Leigh M. Chiles

First Tennessee Building
165 Madison Avenue
Suite 2000
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
T: 901.577.2207
F: 901.577.0875

Leigh M. Chiles concentrates her practice in ERISA litigation and business litigation. She also has experience defending medical malpractice and EMTALA claims.

Ms. Chiles practices out of the Firm's Memphis office. She regularly represents clients in state courts in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, and in federal courts throughout the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Circuits. A deeply experienced appellate advocate, Ms. Chiles has handled more than 50 appeals before the Arkansas and Tennessee appellate courts and the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeals.  

Representative Matters


  • Represented trustee of more than 35,000 retirement benefit plans in successfully quashing a seizure warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee directing the turn-over of more than $3,000,000 held in a 401(k) by a plan participant under investigation by grand jury for fiduciary fraud.
  • Defended scores of benefit-denial claims across the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Circuits brought against insurers of ERISA-governed life, health and disability plans.
  • Defended 401(k) plan sponsor in breach of fiduciary duty claim related to enrollment and change of beneficiary procedures and vesting requirements.
  • Represented publicly-traded company and plan sponsor in developing D.O.L.-compliant, two-tiered system for administering claims for pension and retirement benefits.

Business Litigation

  • Defended wholesale pharmaceutical distributor in action brought by pharmaceutical manufacturer in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas seeking $37,000,000 in damages for purported breach of Wholesale Purchase Agreement and Return Goods Policy, fraud and violation of deceptive trade practices laws.
  • Defended issuer of annuities in action seeking more than $20,000,000 in actual and punitive damages under theories of negligent supervision, conversion, fraud and vicarious liability for the actions of independent sales representative.
  • Represented Fortune 500 company in enforcing non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements against former executive-level employees and new employer.


  • American Bar Association, ERISA Survey of the Federal Circuits (forthcoming edition) Sixth Circuit Contributing Author
  • American Bar Association, Misrepresentations in the Life, Health and Disability Insurance Application Process: A National Survey (forthcoming work) Sixth Circuit Editor and Tennessee and Sixth Circuit ERISA Contributing Author
  • Author – "Summers v. Baptist Medical Center Arkadelphia: A 'Disparate' Application of EMTALA's Terms," 50 Ark. L. Rev. 559 (1997)

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Listed in Mid-South Rising Stars (2013)
  • Member – Editorial Advisory Board, The Arkansas Lawyer, 2003 – 2006
  • Member – Board of Directors, Association of the Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2002 – 2004
  • Member – Arkansas Bar Association
  • Member – American Bar Association
  • Member – Defense Research Institute
  • Member – Committee on Uniform Laws, Arkansas Bar Association, 2003 – 2006
  • Note and Comment Editor – Arkansas Law Review, 1997 – 1998
  • Member – Baker Donelson Women's Initiative Committee (Memphis Office Liaison)


  • Arkansas, 1998
  • Tennessee, 2007
  • United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, 2000
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2002
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, 2004
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2004


  • University of Arkansas, J.D., 1998
  • Centre College, B.A., 1995