William T. Cheek, III

With a well-earned reputation as the go-to attorney for alcoholic beverage law in the state of Tennessee, Will Cheek leads Waller’s alcoholic beverage law team. Hotels, restaurants, arts venues, night clubs, sports facilities and other retailers benefit from Will’s insight, experience and enthusiasm with licensing and regulatory compliance issues related to liquor, beer, dance, catering and special event licensing throughout Tennessee. Additionally, Will provides counsel to distilleries and breweries based in Tennessee as well as national spirit producers operating within the state.

Will represents clients before the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission and local beer boards in licensing matters, enforcement actions and administrative hearings. Working in concert with Waller’s Government Relations team, Will has extensive experience drafting state and local liquor legislation. Will also represents clients in state court actions challenging existing ordinances and statutes and regulations.

Will is also a trusted legal adviser to startup businesses and emerging companies in a wide range of industries. Serving as “on-call general counsel,” he has played a critical role in the growth and success of prominent companies ranging from Nashville-based Gigi’s Cupcakes, the largest cupcake chain in the country, to Kraft CPAs, one of Tennessee’s largest independent accounting firms.

Honors and Recognitions

Will is the only Tennessee attorney recognized by Best Lawyers in the category of Food and Beverage Law. He has also been honored in the Nashville Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” and the Nashville Post’s “In Charge” features. Will also authors the blog Last Call, covering Tennessee alcohol, restaurant and hospitality news.


  • Member, National Conference of State Liquor Administrators
  • Founding Member, Alliance of Alcohol Industry Attorneys and Consultants
  • Member and Frequent Programming Co-Chair, Lawyers Association for Women
  • Member, National Association of Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Attorneys
  • Advisory Board Member and Legal Counsel, National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals
  • Founding Angel Partner, The Entrepreneur Center
  • Co-founder, Belmont University Center for Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic
  • Member, Nashville, Tennessee and American Bar Associations
  • Member, ABA Administrative Law Section

Prior Affiliations

  • Partner, Bone McAllester Norton PLLC, Nashville, Tenn., 2006-2017
  • Judicial Clerk, to the Honorable Martha C. Daughtrey, Tennessee Supreme Court 


  • J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School, 1991
  • B.A., Columbia University, 1986

Legal Services

Industries Served

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Tennessee

Up Close

Will is married to one of Nashville’s most successful litigators, Kathryn Barnett. Will and Kathryn have two children, Christopher and Ella, and live in an historic home just off Music Row in Nashville. A self-described “foodie,” he enjoys sampling the city’s new and unique restaurants. He is also an avid music fan, having seen hundreds of live shows. These days, has fun introducing his young family to his passion for live and recorded music.