Three new partners with deep roots in the Atlanta legal community have joined Taylor English Duma: M. Travis DeHaven, John Mills and L. Craig Dowdy. Another new addition, Jonathan Yi, who joined as counsel, has practiced in Atlanta for a decade.
DeHaven, who handles employee benefits and executive compensation matters, joined from Jones Day, where he’d practiced for a decade. Before that, he was a partner at Troutman Sanders. “I am at Taylor English because the expense associated with my effort to provide outstanding services to my clients is aligned with my clients’ expectations and reality,” DeHaven said on the firm’s website.
Mills, a bankruptcy lawyer, joined from Seyfarth Shaw. He is a former chair of the Atlanta Bar Association’s bankruptcy section and serves on the advisory board of the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal. He’s received several awards for his pro bono work, including the Atlanta Bar’s inaugural Pro Bono Award for starting a program to provide counseling to pro se debtors, the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta’s Law Firm Attorney of the Year and Volunteer of the Year from the Los Angeles Free Clinic.
Dowdy, who came from Morris, Manning & Martin, has joined the litigation practice and will serve as director of utilities and regulated industries for Taylor English Decisions, the firm’s lobbying and consulting arm. Dowdy was senior vice president for external affairs, corporate communications and marketing at Spire Inc., a publicly traded natural gas utility based in St. Louis, before joining Morris Manning in 2017. He also spent more than 20 years as a partner at Atlanta-based McKenna Long & Aldridge, now part of Dentons.
Yi, who joined from Troutman Sanders, is a litigator focused on construction matters, including disputes, government contracts and regulatory issues.
Littler shareholder Shella Neba has moved to San Francisco to become global employment counsel for Slack. Launched in early 2014, Slack offers a communal texting application that facilitates communication for business teams. The tech company is also looking for a corporate and securities lawyer. “You should like being a lawyer!” the job notice says.
DLA Piper, which has been beefing up its food and beverage team nationally, has landed John Packman from The Coca-Cola Co., where he led the company’s global food law and advertising substantiation team. Packman spent 22 years in-house at Coke, where he advised corporate headquarters and global business units on food advertising laws and FDA regulations, to ensure the defensibility of labeling, advertising and marketing of the company’s products, including their health claims.
Litigator Mark Lefkow has joined Carlock, Copeland & Stair as a partner from Nall & Miller. Lefkow handles professional malpractice defense, real estate and business disputes, as well as product liability defense. He also handles transactional matters, such as drafting vendor and licensing agreements.
Another Carlock Copeland partner, Ty Wetzel, has joined the Social Security Administration as assistant regional counsel. Before joining Carlock Copeland in 2013, Wetzel served as a staff attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
FisherBroyles has added two partners, Beth Stephens and Thomas Walker. Stephens joined from consumer protection nonprofit Georgia Watch, where she was senior director of public policy and advocacy. She handles health care reimbursement disputes for self-funded employer healthcare plans, including ERISA, and for fiduciaries and plan participants. She also defends clients under consumer protection laws, including the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act and deceptive trade practice laws.
Walker, who has a bankruptcy and business litigation practice, joined after a decade at McGuireWoods, where he was a partner. Before that, he practiced at Troutman Sanders for almost a decade.
Litigation firm Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial has added a former federal prosecutor, Brooklyn Sawyers Belk, as of counsel and Nicole Bigman as an associate. Belk served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee. She also worked as a prosecutor in the Middle Districts of Tennessee and Florida and as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice. Her litigation interests include employment , health care, criminal and family law.
Bigman earned a law degree from Emory University last spring and she was a summer associate for Weinberg Wheeler last year.
Health care lawyer Susan Atkinson has rejoined Smith, Gambrell & Russell as counsel after running her own firm for 15 years. Atkinson had started out at Smith Gambrell before leaving in 1996 to become corporate counsel for Saint Joseph’s Health System.
Greg Hecht, a founding partner of Hecht Walker, has joined Henning Mediation and Arbitration Service as a mediator and arbitrator.
Richard North Jr., a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, has become a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was inducted at the group’s annual meeting in New Orleans.