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Spencer Clift


Spencer Clift assists clients in a diverse array of bankruptcy and general commercial litigation matters, including troubled debt recovery and workouts, the recovery or restructuring of commercial loans, foreclosures, and other aspects of commercial litigation for institutional lenders and businesses.

Professional Biography

Mr. Clift represents numerous financial institutions in targeted efforts to recover and restructure commercial loans, including CMBS Servicers, as well as numerous other clients in state and federal courts involved in complex commercial litigation matters. Mr. Clift represents secured and unsecured creditors in bankruptcy courts across the country handling numerous contested matters and adversary proceedings arising in any commercial or consumer bankruptcy case.

Mr. Clift frequently speaks and lectures on bankruptcy and commercial litigation issues, and he is the author of numerous articles and publications in the areas of his practice. He has served as the moot court coach for law students at the University of Memphis participating in the Annual Chief Judge Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Memorial Moot Court Competition. He served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Tennessee Bar Association Bankruptcy Section Executive Council in 2009. Currently, Mr. Clift is on the Board of Directors for the Bankruptcy Section of the Memphis Bar Association and the Mid-South Commercial Law Institute.

Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Clift served as a federal law clerk for the Honorable David S. Kennedy, the Chief Bankruptcy Judge of the Western District of Tennessee from 1999 until 2003.

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Bankruptcy Litigation (2013 – 2023); Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2017 – 2023); Real Estate Litigation (2018 – 2023)
  • Listed in Mid-South Rising Stars (2011, 2012)
  • Member – Board of Directors of the Mid-South Commercial Law Institute
  • Member – Tennessee Bar Association
  • Member – Board of Directors, Memphis Bar Association (Bankruptcy Section)
  • Member and Former Chairman – Tennessee Bar Association Bankruptcy Section Executive Council
  • Member – American Inns of Court (2006 – 2009)
  • Chairman Admissions Committee, University Club of Memphis (2010)
  • Board of Directors, University Club of Memphis (2011 – present)
  • Member – American Bankruptcy Institute
  • "Mortgage Litigation Issues in Commercial Real Estate Cases & Bankruptcy," 20th Annual Mid-South Conference on Bankruptcy Law (February 2014)
  • "Strategies in Effectively Dealing with Defaulted Tenant in Common Borrowers," webinar with Erno Lindner (December 2013)
  • "Basics of Loan Documentation: Understanding Loan Documents and Practical Tips," presentation to portfolio managers and credit analysts from First Tennessee (November 2013)
  • "Lender Liability Trends in 2013: How to Be Aggressive and Not Get Sued," client presentation, Dallas, Texas (June 2013)
  • "Recent Trends in Lender Liability Claims," webinar (March 2013)
  • "Use of Cash Collateral in Commercial Real Estate Cases," 17th Annual Mid-South Conference on Bankruptcy Law (February 2011)
  • "Mortgage Litigation Panel," 17th Annual Mid-South Conference on Bankruptcy Law (February 2011)


  • Samford University, Cumberland College of Law, J.D., 1999
  • University of Tennessee, B.S., 1996, magna cum laude


  • Alabama, 2000
  • Tennessee, 2000
  • Mississippi, 2001
  • Western District Tennessee
  • Northern District Mississippi
  • Southern District Mississippi
  • Eastern District Arkansas
  • Western District Arkansas
  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Other firms drag it out. [They treat our work] like an annuity to get their kids through college. Clift knows how to balance it. He demonstrates that he's pushing [cases along]. They aren't just order takers. We look to them to provide different suggestions. I also trust Clift to keep tabs on our guys and let me know if they are out of bounds. It's apparent that Baker Donelson wants our relationship.

Senior Vice President at a financial institution company

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