Two Atlanta environmental boutiques, which each broke off from a large general practice firm, have merged.
Mowrey Meezan Coddington Cloud (M2C2), which spun off from Alston & Bird in 2010, and Kazmarek Geiger & Laseter, which broke away from McKenna Long & Aldridge in 2008, combined on June 1 to create Kazmarek Mowrey Cloud Laseter.
With 13 lawyers, KMCL is a bigger boutique, but still a boutique, said the partners.
The benefit of a smaller firm is that it can be nimble and flexible, with lower overhead and fewer conflicts, allowing it to take a wider range of cases, said E. A. "Skip" Kazmarek. "The disadvantage is that you don’t have the bench strength."
"This gives us greater depth for attracting new matters," said his new partner, Robert Mowrey. "I don’t know any [environmental] group in the Southeast with the depth that we have now."
Kazmarek said both firms handle a lot of state Superfund work, toxic tort litigation and transactional work. Each also has a couple of niche practices.
Kazmarek said his group does a lot of work for lenders and creditors in the commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market, handling environmental due diligence and remediation issues on distressed properties and loan portfolios. "We also do a fair amount of work for natural gas utilities that have their own environmental problems."
He said clients include LNR Properties, a CMBS servicer, and Balfour Beatty Communities, which develops privatized housing on military bases. The firm also is outside environmental counsel to AGL Resources, the parent company of Atlanta Gas Light Co.
Robert Mowrey said his group has a hazardous materials transportation practice, which handles regulatory and enforcement matters, and that both firms handle brownfield redevelopment projects.
M2C2′s clients include Walter Energy and Vulcan Materials Corp. in Birmingham, Ala. "We also do some work for Coca-Cola Inc., but I can’t say what," Mowrey said.
Kazmarek said the firm is representing the Southeastern Legal Foundation in a pending U.S. Supreme Court petition for certiorari challenging the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations.