Robb Harvey is a litigation attorney in Holland & Knight's Nashville office. Mr. Harvey has nearly 40 years of trial and appellate court experience, representing clients in dozens of states across the country. His practice focuses on complex intellectual property and commercial disputes, franchise litigation, and entertainment and media matters involving content providers across a wide spectrum including legacy and new media, movies and music. Clients rely on Mr. Harvey's abilities as a strategist, problem-solver and tenacious advocate. He has established a reputation among clients and peers as the professional to turn to for expedited results, especially when the stakes are high and involve pressing issues such as a threat to interfere with business operations or the launch of a product, a demand for a prior restraint on publication or continuing operation by a terminated franchisee.

Mr. Harvey is recognized in Chambers USA (Media and Entertainment-Band One) and The Best Lawyers in America (fifteen categories, including several Lawyer of the Year recognitions in multiple areas). Chambers USA's more recent release quotes one client as follows:

"He is very aware of business considerations, effective, efficient and focused on getting the best results for the client."

Mr. Harvey's practice areas include franchise disputes; publication torts (including defamation, privacy and right of publicity) and pre-publication reviews; copyrights (including music, movies, broadcasts and software); trademarks (including TTAB proceedings); data breaches and ransomware; computer fraud and abuse; trade secrets; First Amendment and public records disputes and reporter's shield laws; counterfeiting; internet disputes; patents; and software disputes and technology licensing. In addition, he has experience in complex commercial disputes involving contracts and business torts; civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO); non-competition; unfair trade practices and product disparagement/advertising; and MDL proceedings.

Several of his engagements have resulted in ongoing, long-term relationships, in some cases for over three decades. He thrives on helping companies address the daily challenges their businesses encounter. 

Mr. Harvey is active in the community, serving as counsel for Middle Tennessee Council Inc., Boy Scouts of America; multiple religious entities; and a government transparency group. He formed and served as president of the Tennesseans for Public Participation Inc., a nonprofit which successfully lobbied for the passage of a robust anti-SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) statute in Tennessee.  He also is active in bar activities, currently serving as the chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Communications Law (2022-2024) and as a member of the Forum on Franchising and Intellectual Property (IP) Section. He served as chair of the Tennessee Bar's Communications Law Section and a leader in the Media Law Resource Center-Defense Counsel Section.

Representative Experience

  • Lead counsel for songwriters and music publishers in defense of music copyright cases accusing a No. 1 pop song and a No. 1 country song of infringement; secured summary judgment for hit country music songwriters/performers on the basis of lack of substantial similarity, following extensive fact and expert discovery
  • Lead counsel in cases regarding Disney's "Frozen" (dismissed by federal district court) and the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy (dismissed by federal district court and affirmed on appeal)
  • Lead counsel for multiple "old" and "new" content providers, including cable and terrestrial broadcasters, podcasts, production companies, print and online newspapers, and music entities
  • Lead counsel for a movie studio, soundtrack distributor and others over the film "Soul Men" in right of publicity/trademark/copyright suit; obtained summary judgment, which was affirmed on appeal
  • Represents media clients in libel and privacy lawsuits in state and federal trial and appellate courts; conducts prepublication content review and advises clients on subpoenas, access and privilege issues, public records and open meetings issues, copyright matters and First Amendment rights
  • Lead counsel for online publisher/cable news company in lawsuit filed by music publisher; obtained dismissal of all claims except one which challenged an allegedly libelous word in a headline; later successfully resolved
  • Lead counsel in lawsuit against cable entertainment program, obtaining dismissal of case filed by "American Idol" contestant
  • Part of a team that obtained the dismissal of a class action alleging violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA)

