Thomas Joseph Lynch, 85, a retired Washington attorney and a former general counsel of the Treasury Department, died of cancer Oct. 30 at the Manor Care nursing home in Wheaton.

Mr. Lynch, who lived in Chevy Chase, was born in Chicago. He received bachelor's and law degrees at the University of Michigan.

He moved to Washington in 1934 as assistant general counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1939, he transferred to the Justice Department as a special assistant to the attorney general in the anti-trust division.

During World War II, Mr. Lynch was general counsel of the War Production Board and then assistant general counsel of the Treasury. In 1948, he was named general counsel of the Treasury.

He held that post until 1953, when he went into a private law practice with Edward H. Foley, a former under secretary of the Treasury. The firm of Foley & Lynch later merged with Corcoran, Youngman and Rowe and Mr. Lynch retired from it about 1975.

Mr. Lynch was a member of the University Club and the Congressional Country Club.

His wife, Christine, died in 1961. Survivors include two sons, Thomas Farrell Lynch of Salinas, Calif., and Michael Brian Lynch of Aberdeen, N.C., and a daughter, Shelia Christine Lynch of Chevy Chase.