Jessica Corley, King & Spalding, Atlanta Jessica Corley, King & Spalding, Atlanta (Photo: John Disney/ALM)

King & Spalding has landed securities litigation partner Jessica Corley from its hometown rival a block down 14th Street, Alston & Bird.

It’s a rare partner move between Atlanta’s two largest firms. While just a short stroll apart in Midtown, both King & Spalding and Alston & Bird have been focusing their lateral recruitment efforts on larger legal markets in far-off locations, such as New York and California.

“[Corley’s] experience as lead counsel in securities litigation from California to New York, reputation in the market, and relationships with director and officer insurance carriers and brokers make us want her on our team,” said Andy Bayman, who heads King & Spalding’s trial and global disputes practice.

Corley, who is the immediate past head of the securities litigation group at Alston, represents companies and their directors and officers—primarily in shareholder suits, she said, but also in government investigations with a focus on the health care industry. She’d been at Alston since 2000, when she joined as a new associate.

“I’ve known the securities litigators at King & Spalding for several years and have always admired the firm’s reputation in the field and its high-performing attorneys,” Corley said, adding that the firm’s government investigations and transactional practices “dovetail with my securities practice.”

The firm’s large health care practice was also a draw, she said. Her clients have included hospital operator Quorum Health, health and fitness program-provider Tivity Health and American Addiction Centers, in securities litigation.

Corley also said King & Spalding’s new Chicago office and its securities litigation team in Texas are good for her practice. Since her cases typically involve public companies, Corley explained, being part of a firm with offices in cities like Houston and Chicago with a lot of public companies is attractive. The Chicago office is already up to seven lawyers, since King & Spalding recruited Zach Fardon, the former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, to launch it in October.


Veteran corporate lawyer Thomas Wardell has left Dentons, where he was a partner, to become senior counsel at Trusted Counsel (Ashley). He’s the eighth lawyer for the business law boutique, which handles corporate and intellectual property law. Wardell joined Dentons’ predecessor firm, McKenna Long & Aldridge, in 1994, where he went on to chair McKenna’s corporate department.

“Trusted Counsel is the niche firm that every company that is past liftoff—and can see its future—wants,” Wardell said in a statement. “I expect to add my skills and experience, especially from the operating side, to help make that happen. Additionally, I enjoy working with and mentoring young lawyers so I look forward to sharing my ‘battle scars’ with the team.”

Jimmy Faris has joined Decatur franchise law firm Caiola & Rose as a partner from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, where he was a senior associate. Faris is a trademark litigator and prosecutor who also handles advertising, copyright and unfair competition law. He is the first male lawyer to join the woman-owned boutique, which Annie Caiola and Elizabeth Rose left Slotkin & Caiola to start last fall.

George Reid and P. Keith Lichtman have started a mediation firm, Bridgewater Resolution Group, for high-net-worth families and closely held businesses. Both had their own solo firms previously. Lichtman also had served as Atlanta managing partner for Tampa-based litigation firm Mills Paskert Divers.

“Families and closely held businesses are especially vulnerable to highly emotional conflict, which often takes a toll on the health of the family or enterprise,” Reid said in a statement. Lichtman added that their aim is to help people settle disputes by “delving deeply into the real disconnects that separate family members and business partners.”

Rodney Moore has joined Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart as a shareholder. Moore had been the chief legal counsel for Shelby County Schools in Memphis and has served as general counsel of Atlanta Public Schools and the East Side Union High School District in San Jose, California.

Mike Rodgers has left Polsinelli, where he was a partner, to join DLA Piper as of counsel. Rodgers is a real estate lawyer, primarily representing developers.

Todd De Jong, formerly an e-discovery project manager at King & Spalding, has joined UnitedLex Corp. as a litigation manager. De Jong also has worked as an IT specialist for IBM, working on software development.

Mia Fiedler has left Eversheds Sutherland, where she was a senior attorney, to become a partner at virtual firm FisherBroyles. Fiedler is a patent attorney handling software, network and hardware technologies.

Wilson Elser has hired litigator W. Shawn Bingham as an associate from Cruser, Mitchell, Novitz, Sanchez, Gaston & Zimet. Wilson Elser opened an Atlanta office a year ago with six lawyers from Gordon & Rees and moved into permanent space in Buckhead in October.