Tompa, Peter K.

Attorney, Executive Director of the International Association of Professional Numismatists, registered lobbyist for the IAPN

Peter Karl Tompa (* 1960) graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1982 and the Washington College of Law, American University in 1986. In 1984, he began his legal career as a Law Clerk at the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Washington, D.C. After having served as Judicial Clerk at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C., until 1987, Peter K. Tompa was Associate with the New Jersey firm of Porzio, Bromberg & Newman (1987-1988), and Judicial Clerk at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Washington, D.C. until 1989.
At Carr, Goodson Warner, Washington, D.C., he was Associate (1989-1996), Senior Counsel (1996-2000) and Non-Equity Partner (2000). In this capacity, he litigated in areas of cultural property and appeals.
He continued to be involved with cultural property issues at the Washington, D.C. offices of McDermott, Will & Emery (2000-2004), Dillingham & Murphy, LLP (2004-2008), and, since 2008, at Bailey & Ehrenberg PLLC. After Baily & Ehrenberg PLLC closed its doors during the pandemic, Peter Tompa has been working at his own law firm, Peter Tompa Law, since January 2021. He provides advice, litigation, and lobbying services related to the trade in cultural artifacts.

Peter K. Tompa has conducted lobbying activities before U.S. Congress related to import restrictions on ancient coins. He acted as counsel to the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild in a test case in federal court concerning customs regulations related to the import of ancient coins.

He is co-author of a chapter on numismatics in an anthology on cultural property issues, entitled “Who Owns the Past: Cultural Policy, Cultural Property, and the Law” (Rutgers University Press 2005). He also authored a law review article on cultural property issues, “Ancient Coins as Cultural Property: A Cause for Concern?” (4 J. Int’l Legal Studies 69, Winter 1998). He also wrote about the issue for the ANS Magazine, “It Should Be About Conservation, Not Control: A Collector’s Perspective,“ ANS Magazine 26 (Fall 2011).

Peter K. Tompa is a past Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Art and Cultural Heritage Law Committee. He is also a former Executive Director of the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild. He currently serves as Executive Director of the International Association of Professional Numismatists and is an active on the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild Board of Directors. Previously and going forward, Tompa has acted as the IAPN’s outside legal counsel, advocating for fair treatment for the micro and small businesses of the numismatic trade before government regulators. Moreover Peter K. Tompa is Fellow of the American Numismatic Society as well as Life Member of the American Numismatic Association and the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild. He is a member of the Ancient Numismatic Society of Washington, D.C.

Having become interested in ancient coins at a young age on trips to Europe, his particular focus is on Greek coins from Southern Italy and Sicily, Roman coins of Marcus Aurelius, and medieval and modern coins of the Kingdom of Hungary.

You can reach Peter K. Tompa via email.

To view Peter K. Tompa’s profile at, please click here.

And his contribution on ancient coins and the cultural property debate with the title “It Should Be About Conservation, Not Control” can be downloaded here.

*as of January 2024