Shook Opens New Office in Atlanta

Shook, Hardy & Bacon has expanded its national base to Atlanta with the addition of three new partners to focus on product liability, toxic tort and commercial disputes. Fresh off the addition of a new Los Angeles office, Shook has amplified the firm’s geographic footprint to 14 cities coast-to-coast and in London. Well-known Atlanta attorneys Colin Kelly, Anna Sumner Pieschel and Josh Becker will join current Shook Partners John Lewis, Jr., and Leonard Searcy to start and grow the office.

Lewis, who recently joined the business litigation practice in Houston, will divide his time between that office and the new office in Atlanta. Searcy, who concentrates his practice in intellectual property, will divide his time between Kansas City and Atlanta.

“Shook’s entry into this region makes perfect sense,” said Kelly, who will serve as Atlanta’s Managing Partner and whose preeminent trial practice has attracted clients in the food and beverage, materials manufacturing, shipping and transportation, and technology areas, among others. “This combination creates a synergy to grow Shook’s existing clients in Atlanta and allows our team to collaborate with some of the nation’s finest trial attorneys whom we’ve known for a number of years. We are excited about the expansion into Atlanta.” 

Firm Chair Madeleine McDonough said the group represents the strategic evolution of Shook’s national litigation platform. “With the addition of this team, Shook has brought aboard 30 lateral attorneys this year in areas of strategic value to our clients. Josh, Anna and Colin are a seamless fit with our product liability and commercial litigation focuses. Their combined trial experience—particularly in mass torts that demand a high level of industry-specific knowledge—deepens Shook’s bench of litigators with strong health, science and technology backgrounds.” 

“One aspect that stood out about Shook was its demonstrated commitment to furthering a diverse legal profession,” Pieschel said. “Half of the lateral partners announced by Shook this year identified as women or diverse. Nearly half the firm’s leadership council are women or diverse. This culture is important to building the most talented trial teams for our clients as well as meeting the needs of companies competing in an increasingly global marketplace,” she said. 

“Colin, Josh and Anna are enthusiastic and dynamic and add positive energy to the practice,” said Shook Partner and General Liability Litigation Practice Co-Chair Paul Williams. “Their clients, experience and practice complement Shook and leveraging Shook’s resources and national platform, the Atlanta team can expand the services provided to clients and the work opportunities for the firm. They also extend our trial bench and bring an additional cumulative 48 years of trial practice acumen to the Shook team. A great fit for Shook and our clients.” 

In addition to his work as trial and national coordinating counsel for a variety of Fortune 500 companies, Kelly has been trial counsel for complex matters in 42 states over nearly 20 years of practice. Pieschel’s practice focuses on mass tort and personal injury cases on behalf of medical device makers and the medical profession, while Becker handles mass tort and class action litigation on behalf of companies in a number of industries.  

“Shook has long-standing ties to the Atlanta business community,” said Lewis, who previously served as litigation chief and global diversity officer for The Coca-Cola Company, which is headquartered in Atlanta. “Since joining Shook earlier this year, I’ve been impressed with how effectively the firm has put its strategic vision into action. The firm is well positioned to leverage this high-caliber litigation team to the benefit of our clients.”

For more information about the Atlanta opening, contact Shook Media Relations Manager Heather McMichael, 816.389.0419.