Two partners have left Dentons, saying they don’t need the platform of a global megafirm for their practices. Cristiane “Crissy” Wolfe, a corporate lawyer handling middle-market M&A deals, has joined local boutique Krevolin & Horst, while David Gordon, a bankruptcy lawyer specializing in distressed health care entities, has joined a national firm, Polsinelli.
Both joined their new firms as partners.
“We wish them well as they pursue a smaller platform for their practices,” Dentons said in a statement.
Wolfe said Krevolin & Horst was “uniquely positioned to serve the small- to mid-cap market space, especially in the Southeast.”
“That’s where I want to focus my practice,” she added. “That’s not Dentons’ focus. It’s a very large international law firm.”
She handles M&A deals for small to midsize companies and represents private equity funds in acquisitions and divestitures in transactions ranging from about $5 million to $250 million. She also handles contracts and general corporate matters for her clients, including, at times, corporate divorces.
Krevolin & Horst has a “collegial small-firm culture,” Wolfe said, and the firm wants to expand its corporate practice, so “it’s a unique opportunity to grow my practice.”
Wolfe declined to name clients without permission but said they are a mix of public and private companies in industries such as health care and aviation. Most are local but a few are national. “I’m trying to focus on the Southeastern regional market,” she said.
She is on the board of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society and the Atlanta Bar Association’s business and finance section.
Gordon, 37, said Polsinelli’s nationally known health care practice was a draw for him.
“The Polsinelli platform is a lot better for my practice,” he said. “They have an unbelievably robust health care platform.”
Gordon added that he needed a firm with a national footprint, since his health care-focused bankruptcy practice is national, but he didn’t need an international platform. “It’s of no benefit to my practice and Dentons is very focused on that—global growth. That’s not what I’m focused on,” he said.
He declined to name clients but said they include private equity firms, lenders and landlords, key financial interests involved in the health care industry.
Gordon initially handled general bankruptcy and restructuring matters when he joined predecessor firm McKenna in 2006 from Emory University Law School, but said he has gravitated toward health care since making partner three years ago.
“The U.S. health care system is incredibly complicated and broken. I find it very intellectually interesting,” Gordon said, adding that health care is one of the busiest areas for restructuring, along with retail and energy.
The most distressed areas are senior housing facilities and rural hospitals, he said, explaining that the long-term demographics are good for senior housing and health care, but that the cost of care continues to rise and Medicare reimbursements have not kept pace.
“I like the complexity of health care. If you find an area and like doing it—and you’re busy—that’s a recipe for success,” Gordon said.
Polsinelli’s growth both nationally and in Atlanta was also a draw, Gordon said, adding that he liked the idea of helping to build the local office. With his addition, Polsinelli’s Atlanta office has 27 lawyers, after launching in 2014.
Brian McEvoy, who became the Atlanta managing partner last fall, also advises health care clients within his government investigations practice. “Atlanta is at the heart of a dynamic health care region. We are proud to be able to continue to attract such great individuals,” he said in a statement.
Taylor English Duma is rapidly building the business consulting and government affairs arm that it launched in January, Taylor English Decisions, recruiting longtime state representative Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs) with government affairs advisers Trey Paris and Jonathan Crumly.
Ehrhart is joining Taylor English Decisions as CEO after serving for 30 years in the Georgia House of Representatives from Cobb County’s District 36.
Erhart announced his retirement from the Legislature earlier this year, and his wife, Ginny, is running for his seat. He has chaired the House Rules Committee and the House Appropriations subcommittee in charge of higher education. He’s also served as national chairman and a 15-year board member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Paris, who joined from General Electric, will lead the consultancy’s government affairs practice. At GE, Paris was U.S. manager of state government affairs and policy functions. Crumly, a lawyer, was formerly the general counsel of LakePoint Sporting Community and advises on government policies and regulations.
David Connell, formerly the CEO and president of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, joined in January to head Taylor English Decisions’ business consulting division. Daraka Satcher, a policy adviser, also joined in January. He was appointed to the board of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute at the same time, and worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce as deputy assistant secretary for legislative affairs from 2009-2011.
Smith Moore Leatherwood has added partners Michael Rosenthal and R. Scott Tobin with associate A. Binford “Bin” Minter to its corporate practice from Wagner, Johnston & Rosenthal, which has disbanded. They handle corporate law, particularly venture capital financing and franchising, as well as business litigation. Rosenthal advises franchise, professional and service industry companies, while Tobin focuses on privately held tech companies and investors. Tobin will divide his time between Atlanta and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Family lawyer Kevin Rubin has joined Marple Law Firm as a partner from Boyd Collar Nolen & Tuggle. David Marple started the firm last summer, after 17 years at Davis Matthews & Quigley.
Keats Quinalty has joined virtual firm FisherBroyles as a partner from Womble Bond Dickinson. Quinalty is a patent lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience handling patent applications, prosecution and counseling.
Daniel Grucza has joined Hunton Andrews Kurth’s environmental practice as counsel from Kazmarek Mowrey Cloud Laseter. He has also served as vice president and senior counsel for Walter Energy.
Drew Eckl & Farnham has added Kristen Johnson as an associate to its financial services and recovery practice. Johnson was previously assistant attorney general for Florida in the consumer protection division, handling deceptive and unfair trade practice claims.
Krevolin & Horst has added an associate, Josh McLaurin, to its litigation practice from Shamp Jordan Woodward. McLaurin is running for a newly open House seat in the Georgia Legislature for District 51, which includes Sandy Springs. Wendell Willard, who’s held the seat since 2001, announced he’s retiring at the end of his current term.
While still a law student at Yale University, McLaurin in 2014 made a summer project of videotaping how indigent defendants were treated in criminal proceedings and won at the Georgia Court of Appeals after a Walton trial court judge tried to bar him from recording.
Dentons has promoted Amanda Leech to partner, one of 36 new partner promotions globally. Leech has a transactional practice, advising public and private companies, including government contractors. She also advises boards of directors on corporate governance and compliance.
DLA Piper has promoted Jeremy Corcoran to partner, effective April 1, one of 62 partner promotions firmwide. Corcoran is a member of the firm’s corporate practice, advising private equity and venture capital funds in transactions.