Tell us about your practice.
When I began practicing law with Bass, Berry & Sims 35 years ago, we were less specialized than we are now. I started out doing bank lending work and real estate transactions, and both continue to be the primary elements of my practice.
Now, the majority of my finance practice involves representing borrowers in large corporate financings, including syndicated senior revolving credit and term loan facilities (secured and unsecured) and representing agent banks and lenders in credit facilities for both public and private companies in a variety of industries. I also continue to represent real estate clients in connection with a variety of real estate acquisitions, dispositions, commercial leasing and development projects. Because of my aviation interest, I also advise clients regarding the sale, purchase and operation of aircraft.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in the legal field?
My father suggested to me that I should learn a profession that would enable me to do things for people that they couldn't do for themselves (my pre-med aspirations were dashed by the first day of organic chemistry). Dad saw the main benefit as being that you'll always have something to do, but I have come to realize that there is also great fulfillment in using one's intellect, education and experience to help people think through and develop solutions for tough problems. The legal profession certainly provides those opportunities.
What hobbies do you enjoy outside of the office?
As much as I enjoy fishing and walks in the woods, my longtime passion has been aviation. I have been a pilot for over 30 years, and I'm now flying a restored World War II liaison airplane (used by the Army for reconnaissance, artillery observation, communications and similar activities). It flies low and slow, with a limited range, but it is great for "slipping the surly bonds of earth" on a pretty day and experiencing the simple joy of flight. Having been restored with its military livery, the airplane usually attracts interest wherever it goes, and I have especially enjoyed encounters with old-timers I meet who learned to fly in this or similar aircraft from a bygone era.