Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP
  • Smith, Gambrell & Russell: Stephen M. Forte, Managing Partner, Atlanta

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    About Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP http://www.sgrlaw.com/
    Learn more about Stephen Forte http://www.sgrlaw.com/attor......

    Stephen M. Forte is the Managing Partner and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.

    [TRANSCRIPT]
    We worked very hard on the culture here. We start by saying it's a cultural excellence in lawyering coupled with an honesty and loyalty to each other and to our clients. On top of that, the firm espouses a very entrepreneurial, open, transparent and empowering system that is attractive we believe the clients and to fellow lawyers.

    We're very proud of our history. The firm dates back to 1893. The Smith brothers hang out their shingle in downtown Atlanta at that point and the rest is history, so to speak. Another one of our founders, Mr. Gambrell, Smith Gambrell was the driving force behind the establishment of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society and we continue to be significant contributors to legal aid and other pro-Bono initiatives.

    Well, growth is part of our strategy. We have tried to focus on markets where we think we can project our resources effectively for clients that are both nationally and internationally. It was a major step for us about eight years ago to go to New York to build a very credible presence there as we have today. It really increased the profile of the firm in a dramatic sense. The international side that the recent offices their outgrowth of our 30+ years of international practice representing clients in international matters and also clients in the aviation world.

    So, an outgrowth of this activity for international focus was to actually be physically present in several international offices. We have key strengths in the core practice areas that encompass most any area of business law. In addition, though, we have certain what we call differentiates for us or rapid growth areas. One of those is international, another is aviation which we date back to our founding of representing Eastern Airlines. Another is a very deep bench on the MNA practice in merchants and acquisitions that we do virtually all over the world. We also have a full-service IP practice ranging from litigation on one hand to prosecution and opinion work on the next.

    Lastly, I would note our class actions defense practice which is national in scope and which we represent clients in the virtually 50 states. So, we advocate very strong professional development for our associates both in an entrepreneurial sense, developing NAT skill set as well as developing legal skills set. We stressed that's very important for every associate, not just how well they do in the practice of law but their professional development as practicing lawyers long term. Associates, you have a real stake in the firm, we view them as future owners, they are the lifeblood of the future of the firm. I always viewed my position here as a trustee for the future with the firm's long history, I'm a person in this particular period of time but there will be others coming after me to preserve what I consider a very valuable asset.

    What's very important to us is that every client understands that they are extremely important to SGR. In terms of our interests, are packing a lawyer of interest, clients come first, the firm come second and the interest of the individual lawyers come third. Every client brings something different to the mix. We learned from our clients and hopefully, they learn from us and draw a value from what we do. So, I want every client and every person out there, a potential client to know that we are here to help, to be responsive and to bring meaning to what we do for them.[END]

    About Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP http://www.sgrlaw.com/
    Learn more about Stephen Forte http://www.sgrlaw.com/attor...

    Stephen M. Forte is the Managing Partner and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.

    SGR is a full-service, international law firm that advises regional, national and global businesses on a wide range of legal matters. The firm’s more than 200 attorneys provide legal counsel in more than 45 specialized practice areas, including corporate transactions, litigation, intellectual property, aviation, banking, construction, and employment law. Founded in 1893, SGR has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Jacksonville, London, Munich, New York, Southampton, and Washington, D.C. Show less
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  • Smith Gambrell & Russell: Trust the Leaders Publication Play all

    Trust the Leaders is Smith, Gambrell & Russell’s quarterly general interest legal publication, written entirely by SGR attorneys. We published our first issue in the Fall of 2002 and we haven’t looked back. Today more than 10,000 readers subscribe to the magazine. Subscribe to the Trust The Leaders magazine - http://www.sgrlaw.com/subscribe-to-the-trust-the-leaders-...
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