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While Werner & Kennedy’s partners are bailing for bigger firms, lawyers in Georgia are running in the opposite direction. Three former partners at the 15-lawyer Varner, Stephens, Humphries & White said they left their old firm after it announced plans to merge with Kentucky-based Stites & Harbison, a move that will increase the size of the firm by tenfold. “A lot of my clients are entrepreneurial clients and they look at [the merger] and say, “What’s in it for us?” said Brendan J. McCarthy. Apparently, clients were concerned that more lawyers would mean less accessibility to their counsel, higher overhead and bigger bills. McCarthy and partners Herbert H. Gray III and S. Wade Malone left with most of their clients.

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