About Us

Nashville is a vibrant city. Hope-filled musicians arrive here daily, intent on making their dreams come true. That drive to make an impact, to do something meaningful, permeates everything in Nashville. There is something about this town that makes you want to do something amazing.

We know we aren't country music stars. But, as trademark lawyers, we believe that federally registering your trademark is essential to the long term success of your business. To us, that's as important as a platinum record.

The Trust Tree team works together in our office in a once-abandoned meat packing plant on the banks of the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville. We spend our days helping folks with their trademarks and visiting with friends and family. We reserve a good portion of each day to look for new ways to keep quality high and prices low while making the trademark registration process as convenient, simple, and fun as possible.

Trust Tree is a child of Nashville. We are laid back. We have fun. We are honest and fair. We talk straight. We are great at what we do, but we aren't fancy. Most importantly, we hope what we've put together is helpful to you.

Randy, Kevin, Bill and George

Our Management Team

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Randy Michels

With over 15 years of legal experience, Randy understands the unique challenges businesses face in protecting their brands with trademarks. He co-founded Trust Tree to address these challenges through the use of technology and an innovative, web-based platform. Randy is a proud “Double Dore” holding both a bachelor’s degree (A&S, ’98) and a law degree (JD, ’01) from Vanderbilt University. Randy is married to another Double Dore, and they are raising their kids to be the next generation of Vanderbilt super fans. He is on the Board of Directors for the Dr. Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation, and he serves on the Young Practitioner Committee of the International Trademark Association. Randy was named to Managing Intellectual Property magazine’s list of IP Stars the last 4 years.

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Kevin Hartley

Kevin is a serial entrepreneur and cereal connoisseur. Put differently, he loves starting businesses and eating cereal. As an entrepreneur, Kevin understands the unique challenges facing businesses and the importance of trademark protection. As an attorney, he uses that knowledge and his legal experience to help clients develop sound trademark strategies. Kevin serves on the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the International Trademark Association. Kevin is a proud volunteer, having graduated from the University of Tennessee, summa cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree, and the College of Law, magna cum laude, with a concentration in Advocacy and Dispute Resolution. Kevin is a former two-time All-American rugby player. Like most rugby players, he loves musicals. He currently is a board member for the Volunteer Rugby Foundation and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. He is a self-proclaimed Renaissance Man. His wife disagrees.

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Bill Ferrell

When Bill is not having fun with his wife and two little girls, he spends his time drinking bourbon and helping businesses improve their competitive position and profitability with trademarks. Originally from Kentucky, where bourbon comes from, he graduated with honors with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Speed Scientific School at the University of Louisville. In 2005, he graduated third in his class from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Brandeis Law Journal. At Trust Tree, Bill manages the firm’s bourbon collection and uses his engineering skills to streamline the firm’s internal processes to bring costs down for clients. Bill really likes bourbon.

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George Lifsey

Prior to joining Trust Tree, George spent over 7 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers where he worked with public and privately held companies in the professional services, technology, and other industries. George is a CPA. He earned a Master of Accountancy from Belmont University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee. He is responsible for all accounting, financial reporting and treasury functions at Trust Tree. He applies his knowledge and experience to streamline business processes to make Trust Tree more efficient, which allows Trust Tree to offer its clients a wide-range of cost-effective trademark services. Often described as the momma bear of the office, George is chef de cuisine at Trust Tree. When away from the office, he enjoys crying during Pixar movies, attending Nashville Predators games, and spending time outdoors.

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 Brady

Before joining Trust Tree, Brady spent over 7 years as a house cat. He is a pure bred Labrador Retriever.  He is Trust Tree’s Chief Playtime Officer. His primary responsibilities include fetching, snoozing, barking, and going through the trash or drinking from the toilet when (he thinks) no one is watching.  Brady hates not playing and loves warm hugs.

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Nelson

Nelson is an Australian Shepard mix from Chattanooga, where he spent 2-3 years acquiring life skills as a stray on the open road. He is Trust Tree’s Chief Snuggle Officer. His primary responsibilities include begging, chasing rabbits, snoozing, staring into people’s souls, listening to and understanding people’s problems, getting things stuck in his long hair, and looking cuddly. Nelson hates thunderstorms and loves naps.