Alston & Bird partner J. Vaughan Curtis has practiced corporate law in Atlanta for 28 years, but he doesn’t have a single local client.

Curtis said he’s proof that Atlanta firms have made serious inroads into the dominance that New York firms have held in mergers and acquisitions law. It used to be that if an Atlanta company was preparing for a big deal, the company would shun its local counsel for the prestige of a Manhattan law firm. Now, M&A practices at Atlanta firms routinely handle multibillion-dollar transactions.

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