Interior of the Office of Kaplan Johnson Abate & Bird LLP

Earl (Chip) Hamm



Areas Of Practice

  • Mergers & Acquisitions

Chip concentrates his practice in the areas of real estate and corporate law, including property and business sale and acquisitions, development, start-up ventures, finance, and government relations. He has broad experience in business and real estate as a private practice attorney, in-house counsel, business owner, and equity investor in entrepreneurial ventures.

Chip was previously the National Real Estate Manager and Franchise Development Director at Yum! Brands Inc. and started his career as an attorney at the Woodward, Hobson & Fulton law firm. His clients benefit from his significant experience as an entrepreneur and ability to efficiently deliver legal and business advice.


  • Kentucky
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky


  • University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky
    • J.D. - 1999
  • University of Michigan
    • Masters of Public Policy - 1996
  • Duke University
    • B.A. - 1994
    • Major: Public Policy Studies

Honors And Awards

  • Business First Top 40 Under Forty
  • Leadership Louisville

Representative Clients

  • Represented developer of 950-unit housing development, including complex negotiations with university, local government, and neighboring businesses.
  • Advised a national bank in the design and adoption of an enterprise-wide, real estate and workplace optimization program with a targeted reduction in occupancy costs of approximately $20 million.
  • Structured and completed formation and capital raises for bourbon and spirits companies based in Kentucky, secured alcohol licensing, and negotiated management and branding agreements.
  • Negotiated multiple restaurant formations and capitalizations; negotiated acquisitions or leases on behalf of landlords and tenants.
  • Developed franchise system, including operating manuals and franchise disclosure documents, for multi-state service company.

Community Activities

  • International Council of Shopping Centers, Kentucky Government Relations Chair, 2010 to 2013
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana, Board of Directors, 2008 to 2013
  • Friends of the Louisville Free Public Library, President of the Board of Directors , 2001 to 2003