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Alston & Bird


  • One Atlantic Center
  • 1201 West Peachtree Street
  • Atlanta
  • Georgia
  • USA
  • GA 30309
  • Tel:404 881 7000
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Managing Partner: Richard R Hays
  • Number of partners: 344
  • Number of other lawyers: 474 
  • INTERNATIONAL OFFICES The firm also has an office in Brussels.

Firm Overview:
Alston & Bird is a major US law firm with more than 800 attorneys offering services in virtually every practice area, from antitrust to wealth planning. For 15 consecutive years, Alston & Bird has been ranked on the ‘Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For’ list.

Main Areas of Practice:
Capital Markets/Mergers & Acquisitions:
The firm’s attorneys have extensive experience with complex mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, going-private transactions, joint ventures and similar transactions for clients in a broad range of industries, representing bidders, target companies, stockholders, boards of directors and financial advisors. Alston & Bird lawyers have been involved in all aspects of leveraged buyouts and distressed sales and can handle the acquisition and financing of public and nonpublic companies of any size. Global outsourcing is a strength of the firm as well.

Energy & Sustainability:
Alston & Bird provides energy industry clients with nationally recognized expertise in virtually every aspect of the law affecting the energy industry, from electric and natural gas regulation and project development and financing to carbon management, energy supply transactions and public policy.

Financial Services:
The firm’s banking, insurance, investment management, broker-dealer, mutual fund, payment systems and alternative investment vehicle clients are provided a wide range of corporate governance, merger and acquisition, regulatory, litigation, securities and structured finance services. The Payments Group has global experience in all sectors of the industry, including merchant acquiring, card issuing, mobile payments, ecommerce, card schemes and payment networks, gift cards, healthcare payments and B2B payments.

Global Finance:
Alston & Bird has one of the leading structured finance and securitization practices in the country. It represents many of the most active issuers, originators, master servicers, servicers, trustees, fund managers, investors, domestic and foreign financial institutions, rating agencies and insurers in a variety of debt financings. With team members in Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York, it puts its deep bench into play to lead transactions in virtually every asset class of the structured finance and securitization markets.

Alston & Bird is home to one of the most extensive, full-service healthcare practices in the United States, comprised of over 100 lawyers with demonstrated regulatory, public policy, transactional, government investigations and litigation expertise, including former health policy and enforcement experts from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration, the US Congress and the White House.

Intellectual Property:
Numbering more than 170 lawyers, Alston & Bird’s IP practice is one of the largest and most highly regarded in any general practice firm in the United States. The group provides a full range of intellectual property services, including patentability and prosecution, litigation, post grant review proceeding expertise and services, patent maintenance, counseling regarding infringement avoidance, and validity and infringement studies and opinions.

Legislative & Public Policy:
Alston & Bird’s legislative team is uniquely positioned to advise clients in a bipartisan, bicameral manner on public policy issues. The firm represents clients before Congress, the executive branch and regulatory agencies.

Alston & Bird’s 330 litigators have litigated in virtually every major industrialized jurisdiction, including those in Latin America, Europe and Asia. The firm’s litigation experience includes antitrust, bankruptcy, construction, environmental and land development, ERISA, international trade and regulatory, labor and employment, securities, products liability and class actions.

Real Estate Finance:
Alston & Bird’s more than 60-attorney, industryfocused real estate investment and finance practice provides the full range of capabilities needed to serve sophisticated clients. It handles massive multiproperty and multijurisdictional transactions, while maintaining specialized expertise focused on specific property types. In addition, with a leading real estate capital markets practice, the group is poised at the intersection of the industry, where assets meet capital.

With more than 80 tax lawyers, Alston & Bird has one of the largest and most acclaimed law firm tax practices in the United States, providing coverage in international, federal, state and local taxation; employee benefits; executive compensation; wealth planning; exempt organizations; and transfer pricing.

International Work: Alston & Bird’s multidisciplinary team has structured deals and handled disputes around the globe. The firm’s international practice has extensive experience in planning, structuring and implementing business deals in virtually every major commercial jurisdiction in the world. The firm can find and help select the best local counsel, as well as help determine the optimal structure, for business transactions abroad, whether it involves an acquisition, joint venture, licensing arrangement, technology transfer, manufacturing contract, distribution agreement or other arrangement. Clients: Aflac, Assurant Inc., Bank of America, The Boeing Company, Dell Inc., Delta Air Lines, Inc., The Dow Chemical Company, Genuine Parts Company, IMERYS, McKesson Corporation, Mohawk Industries, Inc., Nokia, The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Sabre, Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Toyota,


