April 15, 2004

Alston & Bird Leads Georgia Law Firms in 2004 Chambers USA Rankings

Chambers and Partners publishers has recognized Alston & Bird and its attorneys among the best in Georgia in its 2004 Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

Alston & Bird ranks #1 in eight of the twelve practice areas included in the Georgia section of the guidebook, and forty-three Alston & Bird partners are recognized as leading practitioners in their areas of expertise.

Chambers researchers interviewed more than 4,500 clients and attorneys throughout the U.S. asking their opinion of lawyers and law firms with whom they’ve dealt. Comments that sum up the general opinion are quoted in the text, and the research is compiled into tables that rank the leading law firms and individuals. The qualities on which rankings are assessed include technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial awareness, diligence, commitment and other qualities most valued by clients.

ANTITRUST – tied for 1st

“The firm boasts highly developed expertise in the antitrust arena. Commentators acknowledge that with its national antitrust practice headquartered in Atlanta it is ‘a bigger firm overall, and that sets it apart.’ The firm also stands out in the state for its unmatched prowess in the healthcare sector.”

Leading Individuals: Kevin Grady, Randall Allen, Steve Harris

BANKING & FINANCE – tied for 1st

“With its ‘capacity to interchange lawyers of the highest caliber at will,’ this firm again tops the banking and finance league. Robust regulatory expertise is complimented on the lending side by what many consider to be a ‘particularly sophisticated’ general lending practice.”

Leading Individuals: Harvey Hill, Paul Cushing, Richard Grice,
John Douglas


“The consensus remained strong that this is ‘the most sophisticated insolvency practice in town.’ There was also agreement among interviewees that the team has the capacity to ‘try any case in almost any state.’

Leading Individuals: Neal Batson, Dennis Connolly, Grant Stein, Al Lafiandra,
Matthew Levin

CONSTRUCTION – tied for 3rd

“Sources noted the group’s practically-minded approach, with one observing that it is ‘sensitive to the common client objective to get projects completed efficiently and cost-effectively.’ Its national reputation in this [negotiating and drafting construction and design contracts] sector endorses the group’s instrumental involvement in negotiating contracts on many of the large projects in Atlanta.”

Leading Individuals: John Spangler, Bill Hughes

CORPORATE M&A – tied for 1st

"Market interviewees agree that this firm has a large, sophisticated and experienced corporate practice for clients of the caliber of Wachovia and AMVESCAP. The firm is deemed to have a progressive culture where ‘attorneys get along in a collegial fashion…with mutual respect for each other – and enjoy their work.’ One happy client affirmed: ‘No one has fared better for us than this firm.’

Leading Individuals: Sid Nurkin, Hill Jeffries, Vaughn Curtis, Nils Okeson

EMPLOYMENT – tied for 1st

“This firm was praised for its ‘progressive culture and strong employment practice.’ Clients value its attorneys as ‘excellent because they are knowledgeable, prompt and not shy to press on issues.’

Leading Individuals: Steve Ensor, Tom Kilpatrick


“A combination of ‘raw horsepower’ and the consistently high standards met by its ‘talented’ attorneys wins the firm a prominent position in the market. The true forte of the practice lies in its expertise at the municipal level.”

Leading Individuals: Pete Degnan, Della Wells

ENVIRONMENT – tied for 1st

"Its position as one of Atlanta’s two main ‘client magnets,’ combined with the presence of ‘high-quality specialist practitioners’ ensures the prominence of this environmental practice.”

Leading Individuals: Lee DeHihns, Jim Stokes, Nill Toulme


“Interviewees noted Alston & Bird as ‘a quality firm, doing creative, responsive and timely work.’ Sources commented on the ‘excellent firm culture’ in which work is led by a group rather than by individuals. The lawyers are all considered ‘top-flight, extremely bright and world-class in their respective fields.’ The team ‘connects with clients on a cultural level,’ and demonstrates a standard of client service that goes ‘way beyond the average law firm.’

Leading Individuals: Pat Flinn, Marty Elgison, Jeff Young, Robin McGrath

LITIGATION – tied for 1st

“With its ‘huge depth of resources’ and ‘complete stable of litigators,’ interviewees say this firm is the ‘preferred choice when a case goes the whole way.’ One client admitted: ‘When my company is on the line, this is the team to turn to for results.’ There was also praise from the market about the ‘relaxed working atmosphere’ at the practice, an environment where ‘the client often feels part of the team.’

Leading Individuals: Jud Graves, Oscar Persons, Peter Bassett, Mitch Mitchelson

REAL ESTATE – tied for 2nd

“This group enjoys a strong reputation among both peers and clients as a firm with a ‘depth of expertise and real estate sector knowledge.’ The firm culture, according to one client, is attractive to entrepreneurs with its creative approach, while other clients spoke of its ‘timely, precise and excellent advice.’

Leading Individuals: Mark Rusche, Bert Bender, Tim Pakenham, Lee Walker

TAX – tied for 1st

“Regarded by interviewees as the firm in Atlanta’ for state and local tax matters; moreover several clients said that they would seek it first for federal and international tax matters.”

Leading Individuals: John Coalson, Pinney Allen, Phillip Cook, Mike Petrik, Ben White
Media Contact
Nicholas Clarke
Senior Communications Manager
Phone: 212.210.1222
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