Member Directory

Philip Lawson

True Guarnieri Ayer, LLP
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Philip Lawson
True Guarnieri Ayer, LLP

Philip Coleman Lawson was born in Pineville, Bell County, Kentucky, the son of two lawyers. He attended high school at The McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Thereafter, he attended Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.

While at Centre, he was a member of the Varsity Baseball and Golf Teams while being an active member of his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. After a summer internship, at the Washington, D.C. office of former United States Representative, A.B. ("Ben") Chandler, III, Philip decided to follow in his parent's footsteps and pursue a career as a lawyer. After graduating with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in History with a minor in Government, Philip enrolled at the University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law. While at UofL, Philip was an active member of the Moot Court Board and UofL's Kentucky Intrastate Mock Trial Team. Philip also clerked for mid-size firm in Louisville, Kentucky in the areas of state criminal defense, federal criminal defense, and insurance defense. Furthermore, during law school, Philip was honored to serve as a law clerk under former Chief Judge Hon. Sara W. Combs of the Kentucky Court of Appeals in Frankfort, Kentucky.

After law school, Philip moved to Frankfort, Kentucky with his wife, Whitney True Lawson, and became a Trial Attorney with the Department of Public Advocacy in the Frankfort, Kentucky office. As a Trial Attorney, Philip represented hundreds of clients in over a thousand cases ranging from minor traffic infractions and DUI's in District Court to serious felonies in Circuit Court. Philip also represented clients in Juvenile Court and Family Court.
After two years as a public defender, Philip joined a large statewide firm in Lexington, Kentucky where he continued to practice extensively in state law criminal defense. However, he also expanded his practice area to include insurance defense, where he represented insureds of numerous national insurance companies involving car wreck litigation, trucking litigation, slip and fall, products liability, construction defect, and many other types of claims. He worked alongside insureds and insurance adjusters during the course of numerous cases that took Philip as far east as Whitesburg, Kentucky and as west as Franklin, Kentucky. While representing these insureds, Philip obtained a first-hand understanding of how insurance adjusters view and evaluate claims.

Aside from state criminal defense and insurance defense, Philip further expanded his practice to federal criminal defense, personal injury, family law, and complex civil litigation such as real estate litigation, business litigation, and administrative litigation. Additionally, he represented numerous individuals and companies entangled in criminal investigations.
In 2017, Philip joined his wife, Whitney T. Lawson, and father-in-law, J. Guthrie True, at True Guarnieri Ayer, LLP in Frankfort, Kentucky. Philip continues to represent clients in state law criminal defense, federal criminal defense, personal injury, family law, and complex civil litigation in Frankfort, Kentucky and throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Outside of his law practice, Philip is an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Frankfort, Kentucky where he is a member of the Permanent Endowment Committee. He enjoys spending time with his wife and his two-year old son, playing golf and basketball, duck hunting, and following University of Kentucky athletics.

Areas of Practice

State Law Criminal Defense
Federal Criminal Defense
Personal Injury
Car Wreck Litigation
Trucking Litigation
Products Liability
Slip and Fall
Family Law
Real Estate Litigation
Administrative Litigation
Business and Corporate Litigation
Government Investigations

Bar Admissions

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky
U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit


Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
Centre College, Danville, Kentucky

Honors and Awards

Rising Star - Super Lawyers - General Litigation
Rising Star - Super Lawyers - Civil Litigation: Defense

Professional Associations and Memberships

Kentucky Bar Association, Member
Fayette County Bar Association, Member
Franklin County Bar Association, Member
Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member
Kentucky Justice Association, Member
Kentucky Defense Counsel, Member

Past Employment Positions

McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC, Associate
Department of Public Advocacy, Trial Attorney
Landrum & Shouse, L.L.P., Law Clerk
Kentucky Court of Appeals, Law Clerk

Pro Bono Activities

Lexington Humane Society, Past Member and Secretary of Executive Committee
Central Kentucky American Inn of Court, Member
First United Methodist Church, Frankfort, Kentucky - Member, Endowment Committee


English (Primary)


Sigma Alpha Epsilon

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