  • One Atlantic Center ,
  • Atlanta,
  • USA
  • Tel (404) 881-7000
  • Email : info@alston.com
  • 333 South Hope Street,
  • 16th Floor,
  • Los Angeles,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 90071-3004
  • Tel +1 213 576 1000
  • Fax +1 213 576 1100
  • Website : www.alston.com
  • 275 Middlefield Road, Suite 15,
  • Menlo Park,
  • California
  • USA
  • 94025-4004
  • Tel +1 650 838 2000
  • Fax +1 650 838 2001
  • The Atlantic Building,
  • 950 F Street NW,
  • Washington, DC,
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20004-1404
  • Tel +1 202 239 3300
  • Fax +1 202 239 3333
  • 90 Park Avenue,
  • 18th Floor,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • NY 10016-1387
  • Tel +1 212 210 9400
  • Fax +1 212 210 9444
  • Email : info@alston.com
  • Bank of America Plaza,
  • 101 South Tryon Street,
  • Suite 4000,
  • Charlotte,
  • North Carolina
  • USA
  • NC 28280-4000
  • Tel +1 704 444 1000
  • Fax +1 704 444 1111
  • Email : info@alston.com
  • 4721 Emperor Blvd,
  • Suite 400,
  • Durham,
  • North Carolina
  • USA
  • NC 27703-8580
  • Tel +1 919 862 2200
  • Fax +1 919 862 2260
  • Email : info@alston.com
  • 2828 N. Harwood Street,
  • Suite 1800,
  • Dallas,
  • Texas
  • USA
  • TX 75201
  • Tel +1 214 922 3400
  • Fax +1 214 922 3899

Construction - California

What the team is known for Advises clients at all stages of a construction project, and has particular expertise in negotiating and preparing contracts relating to any of the industry-wide project delivery methods. Also offers litigation services in construction disputes arising from a variety of projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Their knowledge of local agencies and contacts among qualified consultants when necessary have resulted in many issues being resolved at the lowest levels possible."

"The firm demonstrated in-depth knowledge and experience in construction-related disputes and practices.

Work highlights Produced front-end documents and the bid package for the Water Replenishment District of Southern California's expansion of the Vander Lans Water Treatment Facility.

Represented the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging in its claim against WWCOT regarding the negligent design of plumbing and HVAC. 

Notable practitioners  

Clients state that Christian Roux "really promotes and reflects well on us." He is cochair of the firm's construction and government contracts group. He is experienced in advising clients on various public and private projects, and has acted as defense and prosecution in substantial construction disputes. 

Significant clients DuPont, Steiny Electric, Imerys Filtration Minerals, Goldstein Planting Investments, Bolster.

Environment - California

What the team is known for Renowned environmental team with specialist focus across a range of areas including infrastructure, energy and green chemistry. Also provides clients with litigation services. 

What's new? Mark Johnson joined as partner from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP, bringing with him deep experience in environmental law.

Work highlights Advised and represented BP on a variety of environmental compliance and litigation matters including CERCLA disputes.

Acted as environmental counsel to Prudential Real Estate Investors in a series of matters throughout California.

Notable practitioners  

Market sources recognize Sharon Rubalcava as an expert in clean air matters, stating: "If you have an air problem then you go there." She is also experienced in water work related to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and NEPA.

Jocelyn Thompson has a broad-based environmental practice concerning CEQA and NEPA. She is comfortable advising clients on environmental permitting and matters involving clean air and clean water, coastal development, hazardous waste and endangered species protection. 

Ward Benshoof is a vastly experienced environmental litigator, with expertise in CERCLA, RCRA and CEQA matters."The theories and arguments he put forth were beyond reproach and got us further than we thought we could go with the matter," states a client.

Significant clients Southern California Edison, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, Water Replenishment District of Southern California, DIRECTV.

Since publication, Sharon Rubalcava has retired from this practice.

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation - District of Columbia

What the team is known for A respected team offering support across four distinct subspecialty groups: executive compensation, health and welfare plans, tax-qualified retirement and savings plans, and ERISA litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They can predict or tell you where things are going. They are preemptive and keep us compliant."

"A national presence and a good solid practice." 

Work highlights Assisted the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans on regulatory provision to ensure smooth transition in health coverage following implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  

Made significant progress for The Washington Post Company in obtaining a favorable determination letter on an extremely long-running retirement plan filing with the IRS, concerning assets worth $1.6 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Thomas Schendt retains his focus on qualified plan compliance, with an emphasis on appearances before agency bodies.  In addition to a strong IRS background he is regarded by clients as "terrific, top-notch" and "exceptional and always available."

Significant clients Louisiana-Pacific, Ingersoll-Rand, Hilton Worldwide, Nokia, Regions Financial.

Healthcare - District of Columbia

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Antitrust - Georgia

What the team is known for Continues to be a leading player in all forms of antitrust litigation and counseling, with an unmatched bench of top practitioners. Particularly active in large nationwide class action matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're willing to work in the way I want it done." 

"Alston & Bird has more antitrust lawyers than anyone."

Work highlights Acted for SunTrust Banks in its settlement with the proposed plaintiff class in the card interchange fee litigation.

Represented DIRECTV in defense of two putative class actions concerning NHL and MLB television distribution.

Notable practitioners  

Randall Allen is noted by sources as a "go-to" antitrust lawyer for big cases in the Atlanta area. His practice embraces a wide variety of complex litigation in addition to antitrust.

Adam Biegel is a junior partner making significant progress as an antitrust practitioner. He possesses "impressive knowledge" in the area and is also praised for his practicality and strategy.

Teresa Bonder is a "bright and energetic" antitrust lawyer who is "very practical in solving problems." She acted for SunTrust Banks achieving a settlement in the card interchange fee litigation.

