Areas of Practice
Serving our clients in Healthcare Law, Construction Law, Landlord Tenant Law, Estates Trusts and Wills, Probate Litigation, Business Law, Real Estate Law, Guardianships and Conservatorships, Entertainment Law, Insurance and Litigation.
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Areas of Practice

Healthcare concept

Healthcare Law

We represent practitioners throughout the wide spectrum of the healthcare industry. We advise individual practitioners, professional practice groups, pharmacies, hospital systems, and management service organizations. Our attorneys provide cost-effective legal services to assist healthcare providers in managing all areas of their practice, including:

  • Organizational, Governance, and Transactional. Whether it is organizing your new solo practice or expanding into a multidisciplinary clinic, we will guide you down the path to your professional goals; 
  • Regulatory, Operational, and Insurance. If you face licensure, credentialing, or privileging questions or administrative proceedings, we will stand by your side with sound advice based upon our years of experience.
  • Risk Mitigation and Malpractice. The best defense to regulatory penalties and litigation is a well-defined and rigorous best practices framework. We can provide experience-based insight into your establishment of best practices to avoid regulatory and licensing issues. 

Frank J. Scanlon started the firm’s healthcare practice over thirty years ago based upon providing healthcare providers excellent and responsive advice in an ever-changing environment. After Mr. Scanlon’s passing in 2017, Sam Helmbrecht used his 13 years of experience working side-by-side with Mr. Scanlon to carry on the firm’s dedication to providing excellent legal services to the healthcare industry.

Sam P. Helmbrecht has extensive knowledge in all healthcare matters.

Among other State Licensing Boards, Mr. Helmbrecht routinely represents clients in front of the following Boards:

  • Board of Medical Examiners
  • Committee on Physician Assistants
  • Board of Nursing
  • Board of Pharmacy
  • Board of Dentistry
  • Board of Chiropractic Examiners
  • Board of Osteopathic Examination
  • Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners
  • Board of Physical Therapy
  • Board of Occupational Therapy
  • Board of Optometry
  • Board of Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marital and Family Therapists and Licensed Pastoral Therapists
  • Council of Certified Professional Midwifery
  • Board of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • Emergency Medical Services Division
  • Board of Massage Licensure
  • Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
  • Board for Licensing Health Care Facilities
  • Pain Management Clinics
Construction manager and engineer dressed in orange work vests and helmets work with construction


We guide clients through all legal aspects of construction with a focus on organizational structuring to maximize opportunities and limit regulatory concerns. We understand that our client’s focus is on the next project. We strive to reduce the amount of time our clients spend on regulatory/contractual issues so they can dedicate their time on the project. We provide advice on best practices to prevent loss exposure whether from regulatory or contractual circumstances. We have a team approach so that you have a single contact to handle organizational, employment, transactional, real estate, taxation, and collection issues unique to the construction industry.

Sam P. Helmbrecht and Steve Parman have extensive knowledge in all construction matters.

Real Estate Agent hanging For Rent Sign

Landlord – Tenant

As a vital subset of the firm’s corporate services and based on decades of experience, we guide our clients through the drafting, negotiating, and enforcing commercial leases. Regardless of whether you are negotiating a lease for your business or leasing commercial property to a third-party, we will work with you to achieve your leasing goals. In addition to commercial leases, the firm has experience in drafting and litigating residential leases in addition to advising landlords on best practices regarding tenant matters with the goal of reducing the cost of evictions and litigation. The firm believes that its commercial and residential clients are best served by establishing clear lease provisions prior to entering into a landlord – tenant agreement.

Sam P. Helmbrecht, W. Warner McNeilly, III, Katlin A. Ryan and Erik Thorngren have extensive knowledge in all landlord tenant matters.

Elderly couple consulting with financial advisor at home

Estates, Trusts and Wills

No matter the size or complexity of one’s estate, estate planning, wealth preservation and wealth transfer issues are important to everyone. Our firm guides clients through the ever-evolving landscape of trust and estate law and help them develop and implement an estate plan that accomplishes their goals and addresses their concerns.  We help to create the appropriate plan that addresses estate, income tax, retirement, charitable and business succession planning issues. In addition, we assist families and their closely held businesses with choice of business structure, succession planning and the sale of the business.

Our services include estate planning; preparation of wills and trust; income, estate, and gift planning; preparation of prenuptial agreements; retirement planning; drafting of durable powers of attorney and healthcare powers of attorney; and charitable giving.

W. Warner McNeilly, III, John Van Cleave, Erik Thorngren and Katlin A. Ryan have extensive experience in all real estate matters.

