Margaret is a partner at Thompson Burton, PLLC. Margaret advises clients on projects at the intersection of the public and private sectors, with a focus on airports, aviation, public-private-partnerships, and public contracting. Margaret also advises clients on commercial real estate, zoning, and land use matters. Margaret’s clients appreciate the practical advice she can provide based on her hands-on experience working with and within governmental agencies. Prior to joining Thompson Burton, Margaret was the founder of Martin Airport Law, LLC, a firm certified by the State of Tennessee as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and an Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE).
Margaret began her career in aviation as an attorney at the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, and also supported the Nashville International Airport and the John C. Tune Airport as the Chief Development Officer. As Chief Development Officer, Margaret was responsible for delivering and managing annual revenues exceeding $170M and overseeing approximately 2500 commercial agreements with tenants, operators, business partners, and governmental agencies. In between her airport roles, Margaret worked in the legal department for Asurion.
Prior to entering the aviation world, Margaret worked as an attorney with the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County Department of Law, where she advised the Metro Planning Commission, the Historic Commission, the Social Services Commission, and the Metro Public Health Department, eventually moving in-house with the Metro Public Health Department.
Margaret is a Nashville native, and lives with her husband, Matthew, and their blended family of 4 kids in Nashville in an old house on the Cumberland River. She serves on the Board of Directors for East Nashville Wellness Center, a non-profit providing mental health and substance abuse counseling to uninsured and under-insured individuals. In her spare time, Margaret enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, running, hiking, stretching, or baking chocolate chip cookies.
- Representation of ACDBE concessions operator in executing growth strategy in multiple airport markets.
- Representation of a public university regarding aviation matters.
- Representation of ACDBE concessions operator expanding from off-airport location to first on-airport location.
- Managed P3 solicitation and lease execution of an upper-upscale on-airport hotel, designed, built, financed, operated and maintained by a 3rd party, with anticipated revenue of $82M in base rent, and approximately $250M in percentage rent over a 75 year lease term.
- Exceeded revenue targets for FY20 during the COVID pandemic through consistent contract management and communication with business partners.
- Navigated the impacts of the bankruptcy of two rental car operators to ensure zero revenue loss and renewed lease commitments.
- Secured development of a 75 acre non-aeronautical parcel of land resulting in estimated 39M of additional revenue.
- Implemented a two-tier regulatory structure for peer-to-peer ground transportation operators, the first structure of its kind in the US, and navigated legislative and legal challenges to secure executed permits with operators.
- Transitioned BNA concessions program from prime concessionaire model to a developer model.
- Supported response and redevelopment efforts, including revising the rent model for a general aviation airport, after being devastated by an EF3 tornado.
- Launched BNA Shop, a profitable online merchandising program.
- Led an airport-wide team through complex negotiations related to a legacy carrier’s bankruptcy, resulting in the creation of a consortium structure for the on-airport fuel facilities.
- Helped implement the legislative and contractual strategy to secure an airport-wide beer permit and liquor license, a first for a Tennessee airport.
J.D., Tulane Law School, 2003
Certificate in Environmental Law
B.A. in English, cum laude, The Catholic University of America, 1999
Varsity Women’s Soccer, Co-Captain for 2 Years
District of Columbia
Lawyers’ Association for Women – Marion Griffin Chapter, Member
Tennessee Bar Association, Member
Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce, Member
American Association of Airport Executives Certified Member, February 2020
Tennessee District Export Council, Member
January 2020 – Present, Appointed to four-year term
Airports Council International – North America Commercial Management Steering Committee, Elected by peers to four-year term
International Business Council Advisory Board, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
Nashville Business Journal’s Best of the Bar, Corporate Counsel, 2013
April 2022 Tennessee City Management Association Spring Conference
Presenter: Airports, Drones, and Your City
March 2022 Tennessee Municipal Attorneys Association Winter Seminar
Presenter: Introduction to Airport Law, and Co-Presenter: Drones and Your City
March 2022 ACC / AAAE Design Symposium ACC Design Symposium
Panel: Digital Twins – The Future of IT/Data Analytics
July 2021 P3 Airport Summit Panel: Pragmatism, Perseverance and Patience – the 3 P’s of Partnership
June 2021 Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce 2021 Nashpreneurs Virtual Conference: Innovate Now
Panel: BNA’s Concession Program Vision for Local and Small Businesses
Airport Strategies for Thriving Concessions (June 2022)