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Adams and Reese attorneys Cindy Barnett, Will Cheek, Brad Lampley, Lynn Morrow, and Gif Thornton have been recognized among Middle Tennessee’s top leading lawyers in the Nashville Business Journal’s 2022 “Best of the Bar.”

Nashville Business Journal's “Best of the Bar” recognizes firm-associated lawyers and corporate counsel as nominated and voted on by their peers based on industry achievements and community involvement. Honorees will be featured in a special print publication and on

Learn more about Nashville Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” selection methodology.

Cindy Barnett is a senior public finance partner at Adams and Reese who has played a key role in adding and establishing the firm’s Nashville office. Barnett was previously Partner in Charge of the Adams and Reese Nashville office and a member of the firm’s Expansion Committee. She serves as bond counsel, issuer’s counsel, and underwriter's counsel and assists domestic and foreign financial institutions in providing credit and liquidity facilities to support municipal obligations. Barnett advises public organizations and has led landmark financings in the City of Nashville, from Geodis Park to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Additionally, she helps nonprofits, industrial development groups, and sports and convention interests navigate through their legal issues. In the area of multifamily housing, Barnett represents issuers, borrowers, underwriters, banks, and trustees. She has led projects that have added thousands of affordable residential units. Barnett has served as a member of Tennessee’s Department of Human Services Advisory Council, Juvenile Court Pro Bono Program, Board of Directors for St. Patrick’s Homeless Shelter, and on the Funding Board for the Music City Center Project. She is a Fellow of the Nashville Bar Association and American Bar Association.

Will Cheek III is often referenced as the go-to liquor lawyer in Tennessee, and he is a preeminent member of Adams and Reese’s Alcohol and Hospitality practice. He counsels clients on licensing and regulatory compliance under Tennessee state and local liquor and beer laws. Cheek represents clients before the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission and local beer boards in licensing, enforcement actions, and administrative hearings. Working in concert with Adams and Reese’s Government Relations team, he drafts state and local liquor legislation and represents clients in state court actions. Cheek is the only attorney ranked Band 1 by Chambers USA in the Southeastern category of Food & Beverages: Alcohol. He has been ranked by Best Lawyers® in Food and Beverage Law, as well as Nonprofit/Charities Law, for 11 and 9 consecutive years, respectively. Cheek is a founding member of the Alliance of Alcohol Industry Attorneys and Consultants, and he serves as an advisory board member and legal counsel for the National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals. He regularly posts articles covering Tennessee-related alcohol, restaurant, and hospitality news in his blog Last Call.

Brad Lampley serves as Adams and Reese’s Intersection of Business and Government practice team leader. He was previously Partner in Charge of the Nashville office for the better part of 12 years and led the firm’s Government Relations team. Lampley serves as legislative counsel to businesses and trade associations with interests before the Tennessee General Assembly and Tennessee state government. He has a multifaceted practice covering transportation, energy, health care, insurance, business litigation, commercial dispute resolution, banking, construction litigation, sports law, and real estate. Lampley advises national and multinational companies on economic development matters, negotiating state and local incentive packages for companies that wish to relocate their businesses to Tennessee. Lampley is a host of Tennessee Bar Association’s Legislative Updates, a weekly news podcast dedicated to members of the Bar Association. He was awarded the TBA’s President’s Award for his service to the legal profession. Lampley is a former member of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees and currently serves on the Board of Visitors for the UT College of Communications and Information. He served on the Board of Directors of the Music City Bowl for 20 years and has served as Chairman or Co-Chairman of the Bowl for five separate games. The bowl contributes an average economic impact of more than $23 million per year to the Nashville area. He also serves on the board of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Delta Dental of Tennessee, and chairs the board of the Smile 180 Foundation, which is the charitable foundation for Delta Dental.

Lynn Morrow is the Entertainment and New Media practice team leader at Adams and Reese. Representing regional, national and international clients, Morrow advises and advocates for businesses and organizations that promote music and other forms of entertainment and helps artists, authors, songwriters, music publishers, and producers negotiate deals. She also works with independent publishing companies, record companies, and large non-profit ministries with a music element, helping them to protect their intellectual property and content. Previously a litigator, Morrow brings courtroom and negotiation skills to her practice. Morrow writes extensively on copyright and entertainment-related subjects, and her article, “The Recording Artist Agreement: Does it Empower or Enslave?” was published by the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment Law and Practice. Morrow frequently speaks before legal and entertainment industry audiences. She is the past Chair of the Entertainment and Sports Section of the Nashville Bar Association and Tennessee Bar Association. She was previously named Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in Entertainment Law in Nashville and has been ranked by Best Lawyers® in Entertainment Law – Music, Copyright Law, and Intellectual Property Law.

Gif Thornton serves as the Managing Partner at Adams and Reese. Leading the “Am Law 200” firm since 2015, Thornton is highly regarded for his innovative style and strategy execution through both the COVID-19 pandemic and the law firm’s 70th anniversary in 2021. Thornton was known previously for his influential government relations practice at the state and local levels. He has served as legislative counsel to businesses, trade associations, and governmental entities with interests before the Tennessee state government. Thornton serves as chair of both the Tennessee Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments and the Tennessee Business Leadership Council. He has been named Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in both Government Relations and Insurance Law. For 12 consecutive years, he has been named to both Nashville Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” and Nashville Post’s “In Charge”. In the community, Thornton is a former board member of the Metropolitan Development Housing Agency, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee (former board president), Vanderbilt University’s Board of Trust, and Brentwood Academy. He is an elder at Christ Presbyterian Church and serves on the board of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO.