Denver-based Moye White LLP is merging with an Atlanta corporate and intellectual property boutique to open a Georgia office, marking its first expansion outside of Colorado in the firm's 45-year history, it announced Wednesday. Law360 covered the announcement in a feature story.
The article, Moye White Expands For First Time, Merges With Atlanta Firm, was published on September 1. The article is below.
Denver-based Moye White LLP is merging with an Atlanta corporate and intellectual property boutique to open a Georgia office, marking its first expansion outside of Colorado in the firm's 45-year history, it announced Wednesday.
Moye White merged with Trusted Counsel (Ashley) LLC, welcoming four new senior attorneys to its business section who will stay in their Trusted Counsel office in Atlanta while collaborating with and mentoring the firm's Colorado-based lawyers. The change reinforces Moye White's commitment to serving national and regional clients with the high standards it has developed in Colorado since 1976, managing partner Tom M. List said Wednesday.
"Over the years, our client base has expanded, as have the needs of our clients," List said. "This will position us to best represent our clients with significant operations in another region. Trusted Counsel is the perfect fit, in terms of practice area expertise, top-tier attorneys, and — as is of utmost importance to the Moye White team — culture."
List told Law360 the firms have been familiar for years due to a personal link, with a Moye White management committee member having previously worked in Atlanta with Trusted Counsel's founder and managing partner of 17 years, Evelyn A. Ashley. He said there have been cross referrals between the firms for years and the merger grew out of that.
Previous opportunities to grow Moye White's physical presence outside Colorado had not come to fruition for a number of reasons, List said. The widespread use of remote technology spurned by the coronavirus pandemic helped confirm that physical distance between offices is a largely redundant issue, he said.
"Given what we learned during the pandemic, that it really is an opportunity to expand our scope in practice areas that we think are really cohesive between the two firms, it just made sense," List said. "We have no plans to become a national law firm with offices in every state. We are entrepreneurial, we're nimble, we respond to opportunities, and this is just a great opportunity."
The Atlanta-based team will grow strategically but there is no rush to expand numbers, List said. The four Trusted Counsel lawyers, including Ashley, are partner-level firm members who will help lead and mentor attorneys in Denver and Moye White's other Colorado office in Basalt.
"They have expertise and a client base in some areas that we feel we had a few gaps, which is a primary reason why we felt like joining forces was critical," List said. "They'll have the opportunity to grow the business, not only in Atlanta, but throughout the Southeast and throughout the nation, frankly, which is the objective."
Real estate and data privacy are areas of the firm's national practice that will be boosted through a presence in Atlanta, List said. Moye White currently does a lot of real estate work in Florida, he said.
Trusted Counsel primarily served companies, investors and legal departments in financing, mergers and acquisitions, commercial contracts, intellectual property, employment law, data security, tax and technology matters.
Ashley, who is now of counsel at Moye White, also co-founded Red Hot Venture Consulting, a strategic consulting firm and incubator for technology businesses affiliated with Trusted Counsel. She previously worked at Morris Manning & Martin LLP and McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP before it merged with Dentons, and was on the mergers and acquisitions team for Coca-Cola before graduating from Georgia State University College of Law.
Ashley said Moye White is the perfect fit for Trusted Counsel's future, with an amazing reputation nationwide and a matching firm culture. She said the merger will greatly expand the depth and breadth of Trusted Counsel's services for established and prospective clients.
"Our teams strengthen each other, and combined, we'll be able to increase and extend our geographic and practice reach, as well as enhance the top-notch client service foundational to both firms," Ashley said. "This move is bigger than just our team."
In addition to Ashley, Moye White's Atlanta team includes Trusted Counsel partners Valerie D. Barton and Allen N. Bradley, as well as of counsel Michael R. Siavage.
Barton joined Trusted Counsel in 2018 after stints at Morris Manning, Locke Lord LLP, Friend Hudak & Harris LLP and McKenna Long. She is a graduate of Emory University School of Law and a certified exit planning adviser who serves a range of industries in the planning, development and execution of business strategies.
Bradley specializes in renewable energy and sustainable initiatives while serving a variety of clients in corporate finance, private securities, tax, compensation and estate law. He got his law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law and worked as a partner at Stites & Harbison, Foltz Martin LLC, and Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP before joining Trusted Counsel in 2014. Bradley also has ties to Morris Manning, where he started his legal career.
Siavage counsels technology companies and investors in venture capital and corporate finance transactions and has substantial experience with intellectual property transactions. His former law firm Siavage Law Group combined with Trusted Counsel in 2017.
Siavage graduated from the Seton Hall University School of Law in New Jersey, where he previously worked as executive vice president and general counsel to Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. He was also the executive director of the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation and the commissioner of the New Jersey Commission on Catastrophic Injury in Children.
Both Siavage and Ashley were also senior attorneys at Red Hot Law Group (Ashley) LLC in Atlanta, a boutique law firm dedicated to the counseling of emerging technology companies that merged with McKenna Long in 2001. Red Hot was founded in 1998 by Ashley, who became the technology practice lead at McKenna Long.
Moye White has about 75 attorneys.
Read the article in the Law360.
About Moye White LLP
Moye White LLP is a business law firm serving clients throughout the United States and internationally, with offices in Colorado and Georgia. The firm provides legal representation across a wide variety of transactional and litigation matters, offering strategic, business-oriented counsel to public, private, and governmental clients in complex business and real estate transactions and disputes. As one of the earliest national law firms to achieve B Corp certification, Moye White meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. For more information, please visit moyewhite.com or contact Managing Partner Ted White at 303-292-2900 or Ted.White@moyewhite.com.