ATLANTA (April 18, 2023) – Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP announced today the launch of a new LGBTQ Business practice group that will offer culturally conscious legal services to LGBTQ businesses and Fortune 500 companies. The firm is the first Southern law firm to launch a practice dedicated to LGBTQ business.
In launching this new practice, the firm will leverage the strength of its full-service business law practice with its lawyers’ deep understanding of the LGBTQ community.
Morris, Manning & Martin’s LGBTQ Business practice attorneys will counsel LGBTQ-owned and operated businesses, business owners, investors, brokers, buyers, sellers, and lenders on legal issues unique to the community, ranging from real estate and finance to mergers and acquisitions and litigation. The group will also help corporate clients fulfill their diversity goals by providing counsel on issues related to supplier diversity initiatives.
“The goal of this new practice area is to ensure LGBTQ clients have ample opportunities to find the structural support and build the professional relationships necessary to thrive in the business world,” said practice co-chair Douglas D. Selph. “The firm’s experience and long-held commitment to equity and inclusion create an ideal platform to help LGBTQ businesses form strategic partnerships with other culturally aligned entities.”
Selph, who is a real estate and finance partner and the former President of the Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia, will co-lead the group with commercial real estate associate Charles E. Hicks. Hicks is an OUT Georgia Business Alliance ambassador and is actively involved in the LGBTQ community.
“We are thrilled to launch a formal practice to serve this historically underrepresented, yet rapidly growing, minority business sector,” said Hicks. “Our subject matter expertise combined with our value-based service model make Morris, Manning & Martin the optimal partner for LGBTQ entrepreneurs and the community’s corporate allies.”
“OUT Georgia is incredibly proud to see Morris, Manning & Martin make such a bold, innovative investment in the growing LGBTQ+ business community,” said Chris Lugo, Executive Director of OUT Georgia Business Alliance. “Aligning the firm’s values, expertise, and commitment to equity will drive significant impact for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, and we are honored to partner with the firm on these efforts.”
The practice will be supported by an advisory council comprised of prominent firm partners who will offer LGBTQ businesses supplemental counseling services in their respective practice areas. Council members include real estate development and finance Chair Matthew J. Sours, hospitality partner Catherine Morgen, intellectual property and chief diversity partner Daniel L. Huynh, private equity partner Scott L. Allen, corporate partner Larkin B. Ellzey, and litigation partner Jessica A. Rodriguez.
Morris, Manning & Martin has a long track record of pro bono work in the LGBTQ community. More than 50 firm attorneys participate in Atlanta Legal Aid’s Gender Affirming Name Change Project, a pro bono legal name changing service for low-income transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people. The firm scored a perfect 100 in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, an annual assessment of LGBTQ+ workplace equality, and earned Mansfield 5.0 Plus certification status, an objective measure of the firm’s commitment to diversity including LGBTQ attorneys.
About Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP
Morris, Manning & Martin (www.mmmlaw.com) is an Am Law 200 law firm with national and international reach. We dedicate ourselves to the constant pursuit of our clients’ success. To provide our clients with optimal value, we combine market-leading legal services with a total understanding of their needs to maximize effectiveness, efficiency and opportunity. MMM enjoys national prominence for its real estate, corporate, litigation, technology, healthcare, intellectual property, capital markets, environmental, international trade, and insurance practices. A Mansfield 5.0 Plus-certified firm, MMM has offices in Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, Savannah, and Washington, D.C.