Lesley Solomon, general counsel, CatchMark Timber Trust.

A longtime Alston & Bird lawyer has been named the top attorney at an Atlanta-based timber real estate investment trust.

CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc. announced that Lesley Solomon has been appointed to the newly-created position of general counsel and corporate secretary. She also will serve as an executive officer of CatchMark, according to the statement announcing her hire.

Solomon could not immediately be reached for comment. In the statement, CatchMark president and CEO Jerry Barag said he looks forward to “working closely and fruitfully with [Solomon] over many years.”

“As CatchMark expands and augments our nationwide operations, we will benefit from Lesley’s broad industry knowledge and in particular her familiarity with our business.”

While at Alston, which she joined as an associate right out of Georgetown Law School in 1998, Solomon specialized in working with REITs, including CatchMark, according to the news release. She also represented public and private companies, as well as investment banks, in equity and debt financings, it said. She made partner at Alston & Bird in 2006.

During that time, Solomon was part of a team that represented longtime firm client broadband communications provider Knology in its acquisition by WideOpenWest Finance, which is also known as WOW. She also co-represented two real-estate companies, Wells Timber Real Estate Investment Trust Inc. and NNN Healthcare/Office REIT Inc., on new securities sales, and co-advised Southside Bancshares, Inc. on its $36.5 million purchase of Fort Worth Bancshares, Inc.

Focused exclusively on timberland ownership and management, CatchMark began operations in 2007 and owns interests in more than 1.6 million acres of timberland in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Earlier this year, it agreed to acquire 1.1 million acres of prime East Texas timberland for about $1.4 billion in a joint venture with a consortium of institutional investors that Barag described as one of the largest transactions in the timberland sector in the last decade.