Bill Purcell, the fifth mayor of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, has joined Frost Brown Todd (FBT). Purcell is serving as Counsel in the firm’s Government Services practice group, bringing his national network of public and private relationships to one of Mid-America’s largest law firms.
“I have had the same goal from the very start of my law practice and public life—to work with the smartest, most ethical people to solve challenging issues,” Purcell said. “From the first time I walked into the Frost Brown Todd offices, I knew I was home.”
Purcell was elected to office in 1999 and re-elected in 2003 with nearly 90% of the vote. During his tenure as mayor, Nashville was voted the best city in America for corporate headquarters and twice named the best city in the nation for business expansion or relocation. Mayor Purcell’s budgets increased public education funding by 50% and developed 26,000 affordable housing units. In 2019, he was appointed chair of the Metropolitan Development and Housing Authority (MDHA).
“As we enter a time when our public and private sectors are challenged like never before, there could not be a better time to bring aboard someone with Bill’s talents,” said FBT Chairman Robert Sartin, who also is based in the firm’s Nashville office. “We are in this with our clients to win—Mayor Purcell is going to be a difference-maker for our clients.”
Purcell has practiced law in Nashville for more than 30 years. He is both an experienced courtroom advocate and a trusted advisor to chief executive officers on their companies’ dealings with governments at all levels. He is the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus of his alma mater, the Vanderbilt University School of Law, and the 2006 recipient of the John C. Tune Award, the highest honor presented by the Nashville Bar Association for public service.
“There is no one like Bill in the intersection of public and private life,” said Tom Lee, Member-in-Charge of the Frost Brown Todd Nashville office. “He is both professionally disciplined and possessed of imaginative vision. He sees around corners to creative solutions and misses exactly nothing.”
“I have watched every law firm in Nashville over the years and have worked with almost all of them one way or another,” Purcell said. “I’ve never found a firm where all the pieces—local, regional, national, public and private—fit together the way they do at FBT.”
Purcell previously served as director of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and presently serves on numerous public and private boards, including St. Bonaventure University and the Center for Nonprofit Management in Nashville. As MDHA chairman, Purcell oversees the local government entity responsible not only for managing the city’s public housing assets and programs, but also for the ownership and development of hundreds of acres in the midst of one of the fastest-growing commercial development markets in the nation.
FBT’s Nashville team of attorneys and legal staff has a wide range of knowledge and skills and is led by Member-in-Charge Tom Lee. The group has extensive industry experience representing clients in the automotive, manufacturing, blockchain and digital currency, government relations, technology, and international sectors.