Michael Kenny undertakes a wide variety of litigation matters, including antitrust. He has almost 30 years' trial and counseling experience.

Peter Kontio is a busy trial lawyer whose practice has an emphasis on antitrust work. He represented a telecommunications company in an antitrust suit relating to bulk text message processes.

Debra Bernstein is an up-and-coming litigator with a substantial antitrust aspect to her practice. Among her representations is for Interactive Communications International in an alleged price-fixing case.

Significant clients Dell, Nokia, Autoliv, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Delta Air Lines.

Banking & Finance - Georgia

What the team is known for Maintains an excellent track record representing clients from across the globe, on both the lender and borrower sides of debt capital markets transactions. Offers deep expertise in areas such as corporate trust and structured finance. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Great job - they're very responsive and have a quick turnaround when needed."

"They expertly handled every issue we had." 

Work highlights Acted for Wells Fargo, as administrative agent, on a $1.6 billion credit facility to SL Green Realty, a large REIT focused on ownership of office properties in New York City. 

Represented EVO Payments International in a $385 million credit facility, including a $233 million revolving credit facility and $152 million term loan facility. 

Notable practitioners  

Rick Blumen leads the department and has a strong reputation in this area, having acted for many of the largest US commercial banks. Sources comment that he is ''fantastic: our go-to lawyer for loans work.''

Paul Cushing is "knowledgeable, quick to grasp complex facts, pragmatic and efficient," and also wins praise for his "strong attention to detail." He specializes in REITs and other real estate companies financings. He is also adept at managing debt restructuring and workouts as well as syndicated, secured and acquisition financings. 

Richard Grice is described as "thorough, analytical and responsive." He is also praised for his ability to see and really understand the client's point of view.

Clients are very impressed with Mark Kanaly's knowledge and experience, and praise his "superb negotiation skills."

Significant clients Regions Bank, Invesco, Roark Capital, Graphic Packaging, Consolidated Container Company.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Georgia

What the team is known for Well-established Atlanta firm that represents secured lenders, including financial institutions acting as indenture trustees or special servicers. Also acts for debtors and frequently advises lenders on minimizing bankruptcy risk on the front end of transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have been excellent: very hands-on, very easy to work with and very good at dealing with regulators."

"Their strongest points are their depth of experience, and sound practical judgment."

Work highlights Advised liquidators based in the British Virgin Islands on liquidations of hedge funds holding more than $200 million, which were used as part of a Ponzi fraud.

Acted on the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy for Bank of America, US Bank and Dell, advising on derivatives transactions made with Lehman including issues around the termination of swap transactions.

Notable practitioners  

The "outstanding" Dennis Connolly is noted for his wealth of experience in bankruptcy matters and has recently represented directors and officers of several failed financial institutions in breach of fiduciary duty cases brought by Chapter 7 trustees.

Grant Stein represents debtors and secured lenders in loan workouts and bankruptcies. He is also noted by peers for his work as a mediator in bankruptcy cases.

John Weitnauer continues to be recognized for his expertise in complex bankruptcy litigation both in Georgia and out of state. 

Head of department Jason Watson acts on loan workouts for secured lenders including financial institutions. Clients say: "He's excellent. He's an excellent drafter, and very much a big-picture individual. He listens to what our needs are and tailors his response to them."

Significant clients International Hotels Group, T-Mobile Group USA, Anderson Media, Synovus Bank, Wilmington Trust.

Construction - Georgia

What the team is known for Focuses particularly focuses on infrastructure projects and disputes in the energy sector. Also acts for major real estate developers and REITs.

Work highlights Represented McDonald's in lawsuits against contractors arising out of its $1 billion restaurant renovation program.

Notable practitioners

"Terrific lawyer" John Spangler recently represented Skanska in a $7 million dispute relating to the renovation of a government office.

Peers praise William Hughes's "analytical ability and verbal style." He recently advised EDF Renewables on EPC contracts for three renewable energy projects.

Significant clients GenOn Energy, Carbo Ceramic, Columbia Property Trust, InterContinental Hotels Group, T-Mobile USA.

Corporate/M&A - Georgia

What the team is known for Maintains an excellent reputation in M&A and capital markets matters. Its team has significant expertise in private equity, healthcare and financial services. Also routinely sought after to advise clients within the manufacturing, telecommunications and technology spaces.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Efficient, and they deliver high-quality representation."

"Excellent client service - they understand our business and have a strong sense of the market."

What's new? New client wins include Platinum Equity and Ebix.

Work highlights Acted for The Home Depot in a public offering of $2 billion.

Represented Mohawk Industries, a global floor-covering manufacturer, in connection with its acquisition of the Marazzi Group, for an estimated $1.5 billion.

Notable practitioners

The excellent Hill Jeffries comes particularly recommended for his public securities work. He is also routinely sought after to advise on M&A and corporate governance matters.

Clients say Teri McMahon is an "excellent negotiator and brings real-world experience to transactions." She recently worked for Beecher Carlson Holdings in relation to the $360 million sale of a large insurance brokerage.

William Scott Ortwein is head of the corporate transactions group and is identified by enthusiastic clients as a "very responsive" attorney who "gives good-quality, strategic advice and understands our business." 

