Deal lawyer Jeremy Silverman has left Dentons to become a partner at Alston & Bird, ending a 21-year run at a firm that evolved from Long Aldridge & Norman to McKenna Long & Aldridge in 2002 before finally becoming part of Dentons in 2015.
Dentons’ Atlanta office has seen several comings and goings this month, including three partners departing to start an Atlanta office for Squire Patton Boggs and trial lawyer Mark Trigg joining from Greenberg Traurig.
Silverman, who started at Alston & Bird on Monday, said he has a middle-market-focused M&A practice. He declined to name clients, but said he works on deals for private equity firms, public companies and family-owned or closely-held businesses. Many of the transactions involve aerospace and defense contractors that provide weapons systems or professional services to the government or health care companies, Silverman said.
In one reported deal, Silverman led a Dentons team that advised Trimont Real Estate Advisors, an Atlanta-based real estate financial services company, in its September 2015 acquisition by Varde Partners, a global alternative investment firm.
Silverman said he was attracted to the “collaborative culture” at Alston & Bird, which he said will be beneficial to his clients. He noted that he has known several of Alston’s deal lawyers since they were young associates practicing together at Long Aldridge.
Alston partner Rich Willis, who works out of the firm’s Brussels office for his payments practice, was Silverman’s on-campus interviewer at Michigan Law, he said, and helped recruit him to Long Aldridge, which he joined in 1997 after a summer associateship. A native of Flint, Michigan, Silverman said the warmer weather and the opportunities of the Atlanta legal market appealed to him.
Three other members of Alston’s transactional practice, Tony Balloon, Chris Baugher and Marc D’Annunzio, also are old friends from Long Aldridge, Silverman said. “I grew up practicing with them from the time I was a first-year associate,” he said.
Silverman said he was drawn to mergers and acquisitions work early on. “When people call you as their M&A lawyer, they’re usually excited to talk to you,” he said. “When my projects end, people are generally pretty happy.”
He likes the business adviser role of his job, as well. “It’s not strictly legal,” he said. “You learn about a lot of kinds of businesses and provide strategic advice. I really like that part.”
Silverman said the deals he works on are all over the country, including in California, Colorado and Washington for the defense contractors. “It’s pretty rare that I work on a deal with an Atlanta firm on the other side,” he said, adding that the law firms are often in Chicago or New York.
But most of his clients are U.S.-based, he said, making Alston’s national platform a good fit. The firm has nine U.S. offices, plus locations in Brussels and Beijing.
In the community, Silverman is the chairman of Autism Speaks Georgia and on the advisory boards for Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity.
David Meadows has joined Troutman Sanders as a partner in its business litigation practice from King & Spalding. Meadows handles securities class actions, shareholder derivative actions and other complex business disputes. He’s represented companies including Delta Air Lines, The Coca-Cola Co. and Home Depot.
“His addition further boosts our bench strength and makes strategic sense for our clients,” said Pete Robinson, the managing partner for Troutman’s Atlanta office, in a statement. Troutman has more than 180 lawyers handling complex, multidistrict litigation, according to the firm.
Nigam Acharya has joined Lewis Brisbois’ intellectual property practice as a partner from Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz. Acharya’s patent prosecution work focuses on clean tech, including recycling, material separations and water technologies, and he advises pharma clients on Hatch-Waxman matters. He also handles patent and trademark disputes.
Real estate lawyer John Taylor has joined Taylor English Duma as a partner from his own firm, Taylor Legal. He handles real estate transactions and litigation for clients including banks, life insurance companies, timberland investment management groups, developers and high-net-worth individuals. Taylor is on the board of Tapestry Development Group, a nonprofit low-income housing developer, and he plays trombone in the Atlanta Swing Orchestra.
Dan Silverboard has joined Smith Moore Leatherwood’s health care team as of counsel from Taylor English. Silverboard represents health care providers, including hospitals, doctors’ groups and pharmacies, advising on transactions and regulations. He is on the board of the Physician’s Care Clinic of DeKalb County.
Daniel Cole has joined plaintiffs boutique Parks, Chesin & Walbert as an associate from Duane Morris. Cole represents individuals in civil rights, employment, serious personal injury, and wrongful death cases, as well as business disputes.
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton has added William Sparkman as an associate to its IP practice from the Houston office of McGuireWoods. Sparkman, a patent lawyer focused on electronics and software, has drafted patent applications for clients relating to oil and gas technology, microelectronic circuit fabrication, consumer electronics and agricultural equipment.
James Bates Brannan Groover has added two associates. Callen Carrol, a 2017 graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law has joined the financial institutions group, and Caitlyn Clark, a 2017 graduate of Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law, has joined the litigation practice.
Elisa Smith Kodish of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough is the new board president of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, effective Feb. 1. Kodish, who succeeds Fulton County Magistrate Judge Lillian Caudle, first got involved with Atlanta Legal Aid in 2004, when Nelson Mullins loaned her to the group on a four-month fellowship to advocate for children with special educational needs. Since then, she’s served on the advisory board and board as directors, in the offices of secretary, treasurer and vice president.
“Particularly given some of the political headwinds facing organizations like Atlanta Legal Aid that rely on a mix of public and private funding for their operations, it is the Atlanta legal community’s commitment to such important work that inspires me to do my level best to contribute,” Kodish said in a statement.
Atlanta Legal Aid handles 20,000 cases each year through its roughly 75 staff attorneys and hundreds of volunteer lawyers.