McDermott hires from three firms to open Atlanta office

Seven-lawyer team assembled from DLA Piper, Kasowitz Benson Torres and Jones Day

The Atlanta office is McDermott's 13th in the US; the firm was attracted by its tally of Fortune 500 companies Shutterstock

McDermott Will & Emery has hired a team of seven lawyers from a trio of law firms to open an office in Atlanta.

Founding the office — the firm’s 13th in the US — are two partners and an associate from DLA Piper, a partner and two counsel from Kasowitz Benson Torres and a Jones Day partner.

It will be led by corporate partner Frank Layson, who joins from DLA Piper and who boasts Atlanta-headquartered Coca Cola as a client, having advised it on numerous deals. Also joining from DLA Piper as partners are fellow corporate specialists Sam Snider and Paul Puckett, who was an associate at his former firm.

The three lawyers joining from Kasowitz Benson Torres are all IP sepicalists: partner Jeffrey Toney and counsel Ralph Gaskins  and Jackie Toney with Jones Day cybersecurity and privacy partner Todd McClelland completing the team.

McDermott  chairman Ira Coleman said: "In times of uncertainty, our clients need critical and nuanced advice more than ever. The decisions taken today could very well impact performance for years to come. 

“Issues around privacy, transaction strategy and IP protection are particularly critical, which means our clients can immediately benefit from the specialised experience and creative problem-solving each of these lawyers bring to our firm."

Head of Strategy Michael Poulos added that the firm was attracted by Atlanta’s status as home to several Fortune 500 companies. They include Home Depot, UPS and Delta Air Lines, as well as Coca Cola.

Last year the firm opened in Wilmington and in 2018 it opened in San Francisco. Its international network extends across Europe, covering London, Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Munich and Milan.

In April, the firm bolstered its Miami office with the hire of a three-partner private client team, also from DLA Piper.

Other Am Law 100 firms to open US offices this year, include Willkie Farr & Gallagher, which unveiled its Chicago office last month, BakerHostetler, which has opened in San Francisco and Dallas, Shearman & Sterling (Dallas) and Perkins Coie (Austin)

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