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K&L Gates Launches Nashville Office with Hire of 25+ Lawyers

3 February 2021

Nashville - Global law firm K&L Gates LLP has established an office in Nashville, Tenn., with the hiring of more than 25 lawyers across a variety of practices, including health care, litigation, corporate, intellectual property, finance, and construction, among others. The Nashville office – K&L Gates’ 24th in the United States and 45th worldwide – provides the firm and its clients access to one of the nation’s fastest-growing markets, including in such areas as health care, technology, and investment, and is expected to continue to expand during the coming months. 
Among the lawyers joining K&L Gates in the launch of its Nashville office are 18 partners from such law firms as Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP; Butler Snow LLP; Dickinson Wright PLLC; and Bass, Berry & Sims PLC. Short bios of each of the joining partners can be found at the end of this release.

“We are delighted to announce the opening of our office in Nashville, a city that has experienced remarkable growth in recent years and decades and in which K&L Gates already has many clients with deep connections,” commented K&L Gates Global Managing Partner Jim Segerdahl. “We look forward to assisting these and other clients as they seek to expand further their businesses both regionally and globally. We are fortunate to have been able to populate our new office with lawyers who include some of the top legal talent in the United States in the health care, litigation, intellectual property, construction, and corporate areas, among others.”  

In addition to serving as the headquarters or a major corporate location for public companies across a variety of sectors, including health care, automotive, and retail, the Nashville area has continued to see businesses from the technology, financial, and a number of other industries relocating to and expanding their corporate offices within the area in recent years, with the Nashville region also experiencing a sizable increase in venture capital investment over the past decade.

Mary Beth Johnston, Managing Partner of K&L Gates’ Nashville and Research Triangle Park offices and co-leader of the firm’s health care and FDA practice, stated: “Nashville’s status as a leading center for the health care industry of course creates significant and strategic synergies with our national health care practice. In this regard, we are thrilled to have added premier health care transactional and regulatory lawyers to this office at the start. But the city’s strong growth in the technology, finance, construction, manufacturing, and related industries also provides many other outstanding opportunities for our firm, its clients, and the Nashville business community. We are pleased to have been able to assemble some of the finest legal talent Nashville has to offer across these practices, and look forward to continuing to add more top-tier lawyers in the coming months and years.”

“This is truly an exciting day and development for K&L Gates,” said K&L Gates’ Global Strategic Growth Partner Craig Budner. “Our firm has observed Nashville’s growth with keen interest in recent years. Not only does the region present many opportunities in areas including health care and related investment, but our ability to recruit such a prominent and varied group of partners for the Nashville office’s launch clearly demonstrates the enthusiasm of lawyers and clients in the region for the presence of a fully integrated global law firm with the breadth of practice area capabilities, industry insights and knowledge, and geographic reach that K&L Gates offers. We are so pleased to partner with these lawyers in establishing this office to better serve the Nashville market and our clients doing or looking to do business here.”

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals. For more information about K&L Gates or its locations, practices and registrations, visit

K&L Gates has offices in: Austin, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Brisbane, Brussels, Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Doha, Dubai, Fort Worth, Frankfurt, Harrisburg, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Miami, Milan, Munich, Nashville, Newark, New York, Orange County, Palo Alto, Paris, Perth, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, Research Triangle Park, San Francisco, São Paulo, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, Washington, D.C., and Wilmington. 

Partners joining K&L Gates from Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP

Ken Marlow served as chair of Waller’s health care practice of more than 200 lawyers across the U.S. Having advised on some of the nation’s most significant health care transactions, Marlow regularly represents privately-held health care companies, multi-state nonprofit health systems and academic medical centers, and health systems and ancillary businesses held by private equity, among others, on their strategic acquisitions and growth initiatives. In addition, Marlow has been responsible for establishing some of the nation’s most prominent joint ventures among hospitals, physician groups, and other providers. He has assisted clients in more than 50 acute care hospital transactions with an aggregate value of more than $16 billion, and on more than 100 syndications of ambulatory surgery, dialysis, and other outpatient centers. He also routinely counsels boards of directors and trustees on corporate governance matters and strategic growth alternatives.

Kim Looney advises hospitals and physician organizations, outpatient service and long term care providers, home health and hospice organizations, and others on health care regulatory compliance, including with Stark and federal Anti-Kickback regulations and on issues relating to Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse. She also counsels clients on operational issues such as recruitment, employment, licensing, and Medicare certification and reimbursement, as well as on corporate governance, contract matters, and the regulatory considerations around transactions. She is a member of the board of directors of the American Health Lawyers Association.
With two and a half decades of combined in-house and private practice experience in the health care industry, Stephen Page advises on a range of strategic and operational matters such as compliance related to Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse, federal and state anti-kickback statutes, patient privacy and data security issues, and physician self-referral prohibitions. His clients include hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, home health and hospice care providers, assisted and senior living facilities, and healthcare investors operating throughout the U.S.
Wells Beckett assists health care companies with the structuring and negotiation of a variety of transactions and other business matters, including acquisitions, dispositions, mergers, joint ventures, development and construction projects, debt and equity securities offerings, and SEC compliance and reporting. His experience includes representing some of the nation’s largest health systems in their strategic growth and development transactions. Beckett also advises privately held and publicly traded companies across other industries with their corporate matters, as well as start-up and early-stage companies in obtaining growth capital and venture capital and private equity funds in structuring their investments in new and emerging companies.

