Christopher "Chris" W. Hayes

Businesses depend on Chris Hayes for advice and representation regarding toxic torts, environmental claims litigation, environmental due diligence, regulatory compliance, and environmental permitting associated with business expansion. Through the development of innovative strategies and the application of his knowledge on environmental issues, Chris helps businesses grow while remaining environmentally sensitive.

Chris' dedication, responsiveness, and creativity in finding new solutions and approaches solidify the relationships he has with clients. When science encounters the law, Chris has the technical skills to come up with unique approaches to client matters. His experience includes:

  • Assisting clients in preparing environmental indemnification agreements and performing environmental due diligence to facilitate the acquisition and disposal of real property and assets
  • Compliance counseling related to NEPA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, RCRA, and other environmental and safety statutes
  • Obtaining environmental permits from federal, state and local regulatory authorities for the construction and modification of public and private facilities
  • Advising clients on preparing corrective action plans, conducting remedial activities, and  managing natural resource damages (NRD) claims at National Priorities List (NPL) sites
  • Representing clients before administrative tribunals, boards of zoning appeals, states’ courts, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concerning an array of environmental issues
  • Representing clients’ interests in negotiations with states’ department of environmental protection and states’ attorney general concerning environmental matters 
  • Assisting in the drafting and approval of states’ environmental statutes, regulations, and policies, including the preparation of formal comments to proposed rules and legislation on behalf of industry and manufacturing clients

Having worked with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Tennessee Attorney General's Office, Chris has detailed insight into the federal, state, and local branches of the government. This insight betters Chris' ability to serve clients when negotiating matters involving regulatory issues


  • Associate counsel representing a company on state enforcement matters associated with land development
  • Associate counsel representing a company in the power industry for energy production and obtaining environmental permits
  • Associate counsel defending permits for manufacturing companies (multiple)
  • Associate counsel to a major auto manufacturer in permitting and waste management
  • Associate counsel for hospitals and health systems in the acquisition and sale of medical facilities
  • Associate counsel for all types of regulatory compliance for healthcare companies


  • Co-Chair, Nashville Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
  • Member, Tennessee Bar Association - Environmental Law Section
  • Member, Virginia State Bar - Environmental Law Section
  • Member, American Bar Association - Section of Environment, Energy and Resources
  • Member, American Bar Association - Health Law Section

Prior Affiliations

  • Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Conservation Section
  • Tennessee Attorney General's Office, Environmental Division
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, Environmental Law and Real Property Division


  • J.D., cum laude, Vermont Law School, 2008
  • M.S., University of Tennessee, Environmental and Natural Resource Law, Management and General Policy, 2005
    • Dean's List
    • Beta Beta Beta National Honors Society
  • B.S., Virginia Commonwealth University, Environmental Policy, 2001

Legal Services

Industries Served

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

Up Close

Chris enjoys the outdoors, has previously been an adventure guide, and volunteers for caving search and rescue. He also likes to canoe, hike, fish, camp, and restore classic automobiles.