2020 marked Jim Cheek’s 50th year with Bass, Berry & Sims. I have been invited by our corporate and securities partners as a guest author on the Securities Law Exchange Blog to share and celebrate all that Jim has meant to our firm, and the Corporate and Securities Bar.
Jim shaped what Bass, Berry & Sims is today, and his influence is felt way beyond the Nashville borders by practitioners, executives, and many friends. Jim has been a lifelong member of the American Bar Association, serving in numerous capacities, including as the chair of the Section of Business Law. Additionally, he is a founding Fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel, a prestigious organization whose mission is to promote high professional standards and a better understanding and broader adoption of best governance practices within business organizations.
Jim’s career has and continues to include remarkable achievements, including his representation of HCA (NYSE:HCA), and notably leading it through the largest leverage buyout of a healthcare company at the time; his work in the boardroom with Genesco (NYSE:GCO); his service as regulatory auditor for the New York Stock Exchange and disclosure counsel for the Audit Committee of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC). Jim was also twice considered a leading candidate for the SEC Commissioner role: once during the Clinton administration and later in what would have been a Gore administration after the 2000 Presidential election. It is impossible for me to cover all of his phenomenal achievements. What is absolutely certain, is that his excellence, generosity and example continue to bless all of us who are at the firm, as well as those who have passed through it.
To help recognize and thank Jim for all of his contributions to Bass, Berry & Sims, we have named the boardroom on the top floor of our main office in Nashville the “James H. Cheek Boardroom” – an honor befitting one of the nation’s preeminent advisors to board members over several decades. We also asked a few of our partners to share their thoughts, a few memories, and even some funny antics about Jim. Their comments, as seen in the below video, are sure to bring a smile to your face. We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences with Jim too – please reach out. We’d love to hear from you. Happy New Year!