Ben C. Adams

First Tennessee Building
165 Madison Avenue
Suite 2000
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
T: 901.577.2307
F: 901.577.0714

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Ben C. Adams has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Firm since October 2003. As an attorney, Mr. Adams helps his clients with estate planning and corporate law matters, with extensive experience drafting wills and trusts, working with families and closely held entities and implementing sophisticated planning techniques. In the corporate area, Mr. Adams has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate, partnership and limited liability company formations, shareholder agreements and business contracts. 

Mr. Adams' care for his clients extends to his involvement in the Memphis community. He devotes significant time to the betterment of the city, acting as Chairman of Memphis Tomorrow, an association of CEOs of Memphis' largest enterprises who collaborate with government and civic leaders to foster economic prosperity throughout the community. Mr. Adams also serves as chair of the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission and immediate past chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, among other civic positions.

While Mr. Adams is always proud of the Firm's recognitions in the legal arena, it's our five-time national recognition as a FORTUNE 100 Best Company to Work For, as well as the numerous top company honors in each of our states, that make him particularly proud to lead Baker Donelson. Mr. Adams is honored to be a part of a firm with a recognized dedication to pro bono and community service. This "culture of caring" sets Baker Donelson apart.

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Named "Most Innovative Managing Partner" by Law360, 2012
  • Recipient – CEO of the Year Award by MBQ: Inside Memphis Business, 2013
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers since 2006
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2006 in the areas of Corporate Law, Trusts and Estates, Business Organizations
  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2013 Memphis Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2011 Memphis Corporate Lawyer of the Year
  • Listed as among top 50 attorneys in Memphis and among top 100 attorneys in Tennessee by Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2010 and 2011
  • Chair – Memphis Shelby Crime Commission
  • Chair – Memphis Tomorrow (Chair, Public Safety Committee)
  • Director – Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis (Chair, 2011)
  • Chair – Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis Capital and Endowment Campaign
  • Member – Vanderbilt Law School Advisory Board
  • Trustee and General Counsel – Dixon Gallery and Gardens
  • Former Trustee – Memphis University School (Chair, 1997 – 2004)
  • Former Trustee – Elmwood Cemetery (President, 2004 – 2006)
  • Former Senior Warden – Church of the Holy Communion (Episcopal), 2003 – 2004
  • Memphis University School Alumnus of the Year (2005 – 2006)
  • Former President – Phoenix Club (1989 – 1990)
  • Former Chair – Dixie Homes Boys & Girls Club (1993 – 1994)
  • Former Chair – Memphis Area Legal Services 2007 Access to Justice Campaign
  • Managing Partner of the Firm (June 1993 – April 1998)
  • Member – Memphis Estate Planning Council
  • Fellow – Memphis Bar Foundation
  • Fellow – American Bar Foundation
  • Member – Tennessee, Memphis and American Bar Associations Member – Baker Donelson Diversity Committee
  • Named to Business Tennessee magazine's "Best 150 Lawyers 2007" in the area of corporate law, and named to "Best 101 Lawyers in Tennessee" 2004 and 2005 editions in corporate law
  • Leadership Memphis – Class of 1990

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Featured, "Baker Donelson CEO Talks Law Trends and His Passion for Memphis," Memphis Business Journal, May 4, 2015
  • "Getting Back to Basics: The Real Deal of Schools, Crime & Taxes," Urban Land Institute Memphis' event, May 4, 2105
  • "Valuation Discounts, GRATs and Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts - Part II," Financial Planners of the Midsouth, February 4, 2004
  • "Valuation Discounts, GRATs and Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts - Part I," Financial Planners of the Midsouth, September 9, 2003
  • "How to Reduce Estate Taxes for the High Net Worth Family: A Case Study," The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, October 4, 2002
  • "How to Significantly Reduce Estate Taxes for the High Net Worth Family: A Case Study," Brooks Museum of Memphis The Art of Good Taste, April 4, 2002
  • "Current Trends in Estate Planning Strategies," Memphis Bar Association, October 9, 2001
  • "Current Trends in Estate Planning Strategies," Morgan Keegan State of the Art in Family Office, September 24, 2001


  • Tennessee, 1981


  • Vanderbilt University School of Law, J.D., 1981, Order of the Coif, Vanderbilt Law Review
  • University of North Carolina, B.A. in Economics, 1978, Phi Beta Kappa