Tom Pennington

Nashville, TN Office

Tom Pennington  focuses his practice on commercial finance, complex business restructurings and bankruptcies, transactional real estate, and construction law. Tom has a wide range of experience representing a diverse client base including serving as outside counsel to a federally chartered depository institute, co-founding a title insurance agency, and structuring and underwriting public-private infrastructure projects. He also is a highly regarded expert in surety law. He currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Underwrtting and Risk Management Subcommittee of the American Bar Association's Fidelity and Surety Law Committee. 

Tom's real estate experience is as diverse and well-rounded as his other legal expertise including representing a diverse client base including property owners, commercial lenders, and bond issuers in acquisitions, leasing, and refinancings. Tom also has a great deal of experience with public-private partnership ("P3") transactions and has assisted in the structuring and underwriting of a wide variety of infrastructure projects utlizing the P3 model. 

Selected Recent Transactions

  • refinancing 15 commercial buildings in Massachusetts
  • defeasance of securitized mortgages and transfer of 20 hotel projects in 9 states
  • structuring and underwriting of public/private partnership infrastructure projects 
  • portfolio management of assets acquired in FDIC Purchase and Assumption transactions, including failed subdivisions in Utah and Nevada
  • developing and implementing workout and bankruptcy strategies for compensated sureties and other institutional clients nationwide in cases involving national and international companies

Major Prior Work Experience

  • 2013- 2016 Frost, Brown, Todd, (Nashville, TN) Member
  • 2009-2013 Watt, Tieder, Hoffar, & Fitzgerald (McLean, VA), Partner
  • 1997-2009 Manier & Herod (Nashville, TN), Partner
  • 1993-1997 Stokes & Bartholomew (Nashville, TN) Shareholder
  • 1981-1993 Denny Lackey & Chernau (Nashville, TN) Partner

Awards, Community and Professional Activities

  • Member of American Bar Association (Fidelity and Surety Law Committee - Vice Chair of Underwriting and Risk Management Subcommittee)
  • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute 
  • Member, Surety and Fidelity Claims Institute
  • Member, Nashville Bar Association


  • Co-author of Chapter III, “Documents and Agreements Related to the Indemnity Agreement” of The Surety’s Indemnity Agreement  - Law & Practice, 2d Ed., published in conjunction with American Bar Association meeting in Kansas City May 7-9, 2008
  • Co-author of “Statutes of Limitations, Contractual Limitations and the Sovereign” published as course materials for Surety Claims Institute Annual Meeting June 25-27, 2008 


(615) 866-2322


Vanderbilt University School of Law, J.D. 

Bowdoin College, B.A. in English and History

Bar Admission

  • Tennessee Bar
  • Virginia Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
  • United States Appeals Court, 6th and 8th Circuits
  • United Stated District Court for the Eastern and Western District of Virginia
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois


Nashville, TN