Partner, Burr & Forman LLP
Chip helps his clients successfully resolve multiple types of business disputes, including those involving breach of contract, commercial lending, unfair competition, real estate, and employment issues. He has represented clients ranging from individuals and small businesses to large banks and Fortune 500 companies in matters involving between tens of thousands to tens of millions of dollars in dispute. Chip firmly believes in working with his clients at the beginning of an engagement to clearly identify the client’s objectives and develop a strategy and budget for achieving the client’s goals in the most cost-effective manner. Although he is able to efficiently resolve most of his cases through dispositive motions or alternative dispute resolution, Chip is fully prepared to go to trial for his clients when necessary, having tried cases and handled appeals at both the State and Federal levels. Disputes involving real estate and lending comprise a substantial portion of Chip’s practice. In the recent economic climate, Chip has spent the majority of his time representing several national and regional lenders in litigation involving large defaulted commercial loans, including the institution of receivership proceedings and defense of lender liability claims. He also has considerable experience representing title insurance companies and their insureds, most recently establishing new law on asset forfeitures in the Eleventh Circuit in the oft-cited case of United States v. Shefton, 548 F. 3d 1360 (11th Cir., 2008).
Chip has also handled and resolved multiple disputes for property owners and businesses arising out of commercial leases, purchase and sale agreements, and construction projects. Chip has significant experience and expertise in helping businesses of all types prevent unfair competition through the drafting and enforcement of non-competition, non-disclosure, and non-recruitment covenants and the pursuit of remedies for misappropriation of trade secrets, breaches of fiduciary duties and other similar claims. He has written and lectured extensively on those subjects, including authoring posts on Burr's Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Law Blog. Chip has also successfully defended companies and individuals accused of unfair competition, as exemplified by his representation of the defendant in the reported Eleventh Circuit case of Capital Asset Research Corp. v. Finnegan, 160 F.3d 683 (11th Cir. 1998). Chip is also often called upon to handle disputes arising from the break-up of business partners (the “business divorce”). In those cases, he attempts to temper the high emotions usually associated with such matters and work out a fair and common-sense resolution, thereby avoiding costly litigation that rarely provides a true economic “win” for any party in those types of cases.
While in law school, Chip was selected as a member of the Moot Court team. As such, he was a finalist in the ABA/LSD Southeast Regional Moot Court Competition, advancing to the national competition in Washington, D.C. Chip was also inducted as a member of the Gridiron Secret Society. In November 2009, Chip was elected to the City Council for Sandy Springs, the third-largest city in Metro Atlanta. As Vice-Chairman of the Committee for Sandy Springs, Chip was heavily involved in his hometown’s nationally-recognized quest for cityhood, which culminated in the creation of the City of Sandy Springs in 2005. Chip also served a three-year term on the board of Heritage Sandy Springs, an organization that promotes the historical and cultural heritage of the community and sponsors numerous community events and festivals. From 2004-2005, Chip served as legal counsel for the Sandy Springs Turtles project, a popular community art event that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the community. Chip has coached his three sons’ little league baseball teams at the Northside Youth Organization since 2003, winning the Positive Coaching Award for his league in 2009.