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Attorney Spotlight

Learn about Richard Arnholt's diverse government contracts practice and why he chose to pursue a career in the legal field. Read more>

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In June 2017, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: PNFP) closed a $1.9 billion merger with BNC Bancorp (NASDAQ: BNCN) pursuant to which BNC merged with and into Pinnacle. With the completion of the transaction, Pinnacle becomes a Top 50 U.S. Bank. The merger will create a four state footprint concentrated in 12 of the largest urban markets in the Southeast. 

Bass, Berry & Sims has served Pinnacle as primary corporate and securities counsel for more than 15 years and served as counsel on the transaction. Our attorneys were involved in all aspects related to the agreement, including tax, employee benefits and litigation. 

Read more details about the transaction here.

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Regulation A+

It seems that lately there has been a noticeable uptick in Regulation A+ activity, including several recent Reg A+ securities offerings where the stock now successfully trades on national exchanges. In light of this activity, we have published a set of FAQs about Regulation A+ securities offerings to help companies better understand this "mini-IPO" offering process, as well as pros and cons compared to a traditional underwritten IPO.

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Attorney Spotlight: Richard Arnholt

October 4, 2017

1. Tell us about your practice.

My practice involves counseling clients on all aspects of their contracts and grants with federal and state governmental entities. While the practice of "government contracts law" sounds narrow, in fact it is incredibly diverse both in terms of subject matter and legal issues. The government spends over $500 billion each year on goods and services from mundane commercial items to cutting edge research and development supporting our military and space programs. Some of the matters I have worked on over the years have involved titanium howitzers, medical imaging equipment, fighter jet sales to foreign governments, military satellite programs, NOAA ships, linguists supporting deployed US forces, while others have involved pest control contracts, purchases of printer paper, pencils, and laptops. 

Regardless of what goods and services are being purchased, each government agreement is subject to a complex web of statutes and regulations that seek to balance efficiency with public policy goals. I assist contractors in every area of their business that is impacted by those rules, including understanding and being compliant with those requirements, litigating against the government and other contractors, responding to administrative actions such as suspension and debarment for contractual and ethical violations, and guiding clients through the complex issues that can arise in acquisitions of government contractors. 

2. What is an interesting trend happening right now related to your field of practice?

The only certainty in the government contracts field is change. Congress and the Executive Branch continuously tinker with the procurement statutes and regulations hoping to improve them (or at least make a show of trying to), so I spend a lot of time helping clients to keep with those revisions. The most interesting trend now is the unwinding of some of the prior administration's regulations and questions regarding how far that process will go. 

3. Why did you choose to pursue a career in the legal field?

After I got my LL.M. in international and comparative law, I planned to move back to the Middle East and work in project finance. I unexpectedly had an opportunity to clerk for a judge at the Court of Federal Claims, which was my first introduction to government contracts law. She was a great mentor, teaching me the incredible variety of work in the practice area and introducing me to a number of leaders in the government contracts bar. Also, how our government procures the goods and services needed to carry out its missions tied in with my interest in international relations (I was a double major in Economics/International Relations). After clerking, I was lucky to get a position working at a top government contracts practice in D.C. and have been working in the field ever since.


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