10 Partners Leave K&L Gates, Womble to Form Morningstar

According to a June 11 article in the JD Journal, 10 partners from K&L Gates and Womble Carlyle, have left to form a new Triangle-based law firm called Morningstar Law Group. Morningstar’s 10 partners include 6 former partners from K&L Gates: Mack Paul, Jason  Barron, William Brian Jr., Patrick Byker, Grayson Hale, and Stephanie Powell; and 4 former partners from Womble: Kenneth Carroll, Jennifer Collins, Gene Jones, and Kip Johnson III. K&L Gates also lost 2 associates in the move.

The firm chose the Morningstar name over the more traditional last name basis of lead partners. The hope is this will signify the “dawn of a new day in legal services,” says Kenneth Carroll, former Managing Partner of Womble’s RTP office. This is the group’s shared vision and mission. “I hope that’s not hokey sounding, but that is what we were trying to accomplish.” Accordingly, the firm’s intent is to offer top-tier quality at affordable hourly rates with their smaller infrastructure and lower expenses.

4Morningstar, with the help of High Point consultant Tom Kane, will market as a full-service business law firm. According to Mack Paul, a former K&L Gates Real Estate partner, the group “can handle almost all aspects for the emerging middle-market and larger businesses in this region.” Their focus will be centered on Litigation, IP, Real Estate, and Corporate Law.


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