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Anthony S. Benton

Of Counsel

As Stuart & Branigin’s first managing partner, Tony dedicated himself to the success of distinguished clients – and to ensure the firm’s continued growth with leading corporations and nonprofits, including Norfolk Southern, Purdue University, and the Purdue Research Foundation, that entrusted Tony with long-term oversight of litigation, compliance and other core legal issues. In 2019, after more than 40 years of active service, the firm granted Tony’s request to step away from firm leadership and partner responsibilities and assume an “of counsel” role that allows him to continue to provide consultation and legal services to his colleagues and firm clients, albeit with a reduced time commitment.

Tony’s focus on partnerships with clients – rather than simply individual transactions and cases – has contributed to the broad scope of his work over the course of his career.  For many years, he was a leader in the firm’s service as national coordinating counsel to Norfolk Southern for toxic tort defense related to asbestos, silica, and diesel exhaust exposure claims.  In this role, he supervised and consulted with local counsel in many counties and states across the eastern U.S., and directly litigated cases in Indiana and other select areas.

Purdue University – and the Purdue Research Foundation – first turned to Tony for guidance over 40 years ago. He served the two entities in a variety of capacities, including 12 years as the university’s appointed general counsel, as a long-term officer of the university’s board of trustees, and as responsible counsel to the Purdue Research Foundation.
Leading corporations and nonprofits have entrusted Tony with long-term oversight of litigation, compliance and other core legal issues.
As general counsel, Tony was instrumental in the development and oversight of Purdue’s outsourced legal team during a period of rapid growth for the university. Key areas of focus included human resource and employment issues, construction-related activities, environmental compliance, and litigation. In his of counsel role, Tony continued to provide counsel on select matters, including environmental and regulatory compliance, and bond financings.

His work with the Purdue Research Foundation involved complex real estate transactions, including the development of three certified technology parks in the state of Indiana. He also helped the foundation with numerous campus expansions, large-scale renovations, financings, and public-private redevelopment initiatives. Beyond real estate, Tony advised foundation leaders on endowment investment decisions and policy changes.

He has long been engaged with nonprofit boards focused on economic development of the Lafayette area, and currently provides input to Greater Lafayette Commerce where he served as secretary, general counsel and board member for many years.

Tony has been repeatedly selected to Best Lawyers in America lists and has been elected fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Indiana Bar Foundation. He is a proud veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserve.

  • Indiana University School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude
    • Wells Scholar
    • Dutton Scholarship
    • Foundation Press Award
    • Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity
  • University of Illinois, B.A., with honors
    • Edmund James Scholar
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court – Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court – Northern, Southern, and Central Districts of Illinois
  • Selected to the Best Lawyers in America list in the field of Education Law (2008-2024)
  • Selected to the Best Lawyers in America list in the field of Railroad Law (2016-2024)
  • Selected to The American Lawyer’s / Corporate Counsel’s Top Rated Lawyers list in the field of Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources Law (2012)
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Indiana Bar Foundation
  • Rated as AV “Preeminent” in Martindale-Hubbell, a leading peer review survey
  • Legal Counsel to the Tippecanoe Emergency Response Financial Board (1999-present)
  • Legal Counsel to the Trustees of Purdue University (2000-2012)
  • Assistant Legal Counsel to the Trustees of Purdue University (1991-1999)
  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Foundation
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Indiana Bar Foundation
  • Indiana State Bar Association
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • Tippecanoe County Bar Association
  • Greater Lafayette Commerce Corporation (2006-present)
    • Board director, secretary and general counsel
  • Greater Lafayette Community Development Corporation (2001-2007)
    • Board director and executive committee member
  • Lafayette – West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce (2000-2001)
    • Chairman and board director