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Baker Donelson Adds 20 Attorneys and Staff

Additions from Busch White Norton Expand Firm's Presence in Atlanta and Florida

(January 4, 2016) Baker Donelson announces the addition of nine attorneys to its Financial Services and Real Estate Groups. The attorneys, all of whom were previously with the firm of Busch White Norton, will expand Baker Donelson's presence in both Georgia and Florida. Four attorneys are joining Baker Donelson's Atlanta office and five are joining in Florida. With them, they bring 11 paralegals and other staff.

"This is a tremendously talented group of professionals who have extensive experience and solid reputations," said Ben C. Adams, chairman and chief executive officer of Baker Donelson. "Their addition to the Firm gives us the opportunity to add to the depth of two core practice areas while strengthening our foothold in Florida and growing our presence in Atlanta."

Seven of the attorneys have joined as members of the Firm's Financial Services Department:

  • Bryan Busch: Mr. Busch, who joins as a shareholder in the Atlanta office, was a founding partner of Busch White Norton and former chair of the firm's litigation practice group. Mr. Busch represents corporate clients in all types of business disputes, including breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, securities litigation and business torts. He has a wide range of experience litigating cases in both state and federal courts across the country, as well as arbitration, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
  • Christopher Mills: Mr. Mills, who joins Baker Donelson as a shareholder in the Firm's Ft. Lauderdale office, focuses his practice on the representation of banks, financial institutions, real estate funds, businesses, real estate owners and developers with real estate and corporate transactional needs. He has extensive experience representing lenders with originations, acquisitions, servicing and the disposition of commercial loans. Mr. Mills previously was the overseeing partner of the Florida offices of Busch White Norton.
  • Mahira Khan: Ms. Khan, who joins as an associate in the Ft. Lauderdale office, focuses primarily on foreclosure matters.
  • Laura Mirmelli: Ms. Mirmelli joins as an associate in the Atlanta office. Her practice is primarily concentrated on the representation of financial institutions in connection with distressed real estate and commercial loans.
  • Kyle Peters: Mr. Peters, who joins as an associate in Jacksonville, Florida, represents property managers and lenders in commercial and residential litigation matters in Florida.
  • Chantal Pillay: Also joining as an associate in Jacksonville, Florida, Ms. Pillay represents lenders in commercial and residential real estate litigation and foreclosure matters.
  • Debbie Satyal: Ms. Satyal, who joins as an associate in the Ft. Lauderdale office, represents lenders in residential real estate litigation matters as well as commercial litigation.

Two attorneys have joined as members of the Firm's Real Estate Group:

  • Matthew Norton: Mr. Norton, who joins as shareholder in the Atlanta office, focuses his practice on real estate related matters and secured transactions collateralized by both real estate and other property. His past representations include a wide variety of businesses, non-profit and governmental organizations including banks, large and small real estate developers, day care facilities, real estate brokerages, self-storage facilities, senior living facilities, hotels, extended stay hotels, student housing facilities, apartments, non-profit hospitals, condominiums, office condominiums, traditional office facilities, mixed-use developments, urban transit agencies, timber companies, private investors, municipalities and the state of Georgia.
  • Brian D. Pierce: Joining as of counsel in Baker Donelson's Atlanta office, Mr. Pierce concentrates his practice in transactional law, which includes both commercial and residential real estate. He has handled more than 10,000 closings, including purchases and refinances. Mr. Pierce represents builders and developers in commercial and residential projects in the metro Atlanta area. 

"Joining Baker Donelson offered us the opportunity to be a part of a national firm that shares our client-focused approach," said Mr. Busch. "Our clients will benefit from the significant resources available with a firm of more than 650 attorneys who practice across a wide range of practice areas and a broad geographic footprint."

Mr. Mills added, "We're very excited to be part of a firm that enjoys such an outstanding reputation. Baker Donelson's substantial capabilities will provide our clients with a full-service partner for all their legal needs.


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Johanna Burkett
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