Christopher S. Dunn: Lawyer with Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP

Christopher S. Dunn


Peer Rating
AV® Preeminent

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Experience & Credentials Ratings & Reviews

Practice Areas

  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Construction
  • Hospitality
  • Real Estate Industry
University Villanova University, B.A., cum laude, 1991
Law SchoolUniversity of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., 1994
Admitted1994, Texas; Tennessee; U.S. District Court, All District Courts in Tennessee
BornChampaign-Urbana, Illinois, December 9, 1968

Owners and developers with sophisticated construction projects can appreciate that Chris Dunn has the transactional and litigation experience to handle all aspects of the project, from the creation of a custom design and construction agreements to creative and efficient dispute resolution. Chris is recognized as an industry leader, currently serving as the Chair of Division 12 (Owners and Lenders) of the American Bar Association's Forum on the Construction Industry.

Construction projects work on strict timelines with high stakes, and clients depend on Chris's robust knowledge of the industry to guide them through the nuanced planning stage and advocate on their behalf if problems arise during or after the build phase.

A host of companies in the Engineering News Record's Top 425 Owners turn to Chris for advice and counsel, including those in the following industries:

· Healthcare

· Hospitals

· Hospitality and Entertainment

· Professional sports franchises

· Publicly traded manufacturers


· Mixed use and residential market

· Local government

Although the industries may be different, each client receives the benefit of Chris's sharp-focused and energetic style. His enthusiasm, optimism and ingenuity lead to efficient, cost-effective, and original outcomes. In the transactional context, this means custom agreements tailored to the owner's needs; in dispute resolution, this means driving results through conscientious evaluation at the earliest stages of a conflict and ultimately at trial or in arbitration hearings.

Best Lawyers has recognized Chris for his work in the construction law field since 2007. Furthermore, Chris has been named 2013 "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers in America for construction law. Additional recognition for his work includes being rated "A-V Preeminent" by Martindale-Hubbell, selection to the American Arbitration Association's Construction Neutrals Panel, induction as a fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation, and being named to the Nashville Business Journal's "Best of the Bar."


· Handles matters utilizing both owner and contractor-controlled insurance programs

· Advises clients with regard to complex scheduling, job-cost accounting, sustainability and building information modeling (BIM) contract provisions

· Routinely reviews form construction agreements such as those associated with the American Institute of Architects, ConsensusDOCS Coalition, the Associated General Contractors of America, the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee and non-standardized contract documents for clients requiring custom agreements

· Prepared design agreements on behalf of an owner with a project with a design budget in excess of $30 million as well as related construction documents forecasted to exceed $800 million in construction values


· Chair and Member, Division 12-Owners and Lenders of the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry

· Member, American Bar Association's Forum on the Construction Industry

· Member, Construction Neutrals Panel of the American Arbitration Association

· Member, Nashville, Tennessee and American Bar Associations

· Member, Texas Bar Association

Prior Affiliations

· Associate, Smith & Cashion, PLC, Nashville, Tennessee, 2000-2002

· Associate, Cornelius & Collins, LLP, Nashville, Tennessee, 1997-2000

· Judicial Clerk to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Middle Section, 1995-1997



08.15.13, "2013 ISO Additional Insured Endorsements: Putting the Changes into Context for the Construction Industry," by Mark Bell and Chris Dunn, IRMI Online

09.15.12, "Responding to a Contrary Position: Minimizing the Number of Named Insureds on the Builders Risk Policy," by Chris Dunn and Mark Bell, Under Construction (The Newsletter of the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry

Apr. 2012, "Owners' Damages Arising from Defective Construction," by Christopher S. Dunn and Ryan K. Cochran, Construction Defects (ABA Forum on the Construction Industry)

10.01.11, "Confronting Conventional Wisdom on Builders Risk: From Named Insured Status to Concurrent Causation," by Chris Dunn, James Costner, and Mark Bell, 31-FALL Construction Law 15 (2011)

Apr. 2011, "Construction Contract Insurance Clauses," by Christopher S. Dunn and Ryan K. Cochran, Construction Insurance: A Guide for Attorneys and Other Professionals (ABA Forum on the Construction Industry)

10.12.10, "Owner's Field Guide to Risk Transfer Provisions in Modern Day Design and Construction Contracts," by Chris Dunn, Ryan Cochran, Mark Bell and Becca Brinkley

March 2010, "5 Legal Factors in Green Construction," by Christopher S. Dunn,

November 2008, "Step Negotiation," by Christopher S. Dunn, The Construction Contracts Book

Sept/Oct 2009, "6 Things Every Contractor Needs to Know about Bid Protests Under Tennessee Law," by Christopher S. Dunn, Tennessee Road Builder

August 2008, "Representing the Construction Lender," by Christopher S. Dunn, Construction Checklists

Summer 2008, "Consequences of Ownership or Licensing of the Project Drawings, If You Pay for it, Do You Own It?," by Christopher S. Dunn, Construction Lawyer

Jul/Aug 2005, "Retainage No More," by Christopher S. Dunn, Tennessee Road Builder

Sept/Oct 2004, "A User's Guide to the Tennessee Prompt Pay Act: Perfecting the Art of Getting Paid," by Christopher S. Dunn, Tennessee Road Builder


Jan. 2008, Public Works Projects in Tennessee: The Distinction Between Statutory and Common Law Bonds

Aug. 2007, Six Reasons Every Construction Owner Should Exercise Caution When Considering a "Mutual" Waiver of Consequential Damage Provisions

Media Mentions

06.08.11, Tennessee Justice Center Names Waller Pro Bono Firm of the Year

May 2004, Chris Dunn quoted in ELECTRICAL CONSTRUCTION & MAINTENANCE (EC&M), "Leverage When It Counts"


09.29.13, "Construction Contract Drafting Initiative (CCDI) - Recommended Modifications to the A-201 Contract," Chris Dunn, Ryan Cochran and Mark Bell, Presenters at 77th Annual IMLA Conference (San Francisco, CA)

08.16.13, "Introduction to Construction Law," Chris Dunn and Mark Bell, Presenters, Tennessee Bar Association

12.06.12, Local Government Seminar

07.12.12, Tennessee Hospitality Law Symposium

09.11.11, Chris Dunn and Ryan Cochran present at 76th Annual IMLA Conference (Chicago, IL)

07.09.08, Chris Dunn to lead breakfast seminar on "Sharp Edges: The Owner/Developers Guide to the 2007 AIA and "ConsensusDOCS" Form Contract Documents

06.11.08, 2008 Southeastern Banking Seminar

04.29.08, Scott Williams and Chris Dunn to Speak on Real Estate Litigation in Tennessee

Press Releases

09.13.12, Five Waller Attorneys Named Nashville's 2013 Lawyers of the Year by Best Lawyers


· Executive Committee Member, Goodwill of Middle Tennessee, Inc.

Up Close

Chris would spend all of his time in the Rockies given half the chance. He is an avid archer and rifleman, and enjoys big-game hunting. Chris also loves running, weight lifting, and watching college sports.


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Office Information

Christopher S. Dunn

511 Union Street, Suite 2700
NashvilleTN 37219-1760


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