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Perry R. Happell
  • Founding Partner


Brentwood, TN





Career Overview

Founding partner Perry Happell concentrates his practice in the areas of bankruptcy and Social Security Disability.

Named one of the Top Ten Bankruptcy Attorneys in Tennessee by the National Academy for Bankruptcy Attorneys.

Mid-South Super Lawyer for 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 in the area of consumer bankruptcy law.

Perry is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the United States Bankruptcy Court.

Perry is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association; Nashville Bar Association; National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys; National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives; and a former member of Tennessee State Board of Accountancy.

In 2012 he was the recipient of the Nashville Bar Association's Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award.

He has been board-certified in consumer bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification for 23 years.


Perry earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee College of Law.

He completed his undergraduate work at Middle Tennessee State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science and studied political science and history.

Personal Interests

Perry is active in the Nashville community, including being an alumni board member and annual fund co-chairman for the University School of Nashville and a member of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Brentwood, Tennessee. Perry is also a former board chairman of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Middle Tennessee.

Perry and his wife of over 40 years have lived in Brentwood, Tennessee, since 1978. They enjoy spending time with their son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren in Ohio. The Happells are also happy to have their daughter and son-in-law nearby, who are successful small-business owners in Nashville. Both of Perry's children attended Williamson County Schools and graduated from Brentwood High School.

Perry enjoys all types of music, from rock to classical, and he played drums in several rock bands during high school and college. He is an avid New York Yankees fan, and he enjoys following our Tennessee Titans. He loves to read, particularly history and fiction.

Perry is very proud of his Scottish roots (his grandparents came to the U.S. from Scotland in 1908) and he is a member of the Murray Clan Society of North America and the Scottish Society of Middle Tennessee. When possible, he enjoys travelling to Scotland and visiting his relatives there.

Areas of Practice

  • Bankruptcy
  • Social Security Disability

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Law Specialist, American Board of Certification, 1993 - Present

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee, 1968
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Tennessee, 1971
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1982


  • University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, Tennessee
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 00/1968
  • Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
    • B.S., Bachelor of Science - 00/1965
    • Major: History
    • Major: Political Science


  • Producer, Basics of Bankruptcy (Video Program), Visual Concepts, Inc., Visual Concepts, Inc., 1987
  • Speaker, Bankruptcy Law and Debtor-Creditor Relations

Honors and Awards

  • One of the Top Ten Bankruptcy Attorneys in Tennessee, National Academy for Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • Mid-South Super Lawyer, Consumer Bankruptcy Law, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014
  • Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award, Nashville Bar Association
  • Martindale Hubbell Client Distinction Award 2015

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Member, 1986 to 2001
  • Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Middle Tennessee, Member, Board of Directors and Board Chairman 2000,Member, 1976 to 2002
  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, Member
  • National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees, Member
  • Nashville Bar Association, Member
  • Tennessee State Bar, Member
  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Former Trustee
  • Good Shepard Episcopal Church, Member, Present
  • National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives
  • Tennessee State Board of Accountancy, Former Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Tennessee Department of Revenue, Staff Attorney
  • Chancellor (Supreme Court Justice, Retired) Frank F. Drowota, III, Clerk
  • Denney, Lackey and Chernau, Associate
  • Tennessee State Board of Accountancy, Attorney Member

Pro Bono Activities

  • Alumni Board Member and Annual Fund Co-Chairman, University School of Nashville
  • Former Board Chairman, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Middle Tennessee


  • Phi Delta Phi

Great Case Results!

Our firm has obtained some amazing settlements and judgments on behalf of our clients.

$465,000 Settlement Auto Accident
$350,000 Settlement Premises Liability
$550,000 Settlement Contract Dispute
$350,000 Settlement Racial Discrimination