Top company by employee – 23 – Alston & Bird – Georgia US
Industry: Professional Services – Legal
Previous rank: 24
2011 revenue ($ millions): $644
What makes it so great?
Family-friendly perks abound at this law firm: $10,000 and 90 paid days off for adoptions; partial scholarships for on-site child care; health coverage for autism, infertility, and marriage counseling; and an entire wall dedicated to the artwork of employees’ children.
|ALSTON & BIRD|
|HEADQUARTERS||One Atlantic Center
|NO. OF OFFICES||10|
|NO. OF ATTORNEYS||about 900|
|MAJOR PRACTICE AREAS||General practice|
|DATE FOUNDED||1893 in Atlanta|
Founded in 1893, the firm has local offices in Atlanta, New York City, Washington, DC, Brussels, Charlotte, Raleigh, Dallas, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and Ventura County. Through the roots of the Alston, Miller & Gaines’ predecessor firms, the merger with Jones, Bird and Howell formed Alston & Bird on December 1, 1982. Expansion beyond Georgia began with the establishment of an office in Washington, DC, followed by the 1997 merger with intellectual property-focus Bell Seltzer Park & Gibson (Charlotte and Raleigh), Walter, Conston, Alexander & Green in 2001 (New York), and Crews, Shepherd & McCarty LLP in 2007 (Dallas). In August 2008, the firm opened a Silicon Valley office with attorneys from the national firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. The next month, Alston & Bird acquired the 100-lawyer strong Weston Benshoof Rochefort Rubalcava and MacCuish LLP, launching in Los Angeles and Ventura County to reach 9 offices nationwide. Legal publications report that the Atlanta-based firm is seeking to launch additional overseas offices in London and Germany. Legacy firm Walter Conston operated a Munich liaison office before it was acquired by Alston & Bird.
Today, the firm headquartered in Midtown Atlanta on West Peachtree Street, in One Atlantic Center and Atlantic Center Plaza, has more than 900 attorneys providing a full range of services to domestic and international clients conducting business all over the world. In addition to being the largest Atlanta firm in overall size, it has the greatest number of local attorneys serving a global practice.
The former managing partner, Ben F. Johnson III, was named on Atlanta Business Chronicles list of the 100 Most Influential people in Atlanta. (published June 28, 2007). In addition, he serves on the board of trustees for several notable Atlanta institutions, including the Carter Center, Emory University, and Woodward Academy.
- Alston & Bird consistently ranks on Fortune’s list of the 100 best companies to work for, placing #13 in 2011.
- A&B was ranked in the top 10 mentions for firms representing Fortune 250 companies in a Corporate Counsel survey published in 2006.
- Richard Hays, the firm’s Managing Partner is the brother of the current Chairman of King & Spalding (Robert Hays).
- Alston & Bird was the first major law firm in Atlanta to promote an African-American female to Partner in 1990. (Karol Mason).
- Famed golfer Bobby Jones‘s father was a founding partner of Alston & Bird’s predecessor firm, Jones, Bird and Howell. Bobby Jones himself also practiced law at Jones, Bird and Howell.
- Counsel to German media group Bertelsmann AG (a long-time client of legacy firm Walter, Conston) with Clifford Chance and Slaughter & May as UK co-counsel in Bertelsmann’s $2.74 billion acquisition of Zomba Music Group in 2002.
- Represented Cingular Wireless in its purchase of 34 wireless licenses from NextWave Media in 2003
- Advised Regions Financial Corporation alongside Sullivan & Cromwell in its purchase of Union Planters Corporation in 2004, a transaction valued at $5.8 billion.
- Issuer’s counsel with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett for Assurance Insurance in its $2.024 billion IPO in 2004.
- Represented Koch Forest Products Inc., a subsidiary of Koch Industries, alongside Latham & Watkins in its $21 billion purchase of the Georgia-Pacific Corporation in 2005
- Advised longstanding client IndyMac, its executives and directors the FBI investigation into the California bank’s collapse in 2008. Alston also advised the bank on the transfer of its assets to government control under the auspices of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
- Representing Toyota in the economic loss class actions arising from the 2009–2010 Toyota vehicle recalls.