Randolph Moore has a highly regarded transactional practice, with sources particularly praising his financial institutions M&A expertise. One happy client states: "He has a lot of experience, knows how to get a deal done, and is a diligent and hard worker."

Associate Kyle Healy is a rising star in the practice and is winning plaudits for his fine strategic approach to matters.

Significant clients Equifax, MSouth Equity Partners, Global Payments, Genuine Parts Company, Sally Beauty Holdings, Turner Broadcasting System.

Energy & Natural Resources - Georgia

What the team is known for A key name for publicly owned utilities. Acts for large public power clients on a range of matters, with particular strength on transactional work. Also recommended for its work on behalf of clients before the Georgia Public Service Commission.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They have excellent technical skills and depth of experience."

What's new? New clients include Babcock & Brown Infrastructure Group, EDP Renewables North America and Redcurrent Energy.

Work highlights Advises Municipal Electricity Authority of Georgia on the development of new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle.

Acted for Public Gas Partners on the acquisition and financing of its $500 million gas supply pools, including the issuance of tax-exempt prepayment bonds.

Notable practitioners 

Della Wager Wells impresses clients with her fine analytical skills and "very strong knowledge and understanding of state law." In a recent highlight, she advised Main Street Natural Gas on an $832 million prepayment bond transaction, developing a new form of tax-exempt bond. 

Peter Floyd recently represented United Energy Trading before the Georgia Public Service Commission, in proceedings for the granting of a Natural Gas Marketer Certificate.

Significant clients Clarke-Mobile Counties Gas Direct, the Southeast Alabama Gas District, Dow Chemical, Edison Electric Institute.

Environment - Georgia

What the team is known for Acts on high-value litigation matters and enforcement actions. Also offers regulatory compliance and environmental transactional advice to major corporates. Offers particular expertise in energy sector matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A good team - they're very responsive, and have a good understanding of law and good knowledge with regard to regulation aspects."

Work highlights Advised MEAG Power on environmental permitting and regulatory issues associated with the multibillion-dollar development of additional nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, including securing a loan guarantee from the DOE.

Represented King America Finishing in mass litigation connected to the 2011 fish kill in the Ogeechee River, acting in 75 separate lawsuits and defending challenges to the client's operating permit.

Notable practitioners  

Douglas Arnold is "a very impressive environmental litigator. I was very impressed with his work and strategic vision in multiparty complex Superfund cases, and with the astute strategic input he provided," asserts one satisfied client. Arnold leads the firm's relationship with UPS as national environmental counsel.

Jonathan Wells acts on high-value litigation matters and also offers regulatory compliance advice to major clients. Clients say: "He's very involved with detail, which I like, and he's very open-minded in looking at different approaches. He also has good relationships and a good rapport with our regulators."

Senior statesman Lee DeHihns continues to advise clients on some of the most high-profile disputes in the state. One happy client says: "He's brilliant. He's got a memory that is beyond anything I've come into contact with."

Significant clients AMVAC Chemical, Cabot, Dow Chemical, Electrolux North America, Imerys North America.

Healthcare - Georgia

What the team is known for Established Atlanta firm with a longstanding focus on the healthcare sector. Provides transactional and regulatory advice to medical device providers, pharmaceutical companies and major health systems on high dollar value deals. Also advises for-profit and nonprofit health systems on regulatory compliance issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They do a very good job for us, they have a lot of inside knowledge and they have also done a very good job on our regulatory investigations. They handle matters in an efficient manner and have a lot of good contacts."

"They provide excellent competencies in all areas of law, particularly healthcare law. They're very practical and reasonable in terms of their approach." 

Work highlights Acted for medical supply distributor PSS World Medical in its $2.1 billion acquisition by pharmaceutical distributor McKesson.

Acted on large-scale corporate acquisitions by medical device company Getinge, including advice on tax, IP and antitrust issues.

Notable practitioners  

Donna Bergeson comes recommended for her regulatory advice to large health systems. Clients say: "She's excellent. She's very talented, thorough and an excellent writer. She offers creative legal approaches without overworking a file."

Peers have much praise for "very fine lawyer" Mitch Mitchelson's strong litigation style. He specializes in defending government investigations and False Claims Act cases.

The "talented" Michelle Williams advises on regulatory compliance for health systems, including Stark Law issues, and is also a fine choice of counsel for product liability work. 

Transactional lawyer Steven Pottle acts for medical device companies, health systems and healthcare service providers on large acquisitions. "He does a great job," a satisfied client reports.

William Jordan represents health system clients in the defense of government investigations. Clients say: "He does a very good job, is very good at client management and he sees issues from the point of view of the company. He helps deliver practical advice that's actionable, as opposed to theoretical."

Significant clients United HealthCare, Ardent Health Services, LHC Group, Emory Healthcare, Aurora Diagnostics.

Immigration - Georgia

What the team is known for Maintains a strong reputation within the legal community and draws particular praise for its advice on Department of Homeland Security workplace raids, corporate immigration policies for companies undergoing significant internal reorganization, and employment-related immigration training for human resources teams.

