Nina Hickson, Atlanta city attorney (Courtesy photo) Nina Hickson, Atlanta city attorney (Courtesy photo)

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has officially named a new top lawyer. After serving as interim city attorney since May, Nina Hickson has been named to the position on a permanent basis, the mayor announced Thursday.

Hickson, who had been serving as the top lawyer at the Atlanta Beltline since 2016, succeeds Jeremy Berry, who resigned in April as part of a mayoral cabinet shake-up.

“Nina Hickson has a well-earned reputation as an extraordinary attorney and outstanding public servant,” Bottoms said in the announcement of the move. “Her expertise and commitment to ethics and transparency will help the City of Atlanta navigate through critical issues and her counsel has already been of great value to this Administration.”

Hickson comes to the department when the city is facing scrutiny over the legal bills it recently has amassed. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on June 28 that the city has spent more than $5.8 million over the past two years for legal fees associated with its response to a federal corruption probe into former Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration.

Prior to becoming vice president and GC for the Beltline, Hickson served as Atlanta’s ethics officer for four years, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Previously, she served as the city attorney for East Point for nearly seven years and had a brief stint as East Point’s interim city manager. She also was chief assistant public defender at the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council.

Hickson also has private sector experience. During the 1990s, she was associate GC and vice president at Primerica Financial Services and before that was vice president of human resources, general counsel and corporate secretary at Atlanta Life Insurance Co.

Hickson earned her degree from Emory University School of Law.