William H. Tate

William H. (Bill) Tate is a founding member of the firm and has 35 years experience in construction litigation, business litigation, insurance, bankruptcy and as a Rule 31 Mediator.

For over 35 years, Mr. Tate has represented contractors, subcontractors, owners, insurance carriers and bonding companies in a wide variety of construction matters, including extensive experience representing insurance providers in coverage issues involving construction. As lead counsel in the Middle Tennessee decisions of Assurance Company of America v. Continental Development and Miele Homes v. Zurich U.S., he has been involved in establishing new case law regarding willful or intentional conduct in the construction setting. As a Rule 31 Mediator, Mr. Tate has handled numerous mediations involving construction litigation and insurance coverage of construction disputes and is a frequent speaker on related topics.

As an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, Mr. Tate has an established niche in litigating and negotiating a wide range of insurance and construction-related bankruptcy matters, including cases involving any number of Surety, construction and financial issues. His mediation practice is also devoted to this area.

Commercial/Business Litigation
Mr. Tate has litigated a wide variety of commercial and business matters, including mechanic’s liens and surety bond litigation in state courts, bankruptcy courts and federal courts. He has significant experience with litigation involving entertainment contracts, construction contracts and employment contracts, and has assisted clients in resolving multifaceted business disputes through mediation and settlement.

Mr. Tate has an extensive background in providing insurance coverage opinions and litigating insurance coverage questions in multiple state jurisdictions and involving state and federal litigation. His insurance experience includes copyright and trademark coverage issues, insurance coverage of construction disputes, significant cases of excess exposure and disputes by and between insurance carriers.

Professional Associations and Community Involvement
Mr. Tate is the current President of the Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel.  Long committed to the Nashville Bar Association, Mr. Tate served on the organization’s Board of Directors from 1997 to 1999 and as First Vice-President in 1999. He is a Fellow and Trustee of the Nashville Bar Foundation and served as President of the Foundation which raises and oversees an endowment directed towards impacting initiatives in the Nashville legal community.

He has had a long affiliation with Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, serving in a range of volunteer roles, including in the following capacities:
• Chairman, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Board 1997-1998
• Eight-year Member of the Board of Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
• Member of the Executive Committee of the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Building Campaign
• Member of the Board of Directors of the Canby Robinson Society of Vanderbilt Medical Center.

Mr. Tate received his J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1979 where he was a member of the Tennessee Law Review and the author of “Mechanics’ and Materialmen’s Liens,” 45 Tenn. Law Rev. 741. He served as a judicial law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, Ray L. Brock, and was a judicial clerk to Houston M. Goddard of the Tennessee Court of Appeals. He is an AV rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell and is very proficient in the French language.

Court Admissions

Mr. Tate is admitted to all State and Federal Courts in the State of Tennessee, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

Recent Seminar Presentations

2009, 2011, 2012 , TN Bar Association seminar for the Construction Section of the TBA

2007, 2011, 2015 TN Association of Construction Counsel – Ins Coverage of Construction Disputes


Nashville Business Journal’s Best of the Bar Award 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 - The Nashville Business Journal’s 11th annual Best of the Bar Award highlighting Middle Tennessee’s best and brightest leading lawyers and corporate counsel as chosen by their peers.

Lexology Client Choice Award 2013 and 2014 – The Lexology Client Choice Awards recognize attorneys around the world that stand apart for the excellent client service they provide and are based on in-house counsel and client interviews and comments. Bill is the only construction attorney in Tennessee awarded this distinction and one of only eight nationwide.

Farmers Insurance Group Trial Gladiator Award 2012 - Farmers presents this national award annually in recognition of outstanding trial results.

Super Lawyer 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 - Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Cases of interest

Assurance Company of America v. Continental Development, 2009 WL 1616760, M.D. Tenn., June 08, 2009, Affirmed by the U.S. Sixth Circuit, Case No. 09-5705, August 26, 2010 (2010 WL 3398484)

Maryland Casualty Company v. Overholt, No. 1-03-1070-T
U.S.D.C. WD TN (Jackson), slip op. (April 26, 2004)

Miele v. Zurich U.S., 98 S.W.3d 670 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2002)

In re Thompson, 30 B.R. 165 (Bankr. Mid. Tenn. 1994)