Notable practitioners  

Eileen Scofield has over 25 years' experience and handles a variety of corporate immigration matters, including Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) subpoenas, audits and investigations. She is highly praised by the market for her compliance work and her "creativity with the immigration process - she finds practical and efficient solutions."

Intellectual Property - Georgia

What the team is known for A full-service intellectual property firm, noted in particular for the strength of its litigators.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We use A&B for when we need complex legal advice, and for complicated trademark enforcement matters."

"A top firm!" 

Work highlights Obtained an exclusion order for Georgia-Pacific in a Section 337 complaint relating to patents covering the grounding of electronic paper towel dispensers in a case involving 18 US and international respondents.

Closed a patent infringement case dealing with vehicle tracking technologies on beneficial terms defending client UPS.

Notable practitioners  

Patrick Flinn is regarded by peers as "an excellent trial lawyer." He focuses on technology disputes, and has worked extensively on litigation for UPS.

Frank Smith is rated by peers as a very strong practitioner. His litigation practice primarily deals with patent and copyright issues.

Significant clients Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products, UPS, Mohawk Industries, Hilton Hotels, Simmons Bedding.

Labor & Employment - Georgia

What the team is known for Market-leading practice that provides a comprehensive labor and employment service including wage and hour, affirmative action and employment litigation. Stands out for advising clients on employment matters relating to corporate transactions and on dispute prevention strategies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Excellent performance in employment relations, labor disputes and EEOC discrimination claims."

"Top-quality work, incredibly responsive and wonderful client skills."

Work highlights Counsel to Euramax International in relation to interference claims that arose during a dispute with a former employee over a noncompete issue. The firm obtained a summary dismissal of all claims made against Euramax.

Reviewed Ochsner Health System's talent acquisition program to ensure conformity with the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, EEOC guidance and OFCCP.

Notable practitioners 

Steve Ensor is praised by sources and is widely recognized for his expertise in complex class and collective actions as well as traditional labor law.

Clients describe Lisa Cassilly's work as "brilliant, strategic and extremely effective," praising her responsiveness and knowledge and explaining that she always manages "to keep on top of the latest legal developments." She focuses on advising management on investigations, including qui tam cases.

Clare Draper is an experienced practitioner in the field and recently led for Ochsner Health System on a wide range of compliance matters.

Glenn Patton is noted for his experience advising management on a variety of contentious employment issues as well as labor issues. His expertise in litigation extends to complex class and collective actions.

Clients appreciate that Robert Riordan is "very strong legally and technically, with a good, practical, businesslike approach." He is currently acting for Prudential Financial in relation to a FLSA collective action that is worth several million dollars.

Charles Morgan draws effusive praise from observers. One reports that he is "very knowledgeable and responsive," and continues: "He tailors his advice to our business and is genuinely interested in our best interest." He is frequently involved in internal OSHA investigations and designing health and safety compliance programs.

Thomas Kilpatrick is a senior member of the group and one of the most established names in the market. Clients emphasize that he really "knows the business."

Significant clients UPS, Brasfield & Gorrie, Aflac Insurance, SunTrust Bank, Nokia.

Litigation - Georgia

What the team is known for Market-leading practice with excellent depth of resources and a fine track record acting for national and international clients in high-stakes commercial lawsuits. Experience in cases affecting a wide range of industry disputes, including product liability and financial services.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"I would give them the highest rating in terms of performance - they are outstanding."

"They are clearly a top-tier firm."

Work highlights Counsel to Toyota Motor Sales in multidistrict litigation involving over 200 class action claims from numerous states, Puerto Rico and 14 countries.

Acted for the former board of directors of AuthenTec in litigation concerning a $356 million merger agreement with Apple.

Notable practitioners  

Judson Graves is a revered products liability lawyer and also noted for his expertise in defamation and intellectual property litigation. As one commentator notes, he is "one of the finest trial lawyers in Atlanta - very experienced and a tremendous courtroom presence."

John Latham is described as a "wizard at corporate and board disputes." Recent highlights include acting for Dell as lead partner on all litigation advice relating to a leveraged buyout worth $24.8 billion.

Michael Brown routinely defends clients in criminal investigations led by the DOJ and other government agencies, as well as internal investigations on behalf of corporations and boards of directors.

Todd David is commended for his exceptional legal knowledge and experience in securities litigation. As one observer notes, "his strengths are judging the general feel of the courtroom and judges, and developing a strategic vision for the case." 

William Mitchelson devotes a significant portion of his practice to handling government investigations, internal corporate investigations and False Claims Act litigation. He is also a trusted corporate compliance adviser.

Cari Dawson continues to build a formidable reputation for her work on complex litigation matters. She is singled out by a source as a "genius at class action litigation law and strategy," and is often instructed by Fortune 500 companies to advise on their most important commercial disputes. 

Michael Kenny is a seasoned litigator who focuses on financial services and trade secrets disputes and is also noted for his corporate plaintiff and class action expertise.

Peter Kontio is recommended for his strengths in antitrust disputes and government investigations. Recent highlights include advising Syniverse Technologies on A2P SMS antitrust litigation.

Bernard Taylor has over three decades of trial experience defending Fortune 500 corporations on a range of litigation issues. He is considered "an awfully fine lawyer with a wonderful demeanor in the courtroom."

