Samuel M. Chambliss III, Partner

Telephone: (770) 434-0300
Facsimile: (770) 438-8834

Areas of Practice

Commercial Leasing
Development and Management
Real Estate Workouts
Commercial Lending



B.A., the University of Richmond, cum laude, 1980
J.D., the University of Memphis, 1985

Admitted to Practice



Sam concentrates in the areas of commercial leasing, commercial real estate workouts, development, acquisitions and sales, and commercial lending. He has been recognized by Georgia Trend Magazine as being one of the most effective real estate attorneys in Georgia.

Commercial Leasing. Sam prepares, evaluates and negotiates leases for office, retail and service/industrial facilities. The documentation process involves everything from leases in multi-tenant office buildings and shopping centers, to ground leases for build-to-suit facilities. In addition to his daily leasing practice, Sam has served as program chair and as a speaker/lecturer at numerous commercial leasing seminars. Much of Sam’s current leasing practice focuses on negotiating space contractions, rent reductions, subleases, lease workout agreements and early termination agreements between landlords and tenants trying to survive today’s economy.

Development and Management. Sam’s experience in development, acquisitions and sales involves a large variety of real estate projects, including shopping centers, office buildings, outlet centers, commercial and residential condominium projects, multi-use projects, and industrial facilities. His experience includes the preparation and negotiation of the documentation for acquisitions and dispositions, construction, development and expansions of real estate assets, as well as the negotiation of the loan documentation. He also drafts and negotiates management contracts, reciprocal easements, restrictions, covenants and other instruments.

Distressed Real Estate Workouts. Distressed real estate is unfortunately here to stay for awhile. In today’s economy, much of Sam’s practice focuses on negotiating real estate workout documents and handling commercial foreclosures of distressed properties. Sam represents loan portfolio purchasers, investors, lenders and borrowers in the process of working out problem loans and transferring distressed real estate assets. Sam’s workout practice includes the purchase of failed bank portfolios and the preparation and negotiation of deeds in lieu of foreclosures, forbearance agreements and repurchase option agreements. As reflected below, Sam also handles lease workouts on behalf of landlords and tenants. Sam also helped create a related company called Southeast Bank Advisors ( to assist banks facing regulatory concerns.

Commercial Lending. Sam has represented banks, financial institutions and insurance companies which extend loans secured by real estate, fixtures and other business assets. This commercial finance practice involves the drafting and negotiation of loan commitments, preclosing documents and loan securitization instruments, as well as the coordination of the loan closing process. In today’s economy, Sam’s lending practice focuses heavily on loan workouts, foreclosures and disposition of distressed properties.

Educational Background. Sam received his B.A., cum laude, from The University of Richmond in 1980, where he served as President of the English Honor Society, a member of the Judiciary Committee and a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He received his J.D. from the University of Memphis in 1985, where Sam served on the Law Review Editorial Board. He is a 1976 graduate of The McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Legal Experience. Previous experience includes practicing law with some of America’s largest law firms, namely Alston & Bird, LLP and McGuire Woods LLP.

Professional Affiliations. Sam is a member of the Georgia Bar Association and a member of The Real Estate Group of Atlanta (REGA). He also serves on the leadership team of the Atlanta Commercial Real Estate Prayer Breakfast.

Seminar and Speaking Experience. Sam frequently chairs and speaks at numerous legal seminars, including the following:

  • Speaker, Landlord-Tenant Law, ICLE Seminar, February 2013. Author: "Lease Guaranties: Make Them Worth More Than the Paper They're Written On."
  • Speaker, Landlord-Tentant Law, ICLE Seminar, December 2012. Author "Commercial Leasing 2013: We Survived the Attack but are Still Fighting Back!"
  • Co-Chair and Speaker, Understanding Commercial Real Estate Loan Workouts & Remedies in the New FDIC Era, Community Bankers Association of Georgia, July 2010. Author: “First Line of Defense: Prudent Loan Workouts and FDIC Policy”
  • Speaker, Who's On the Line? With Banks Living in Perilous Times, Do You Really Know Your Borrowers and Guarantors?, October 2010.
  • Speaker, Landlord Tenant Law, April 2009. Author: "Leasing Up in a Down Economy: You Can’t Always Get What You Want."
  • Co-Chair, Moderator and Speaker, Commercial Leasing for Business and Legal Professionals, January, 2005. Author: "Rental Abatement and Other Financial Opportunities: Be Creative!"
  • Co-Chair, Moderator and Speaker, Commercial Leases, CLE International Seminar, February 2004. Author: "Buyer Beware: Evaluating Lease Issues Before Purchasing Income-Producing Property."
  • Speaker, Commercial Leases: Practical Advice for Today’s Market, CLE International Seminar, February 2003. Author: "Expanding Onward and Upward: A Practical Guide for Navigating your Way Through Lease Expansion Opportunities."
  • Speaker, Commercial Leases: Remedies, Enforcement and Answers for the New Economy, CLE International Seminar, January 2002. Author: "Negotiating Effective Leasing Commission Agreements."
  • Speaker, Landlord-Tenant Law, ICLE Seminar, December 2001. Author: "Landlords, Don’t Let Your Usufructs Grow Up to be Leases."
  • Chair, Moderator and Speaker: Commercial Leasing 2001 for Business and Legal Professionals, September 2001. Author: "Brokerage Agreements: Breaking Down the Key Elements of a Leasing Commission Agreement."
  • Chair, Moderator and Speaker: Commercial Leasing 2000 for Business and Legal Professionals, May 2000. Author: "The Landlord is Not the Only One Calling the Shots: The Important Role of Lenders in Commercial Leases.

Personal Background. Sam and Elizabeth, his wife of 30 years, have five children ranging from age 15 to age 25. He is an active member of The Church of the Apostles in Atlanta where he serves as a Lay Eucharist Minister and an usher. Sam helped create a character-building curriculum at Whitefield Academy in Atlanta. He enjoys outdoor cooking, rafting, camping and other outdoor activities.