James Weaver is a Nashville-based public policy and government relations attorney. From a small town in West Tennessee, Mr. Weaver, over a career spanning more than three decades, has earned a reputation as one of the most influential and effective business advocates in the Southeast.

Mr. Weaver is known for his ability to build and lead coalitions among clients, state and local governments and other key stakeholders in high-profile public-private partnerships. Clients rely on Mr. Weaver's insight and years of experience to overcome obstacles as they pursue their short- and long-term objectives.

In addition, Mr. Weaver represented Memphis Tourism Inc. (the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau) regarding funding related to more than $600 million in renovations to the FedEx Forum, the home of the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies. Mr. Weaver negotiated a comprehensive and complicated multiparty financing structure, as well as the related state and local legislative language that redirected a portion of local jurisdiction’s hospitality occupancy taxes toward the renovation project. The project involved intense negotiations with state and local officials, state and local tourism industry associations, as well as a drafting and securing passage of two pieces of state legislative necessary to effectuate the agreed-upon transaction.

In 2023, he successfully led the Tennessee Titans' efforts for a new stadium by securing more than $1.2 billion in state and local funds to construct a state-of-the-art domed stadium for the National Football League (NFL) franchise. Mr. Weaver helped global financial services company AllianceBernstein relocate its corporate headquarters to Nashville with state and local incentives. He assisted healthcare giant Lifepoint Health in securing economic development incentives for new corporate headquarters and advised international manufacturer Bridgestone Americas in developing its new North American headquarters. Representing Speedway Motorsports, Mr. Weaver secured $17 million in Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee's fiscal year 2023 state budget for the renovation of the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

Clients turn to Mr. Weaver to manage the challenges that can delay or derail significant development projects. Mr. Weaver has spent years developing close relationships with elected officials and senior business leaders across Tennessee. These relationships provide him with unique perspectives and an unparalleled ability to forge productive alliances to solve problems confronting clients in real estate, construction, healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, energy, transportation, hospitality, professional sports and other industries.

Representative Experience

  • Advised the Nashville Sounds in the development of its new ballpark – First Horizon Park
  • Advised the Tennessee Titans franchise through its relocation from Houston, which included a broad spectrum of legal and governmental issues
  • Assist Speedway Motorsports with government relations matters related to ongoing operations at Bristol Motor Speedway and lease negotiations involving the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
  • Assisted a group of Nashville investors on acquiring the Nashville Predators franchise, thus keeping the team in Nashville

  • Assisted AllianceBernstein with securing state and local incentives in order to relocate its new headquarters to Nashville, Tennessee
  • Represented Meta (formerly known as Facebook) with the acquisition and development of a site in Middle Tennessee for an $800 million-plus data center, including assembling the real estate property from multiple owners and a complicated trust on property
  • Represented the City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County and their Industrial Development Board in state and local incentive negotiations with Volkswagen to significantly expand the automaker's Chattanooga assembly plant
  • Assisted a global expert in electrical power and advanced materials with the rezoning of an industrial site to facilitate the relocation of its operations from France to the United States

  • Assisted Bridgestone Americas Inc. with government relations matters by utilizing incentive mechanisms available, including the use of Payment In Lieu of Tax (PILOT) agreements
  • Assisted Lifepoint Health Inc. with securing state and local incentives for the company's new headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Assisted Ryman Hospitality/Gaylord Entertainment Company with government relations and state tax incentive matters

  • Advised OliverMcMillan and Spectrum | Emery in their partnership to co-develop the $400 million Fifth + Broadway mixed-use project on the site of the original convention center in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Assisted Monroe Investment Partners in the comprehensive zoning and land use, master planning and entitlement process for the 100-acre River North development in downtown Nashville, Tennessee
  • Assisted GBT Realty in the rezoning of a site in the midtown area of Nashville, Tennessee, for an office, hotel and residential development
  • Assisted Oldacre McDonald with land use, planning and zoning matters for the Century Farms mixed-use, master-planned development one mile southeast of Nashville, Tennessee
  • Assisted Buckingham Corporation with the rezoning of a site in the Vanderbilt University area of Nashville, Tennessee
  • Assisted Creek Lane Capital with all of the zoning and entitlements associated with a $400 million development on the east bank of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Advised Boyle Investment Company on their investment in the Berry Farms commercial development project located in Franklin, Tennessee

  • Assisted Kinder Morgan with government relations matters related to compressor stations
  • Provide Kinder Morgan and Tennessee Gas Pipeline with support in siting, land acquisition, zoning, government relations, public relations, environmental and other approvals associated with pipeline projects
  • Assisted Piedmont Natural Gas/Duke Energy with environmental, government relations, litigation and real estate matters related to natural gas pipeline projects

  • Represented Cherokee Farm Development Corporation in the development and financing of a building at the University of Tennessee Research Center, Cherokee Farm
  • Assisted the UT Research Foundation in multiple regulatory, environmental and site development matters related to energy and wind projects
  • Represented the developers of Cool Springs and Turkey Creek, Tennessee's largest retail/mixed-use developments


  • University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, J.D.
  • Vanderbilt University, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Tennessee
  • United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, Chairman and Former Vice-Chairman of Board of Trustees, Former Chair Government Affairs Committee and Former General Counsel, Executive Committee and Board of Trustees
  • Tennessee Road Builders Association, General Counsel
  • Tennessee Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Nashville Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Tennessee Editor for Matthew Bender's Brownfields Law and Practice Treatise
  • Nashville Chamber of Commerce, Former Government Relations Vice Chair
  • Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Former General Counsel
  • Tennessee Bar Association, Environmental Law Section Executive Committee, Former Secretary/Treasurer and Member
  • Tennessee State Fair, Board of Commissioners, Former Board Chair and Member
  • Forum for Youth Investment, Washington, D.C., Former Board Member, General Counsel and Founding Board Chair
  • Community Impact! Nashville, Founding Board Chair
  • Reconciliation, Inc., Former Board Chair
  • Community Shares, Inc. and Council of Community Services, Former Board of Directors Member
Honors & Awards
  • In Charge, Nashville Post, 2022-2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Environmental Law, 2013-2024; Gaming Law, 2010-2024; Government Relations Practice, 2007-2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Lawyer of the Year - Government Relations Practice (Nashville), 2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Lawyer of the Year, Environmental Law (Nashville), 2022
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers magazine, 2006-2007, 2013-2020, 2023
  • Nashville Business Journal, Nashville's Most Prolific Metro Lobbyist; Nashville's "Power 100," 2020, 2023; Best of the Bar, Government, 2019-2022