Aug 4, 2008

Top Land Use Law Practice Merges with SGR

ATLANTA (August 4, 2008) — Michèle Battle and Davené Walker have joined the Zoning, Planning and Land Use Section of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP, thereby becoming an addition to the already well-established and well-respected group of SGR Land Use Law attorneys. “We are extraordinarily pleased to have both Michèle Battle and Davené Walker joining this group,” says Kathy Zickert, SGR’s Zoning, Planning and Land Use Section’s leader. “Michèle Battle is an excellent attorney. She will give our group considerable and additional depth of expertise, and she brings a real estate transactional background that will greatly enhance the services we are able to offer to our land use clients.” The addition of Ms. Battle and Ms. Walker to the Firm will make the SGR Zoning, Planning and Land Use legal team the largest in Georgia. “I do not believe that any other firm will be able to match our years of experience, our relationship with local governments or our general abilities,” says Ms. Zickert who has been recognized in the legal community through various accolades for her Land Use expertise, such as a Georgia “Super Lawyer” and a Georgia “Legal Elite.”

Ms. Battle joins the firm as partner, where her practice involves the representation of developers and lenders in land use and zoning matters, commercial real estate and lending transactions. She brings a transactional real estate background, representing both lenders and buyers. Ms. Battle has represented numerous developers and lenders in zoning matters including a theme park in DeKalb County and various commercial real estate projects. She is the founder of the Real Estate Development Institute, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides educational support to minority developers wanting to develop the communities in which they live. Ms. Battle is a former member of the Executive Committee of the Real Estate Section of the State Bar of Georgia and a previous member of Commercial Real Estate Women of Atlanta. Ms. Battle has received various honors for her legal work, including being name as a 40 Rising Young Star in Georgia. She received her B.A. from The Ohio State University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Davené Walker is an associate and represents developers in all stages of applications for zoning, use permits and variances. Ms. Walker served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Clarence Cooper of the United States District Court in the Northern District of Georgia and is also on the Executive Board of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys. She received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

For more than a decade, SGR has been at the forefront of land use, zoning, permitting and other regulatory issues in municipal and county jurisdictions within Georgia and throughout the Southeast. The Firm represents lenders, developers, government entities and other interested parties in governmental administrative processes and litigation that may arise from these processes. The addition of Ms. Battle and Ms. Walker makes SGR’s Zoning, Planning and Land Use Practice nine attorneys strong and adds a wide range of legal expertise to the practice. Clients of SGR include The Sembler Company, Marriott International, Julien LeCraw & Co., H.J. Russell & Company and Citizens Trust Bank. SGR has represented a number of clients in large projects such as The Sembler Company in their large mixed-use developments including TOWN/Brookhaven, The Prado and Westside Crossing, all in Atlanta.

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