"Fine lawyer" James Grant is an accomplished trial and appellate attorney and is a fine choice of counsel for the most sophisticated of commercial disputes. 

Significant clients GenOn Energy, Nokia, Coca-Cola, Prestige Brands, McDonald’s, SunTrust Banks.

Real Estate - Georgia

What the team is known for Provides a high level of expertise on large real estate finance, refinance and joint venture transactions. Also acts on portfolio acquisition, disposition and management matters for real estate investor clients. Offers particular expertise on industrial warehouse deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I really couldn't ask for a better team to work with. They are all very knowledgeable, they respond quickly, and each and every one of them is pleasant to deal with and extremely efficient. They're quick to identify the salient issues and make appropriate recommendations."

"Fantastic - one of the best in the business. Their expertise in real estate and real estate financing is second to none. The balance that Alston provides that you don't often see is not just a very in-depth knowledge of markets and current trends but also the billing - they're very reasonably priced."

Work highlights Acted on the $183 million acquisition of the CNB Building in New York City by Paramount Group.

Acted on the $119.075 million acquisition by the Federal Realty Investment Trust of the East Bay Bridge shopping center in Oakland, California.

What's new? New clients include Swiss Re Financial Services, Prospect Capital and Cox Enterprises.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Rusche focuses on business tenancy matters. "He has one of the strongest, most astute legal minds that I have worked with in my career. Mark obviously has a thorough understanding of the law, but has a very strong real estate mind, understands the business well and is a deal-oriented attorney. He knows how to get the deal done," reports one highly enthusiastic client.

Head of department Allison Ryan acts on a range of transactional real estate matters for clients including Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Clients say she "has the ability to see the important issues in a deal and home in on them. She is a deal person; she finds a way to overcome obstacles. She knows how to protect the client and get the deal done."

James Farris is noted by peers for his transactional work and in a recent highlight acted for Industrial Developments International on acquisitions of notes and mortgages secured by industrial real estate as part of a joint venture.

Senior statesman Timothy Pakenham maintains an excellent reputation and continues to advise key clients on a broad range of real estate matters.

Significant clients Prudential Real Estate Investors, Bank of America, Assurant, RREEF, Lubert-Adler Real Estate Partners.

Tax - Georgia

What the team is known for Highly respected, diverse group equipped to serve domestic and international clients, including Fortune 100 companies, private foundations and hi-tech startups. Recognized for its expertise in handling a wide range of matters, with particular focus in areas such as federal income tax and issues relating to tax-exempt organizations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They've exceeded all expectations; they're good at long-term thinking and they typically understand what will affect the organization in the future." 

Work highlights Acted for Health Management Associates in two income and franchise tax assessments by the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

Acted for Copart in a $73 million sales tax assessment appeal concerning the sales of motor vehicles to non-US purchasers.

Notable practitioners  

Mary Benton is noted for her work in state and local tax disputes, and also represents major clients such as Equifax in multistate tax controversy issues. She is additionally recognized for her expertise in appellate matters.

Clark Calhoun has experience negotiating voluntary disclosure agreements in a number of jurisdictions. He is also noted for his significant work for clients on state and local tax and income and property tax matters.

Sources consider John Coalson to be "extraordinary in state and local tax," and "a dean of the state tax Bar." Alongside this, he is recognized for his work in unclaimed property law and issues relating to voluntary disclosures.

"Standout lawyer" Sam Kaywood is cochair of the firm's federal income and international tax group, and is particularly highly regarded in taxation matters relating to cross-border M&A and joint ventures.

State and local tax group chair Michael Petrik maintains an excellent reputation with regard to multistate tax planning and disputes for businesses. "He's impressive in his expertise and efforts to provide us with the best service," reports one satisfied client.

Benjamin White is recommended for his representation of tax-exempt organizations on both a domestic and international level. As one commentator observes, "he is strategic and a good problem solver, and he really spends time understanding the issues and their context."

"Great lawyer" Andy Immerman is highly adept in partnership tax issues, and is also recognized for his work on federal income tax planning for a range of clients.

Significant clients UPS, Delta Air Lines, Honda, InterContinental Hotels Group, Walmart.

Energy & Natural Resources - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include DC and Atlanta.

What the team is known for Well-respected electricity regulatory practice, active in a wide variety of matters including transmission, development, transactions and market design. Clients include regional transmission organizations (RTOs), private equity firms, municipalities, banks, transmission companies, IPPs and developers.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I keep giving more business to them because they do a great job between strategic advice and great regulatory work."

"They are excellent strategic advisers on really tough strategy questions. Outstanding researchers, very responsive, and they will do what it takes to get us a quick answer, or they will be thorough and give us something more substantive depending on what we want." 

Work highlights Acted for FirstEnergy in a number of FERC and appellate proceedings to challenge PJM cost allocation decisions.

Advised California ISO on the development of an expanded energy imbalance market.

Notable practitioners  

Kenneth Jaffe is an electricity regulatory lawyer and litigator with an excellent reputation in the market. An impressed client said: "He knows more about FERC than anybody else that I know; hands-down he is your FERC guy - if you need a FERC lawyer it should be him."

