Nashville, Tenn., (January 9, 2020) – Bass, Berry & Sims PLC is pleased to announce the election of eight new members in the firm: Taylor J. Ashley, Jaime L. Barwig, John C. Eason, Lauren M. Gaffney, S. Ryan Hoffman, Mary Leigh Pirtle, Brian L. Sims and Julia Tamulis.

“I am honored to announce that the firm has elected these eight new members. This elevation recognizes their commitment and contributions to the practice of law and within our firm. We are proud of what they have already accomplished and excited to see how they continue to grow in their legal career,” said Todd Rolapp, the firm’s managing partner.

Taylor J. Ashley (Nashville) – Ashley counsels clients on mergers, acquisitions, financings and other strategic transactions. He represents private equity funds and their portfolio companies, as well as other publicly traded or privately held businesses, in various industries including senior living, healthcare, healthcare technology and manufacturing. Prior to joining Bass, Berry & Sims, Ashley was an associate at the Dallas office of Jones Day. Ashley earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School (2011) and a B.S. from the University of Kentucky (2008).

Jaime L. Barwig (Nashville) – Barwig works with companies to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of new technologies and media to support and leverage their use of technology and data. She counsels clients on a range of privacy, cybersecurity and information management issues in the context of compliance, business strategy, technology transactions, breach preparedness and response, industry best practices, self-regulatory initiatives, and regulatory strategy. Prior to launching her legal career, Barwig was a member of the Teach For America corps, where she taught seventh grade in Chicago. She also worked for a healthcare consulting company before joining the firm. Barwig earned a J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law (2011) and a B.A. and B.S. from the University of Florida (2003).

John C. Eason (Nashville) – Eason represents clients in government enforcement actions, investigations, and related litigation, particularly involving the False Claims Act. He has represented companies and individuals, specifically in the healthcare industry, in responding to inquiries and investigations by the DOJ, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, HHS-OIG, and other federal and state agencies, regarding healthcare and procurement fraud issues. Prior to joining the firm, Eason served a one-year clerkship with the Honorable Anita B. Brody on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Eason earned a J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School (2011) and a B.A. from Georgetown University (2007).

Lauren M. Gaffney (Nashville) – Gaffney helps healthcare clients address enforcement and compliance issues and respond to legal and regulatory violations. She also leads clients through administrative and enforcement proceedings before government boards and commissions, with a special focus on obtaining certificates of need and regulatory approvals for the establishment and operation of healthcare facilities and services. Her prior experience includes former positions as operations counsel intern for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA Inc.) and as an intern for Vanderbilt University Risk and Insurance Management. Gaffney earned a J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School (2009) and a B.S. from Vanderbilt University (2003).

Ryan Hoffman (Nashville) – Ryan represents public and private companies in mergers and acquisitions, Securities and Exchange Act reporting and compliance, and corporate finance matters. He also has significant experience advising privately held companies, as well as private equity and venture capital firms, on strategic corporate matters including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and other complex transactions. Hoffman earned an M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee Haslam College of Business (2011), a J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law (2010) and a B.A. from Clemson University (2007).

Mary Leigh Pirtle (Nashville) – Pirtle has extensive experience in both traditional labor and employment litigation, helping clients navigate complicated and evolving employment state and federal law issues. She advises employers on day-to-day employment law matters including employment agreements and restrictive covenants, hiring and discipline/discharge of employees, wage and hour concerns, employee leave, policies and handbooks, discrimination and civil rights. Prior to joining the firm, Pirtle practiced at the Nashville office of King & Ballow and also was a former assistant attorney general for the state of Tennessee. Pirtle earned a J.D. from Stetson University College of Law (2007), an M.B.A. from Stetson University (2007) and a B.B.A. from Middle Tennessee State University (2004).

Brian SimsBrian L. Sims (Nashville) – Sims counsels clients on matters relating to corporate governance, securities regulation and mergers and acquisitions. He provides guidance on a variety of transactional matters, including Exchange Act reporting, public and private company acquisition and disposition, Section 16 compliance, Rule 144A debt offerings, private placements and exchange offers. Sims earned a J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School (2010) and a B.A. from the University of South Carolina (2007).

Julia Tamulis (Washington, D.C.) – Tamulis advises companies on complex healthcare regulatory matters related to operations and compliance. She assists with internal compliance reviews and responding to government investigations, including defending companies facing government scrutiny in False Claims Act matters. She also has represented clients before U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the HHS-OIG in Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute enforcement actions. Prior to joining the firm, Tamulis was an attorney-advisor for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Departmental Appeals Board (DAB), the highest level of appeal within HHS. Tamulis earned a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School (2011) and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania (2007).

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC is a professional limited liability company rather than a partnership. Professional limited liability companies have ‘members’ instead of ‘partners.’

About Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
With more than 290 attorneys representing numerous publicly traded companies and Fortune 500 businesses, Bass, Berry & Sims has been involved in some of the largest and most significant litigation matters, investigations and business transactions in the country. Our attorneys work seamlessly across substantive practice disciplines, industries and geographies to deliver highly effective service and business-focused solutions. For more information, visit