Commercial Real Estate Law Blog

Welcome to the Commercial Real Estate Law Blog.  We regularly post articles about commercial real estate finance, leasing, investing, and ownership.  Articles will include a mixture of updates based on recent case law, current events, or projects that we may be currently working on.  Our law firm has a national commercial real estate practice, but we will focus much of our writing on Tennessee commercial real estate issues.  Our posts are also sometimes published in the Nashville Business Journal.

This web page is edited and maintained by Walt Burton, who is a Partner and co-founder at Thompson Burton PLLC.

As a commercial real estate attorney, Walt has extensive experience representing developers, investors, and lenders in a diverse range of commercial real estate transactions, including industrial, office, multi-family, and retail projects. His practice includes real estate finance, acquisition, disposition, development, and leasing.  Walt’s clients love his broad range of experience and often comment that he has a perspective and eye for detail that is unmatched in the industry. Walt’s real estate skills were sharpened during his more than 6 years of practice with Atlanta based international law firm Troutman Sanders LLP, where he worked on numerous real estate and corporate transactions.

Walt has written dozens of articles regarding commercial real estate and currently maintains a Commercial Real Estate Law Blog where he blogs about local and national commercial real estate issues.  Walt is also a guest columnist for the Nashville Business Journal.

Walt was selected as part of the 2010 Georgia Bar’s YLD Leadership Academy for 2010.  In 2012, the University of Tennessee College of Law recognized Walt as one of the Top Ten Alumni Ten Years Out.  Walt was selected as a Mid-South Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine for 2013 and 2014 and recently made the Nashville Business Journal’s 2014 Top 40 Under 40.

Walt is active in the community.  He currently volunteers for the Land Trust for Tennessee.  While in Atlanta, Walt served as a mentor to high school students through the Odyssey program, a non-profit organization partnering with the Atlanta public schools to serve economically disadvantaged children.  Walt is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Nashville.

Walt and his wife, Melissa, live in Nashville with their 4 1/2 year old son, Liam, and infant son, Jeb.  Walt enjoys spending weekends at his family farm in Lincoln County, Tennessee.  Prior to attending law school, Walt served as a Lieutenant in the weapons department onboard the USS SHILOH (CG-67), based in San Diego, California.

Representative Experience:

  • Representation of both: (i) national, regional and community banks; and (ii) corporate and individual borrowers/guarantors in the workout, modification, restructuring and foreclosure of hundreds of troubled loans involving major residential and commercial real estate projects located throughout the Southeast and Midwest.
  • Representation of sellers and purchasers in portfolio sale of REO properties, including thousands of residential lots and homes located throughout the Southeast.
  • Representation of national REIT in the acquisition, disposition, and leasing of numerous industrial properties across the Southeast.
  • Representation of lender in acquisition of loan portfolio from the FDIC.
  • Representation of regional lender in numerous lending transactions across the Midwest and Southeast.
  • Representation of national lender in numerous lending transactions across Tennessee.
  • Representation of purchaser of REO commercial office properties located in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Representation of homebuilder in development of numerous subdivisions.
  • Representation of lenders in the purchase and sale of loan portfolios.
  • Representation of investment fund in the acquisition of multi-family apartment complexes located in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Representation of a national quick-service restaurant in the acquisition and ground leasing of outparcels in more than 20 states for the development of dozens of free-standing restaurant buildings.
  • Representation of national lender in acquisition and ground leasing for the development of dozens of financial service centers in Virginia, Maryland, and DC.
  • Representation of REIT in the $134.7 million acquisition of 38-story, 774,000 square foot office tower Promenade II, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Representation of a national office/retail developer in the acquisition and development of “lifestyle centers” in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (811,000 square feet), Gwinnett County, Georgia (385,000 square feet), and Forsyth County, Georgia (545,000).
  • Representation of a national cellular company in its acquisition and leasing of hundreds of ground, tower and rooftop space for cellular communications facilities.


  • University of Tennessee, J.D., 2005
    • magna cum laude
    • Order of the Coif
    • Tennessee Law Review
  • Vanderbilt University, B.S., 1998
    • cum laude

Bar Admissions:

  • Georgia
  • Tennessee
  • Illinois


  • “The Shopping Truck Trend: Real Estate on Wheels,” Nashville Business Journal, October 23, 2013
  • “Adaptive Reuse: Repurposing Nashville Commercial Real Estate,” September 4, 2013
  • “Nashville’s Use of Tax Incentives is Working,” Nashville Business Journal, July 29, 2013
  • “Preserving Nashville’s Green Space (While Saving on Taxes),” Nashville Business Journal, July 3, 2013
  • “The Amp bus system could change the Face of West End,” Nashville Business Journal, July 11, 2013
  • “The Argument for More Density in Nashville’s Intown Neighborhoods,” Nashville Business Journal, May 23, 2013
  • “Is Nashville’s Brand What we Want it to Be?,” Nashville Business Journal, May 7, 2013
  • “Avoid this Costly Mistake When Signing Leases and Other Documents,” Nashville Business Journal, April 23, 2013
  • “You Don’t Have to Pick Your Poison: Foreclosure, Deficiency Judgments, and other Collection Strategies in Georgia,” Georgia Real Property Law Section Newsletter, Summer 2009.