Shareholder John David Willet*

John Willet focuses his practice in the areas of construction, fidelity and surety, business law, litigation and alternative dispute resolution. He represents owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, architects and engineers throughout the construction process, including entity formation, licensing and registration, identification and management of risks, contracting, claims management and dispute resolution. Mr. Willet has been a frequent lecturer, and has contributed to publications on construction law issues.

In the area of fidelity and surety law, Mr. Willet represents clients in connection with all types of bonds, including performance, payment, fidelity and various miscellaneous surety bonds. He assists owners, contractors and subcontractors with all types of bonding matters. Additionally, Mr. Willet represents sureties in pre-default investigations, project completion negotiations, ratification and takeover agreements and all facets of default.

Mr. Willet has represented clients in highly complex subrogation claims particular to the construction industry and has assisted insurers in pursuing claims against contractors, subcontractors, design professionals and other insurers to recover losses sustained as a result of design defects, construction defects and breaches of agreement. In addition to Mr. Willet’s construction law and surety practice, he represents clients in commercial matters and business litigation, providing services including contract drafting and negotiation, claims identification and resolution, business litigation, mediation and arbitration.  Mr. Willet has substantial experience in complex construction and business litigation matters as well as representing clients before regulatory boards. He mediates construction and business disputes and is listed by the Tennessee Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission as a Rule 31 civil mediator.

Mr. Willet also practices in the area of commercial insurance defense and represents insurers and insureds in the areas of construction and design defects, property, commercial liability, and toxic torts.  Mr. Willet has substantial experience with assisting insurers and clients with casualty emergency response and has handled numerous Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak cases.

Mr. Willet was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2022 in the fields of Construction Law and Litigation- Construction for the fifth year. Mr. Willet has recently achieved an AV® Preeminent™ Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. The Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ Rating is the highest possible rating for an attorney for both ethical standards and legal ability. In November of 2021, Mr. Willet was also elected to serve as the President of the Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, which is an attorney-only organization focused on serving the needs of Tennessee attorneys with practices related to the construction industry.


Best Lawyers Award Badge

  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2022 in the fields of Construction Law and Litigation- Construction
  • Rule 31 civil mediator
  • Construction Law Handbook - Chapter 33 RECOVERY OF INTEREST AND ATTORNEY’S FEES (co-author)
  • Construction Law Handbook - Chapter 36 INDEMNITY OF THE CONTRACT SURETY (co-author)
  • 50-State Construction Lien and Bond Law Book – Chapter 44 – Tennessee (co-author)
  • Co-author, Revisions to Tennessee Public Contracting Statute (2013)
  • COVID-19 and Construction Litigation Issues, Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel (Virtual, 2021)
  • Contract Review and Execution – Best Practices, Association of General Contractors (Memphis 2017)
  • Construction Law, HalfMoon Education (Memphis, 2015)
  • Building Codes in Tennessee, Lorman Education Services (Memphis 2014)
  • Legal Issues for Tennessee Professional Engineers, HalfMoon Education Services (Memphis, 2012)
  • AIA Contracts in Tennessee, Lorman Education Services (Memphis 2012)
  • Tennessee Construction Lien Law, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, 2009)
  • Legal Considerations for Green Building, Tennessee Association of Builders and Contractors (Memphis 2009)
  • Construction Law for Tennessee Architects and Engineers, Commercial Construction Institute (Memphis 2008)
  • Design Law for Tennessee Architects and Engineers, HalfMoon Education Services (Memphis 2007)
  • AIA Contracts in Tennessee, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, 2008)
  • The Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, 2006)
  • What To Do When Construction Projects Go Bad in Tennessee, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, 2006)
  • Understanding and Managing the Change Order Process, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, 2005)
  • State of Mississippi – Payment Bonds, Mechanics and Materialman’s Liens (Memphis 2006)
  • Public Entity Contracting, National Business Institute (Memphis 2004)
  • Tennessee Construction Lien Law, Lorman Education Services (Memphis, 2001)

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