Partners joining K&L Gates from Butler Snow LLP

Adam Smith focuses his practice on banking and bank regulation, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance. This includes representing bank and bank holding company clients in M&A and branch purchase and assumption transactions, private debt and equity securities offerings, and bank holding company formations, as well as advising such clients on regulatory and compliance matters.

With three decades of experience in business and commercial litigation, Joseph Welborn III represents clients in a wide variety of disputes, including shareholder, merger and acquisition, banking, contractual, real estate, intellectual property, employment, and other business litigation matters, as well as civil rights and trust and estate planning disputes. He defends clients in cases involving claims of breach of contract, fraud, personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death, among others, and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. 

Charles Malone concentrates his practice on commercial litigation, arbitration, investigations, and professional liability issues, representing clients in jury and bench trials in state and federal courts and in arbitration. His practice includes a focus on contract and business tort matters involving claims such as unfair competition, breaches of fiduciary duties, and interference with business relationships; internal investigations and shareholder litigation for national retailers, pharmaceutical companies, and lending institutions; and insurance coverage disputes concerning contract and bad faith claims. 

Litigation partner Jason Callen also joins from Butler Snow LLP with a practice focused on commercial litigation, restructuring and insolvency, internal investigations, and appellate law. His clients include developers, national retailers and health care companies, global technology and chemical companies, boards, and others.

Lauren Patten concentrates her practice on complex commercial litigation, arbitration, and internal investigations. Her areas of focus include business tort matters involving claims such as unfair competition, breaches of fiduciary duties, and interference with business relationships; products liability litigation; trust and estate disputes; and class action litigation. She also handles catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death litigation on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants.

Erin Palmer Polly is a commercial litigator who represents health care providers and other companies in health care related claims and personal injury disputes, along with companies and individuals in a variety of business and commercial litigation matters. This includes disputes around employment contracts as well as involving claims of breach of contract, unfair competition, interference, misappropriation of trade secrets, and intellectual property violations. She is a past president of the Nashville Bar Association.

Robert Walker has more than five decades of experience advising on commercial and tort litigation matters, including securities, antitrust, corporate governance, banking, products, and distribution and other manufacturing dispute and contract cases, as well as class action and alternative dispute resolution matters. He is a past president of the Nashville Bar Association and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Also joining from Butler Snow LLP, Beau Creson represents health care providers, construction and technology companies, and others in complex business litigation before both state and federal courts. These include disputes involving claims of fraud and unfair competition, as well as contract, fiduciary duty, and trademark and copyright related matters. In addition to his practice, Creson serves on the executive board of the Young Lawyers Division of the Nashville Bar Association, a board on which he has been a member since 2014.

With a focus on corporate finance and securities, David Bartz counsels companies involved in the financial services, energy, international shipping, and other sectors on a range of corporate matters, including corporate governance, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and SEC compliance and reporting. He advises both publicly traded and privately owned businesses.

Partners joining K&L Gates from Dickinson Wright PLLC

Jack R. (Rob) Dodson III advises clients in the construction, health care, and energy sectors through all phases of their construction projects, including construction agreements, large design and construction defect claims, payment claims, bid protests, and other construction-related disputes, as well as environmental and regulatory issues. 

Litigation partner Slade Sevier represents clients in arbitration, in court, and before governmental agencies with respect to a wide variety of matters, including disputes involving breach of contract, property, leases, tax, eminent domain, bid protests, and general business agreements, with extensive experience with construction disputes involving defect, delay, and payment claims. He also negotiates design and construction contracts in the health care, higher education, industrial, commercial, and hospitality sectors.

Emma Wolfe focuses her practice on litigation and arbitration, representing clients in jury and bench trials in state and federal courts. She assists clients in a variety of disputes involving construction projects, including ones related to construction agreements, design and construction defect claims, and payment claims, among others. Wolfe also handles general complex commercial litigation related to contracts, real estate, and development matters, in addition to advising entities on other construction and regulatory issues.

Ryan Lee advises owners, general contractors, subcontractors, and others in construction-related litigation matters, along with drafting and negotiating construction, development, design, and related contracts. He also has significant commercial litigation and government regulatory experience. 
Partner joining K&L Gates from Bass, Berry & Sims PLC

R. Gregory Parker assists technology clients across the U.S. with acquiring, monetizing, and enforcing their patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and other intellectual property rights. A registered U.S. patent attorney with a degree in molecular and cellular biology, Parker’s practice focuses on commercial disputes involving intellectual property assets, as well as assisting clients with procurement of intellectual property rights and strategic alliances and transactions involving their intellectual property assets.

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