Sean Atkins is an electricity regulatory lawyer with a state and federal-level practice that encompasses matters such as transmission, markets and interconnection. He acted for National Grid in FERC proceedings challenging return on equity in relation to transmission assets in New York and New England. Sources describe him as "very knowledgeable and very pragmatic," and also reserve praise for his excellent client service and thoughtful approach to matters.

Significant clients EDF Renewable Energy, Riverstone Holdings, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, Topaz Power Group, Southern California Edison.  

ERISA Litigation - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Atlanta and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Offers notable strength in employer stock drop cases, with an impressive track record of successful outcomes in numerous cases all across the country. Adept at representing leading clients in major class action suits, as well as in individual claims and claims-related disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have a good knowledge base and expertise, and they get good results too." 

Work highlights Acted on behalf of Nokia in an ERISA class action, in which the plaintiffs alleged that the company had failed to meet its fiduciary duties in relation to investment options.

Reached a favorable settlement for Sterling Savings Bank in a putative class action filed by participants in its 401(k) plan, concerning an alleged breach of fiduciary duties.

Notable practitioners  

Douglas Hinson has impressed sources with his style and vast knowledge of the law. He acts as head of the firm's ERISA group, and offers extensive experience across the range of class actions, including in severance matters, defined benefit calculations and 401(k) claims.

Significant clients Dell, Lender Processing Services, URS, Prudential Financial, United Community Bank. 

Financial Services Regulation - Nationwide

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Government - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Provides a broad range of services, from assisting with global business strategy to advising on government ethics and compliance issues. Handles legislative and policy matters within the real estate, financial services and healthcare sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are responsive and knowledgeable, and have a great network."  

"They are very good at analyzing and understanding the impact of regulatory issues."

Work highlights Represented Experian before Congress, the Department of Commerce and FTC in relation to proposed legal and policy frameworks for a number of matters pertaining to e-commerce.

Acted for The National Retail Federation before Congress and other federal agencies on matters arising in connection with corporate tax reform, internet sales tax, privacy and cybersecurity.  

Notable practitioners  

Department head Robert Jones is recognized for his handling of legislative and regulatory matters, in which he has represented a range of high-profile clients. Observers note that he is "very professional and very articulate when speaking with members of government in elevated positions."

Significant clients Navistar, Rheem Manufacturing, Autoliv, Maritz, National Geographic.  

Healthcare - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Atlanta, Dallas, New York and Washington, DC. 

What the team is known for Maintains an excellent reputation in handling transactional matters including joint ventures, capital raising and M&A. Also possesses expertise and knowledge in FDA compliance issues and healthcare regulatory matters such as providing guidance on the Anti-Kickback and Stark statutes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They provide excellent competencies in all areas of law, but particularly healthcare law. They are also very practical and reasonable in terms of their approach."

Work highlights Acted for PSS World Medical in its $2.1 billion sale to McKesson.

Represented Tenet Healthcare in a False Claims Act dispute involving several of its hospitals.

Notable practitioners

Jennifer Butler and Mark Ray are key contacts at the firm.

Significant clients Getinge, Emory Healthcare, Pfizer, Celgene, American Clinical Laboratory Association.

International Trade - Nationwide

What the team is known for Practice encompasses a variety of import and export concerns, with a particular emphasis on complex customs matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Their advice is very practical. They do a really good job at cutting through the legalese and giving you good advice on how to structure your compliance programs."

"They are very flexible in terms of how you want to structure the engagement on a particular project and good at tailoring their product and services to the issue at hand."

Work highlights Advised the Russian government on US trade policy and lawmaking.

Notable practitioners  

Clients characterize Kenneth Weigel as "a high-quality provider," with "extensive" knowledge of his practice area and an "extremely responsive" approach to queries. He handles matters involving sanctions, export controls and customs.

Thomas Crocker has a strong reputation in the area of economic sanctions. He is particularly noted for his representation of financial institutions.

Jon Fee receives praise for his expertise in US customs law. Clients report that "he does a good job of merging business needs and legal constraints to offer a practical answer."

Significant clients Bayer, Delta Airlines, Gildan, Mohawk Industries, UPS.

Outsourcing - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Atlanta.

What the team is known for Advises on sophisticated outsourcing work in the USA and offshore. Experienced in acting on behalf of suppliers as well as customers on significantly high-value transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are extremely skilled in understanding and identifying risks, whether domestic or international, and they are very thorough in undertaking proper due diligence."

"Their expertise goes beyond the terms of the agreement - they are able to boil down and understand the process that needs to be performed."

Notable practitioners  

James Harvey is head of the firm's privacy and data security group and is described by clients as a "go-to" for complex outsourcing deals. He has led the team in representing global financial institutions in significant outsourcing transactions.

Notable practitioners Expedia, Inter-American Development Bank, Aflac, Electric Cities of Georgia, Graphic Packaging International.  

Privacy & Data Security - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Atlanta, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Accomplished practice with strength in a number of areas, including managing cyber intrusions, healthcare compliance and privacy litigation. Ability to draw on a substantial international network, with a particular focus on tackling privacy issues arising in the EU and Asia.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"When it comes to cybersecurity, they have a good number of people who have handled major intrusions."

