Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

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Listed in Corporate law firms with pro bono practices


For more than 120 years, Baker Donelson has built a reputation for achieving results for our clients on a wide range of legal matters. While providing legal services is our focus, it is how we deliver them that sets us apart. Our goal is to provide clients with more than what they have come to expect from a law firm.

Baker Donelson commits to a deep understanding of a client’s business, to enable us to anticipate clients’ needs and assist in their decision making processes. Because we offer consistent, knowledgeable guidance based on their specific goals and objectives, clients view us as a valued business partner. This allows them to focus on the growth and success of their business, confident their legal issues will be handled by an attentive, responsive team.

Our unique approach to providing legal services is enabled by our extensive support structure. As the 72nd largest law firm in the U.S., Baker Donelson gives clients access to a team of more than 650 attorneys and public policy advisors representing more than 30 practice areas, all seamlessly connected across 18 offices to serve virtually any legal and policy need. Clients receive informed guidance from experienced, multi-disciplined industry and client service teams. Our federal and state public policy groups provide sound policy advice and comprehensive tracking services, keeping clients up-to-date on critical legislative and regulatory developments. Our diversity and women’s initiatives ensure diversity in our people, perspectives and experiences. Technology helps us operate more effectively and efficiently by providing instant access to client-specific information and other key resources.

The experience, integrity and commitment we bring to our clients have earned Baker Donelson numerous distinctions, including:

77 attorneys across 25 practice areas recognized by Chambers USA as leaders in their field (2013);
25 practice areas also recognized by Chambers USA as leading practices in individual states (2013);
226 attorneys in Best Lawyers in America® 2013 edition; and
150 attorneys recognized as Super Lawyers.

Solar Energy Practice:

Baker Donelson’s Solar Initiative is a multi-disciplinary group of attorneys and advisors who assist clients with any kind of solar-related issue. From new companies to large energy consumers, our attorneys are entrenched in the industry and are able to anticipate solar clients’ needs.

New and Current Businesses

We help researchers and entrepreneurs with their renewable energy ideas, guiding them through funding and start-up issues all the way to business opening. We help investors to fund and leverage early- to mid-stage solar companies, and help raise capital through the sale of equity or debt. We also protect clients’ ownership rights in patents, trademarks and other work product.

If clients are considering business expansion, we facilitate bank and other financing, and solve construction, land use and permitting issues as well as environmental regulations. For those businesses experiencing rapid growth, we offer advice to boards of directors and stockholders on growth and exit strategies, and work with investment bankers and other professionals to meet client needs.

We provide tax and regulatory advice on the use and sale of energy credits. We proactively work with insurers to assess and mitigate business risks, including the creation of tailored programs to meet clients’ compliance needs.

Manufacturing and Technology

We guide component manufacturers through the tax maze, taking advantage of incentives and the unique state-level infrastructure found within our footprint so clients can have a competitive advantage on an international level. We advise on employment concerns, including policy manuals, training procedures and labor issues. For those who need it, we facilitate outsourcing and procurement of the latest technology.

Utilities and Consumers

We work with utility-scale and dedicated production facilities across the entire spectrum of real property, financing, tax, incentives, regulatory negotiations and construction issues involved in any significant solar project.

We work with large energy consumers and traditional companies who want to fold solar energy into their strategic expansions. And we help new solar companies that need additional/excess electrical capacity to power production of their alternative energy products.

Representative Matters

Advised Tennessee city for city-wide deployment of solar power production facilities, including land lease negotiations and equipment licensing for third-party equipment owners/installers.
Outside general counsel to solar panel installation companies serving both the residential and commercial sectors; have optimized tax benefits for solar installation projects, handled financing and corporate governance issues, and negotiated EPC agreements.
Drafted power purchase agreements and ground lease/equipment licenses for projects ranging from 22 kWh to 25 MW nationwide, including creation of long-term specialized transaction structures to comply with local regulatory, tax and incentive issues.
Counseled owners on solar installation equipment leases and power purchase agreements to assist owners in maximizing the value received.
Patent advisor for such inventions as a portable solar generator and a solar site evaluation apparatus.
Trademark advisor to Oak Ridge, Tennessee-based company Sunlight Direct.
Represented a company in the successful capital raise of several million dollars to fund research and solar panels development.
Negotiated and implemented government contracts.
Legal advisor to a number of entrepreneurs in the stages of forming and building solar-related businesses.
Assisted solar manufacturers in the arrangement of business-based temporary and permanent immigration status, including specialty occupations (H-1B, TN, E-3).


From homelessness to debtors’ prisons, volunteer lawyer programs to non-profit transactions, Baker Donelson is always involved in a wide variety of pro bono projects. Some highlights are featured below and in our pro bono brochure, which you can download here ( Also check out examples of the pro bono work being done by a specific Baker Donelson office by clicking on the office links below. For continuing updates and current events, visit our pro bono blog, One Good Turn (

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