Ben C. Adams

Baker Donelson

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Name: Ben C. Adams

Company: Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

Address: 165 Madison Avenue, Suite 2000, Memphis, TN 38103


Phone: 901-526-2000  

Founded: 1888   

Services provided: Legal

Number of employees: 265 in Memphis, 1,300 overall

Industries catered to: Healthcare, financial institutions, construction, manufacturing, transportation

How long with company: 31 years, CEO since 2003 and previously served in that position 1993-1998

Education: B.A., Economics, University of North Carolina; J.D., Vanderbilt

Accomplishments: Adams has led the firm during years of unusual growth, going from 270 attorneys and public policy advisors in 2003 to more than 640 today and into new or significantly expanded markets in Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Houston, and Orlando. He has achieved this while helping the firm retain its strong culture even during the recession, as evidenced by Baker Donelson’s inclusion in Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” the last four years.

Professional Awards: Named one of “America’s Most Innovative Managing Partners” by Law360 in 2012; listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2006 in the areas of Corporate Law, Trusts and Estates, and Business Organizations; named 2013 “Lawyer of the Year,” Business Organizations, and 2011 “Lawyer of the Year,” Corporate Law, by Best Lawyers; listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers since 2006 and among its top 50 attorneys in Memphis and among top 100 attorneys in Tennessee in 2010 and 2011.

Professional certifications/memberships: Fellow, Memphis Bar Foundation; Member, Memphis Estate Planning Council and Tennessee, Memphis, and American Bar Associations.

Civic responsibilities/causes: Vice Chairman, Memphis Tomorrow (Chair, Public Safety Committee); Chair , Memphis Shelby Crime Commission; immediate past Chair and current Chair of Capital and Endowment Campaign, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis; Member, Vanderbilt Law School Advisory Board; Trustee and former President, Elmwood Cemetery; Trustee, Dixon Gallery and Gardens.

Family/personal information: Married to Kathy for 32 years. Children: Ben, 30, Scott, 29, and Conlee, 25, and one grandchild, Elsie, 6 months.

What makes a good CEO: “Be yourself, using your special talents and passions to the best of your ability, and empower others to take care of the rest.”

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