Wilson Elser has found a permanent home for its new Atlanta office, moving to One Atlanta Plaza at 950 E. Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead from nearby temporary space at Buckhead Tower.
The firm subleased 6,200 square feet of Class A space for the next three years from Cotiviti, a billing auditor for health insurance and retail companies—enough for its anticipated short-term growth, according to an announcement.
Wilson Elser, a 800-lawyer full-service litigation defense firm, planted a flag in Atlanta in March, recruiting a six-lawyer team of litigators from Gordon & Rees led by Jeffrey Melcher. He was joined by partner Parks Stone, of counsels Frank Ing-Jye Chao and Tawana Johnson, and associates Ellis Chen-Mei Liu and Jeffrey “J.P.” Putnam.
Melcher is the Southeastern regional managing partner for the office—Wilson Elser’s 31st U.S. office and its first in the Southeast outside of Florida.
The New York-based firm ranked No. 109 in the American Lawyer’s annual listing of the nation’s largest firms by revenue, reporting revenue of $303 million and average profit per partner of $430,000.
In the past year, several litigation defense firms have also jumped into the Atlanta market, a busy regional hub for insurance defense work, including Chicago-based Litchfield Cavo, Southeastern firm McAngus Goudelock & Courie and Los Angeles-based Wood Smith Henning & Berman.
Melcher said Buckhead is a convenient central location for the firm’s employees and clients. “It’s the easiest area of town for a national firm with people from other offices and clients coming in from out of town,” he said, adding that there is a MARTA stop in the building.
Wilson Elser plans to grow the office. Melcher said the firm has already hired two paralegals and will add an associate or two in the next month. He’s also been talking to some prospective lateral partners. “Things are moving along,” he said.
Wilson Elser’s chairman, Daniel McMahon, said in March that the Atlanta location builds on the firm’s presence in Florida, where it has offices in Miami, West Palm Beach and Orlando, and provides a foothold for expansion into the Southeast.
Wilson Elser’s real estate broker was Chris Tarzon of Savills Studley. Jones Lang LaSalle represented Cotiviti.