A good trial lawyer is practical, balancing the cost of what he’s doing against the benefit for the client. I’ve worked on both sides – plaintiff and defendant, debtor and creditor, employer and employee. If I can resolve a problem out of court, that’s a win for everyone. When a matter gets to court, I focus on winning for the client.
Henry “Hank” Shelton III is a trial lawyer who focuses on business litigation and bankruptcy as well as workouts and reorganizations. He advises businesses in the Southeast in company reorganizations with and without recourse to the courts and has represented creditors in bankruptcy and insolvency matters. He assists banks and other financial institutions in maximizing the value of distressed assets. He also advises employers and employees in resolving employment disputes of all kinds. Hank has tried scores of cases to verdict or judgment, in bench and jury trials, in state and federal courts and carried on as needed through the federal and state appellate courts. He was the lead lawyer and counsel of record in Oakley v. City of Memphis, a discrimination case that went to the United States Supreme Court.
Hank serves as leader of the firm’s commercial restructuring and bankruptcy team.
Hank has written and taught extensively on bankruptcy and commercial litigation matters.
- Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D., 1975
- Wesleyan University, B.A., 1972
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
- United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
- United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
- United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- United States Supreme Court
Areas of Practice
- AV® Peer Review Rated - Martindale-Hubbell
- Best Lawyers® - Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Litigation - Bankruptcy
- Mid-South Super Lawyers® (by Thomson Reuters) Bankruptcy: Business 2010-2019
- Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
- American Bar Foundation, Fellow
Professional Affiliations & Memberships
He is a life member of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, a Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, a Fellow of the Memphis Bar Foundation, and a member and director of the Mid South Commercial Law Institute (former) and Tennessee Turnaround Management Association (current). Hank is also a member of the Memphis, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and American Bar Associations.
- Represented a group of Memphis police officers as lead lawyer and counsel of record through the District Court, Court of Appeals and United States Supreme Court and won their discrimination case following reversal of an adverse judgment by the Supreme Court in Oakley v. City of Memphis, Dkt No. 08-744 (July 31, 2009).
- Represented large regional banks and private equity firms in creditor’s rights and contract issues.
- Represented clients in alternative dispute resolution proceedings, both in mediation and arbitration.