McGuireWoods Named Law Firm of the Year in ALM’s Southeastern Legal Awards

Partner Jonathan Ellis Honored as Attorney of the Year

June 23, 2023

McGuireWoods was named Law Firm of the Year and partner Jonathan Ellis was recognized as Attorney of the Year in the inaugural Southeastern Legal Awards, presented by The Daily Report, an American Lawyer Media publication.

McGuireWoods received more honors than any other law firm in the 2023 awards, which recognize firms and attorneys who “left an indelible mark on the legal community in the Southeast and beyond through their unwavering dedication to the profession.” The winners of the Law Firm of the Year and Attorney of the Year honors were announced at a June 22, 2023, awards event in Atlanta.

Ellis, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C., co-chairs the firm’s appellate practice and is a member of the Complex Commercial Litigation Department. He was honored for appellate work that included cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Second, Third, Fourth and Eleventh Circuits, and state appellate courts. Ellis received national media coverage for amicus briefs he co-authored in Gonzalez v. Google and Andy Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith, two high-profile freedom-of-expression cases recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Before joining McGuireWoods, Ellis worked in the Office of the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice. He previously served as a law clerk to Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. In accepting the award, Ellis said McGuireWoods provided “a wonderful opportunity to co-chair a national appellate practice from my hometown.”

“[W]hat I’ve come to appreciate is that the firm is not just committed to top-notch legal work but truly meaningful work,” he said. “That involves a lot of things, but it certainly includes our firm’s pro bono efforts, including the Appellate Justice Initiative,” which vindicates the constitutional rights of criminal defendants through appellate work. 

McGuireWoods also was among the winners in the “Most Innovative Law Firms” category. Lawyers in the firm’s Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, offices earned individual honors.

  • Charlotte partners Greg Kilpatrick and John McDonald were honored as “Distinguished Leaders.”
  • Raleigh partner Jocelyn Mitnaul Mallette was recognized in the “Best Mentors” and “On the Rise” categories.
  • Charlotte partner Kate Hardey was among the lawyers named “Most Effective Deal-Makers.”
  • Charlotte associate Jasmine Gardner was an “On the Rise” honoree.
  • Former Charlotte partner Harrison Marshall was honored as a “Lifetime Achiever.”

“These awards are a testament to the outstanding leadership and depth of talent we have throughout the firm,” said McGuireWoods managing partner J. Tracy Walker IV. “We congratulate Jonathan and all the honorees on this recognition.”