Attorney Kelly Frey is at Intersection of Law, Tech, and Film

Posted on May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016

Attorney Kelly Frey Blends Law, Technology, Film in Distinguished Career

Attorney Kelly Frey, also known as “Tech JD,” “The Film Guy,” a prolific writer and fierce advocate for Music City’s film industry, grew up on a dairy farm that is now part of a subdivision in Hermitage.

Practice of law was not Plan A. He attended Nashville Public Schools, earned his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and then a master’s degree in pathology from Vandy’s School of Medicine. He had always loved science and technology – while his teenage peers mowed lawns, Kelly programmed mainframes.

But he realized a successful career as a research pathologist meant a lot of time alone, or with very few people, in a laboratory. Very much a people person, Kelly decided such a path was not his style. He added a JD from the University of Tennessee.

Kelly, a partner in Frost Brown Todd since June 2014, has crafted a career that blends multiple passions – technology, film, arts, culture, and law. His work is where those broad disciplines intersect.

“I love practicing law,” Kelly says.

SaaS Frey

Kelly Frey on Tech

Attorney Kelly Frey is a prolific author and avid Nashville film industry advocate.

And he does a great deal of it. A short list: intellectual property; corporate transactions and compliance; technology contracts, outsourcing, SaaS or cloud-based services; computer software development and licensing; technology acquisition; and data security, including cyber-security, information and data privacy, and process control to mitigate risks of hacking.

In the technology sector, Kelly is one of less than 10 attorneys in private practice to be named a Fellow in the World Technology Network – a distinction voted on by more than 1,000 internationally recognized experts and futurists who are current Fellows. He has written “the book” on technology law – “Frey on Technology Transactions” plus dozens of other books and articles on licensing agreements, intellectual property matters, technology licensing, cyber-security, information privacy and security, and entertainment law.

On the film side, he consults with and represents indie film production companies, created corporate structures for investment, obtained state film incentives, negotiated production contracts/licenses, and helped with distribution release. He is passionate about films and represents several indie film production and media companies.

It helps that Kelly knows the film industry from the business as well as creative sides. As a youngster, he loved foreign film and was a regular at the Belcourt – which at the time was Nashville’s “art house” cinema. He’s written award-winning scripts and been executive producer/producer/associate producer for feature film projects.

He’s a board member Nashville Film Festival and a former president and is on the Board of Governors of the historic Franklin Theatre.

He joined Nashville City Club the first time in the 1980s – when the club had a separate dining room for women. Not shy about issues he believes in, Kelly ate in the women’s dining room. Exclusively.

After leaving Nashville for work and returning, he rejoined. He checked out the Club again and was delighted with its evolution.

“In addition to beneficial addition of ladies, there are a lot more young people,” he says. “Like the city, the Club has changed so it is no longer just old Nashville and old Nashville money.”

He credits Managing Director Chris Weinberg and the staff for consistently going “above and beyond to make everything absolutely perfect.”

Once, Kelly scheduled drinks with a prospective client after work on a Monday but forgot the Club closes early on Mondays. Sean Tilson, the club’s new Members Relations Manager, made them comfortable, poured some wine and asked if they needed anything else, turning a potentially embarrassing moment into a successful business meeting.

Nashville is this busy attorney, author and film advocate’s home and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I have traveled over the world and Nashville has an atmosphere and a vibe that is incomparable, determined by its citizens more than its topography,” Kelly says. “As long as we can keep creative talent here in Nashville, that will always be the case.”

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