Alston & Bird’s Duncan Douglass, Mary Gill, and Nola Vanhoy have been honored as “Georgia Trailblazers” by the Daily Report in its inaugural list of individuals it describes as true agents of change “who made significant marks on the practice, policy, and technological advancement of their practice.”
Douglass, a partner in Alston & Bird’s Financial Services & Products Group, was recognized for his leadership as head of the firm’s Payment Systems Team. Practicing at the intersection of payments and technology, the team is described by the Daily Report as representing companies that make up the FinTech industry, including banks, retailers, payment system operators, alternative payment systems, and others. Noted among the team’s successes was its role as counsel to Fleetcor Technologies in acquiring Toronto-based Cambridge Global Payments, representing The Clearing House in developing its first new U.S. core payments infrastructure in more than 40 years, and advising the Carlyle Group in buying Veritas Technologies from Symantec Corp. in a cash deal worth $7.4 billion – one of the five-largest M&A deals in the FinTech industry.
As a senior partner in Alston & Bird’s Securities Litigation Group, Gill was honored for paving the way as one of two women lawyers in the firm’s litigation department when she joined it in 1983. Now more than 35 years later, she has been practicing as a securities litigator in the group longer than any of her partners and leverages the knowledge and experience gained over those years to provide thoughtful and strategic counsel to clients in complex securities, financial, and transactions-related disputes. As noted by the Daily Report, Gill’s career has spanned two banking crises and numerous internal investigations, including several high-profile cases. In the 1990s, she represented directors and officers of troubled financial institutions and continued to do so during the recent financial crisis and was one of the leaders in the bankruptcy examination of Enron, the energy company that collapsed.
Vanhoy, Alston & Bird’s senior director of legal technology innovation, was honored by the Daily Report for her counsel and leadership in helping the firm identify and create opportunities to leverage technology for the benefit of Alston & Bird and its clients. A 20-year technology veteran of the legal industry, Vanhoy was highlighted for leading the firm’s collaboration with Georgia State University to use data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to enhance the practice of law and service to clients. As part of the firm’s partnership with Georgia State’s legal analytics lab, a joint venture of the university’s law and business schools, professors have taught analytics classes to Alston & Bird lawyers, who in turn have served as guest lecturers in graduate-level classes within Georgia State’s College of Law and Institute for Insight.
Douglass, Gill, and Vanhoy were among only 29 professionals honored by the Daily Report in its inaugural issue of “Georgia Trailblazers.”