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Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel is recognized in the 2017 Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business report as a leading Tennessee firm in the areas of labor and employment and general commercial and real estate litigation. In addition, two attorneys are recognized practitioners: Mark Cunningham for healthcare and Rick Hitchcock for environment.

Chambers and Partners rankings are based on the research of more than 170 full-time editors and researchers. Qualities assessed include technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment and other qualities valued by clients.

Individual lawyers are ranked by practice area and law firm rankings are rated by practice, not the firm as a whole. Chambers judges according to feedback from client and attorney interviews and by assessing recent work.

Cunningham chairs Chambliss Bahner’s health care section and serves as counsel for healthcare participants on a regional and national level, including medical practice management companies, billing companies, physician practices, outpatient diagnostic centers, ambulatory surgical centers, hospital-based providers, dentists, optometrists, home health agencies, assisted care living facilities and hospices.

Cunningham has worked with clients to navigate a wide variety of healthcare laws and regulations.

As an example of his experience, he has recently worked with clients to address practice acquisitions, physician practice restructuring, physician employment agreements, professional service agreements, physician and hospital ventures, medical director agreements, EMR agreements, Stark and Anti-Kickback compliance, health care and payor audits, co-management agreements, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, HIPAA and patient privacy laws, physician recruitment agreements, Medicare enrollment, payor disputes and antitrust law.

In addition, Cunningham provides services to other businesses. He has represented both buyers and sellers in various commercial transactions and has specific experience with asset purchase transactions, stock purchase transactions, mergers and joint ventures.

Hitchcock has broad litigation experience, representing clients in a variety of industries on a wide range of issues.

He advises and represents clients in environmental matters, business planning, technology issues, transactions and trial and appellate litigation, and regularly works with startup businesses on formation, governance and financing issues.

Hitchcock has represented clients in significant environmental matters before administrative agencies, regional EPA offices and state and federal courts. He has successfully handled a number of appellate cases, including a leading case on the lender exception to liability under the federal Superfund law. Hitchcock has also served as special counsel to local governments on contract, franchise and constitutional issues and represents electric and telecommunications utilities in strategic business planning and operational issues.

As counsel to the charter study commission of the City of Chattanooga, Hitchcock served as a principal drafter of a charter framework that was implemented in 1990. Hitchcock regularly counsels public agencies on public records act issues and has represented clients in key cases defining the scope of the Tennessee Public Records Act.

In addition, Hitchcock is involved in a variety of community activities. He helped lead successful voter initiatives to combine local schools and to provide financial resources to support public education. Moreover, he has been actively involved in the revitalization of downtown Chattanooga, and he helps head the Chattanooga Gig Initiative.