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Memphis Powerhouse Ups Atlanta Ante

Posted Jul 17, 2007 7:48 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A 500-lawyer Memphis, Tenn., firm is adding a 36-lawyer Atlanta firm to its roster, expanding its existing 14-attorney intellectual property and patent focused practice there.

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz will broaden its depth in Atlanta by combining with Gambrell & Stolz, in a merger of two firms with strong political ties, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Baker Donelson was founded by the grandfather of Howard Baker, a Republican former U.S. senator and majority leader who became almost a household name during the Watergate hearings related to President Richard M. Nixon's administration. And Gambrell & Stolz was established more than 40 years ago by David Gambrell, a U.S. senator from Georgia in the early 1970s.

"It was an easy decision for us," says Linda Klein, 47, managing partner of Gambrell & Stolz. "It was a strong cultural fit."

Klein, the first woman to serve as president of the State Bar of Georgia, will now be co-managing shareholder of the combined firms' Atlanta office and a member of its board. "This was the right thing to do for our clients," Klein tells the Journal-Constitution, and meanwhile "We are bringing a full-service Atlanta firm to Baker Donelson."

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