Gadson William Perry


Gadson William “Will” Perry is Chancellor of Part I of the Chancery Court for the Thirtieth Judicial District of Tennessee, appointed by Governor Bill Lee on June 11, 2021. In a news release issued by his office, the governor praised Perry as “highly qualified,” with valuable experience that he will use to “serve Tennessee with integrity.”

Before his appointment, Perry was a partner with Butler Snow LLP, a 400-lawyer law firm based in the southeastern United States, with international offices in London and Singapore.  There he specialized in complex commercial and appellate litigation for ten years, handling cases that involved contracts, federal and state constitutional rights, consumer protection law, real estate, and intellectual property. He also was a member of Butler Snow’s Associates Review Committee and served as Head of Recruiting for the firm’s Memphis office. 

Perry represented plaintiffs and defendants in more than a dozen states. He tried bench and jury trials in Tennessee and Mississippi, and he briefed and argued cases before state and federal courts of appeals. Perry is a former federal judicial law clerk for Judge Bernice Bouie Donald of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

In 2011, Perry graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he was a staff member of Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law and Chair of the Moot Court Executive Board. He earned Certificates of Academic Excellence—top course honors—in five courses, including legal writing and contract drafting, and served as a legal writing teaching assistant. Perry also won regional championships in moot court and mock trial. His National Moot Court team finished second in the nation, and he was awarded the McClung Medal and the Judge James M. Haynes Prize for his graduating class.

A former educator, Perry taught eighth grade English and reading at Memphis’s Sherwood Middle School for several years before law school. Perry also has taught legal writing as an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis School of Law, which named him its 2021 “Mentor of the Year.” He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wake Forest University.  

Perry has earned several professional distinctions, including “Best of the Bar” from the Memphis Business Journal and the A.A. Latting Award for Legal Excellence from the Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association. He has been named a “Mid-South Rising Star” in business litigation by Super Lawyers® six times and recognized as “Top 40 Under 40” by both the Memphis Business Journal and UT Knoxville. He is a member of the Leo Bearman, Sr., American Inn of Court.

Born and raised in Memphis, Perry is an alumnus of local, state, and national leadership programs, including Leadership Memphis, TBA Leadership Law, and the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. He currently serves on the governing boards of the Memphis and Tennessee Bar Associations, as well as on the Memphis Advisory Board of Facing History & Ourselves. Perry is the immediate past Chair of the Board of college-preparatory non-profit REACH Memphis. He is a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.

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140 Adams Avenue, Room 308
D'Army Bailey Courthouse
Memphis, TN 38103