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2022 Vault Rankings

About Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP

Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP maintains strong Atlanta roots while packing an international punch. With an Atlanta presence that dates back more than 100 years, SGR is recognized as a top Peach State firm and is securely integrated with its local community. Meanwhile, SGR has also expanded its practice to include international offices and a portfolio of clients across the globe.

From Two to Two Hundred

Smith, Gambrell & Russell’s history traces back to 1893, when two Atlanta attorneys formed Alexander & Victor Smith, a partnership that laid the foundation for SGR. Today a firm namesake, E. Smythe Gambrell was an especially prominent attorney in the Georgia community when he joined the firm. In 1924, Gambrell founded the Atlanta Legal Aid, and in 1955, he served as president of the American Bar Association. Fast forward to modern times, and the firm has expanded far beyond its Atlanta roots and now employs more than 200 attorneys across 10 offices, including two offices in the UK and one in Germany.

A Firm with a Wide Wingspan

As a full-service international firm, SGR focuses on such industries as aviation, construction, energy and environmental, entertainment, financial services, health care, hospitality, manufacturing, real estate, and technology. On the corporate side, the firm’s clients range from publicly held corporations to small closely held companies, including general and limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and sole proprietorships. The firm’s litigation group handles cases in state and federal courts, covering disputes related to advertising, antitrust, insurance, and products liability—including as counsel to the largest school bus manufacturer in the world. Internationally, the firm has expertise navigating transactions from start-up site selection negotiation to complex multijurisdictional M&A transactions, and has acted as general counsel in sustained U.S. operations. SGR has an especially strong international presence in Germany, Italy, the UK, and Spain and is a leader when it comes to representing Korean and Scandinavian businesses.

The firm’s aviation practice is especially notable. SGR’s work with airlines dates to 1927, when it began its 60-year representation of Eastern Airlines (beginning with its predecessor company). Today, in addition to more airlines, the firm represents other players in the aviation industry including joint ventures, equipment owners, and operating lessors. SGR has assisted aircraft and engine leasing companies and lenders in major airline bankruptcies.

Supporter of Students

SGR is a highly supportive of law students, which is reflected in the firm’s initiatives and the legacy of Gambrell himself. Since 1973, Atlanta’s Emory University School of Law has sported the Gambrell name. The law school includes a building (Gambrell Hall) and a street (Gambrell Drive) named after the law firm’s legacy partner. As an ode to the entire firm, the school recently added the Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP suite to its career services center. And  the firm sponsors a Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP scholarship at both the University of Georgia and Emory University.

Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP

Promenade, Suite 3100
1230 Peachtree St. NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (404) 815-3500

Firm Stats

Managing Partner and Chairman of the Executive Committee: Stephen M. Forte
Total No. Attorneys (2020):
150 - 250

Employment Contact

Sherri M. Knight
Director of Professional Recruiting
(404) 815-3523

No. of U.S. Offices: 7

No. of International Offices: 3

Major Office Locations

Atlanta, GA (HQ)
Austin, TX
Jacksonville, FL
Los Angeles, CA
Miami, FL
New York, NY
Washington, DC I London

Major Departments

Cooperative & Condominium
Cybersecurity & Data Privacy
Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Entertainment, Arts & Sports
Government Procurement
Intellectual Property
Labor & Employment
Private Wealth Services/Trusts & Estates
Real Estate
Tax Law
Zoning, Planning & Land Use
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.