"I think they are good and commercially minded." 

Work highlights Advised UPS as global privacy counsel in a number of different areas, including cross-border data protection compliance, the development of global privacy policies and negotiating contracts involving the use of data.

Assisted Walmart in responding to the theft from Vudu, a subsidiary of the supermarket giant, of hard drives containing customers' personal data.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Martino is the co-leader of the firmwide privacy and data security group and maintains an active practice representing multinational corporations in an array of privacy matters, with a particular emphasis on internet, telecommunications and technology issues.

Significant clients  The National Retail Federation, McDonald's, eBay, Global Payments, Maritz.

REITs - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Atlanta.

What the team is known for Respected for its advice to public nonlisted REITs and broker-dealers on novel securities matters. A frequent choice to advise a growing roster of public and private REITs on a range of transactions. Experienced in advising REITs involved in an array of asset classes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are very plugged in to what the regulators are doing." 

"They do a good job of keeping us informed and guiding us when we have questions. Everything they deliver is well done and timely."

Work highlights Acted for CatchMark Timber Trust on its IPO.

Advised Jones Lang LaSalle Income Property Trust on its $3 billion perpetual continuous public offering.

Represented Duke Realty in a $590 million common stock offering.

Notable practitioners  

Sources are quick to praise practice leader Rosemarie Thurston, describing her as "a dynamo - an incredibly articulate and well thought-of practitioner." She represented ARC Realty Finance Trust on its $2 billion IPO.

Jason Goode plays an important role in many of the firm's key nontraded REITs mandates. Clients say: "He's a pleasure to work with - smart, efficient and reasonable."

Significant clients Invesco Mortgage Capital, RREEF America Property Income Trust, NorthStar Healthcare Income, Steadfast Income REIT, ARC Realty Finance.  

Tax - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Atlanta, Charlotte and DC.

What the team is known for Large tax practice offering comprehensive coverage in relation to complex transactional matters, often with cross-border elements, including financings, M&A and transfer pricing. Clients range from emerging-growth companies to Fortune 100 companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have a competitive international tax practice and don't do just tangential tax matters. People come to them for tax specifically."

"They have long-term thinking and typically understand how issues will affect the organization in the future."

Work highlights Represented joint underwriters SunTrust in relation to the $690 million financing for Siris Capital Group's acquisition of TNS.

Advised American Honda Finance on public issuances of asset-backed notes totaling $4.69 billion.

Notable practitioners 

Henry Birnkrant heads the practice from the DC office.

Significant clients Jones Lang LaSalle, Duke Realty, RREEF, Invesco Mortgage Capital, Bank of America. 

Real Estate - New York

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Corporate/M&A - North Carolina

What the team is known for Respected handling of a range of corporate transactions and strong experience pertaining to a number of industry sectors including financial services, healthcare and real estate.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We choose Alston & Bird over the New York law firms to handle our largest and most difficult public and private deals."

Work highlights Acted for network services provider Lightower Fiber Networks on its $2 billion acquisition by Berkshire Partners.

Represented Italian catering equipment company ALI Group in its acquisition of ice machine company Scotsman Industries for $560 million.

Notable practitioners

Bryan Ives recently had a lead role advising Lightower Fiber Networks on its $2 billion acquisition by Berkshire Partners. Ives cochairs the firm's corporate transactions and securities group.

Mark Kelly heads the firmwide private equity group. He had a coordinating role on ALI Group's cross-border $560 million acquisition of Scotsman Industries. Sources note: "Mark is very commercial in his approach and provides great client service, especially when the chips are down and it really counts."

Significant clients The Carlyle Group, Pamlico Capital, The Gores Group, Ridgemont Capital, Securadyne Systems.

Intellectual Property - North Carolina

What the team is known for High-quality intellectual property practice with extensive expertise in patent prosecution. Handles work for clients from all industries, including trademark and trade secrets issues, and related litigation that arises in contentious situations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The Alston & Bird lawyers invest in understanding our products and marketing goals, and have been very involved in our product strategies."

"Good service and great advice. A great firm to work with."

Work highlights Acted as intellectual property counsel to Electrolux Home Products North America on its dishwasher business unit.

Advised convenience store company The Pantry on trademark portfolio matters, including clearance and registration.

Notable practitioners

Michael Connor co-heads the firm's intellectual property practice. He handles patent disputes and is praised by sources for his "great knowledge of patent law." He recently acted for Carolinas HealthCare System on the management of its intellectual property portfolio.

Guy Gosnell is heavily involved in patent prosecution relating to electrical and computer science products. He has been particularly involved in matters relating to patents for telecommunications devices.

Michael McCoy handles patent-related prosecution and litigation. He has taken a lead role advising Carolinas HealthCare System as outside intellectual property counsel, including handling aspects of patents, trademarks and trade secrets.

Murray Spruill is the key lawyer in the firm's Raleigh office, and advises on patent work related to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical areas. According to a source, "he just understands the biotechnology industry. It's one thing to file for patents, but I think he truly understands the science." 

Significant clients Britax Child Safety, InVue Security, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Honeywell International, Carolinas HealthCare System.