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Charles W. Bone

Of Counsel

Spencer Fane attorney Charles Bone

T 615.238.6310
F 615.238.6301

Charles W. Bone guides each client through the business decisions, mergers and acquisitions that pave the way for continued growth and success, minimizing the potential of legal exposure through well-structured transactions and decisions. He serves as a classic “Trusted Adviser” to clients seeking advice on corporate and litigation issues. Charles is known for his success when it comes to “bet the company” matters. His experience covers many industries and areas of law, including business formation, mergers and acquisitions, capital creation, joint ventures, financial institutions, media law, and government relations.

Throughout his career, Charles has held leadership positions in both public and private companies and financial institutions. For over 20 years, Charles was county attorney for Sumner County, Tennessee, and served as counsel to the Independent Bankers of Tennessee. He is general counsel to the Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund.

Charles is an outspoken proponent of diversity in the legal profession.  He has spoken at the Tennessee Bar Association’s Annual Diversity Summit, focusing on recruitment, hiring, and retention solutions for minorities at Tennessee law firms. He was invited to speak at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s event, “Finding a Voice for Women of Color at Law Firms: Unique Challenges and Collaborative Solutions.” Additionally, Charles was a keynote speaker at an event hosted by the Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys in Atlanta. He has also moderated or served as a panelist at the annual Nashville Bar Association Diversity Summit.

Another one of Charles’ passions civic involvement.  He was a leader in the campaign that defeated the 2009 “English Only” referendum in Nashville. Charles has worked in Democratic political activities for many years and has advised Democrats at every level of politics. From 1976 through 2000, he was active in every campaign for former Vice President Al Gore and worked extensively with the Gore for President efforts.

Charles is married to Baylor Bone, an interior designer and owner of Baylor Bone Interiors located in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He has two children, Charles Robert Bone, the Managing Partner of the Spencer Fane Nashville office, and Baylor Bone Swindell, also an attorney and lobbyist in Nashville. Charles and Baylor Anne have six grandchildren.

He has been an avid runner for many years and is proud to say the highlight of his running career was when he completed the first Country Music Marathon in 2000 with both of his children. Since then, he has completed more than 40 half-marathons in over 15 states.

Highlights of Charles’ experience include: 

Administrative and Government Relations

  • County Attorney, Sumner County, Tennessee, for 20 years, including representation of the school board, Industrial Development Board, Budget and Planning Commission, and all other county boards and commissions.
  • General Counsel to Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund.
  • Governor-appointed member of Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
  • Represented a county in the sale of a publicly owned hospital to a private health care entity.


  • Represented buyers in transaction to control a public company, and subsequent capitalization of the company, along with acquisition of seven television stations across the United States., and listing of the company on a public stock exchange. Subsequently represented the company in its sale to a national entity. Served as outside counsel and board member.
  • Founder of auto auction group with an investor group in Dallas, Texas. Expanded the company from one auto auction to 12 auto auctions and later represented the company in its sale to private investors. Served as general counsel and board member.
  • Served as counsel to many startup companies in various industries, including media, financial services, tire recycling, and health care.
  • Represented many midsized companies in their sale to public companies, including funeral homes, radio stations, newspapers, banks, and real estate developments.

Financial Institution Representation

  • Served as counsel to more than 100 financial institutions (and their officers and directors), negotiating mergers, acquisitions, and sale of banks and subsidiaries in several states.
  • Formed first community bank holding company in Tennessee and formed approximately 100 bank holding companies in several states over a 10-year period.
  • Formed first bank ESOP in Tennessee for a bank holding company.
  • Attorney for several de novo banks in Tennessee, including Tennessee’s most recent new bank.
  • Served as director and officer of banks, bank holding companies, federal savings bank, and holding companies.
  • Developed strategy and provided counsel for bank subsidiary development in subprime lending, mortgage lending, and mortgage warehouse lending.
  • Assisted numerous financial institutions in negotiations and dealings with regulatory agencies.
  • Assisted in drafting banking legislation and advanced passage in the Tennessee legislature.
  • Served as counsel to the Independent Bankers Division of the Tennessee Bankers Association.


  • Tried many jury cases over the years and advised clients with litigation strategy in the areas of employment laws, negligence, personal injury, and breach of contract.
  • Pro bono representation of an inmate at the Tennessee Prison for Women who was convicted as a juvenile.


  • Council on Aging: Sage Awards, keynote speaker
  • “Our Lives Matter, Our Votes Count,” NAACP Nashville and Clarksville chapters, keynote speaker
  • Leadership Middle Tennessee, keynote speaker
  • Leadership Nashville, moderator, panel on “power” 


  • American Heart Association, Executive Leadership Teams
  • Community Nashville, Annual Dinner, Co-Chair
  • Conexión Américas, Annual Breakfast Co-Chair
  • Cumberland Region Tomorrow, Moderator of Power of Ten Summit; Former Executive Committee and Board Member
  • Leadership Nashville, Alumnus, Board Member
  • Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee, Chair, Campaign for Equal Justice
  • Nashville’s Agenda, Steering Committee Member
  • Nelson & Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership at Lipscomb University, Member
  • Salvus, Inc., First Emeritus Member, Board of Directors, an initiative he founded with a local physician to provide quality health care to uninsured individuals
  • Tennessee Higher Education Commission (appointed by former Governor Phil Bredesen), Member, 2009-2014
  • Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature Governor’s Council
  • Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, Advisory Board Member
  • Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, Founder and Former Chairman
  • United Way of Sumner County, Campaign Chair
  • Vanderbilt Center for Nashville Studies, Community Advisory Board
  • Vanderbilt Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Advisory Board Member of the Vanderbilt Poll
  • Youth Life Learning Centers, Former Board Member


  • Leadership Nashville Foundation, Member of the Board of Trustees
  • Napier-Looby Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Nashville Bar Association, Board of Directors
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Sumner County Bar Association, Past President


  • Best Lawyers in America, 2014-2023
  • Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year, Administrative/Regulatory Law, 2021
  • AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best of the Bar, Nashville Business Journal
  • Healthcare Hero, Community Leader category, Nashville Business Journal
  • “In Charge,” Nashville Post
  • Sumner County’s “Top 30 Most Influential People,” Tennessean
  • Jerry G. Jerkins Community Service Award, NAACP Clarksville Chapter, 2017
  • Sumner County Impact Award, Nashville Business Journal, 2015
  • Gallatin Community Award, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, 2015
  • Leimenstoll/Martin Humanitarian Award, Gallatin Shalom Zone, 2014
  • “Most Admired CEOs,” Nashville Business Journal, 2013
  • Selected as a “Top Rated Lawyer in Banking & Finance Law,” The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel, 2013
  • Award for Regional Thinking and Action, Cumberland Region Tomorrow, 2012
  • “Good Guy” Award, Women’s Political Collaborative of Tennessee, 2012
  • Human Relations Award, Community Nashville, 2011

Contact Charles Bone at 615.238.6310 or cbone@spencerfane.com.