Robert E. Cooper Jr.
As a member of the firm’s Compliance & Government Investigations Practice Group, former Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper has broad experience in consumer protection and compliance monitoring.
Bob served eight years as Tennessee Attorney General and four years as legal counsel to Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. In 2015, he rejoined the firm where he led high-stakes litigation and investigations and served as the Compliance Monitor in a consumer protection consent decree involving the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Daymar Colleges Group, a for-profit college system. In 2019, Bob left the firm to lead the Metro Nashville Department of Law. He rejoined the firm in 2021.
Bob advises clients on matters related to compliance and enforcement issues and assists clients in responding to internal investigations from federal, state or local governments. Clients draw upon Bob’s years of public service experience to help maneuver through a state’s administrative processes, including challenges to regulations, contracts and other official actions. In addition, he provides counsel on enforcement of nonprofit and charitable entities law.
His practice encompasses:
- Monitorships – Significant experience with multiple regulatory auditor and monitoring regimes at state and federal level.
- Compliance & Government Investigations – Representing clients in civil investigations and litigation, including developing and implementing compliance policies and programs.
- Nonprofit & Charitable Entities Regulation – Counseling clients on state and federal regulations, developing compliance, audit and training programs and, when needed, litigation.
- Consumer Financial Services – Representing clients in investigations and enforcement matters conducted by the states’ Attorneys General offices and other federal and state regulators involving state consumer protection acts and related legislation.
While Tennessee Attorney General, Bob served on the executive committee for mortgage servicing claims against the nation’s five largest banks that resulted in a $25 billion settlement by 49 state attorneys general and the federal government. Medicaid fraud also was a priority during his tenure, and Bob formed a separate division within the Attorney General’s Office devoted solely to pursuing provider Medicaid fraud and recovered some $150 million for the state. He also created the Public Interest Division in the Attorney General’s office to consolidate and expand oversight of nonprofits and charities and, during his tenure, recovered more than $130 million in charitable funds through investigations and litigation.
Bob served for almost 20 years as an adjunct professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School teaching Campaign Finance and Elections. Prior to entering private practice, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Louis F. Oberdorfer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Society of Attorneys General Emeritus (SAGE)
Community Oversight Board (Nashville, Tennessee) — Secretary (2019); Second Vice Chair (2019)
National Association Attorneys General (NAAG) — Chair, Southern Region (2012-2013)
American Bar Association — House of Delegates (2009-2014)
Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society — President (2014-2015)
Tennessee Board of Law Examiners (2002-2006)
Charter Revision Commission of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (2000-2006) — Chair (2002-2006)
Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands — Board of Directors (1992-2003); President (1998-2000)
ThinkTennessee — Board Chair (2017-2019)
American Health Law Association (AHLA)
Media Mentions & Firm News
U.S. District Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer, Washington, D.C. — Law Clerk
Yale Law Journal — Managing Editor
American Bar Foundation — Fellow
Tennessee Bar Foundation — Fellow
Nashville Bar Foundation — Fellow