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Penn Law News


Women Make Up Majority of 29 New Atlanta Partners Announced by 11 Firms

By: Meredith Hobbs

Firms also continued to promote a significant number of litigators to partner, according to an analysis of new partner announcements.


ATLANTA — The latest partner promotions in Atlanta show advances in gender diversity, while firms continue to promote heavily in their litigation departments.

The 11 firms most recently announcing new partner promotions—a mix of Am Law 200, litigation defense, plaintiffs and intellectual property firms—elected 29 Atlanta attorneys to partner.

In an encouraging sign toward increasing gender parity among firm partnerships, just over half, or 16 of the 29 new partners, are women. Alston & Bird led the pack, both in the number of Atlanta partner promotions and number of women, with six women elected to partner out of nine in Atlanta.

Other Atlanta-based firms announcing new partners included Smith, Gambrell & Russell; Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers; Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial; Penn Law Group; and Meunier Carlin & Curfman.

Baker & Hostetler;Holland & Knight; Jones Walker; Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein; and Burr & Forman also announced promotions.

As is typical, litigators made up the highest proportion of promotions, with 15. That was followed by seven promotions for corporate and transactional lawyers, including health care, employee benefits and finance practitioners. Real estate lawyers were next with five promotions, including practitioners focused on real estate investment, financing and litigation. Two patent prosecutors were also among the just-announced new partners.

These 11 firms’ new partner announcements follow earlier ones from King & Spalding,Morris Manning & Martin, Eversheds Sutherland, Bondurant Mixson & Elmore, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, Jones Day and Fisher Phillips that represent another 20 newly elected partners.

All partner promotions were effective Jan. 1.

Alston & Bird

Alston & Bird reported the most local promotions, with nine out of 20 firmwide for its Atlanta headquarters. Firmwide it elected a majority-female class, with 12 women. That held true in Atlanta as well, where women made up six out of nine new partners.

The lawyers elected to partner “exemplify our strengths across practices and industries, the scope and sophistication of our client work, and the diversity within our firm,” said the firm’s chairman, Richard Hays, in a statement.

Alston’s newly elected Atlanta partners are: Alexandra Barnett, an employment litigator; Amie Benedetto, who advises financial institutions and investors on private real estate investment vehicles, real estate investment trusts and securities law; Kristen Bromberek, who handles commercial litigation and international arbitration; and Ashley Gillihan, with an employee benefits and executive compensation practice.

Branson Lee advises real estate fund managers and developers on transactions and corporate governance while Alison LeVasseur handles M&A transactions for private equity firms, and public and private companies focusing on the aerospace, defense and tech sectors. Lindsey Magaro advises REITs, real estate funds and investors in fund formation and securities offerings. Adam Monich advises lenders and borrowers on a range of financings, especially for acquisitions in the health care, insurance and tech sectors. Amanda Waide is a litigator handling commercial disputes and international arbitrations.

Smith Gambrell

Smith Gambrell has elected Susan Atkinson and Matthew Moore to partner in Atlanta, out of six new partners firmwide. Atkinson is a health care lawyer advising on corporate, regulatory and compliance matters, while Moore represents lenders and developers in commercial real estate transactions. 

Swift Currie

Atlanta litigation defense firm Swift Currie has elected three new partners, Marcus Dean, Christy Maple and Robert Smith, giving the firm 68 partners out of 160 total lawyers. Dean represents clients in insurance coverage and tort disputes and serves on the firm’s hiring and diversity committee.

Maple represents insurers and claims management companies in insurance coverage and commercial litigation, with a focus on third-party liability insurance coverage matters, such as bad faith litigation. 

Smith practices workers’ compensation law, from investigations to settlement negotiations, trials and appeals.

Baker & Hostetler

Baker & Hostetler has promoted four partners in Atlanta, out of 22 firmwide. Jeffrey Baxter is a litigator representing financial institutions, health care institutions, insurance providers and other clients. Vimala Devassy advises health care clients on transactional, regulatory and compliance matters, with a focus on health care privacy and security. She co-chairs the firm’s health care tech team. 

Stephen Floyd handles commercial real estate transactions for clients including health care, retail and homebuilder companies. Theresa Weisenberger advises tech companies on intellectual property law. 

Holland & Knight

Holland & Knight elected three new partners in Atlanta out of 37 firmwide. Jake Evans, a member of the government practice, handles complex litigation, government and regulatory matters locally and nationally. Jessica Lynn MacAllister is a real estate law practitioner representing financial institutions and investment funds in financing transactions for multifamily, industrial, office, retail and health care projects. Allison Dyer is a public finance lawyer focused on multifamily housing, nonprofit hospitals, educational institutions and local governments. 

Weinberg Wheeler

Litigation firm Weinberg Wheeler has elected George Green and Anna Idelevich to partner in its Atlanta headquarters, out of six promotions firmwide. Green handles consumer, construction, medical malpractice and tort cases. Idelevich handles environmental and toxic tort, catastrophic injury, products and premises liability cases, including mass torts, and nursing home litigation.

Jones Walker

New Orleans-based Jones Walker has promoted two Atlanta lawyers, Bill Shaughnessy and William Underwood to partner, among eight firmwide. Shaughnessy has a litigation and construction law practice, advising on large infrastructure, energy and industrial projects, assisted living facilities and sports stadiums. Underwood also handles construction law, including high-stakes disputes, contracts, risk mitigation and project management. 

Parker Poe

Charlotte-based Parker Poe elected real estate litigator Elizabeth Story to partner in Atlanta, out of four partners firmwide. Story handles eminent domain proceedings and commercial real estate disputes for shopping center developers, commercial and mixed-use property owners. She is the president of the Georgia Associate of Women Lawyers.

Burr & Forman

Birmingham-based Burr & Forman has named litigator Michelle McClafferty a partner in Atlanta out of nine promotions firmwide. McClafferty handles products liability, personal injury and insurance coverage disputes. 

Penn Law Group

Plaintiffs firm Penn Law has elected Alexandra “Sachi” Cole to partner. Cole, who joined Penn Law in 2017 from Parks, Chesin & Walbert, handles products liability, medical malpractice, employment and childhood sexual abuse cases. The Daily Report named her one of its 40 under 40 “On the Rise” picks in 2020. Cole serves on the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association’s executive committee.

Meunier Carlin

Intellectual property boutique Meunier Carlin has promoted patent attorney Gibson Lanier to partner. Lanier prosecutes biotech and life sciences patents related to vaccines, immunological therapies and antibodies and advises clients on patent portfolios. He holds a Ph.D. in immunology and microbiology from Emory University.

Lanier’s “background and promotion come at a critical time for intellectual property related to eliminating the risk of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases,” said the firm’s managing partner, Meredith Struby, in an announcement. 




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