS agents who bring an even broader base of knowledge and experience to bear on clients’ more unusual matters.

Mr. Hoffman concentrates his practice on closely held business planning, business succession planning, implementation of sophisticated estate and trust planning, administration of complex estates and trusts, and the tax consequences of these matters.

In business successions, Mr. Hoffman knows how to ask tough, devil’s advocate questions on whether a successor to the business will have the right skills to replace the seller’s abilities and maintain a profitable business. He also knows how to communicate difficult or thorny issues in clear, plain English. When needed, he has represented clients before the IRS in federal income, estate and gift tax cases.

Mr. Hoffman is the originator of the Knox Law Institute™, which provides valuable, relevant and practical education on legal matters to businesses, governmental entities, nonprofit organizations, insurance companies, financial institutions, individuals and families, as well as professional advisors. He is a major contributor for topics including business succession planning, estate planning, tax law, asset protection, shale energy planning, trusts, charitable giving and more.

Honors & Ratings

Speaking Engagements

  • Knox Law Institute™
  • Northwestern PA Forest Landowner’s Conference, February 2014
  • Firm's Professional Advisor Symposium, October 2013 and January 2014
  • Frequently speaks about estate planning and business succession issues for various organizations including the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, PICPA, Northwest Industrial Resource Center, The Community Foundation of Western PA and Eastern OH and other groups and charitable organizations
  • Alaska Trust Company Seminar, May 2013
  • 2009 Tax Practitioners Institute, Alaska Association of Tax Consultants

Community & Professional Service

  • Penn State University, Planned Giving Advisory Council Member
  • Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, Council of Fellows Member
  • The Foundation for Sustainable Forests, Board Member, Secretary
  • Community Foundation of Western PA and Eastern OH, Planned Giving Advisor
  • Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, Past Board Member and Past Executive Committee Member
  • Estate Planning Council of Erie, Past President

Firm Involvement

  • Shareholder
  • Estate Planning & Administration Group, Practice Group Leader