Chris Whitson’s practice covers the areas of corporate, commercial, sports and entertainment, financings, executive employment, and land use planning. His primary concentration lies in general corporate representation with an emphasis on financings, mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions. Mr. Whitson was formerly the head of the Firm’s corporate law practice area and the Firm’s recruiting chairman.
Mr. Whitson is a former councilman for the 23rd District of Nashville and Davidson County. Mr. Whitson was a member of the Budget & Finance Committee, vice-chairman of the Parks and Recreation Committee, chairman of the Charter Revision Committee and a member of the Public Safety Committee. Mr. Whitson was also formerly a member and Chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals for Nashville and Davidson County.
Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Whitson served as vice president and secretary of Whitson Lumber Company, where his responsibilities included both operations and legal counsel.
Mr. Whitson is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School and was a member of the Vanderbilt Law Review, where he served as special projects editor. Mr. Whitson received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina.
Mr. Whitson has acted as corporate counsel to numerous small, medium and large companies in commercial spaces ranging from charter schools to investment banking to automotive parts. However, much of his experience has been in the representation of professional sports franchises and investors. From 1998 through December of 2007, Mr. Whitson acted as lead counsel to the Nashville Predators, a franchise in the National Hockey League. Mr. Whitson assisted the Predators in numerous financings and in the negotiation of every major contract entered into by the Predators during this time. During 2007, Mr. Whitson acted as lead counsel in the sale of the Predators to a group of local investors, closing the transaction in December 2007.
Beginning in the fall of 2007, Mr. Whitson acted as lead counsel to a group of investors, who purchased the Minnesota Wild, another franchise in the NHL. The closings for the financing and acquisition of the Minnesota Wild occurred in April 2008. Mr. Whitson has continued to assist the Minnesota Wild with respect to corporate and transactional matters since the closing of the acquisition. Mr. Whitson has also represented multiple investors in acquiring and selling minority stakes in professional sports franchises.
With respect to other representative transactions upon which Mr. Whitson has acted as lead counsel, Mr. Whitson has recently assisted clients in the sale of companies specializing in the sale of automobile insurance, physical and electronic patient billing and payment services, residential title insurance services (a large regional multi-state operator), transportation logistics and numerous manufacturing companies. Mr. Whitson has also recently represented clients in the acquisition of companies specializing in the sale and maintenance of industrial electrical supplies, the sale and maintenance of security equipment, restaurant management, the sale of firearms, a winery, and multiple other industries.
Mr. Whitson has also represented numerous clients in venture capital, senior debt and mezzanine debt financing transactions. Mr. Whitson also has represented numerous executives in the negotiation of their employment agreements, as well as separations from employment. Finally, Mr. Whitson has helped numerous clients on land use issues drawing upon his experience as a Metro Councilman and Member of the Board of Zoning Appeals.
- J.D., Vanderbilt University, 1987
- B.A., University of North Carolina, 1983
- Woodward/White: The Best Lawyers In America 2007-Present (Corporate Law)
- Woodward/White: The Best Lawyers In America Lawyer of the Year 2022 (Corporate Law)
- Nashville Business Journal Best of The Bar 2016
- Fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers 2014-2020 (Corporate/Mergers and Acquisitions)
- Fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation
- Member of the Tennessee and Nashville Bar Associations
- Former member of the Board of Zoning Appeals for Nashville and Davidson County
- Former hearing committee member of Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility
- Director of Truxton Trust
- Former councilman for the 23rd District of Nashville and Davidson County
- Member of the Harpeth Hall School Board of Directors
- Member of the Montgomery Bell Academy Board of Directors
- Former board member and membership chairman of the Exchange Club of Nashville
- Stewardship Chairman, Junior Warden, and Senior Warden for St. George’s Episcopal Church
- Past board member and secretary of Harding Academy
- Past board member and treasurer of the St. George’s Kindergarten
- Past member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation (Nashville Chapter) Board of Directors
- Past member of the Belle Meade Plantation Board of Directors
- Past member of the Nashville Zoo Board of Directors