Practice Areas

Appellate Practice

We handle appellate work, either arising from cases we try or cases we are hired independently to appeal. We have appealed cases all the way to and prevailed at the United States Supreme Court and the Tennessee Supreme Court. All good appellate advocacy arises from a clear understanding of the law and facts at the trial court level. Our team takes pride in the clarity of our brief writing and oral presentation on appeal. Ultimately, this careful work maximizes the chance of success on appeal.

Business Litigation & Trial Practice

We have represented companies and business people in matters big and small and in various jurisdictions. These representations have involved cases in state and federal court in the Knoxville area but also other areas and jurisdictions where required to protect our clients. This representation includes cases pending across the country in Washington, California, and Nevada and cases pending closer to home in Nashville. This broad geographic range gives us the ability and experience to effectively represent our clients in new venues but also to be familiar with local Judges and Chancellors.

Entertainment, Sports & Media

We represent entertainers, athletes, and entrepreneurs in the development and distribution of their personal brands, content, and intellectual property assets. We regularly represent clients in connection with licensing, endorsement, speaking, personal appearance, exhibition, merchandising, and other opportunities on television, radio, internet, and other digital and live mediums.

Entity Formation, Operation & Tax

We serve as general outside counsel to numerous for-profit and non-profit companies. In this role, we strive to be creative and efficient participants in the success of our clients from initial organization to advising on day-to-day operations in diverse matters including HR, contracting, dispute resolution and litigation, acquisitions, dispositions, and strategic planning.

We also represent our clients in federal and Tennessee tax matters. We help our clients defer federal income tax on real estate sales with like-kind real estate exchanges. We provide tax advice on mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions, individual tax matters, personal and business tax audits, and the formation and operation of business entities, including highly complex tax issues involving partnerships and limited liability companies.

Estate Planning & Asset Protection

We design estate plans to help our clients manage and protect their assets during life, and to pass their assets to their chosen beneficiaries after death, with as few taxes, costs, and complications as possible. We draft customized estate planning documents, such as Wills, powers of attorney for financial and medical decisions, and all types of lifetime and testamentary trusts to address the unique personal, business, and family concerns of our clients.

We also help our clients limit liability exposure with comprehensive asset protection plans. An asset protection plan may include the use of limited liability entities, prenuptial agreements, and asset protection trusts, such as a Tennessee Investment Services Trust.

Finance & Private Securities

We routinely represent commercial and venture lenders and borrowers in loan transactions of all kinds. We specialize in all aspects of asset-backed, real estate-backed, bond finance, and non-recourse loans. We also counsel lenders and borrowers in troubled loan workouts, debt recovery, loan and note sales, and refinancings.

We also have extensive experience representing issuers raising capital through the private sale of equity and debt instruments and resellers of restricted ownership interests. We have counseled numerous buyers and sellers in the purchase and sale of preferred equities and down rounds.

Healthcare

We represent physician practice groups and individual physicians as business counsel, advising on employment contract negotiation, HIPAA and Stark compliance, corporate documents, formation, and succession planning.

M&A / Business Succession Planning

We specialize in the purchase and sale of private companies and company divisions across all industries. We routinely counsel boards and executives in their negotiations with investment banks and strategic and private equity investors/buyers.

We also work with business owners to develop exit strategies for their business by addressing taxes, business management and governance, and issues related to the retirement, death, divorce or withdrawal of the business owners. Such planning often involves creating a buy/sell agreement, revising the business’s governance structure, offering equity compensation to key employees, and identifying ways to fund a buy-out including life insurance, redemption agreements, or loans.

Pro Bono

Among our highest priorities is undertaking pro bono projects in all areas of the law. We are committed to giving our pro bono clients exceptional legal representation, and we make no distinction between pro bono and other client matters. We actively participate in initiatives within our community that promote health, justice, education, and the arts.

Real Estate

We proudly represent many of the area’s largest and most innovative real estate developers in projects across the nation. We have expertise in a diverse range of uses including mixed-use, commercial, entertainment, and single-family and multi-family residential.

We routinely represent buyers and sellers in real estate portfolio transfers, as well as commercial landlords and tenants in negotiating leases for retail, office, service businesses, and restaurants. We also represent and advise residential developers as to their developer’s rights, ability to amend covenants and restrictions, and orderly handover of HOA control. Following such handover, we advise HOAs in enforcement of restrictions and architectural controls and collection of delinquent dues.

Title Services

We regularly handle real estate closings and provide escrow and title services to our clients. Led by owner and attorney Steffanie M. Speck, the team at Speck Title has the skill and experience to navigate even the most complex commercial and residential real estate transactions. From providing comprehensive title insurance to ensuring that each closing is seamlessly executed, Speck Title is committed to providing effective, personalized title services for each client.