Zumwalt Firm Embraces New Model

Jim Zumwalt

Entertainment law firm Zumwalt, Almon & Hayes, founded in 1975, is joining with Shackelford, Melton & McKinley creating the only law firm with offices in Nashville, Dallas and Austin. Beginning Jan. 1 the new group in Nashville will be named Shackelford, Zumwalt & Hayes.

The newly combined firm brings together over 45 lawyers with experience in business technology, media and entertainment law. Together they represent artists, songwriters, music publishers and record companies plus provide expertise in the film, television and book publishing industries. As part of the agreement Zumwalt partner Orville Almon will amicably depart to create his own firm, to be announced later.

“We’ve been thinking about creating a new model for a long time, and met with several different firms over the past few years,” said an excited Jim Zumwalt. “This was the first arrangement that really made sense. We’re focused on entertainment and technology and the Dallas, Austin corridor has a strong technology focus, too. Of course we remain committed to Nashville. John Shackelford and his team bring significant capabilities to our firm,” Zumwalt adds. “By combining our global entertainment expertise from Nashville with the business and technology capabilities in Dallas and Austin, I believe we’ve put together a group of legal talent that’s second to none.”

Zumwalt tells MusicRow, the Nashville office is planning to add about four attorneys plus support staff during 2011.

Jim Zumwalt and Craig Hayes and the lawyers at their firm represent some of the country’s leading entertainers, including Faith Hill, Creed, Aaron Neville, Lifehouse, Tanya Tucker and The Bar-Kays. The firm is most known for launching recording careers by advancing deals for such artists as Toby Keith, Paramore, Alter Bridge, Skillet, Shinedown, Saliva, Cage the Elephant, Brian McKnight, Take 6, The Neville Brothers, Jason & The Scorchers, The Kentucky HeadHunters, Jackyl, The Georgia Satellites, Jars of Clay, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Vertical Horizon, Kenny Wayne Shepherd  and Sonny Landreth. The firm also is known for having represented high-profile estates, including Otis Redding, James Brown, Sam Cooke, Kurt Cobain, Rich Mullins and Ben Keith.

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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