In a positive sign for the region’s legal market, three big Atlanta-based firms—King & Spalding, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton and Morris, Manning & Martin—have announced their largest classes of new partners in recent years, with a sizable number of the promotions concentrated in their Atlanta headquarters.
King & Spalding
King & Spalding promoted 30 lawyers to partner firmwide, and 13 of the new partners are in Atlanta. That’s a notable increase in both class size, which is up from 17 last year, and the Atlanta contingent, increased from seven last year.
“The firm’s commitment to organic growth and to providing our next generation the necessary resources and opportunities led to this class of accomplished new partners,” said King & Spalding Chairman Robert Hays.
Eleven of the 13 new Atlanta partners are litigators, with five focused on products liability defense.
Elizabeth Adler has a data security response and defense litigation practice. Robert Beard advises investment funds and real estate investors on tax issues. Philip Green represents corporations in high-stakes product liability actions.
Stephanie Johnson defends health care clients in government enforcement actions and advises clients on compliance and regulatory matters. Rose Jones serves as lead e-discovery counsel in complex litigation for global clients. Jason Keehfus defends individual and class action product liability lawsuits, with particular expertise in tobacco litigation. Madison Kitchens also defends product manufacturers in class action and mass tort claims.
Kathryn Lehman defends consumer products companies against individual and class action product liability claims, focusing on high-risk trials. Valentin “Val” Leppert handles appeals in high-stakes product liability litigation and works with trial lawyers on litigation strategy. Emily Newton focuses on antitrust matters and class actions across industries.
John Toro litigates commercial disputes, including contract and business tort cases, consumer class actions, insurance recovery suits and corporate governance disputes. John Tucker advises clients on e-discovery issues and manages the firm’s Discovery Center, which has 150 full-time members. Chadwick Werner represents financial institutions, other lenders and corporate borrowers in complex financing transactions, including M&A, investment-grade syndicated credit facilities, asset-based lending and subordinated debt transactions.
King & Spalding also promoted 11 lawyers to counsel, with four in Atlanta: Jonathan Jordan (bankruptcy), Jennifer Lewin (health care litigation and investigations), Nathan Mihalik (corporate and M&A) and Catherine Stern (health care regulatory).
Morris, Manning & Martin
In its largest new partner class ever, Morris Manning promoted eight lawyers to partner, all but one in Atlanta. That’s double the size of last year’s class of four new partners, all of whom were in Atlanta.
“We are proud that we have so many qualified candidates,” said the firm’s managing partner, Louise Wells, who retires at the end of the year.
Simon Malko, who takes the reins as Morris Manning’s leader in January, said the firm will continue its push for “strategic growth” next year.
“The firm has hired roughly 50 attorneys this year, including five partners we actively recruited from other firms,” Malko said. “The election of these eight new partners means we have added 13 new partners this year alone, which is in line with our strategic plan.”
Meredith Caiafa handles employment, employee benefits and litigation. Larkin Ellzey has a corporate practice. Eric Larson practices commercial litigation. Brett Lavoie handles commercial real estate development and finance.
Austin Mills advises clients on corporate technology, including blockchain and cryptocurrency. Stephen Vaughn is a commercial and intellectual property litigator. Scott Wagner advises clients on employment, employee benefits and tax matters.
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton
Kilpatrick promoted 15 lawyers to partner, including four in Atlanta. That’s up from 12 new partners last year, again with four in Atlanta.
Jennifer Deal is an intellectual property litigator, including trademark and false advertising matters. She also handles licensing agreements and internet disputes. Michael Morlock is a patent litigator in areas including mobile devices, electronics, software and aerospace.
Hillary Rightler is a white collar defense litigator, handling internal, criminal and SEC investigations. James Trigg advises on trademark and copyright matters, including litigation, licensing and registration.