John Koenig of Barnes & Thornburg in Atlanta. (Courtesy photo)

Barnes & Thornburg has elected John Koenig as the new managing partner of its Atlanta office.

He succeeds Stuart Johnson, who joined the Indianapolis-based firm from Powell Goldstein in 2009 to open the Atlanta office, shortly after that firm’s acquisition by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

Koenig said his goal is to “continue growing the office and increase diversity as well.” In addition to adding bench strength in Barnes & Thornburg’s main practice areas—corporate, commercial litigation, intellectual property and labor and employment—Koenig said, the firm is interested in adding real estate, environmental, health care, ERISA and tax talent locally.

Koenig, who practices labor and employment law, has been with Barnes & Thornburg for 16 years and relocated with his family from its Indianapolis headquarters to Atlanta soon after the new office launched. His national practice advising management focuses on traditional labor matters, such as collective bargaining, labor arbitration and NLRB cases. Atlanta has been a good home base for that, he said, because the airport gives him ready access to clients all over the country.

One distinguishing factor for Barnes & Thornburg in the crowded Atlanta legal market, Koenig said, “is we’re a working attorney law firm. In my opinion, we have a real entrepreneurial spirit and we emphasize direct partner involvement on matters.”

“We have sophisticated practices, but we are prudent with our dollars—maybe it’s the Midwestern roots—so we can really deliver value to clients,” Koenig added.

After almost a decade as the Atlanta managing partner, Johnson, who has a corporate and transactional practice advising middle-market clients, will return to practicing law full-time.

“We appreciate Stuart’s numerous contributions over the years, starting with our first foray into the Southeast and culminating with the full-service office we now have in one of the premier business and transportation hubs in the world,” said Barnes & Thornburg’s managing partner, Bob Grand, in a statement.

Johnson and Jason Bernstein made the move from Bryan Cave in April 2009 to launch the Barnes & Thornburg office, which has since grown to 23 lawyers. Bernstein, an intellectual property partner, now co-chairs the firm’s data security and privacy group.

“With Stuart at the helm, the office has been one of the fastest-growing law firm offices in Atlanta, and we are excited about the continued momentum,” Grand said.

The roughly 600-lawyer firm has continued to grow nationally. It opened a San Diego office—its 14th—in March.

Last year, the firm’s revenue increased nearly 7 percent to $395.5 million, placing it at No. 90 on The American Lawyer’s Am Law 100 list. Profits per equity partner also increased almost 7 percent to $905,000, while revenue per lawyer grew 7.5 percent to $747,000.

Barnes & Thornburg’s Atlanta office is located in the Prominence Building in Buckhead at 3475 Piedmont Road N.E.