  • Lead counsel for national retailers involving claims of trademark/copyright infringement and counterfeiting
  • Providing counsel in multiple breach/ransomware incidents
  • Part of teams that achieved victories in two cases against a search engine entity involving libel and Section 230 immunity issues; both cases dismissed by federal district court and affirmed on appeal
  • In a significant right of publicity class action lawsuit by college athletes filed against more than two dozen college sports conferences, broadcasters and licensees, served as the only Tennessee counsel to serve as lead counsel for any defendant; case dismissed and affirmed on appeal
  • Lead counsel for search engine company in case alleging antitrust, trademark and misappropriation issues; obtained dismissal at district court; case dismissed on appeal
  • Part of teams obtaining the dismissal of multiple alleged trade secrets cases by federal and state courts
  • Served as a court-appointed Special Master in significant divorce case involving accusations of computer intrusion crimes after a forensic specialist mirror-imaged dozens of devices

  • Lead counsel for a franchisor in a recent case involving the termination of a franchisee which the franchisor had concluded presented a threat of reputational harm to the franchise system; defended against a dozen counterclaims challenging the termination and alleging racial animus; this dispute, which included three lawsuits in two states, attracted national attention; obtained summary judgment and a monetary judgment in federal court, affirmed by the appellate court
  • Lead counsel for decades for multiple national franchisors including several in the damage restoration, hospitality and restaurant industries, as well as local counsel in various disputes with franchisees (trademark, termination, territorial disputes and noncompetition issues)
  • Part of a team representing a franchisor, which obtained injunctive relief against a former senior executive for violation of a non-competition provision
  • Obtained injunctive and damages relief against a terminated franchisee in Canada


  • Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D.
  • Vanderbilt University, B.S., Engineering Science, magna cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Tennessee
Court Admissions
  • All Federal Courts in Tennessee
  • All State Courts in Tennessee
  • Various other federal appeals and district courts
  • American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Communications Law, Chair, 2022-2024; Former Governing Committee at Large Member and Chair of Nominating and Membership Committees
  • ABA Forum on Franchising and IP Section
  • ABA Litigation Section, Model Trademark Jury Instructions Subcommittee, 2008
  • Tennessee Bar Association, Communications Law Section, Former Chair
  • Nashville Bar Association, Media Law Committee, Former Chair
  • Media Law Resource Center, Defense Counsel Section; Facilitator of Intellectual Property (IP), Publication Torts and Newsgathering Sessions; Past Chair, Trial and Newsgathering Committees
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), Former Member
  • Defense Research Institute, Past Member
  • Country Music Association, Former Voting Member
  • National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Former Member
  • Belmont Law School American Inn of Court, Former Master Bencher
  • Harry Phillips American Inn of Court, Former Member
  • Tennessee Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Nashville Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Boy Scouts of America, Middle Tennessee Council Inc., Counsel
  • Tennessee Coalition for Open Government Inc., Organizing Member and Board Member
  • Tennesseans for Public Participation Inc., Founder and Past President
  • Center for Youth Ministry Training Inc., Volunteer, Organizing Member, Former Board Member
  • First Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Elder (Retired)
  • The Contributor Inc., Former Board Member
  • Saint Cecelia Congregation, Volunteer Legal Counsel, Education
  • Tennessee Advisory Committee on Open Government, Former Member
  • Vanderbilt University Bill Wilkerson Hearing and Speech Center, Past Advisory Board Member
Honors & Awards
  • Nashville Business Journal, Best of the Bar, 2024; Litigation & Dispute, 2004-2016; Litigation & Dispute and Media/Entertainment, 2018-2022; Media/Entertainment, 2023
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Media and Entertainment, 2011-2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide since 2006, currently recognized in the following 15 categories:
    • Advertising Law
    • Commercial Litigation
    • Communications Law
    • Copyright Law
    • Entertainment Law - Music
    • Entertainment Law - Theater
    • First Amendment Law
    • Franchise Law, Lawyer of the Year, 2012
    • Litigation - First Amendment
    • Litigation - Intellectual Property, Lawyer of the Year, 2016 and 2019
    • Litigation - Patent
    • Media Law, Lawyer of the Year, 2023
    • Privacy and Data Security Law
    • Trade Secrets Law, Lawyer of the Year, 2021
    • Trademark Law
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers magazine, 2006-2021, 2023
  • Paragon Award for Community Service, Junior League of Nashville, 2008


Speaking Engagements