Female Friend Helping Senior Woman To Complete Last Will And Testament At Home

Estates and Trust Administration

Our attorneys have the expertise and experience to guide families and personal representatives through all aspects of estate administration. We regularly perform the following services: preparation and filing of petitions for appointment of a personal representative; assistance in distributing non-probate and probate assets, legal advice related to the duties of a personal representative; and identifying creditors, heir and beneficiaries.  

Our attorneys also have significant experience in guiding trustees and beneficiaries through all aspects of trust administration including the duties of a trustee, the rights of beneficiaries, the removal and replacement of trustees, the modification of a trust and the early termination. We also provide assistance with tax issues that arise in the course of trust administration. 

W. Warner McNeilly, III, John Van Cleave, Erik Thorngren and Katlin A. Ryan have extensive experience in all estate matters.

Cropped shot of Lawyers give advice to clients in the law office.

Probate Litigation

When disputes arise in estate and trust administration, our attorneys have the experience and know-how to resolve these issues in both state and federal court. We represent clients in various probate litigation matters including trust and will contests, trust and will constructions, and breaches of fiduciary duty. Our clients include individual beneficiaries and fiduciaries as well as corporate fiduciaries.

R. Horton Frank, III has extensive experience in all probate litigation matters. 

Signing Business Contract

Business and Transactional Law

We represent large and small business owners in connection with all aspects of their business operations, including employment law, contracts, business formations, regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions and succession planning.  The firm’s corporate attorneys have extensive experience in the negotiation and preparation of contracts in virtually all areas of business, including purchase and sale of real and personal property, both tangible and intangible, supply and distribution agreements, public and private, construction contracts, licensing arrangements, and loan, employment and other corporate contracts. Our clients include both large, sophisticated businesses and first-time business owners who may be unfamiliar with the transactional process.  In all transactions, our objective is to accomplish the client’s objectives as efficiently as possible by finding ways to consummate the proposed transaction, not to “kill the deal.” 

W. Warner McNeilly, III, John Van Cleave, Erik Thorngren, Sam Helmbrecht and Katlin A. Ryan have extensive experience in business and transactional law matters.

The lawyer is currently providing legal advice on real estate trading.

Real Estate

We represent clients in connection with all aspects of real estate law, both residential and commercial, but with an emphasis on commercial transactions.  Our services include advising clients with regard to the purchase and of real property, like-kind exchanges, financing, construction, leasing, regulatory compliance, and environmental issues, including the negotiation of contractual agreements, drafting of documents, and the closing of the transactions.

W. Warner McNeilly, III, John Van Cleave, and Katlin A. Ryan have extensive experience in all real estate matters.

Close-up view of business partner handshaking process.

Guardianships and Conservatorships

Watkins & McNeilly, PPLC can help you with all types of guardianships and conservatorships. Whether you are currently serving as a guardian or conservator or seeking the creation of guardianship or conservatorship of a loved one, Watkins & McNeilly will help you navigate the process. We will guide you through the proceedings of becoming conservator or guardian, advise you of your ongoing duties in that role, and recommend the best course of action to protect your loved one. 

W. Warner McNeilly, III, R. Horton Frank, Katlin A. Ryan and Erik Thorngren have extensive experience in all guardianship and conservatorship matters. 

Acoustic guitar with blues harmonica

Entertainment Law

We assist both individuals and businesses with legal matters involving entertainment and intellectual property, which includes copyrights, trademarks, and the names, likenesses and personas of individuals and businesses. Our firm helps clients register, maintain and enforce rights in their intellectual property by registering their copyrights and trademarks, and when necessary, helping clients prosecute and defend legal actions to enforce rights in their intellectual property. The firm also assists songwriters, recording artists, broadcast talent and other owners and creators of intellectual property by negotiating songwriting, recording, talent and license agreements for the creation and use of intellectual property.

R. Horton Frank, III has extensive experience in all entertainment law matters.

Man preparing an Insurance Claim Form


We are actively involved in the representation of insurance companies and their insureds in virtually all areas where insurance coverage is available: personal injury, property damage, professional negligence, licensure claims, product liability, aviation losses, construction claims, workers’ compensation, and health benefits. We provide clients with guidance in all aspects of insurance coverage and litigation. We have decades of experience helping insurance carriers navigate the interpretation and enforcement of insurance policies, including declaratory judgment litigation and direct actions on policies. Our litigation section defends insureds across the broad spectrum of insurance coverages. We will provide you and your insureds with responsive, quality legal representation.

Additionally, our corporate section is involved in the licensing and regulation of insurance companies formed or admitted in the State of Tennessee.

Steven D. Parman and David J. Pflaum have extensive experience in all insurance matters.



We represent our clients in commercial and tort lawsuits at trial and appellate levels of state and federal courts in the State of Tennessee. We understand that filing or defending a lawsuit is a significant event in our clients’ lives. We strive to provide efficient and effective representation of our clients to achieve their goals.