John Kelly will steer the ship for the firm’s fourth office, the first outside of Tennessee. Kelly is a former partner at Fulbright’s Washington office and former assistant chief for health care fraud at the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.
Kelly and two other lawyers are operating out of a temporary office until they move to the new office located at 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. next month. Bass, Berry & Sims managing partner Keith Simmons said in an interview that the firm is looking to expand in Washington, particularly in the health care domain. But he said the firm is also looking to bolster such practices as Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, real estate capital markets, intellectual property litigation, and corporate and public securities with the right laterals.
“We hope to grow in those areas, acquiring the right people to further build out those practices,” Simmons said. “We want to grow at a reasonable, organic pace.”
Simmons said the opening of the new Washington office was driven by client demands and opportunity. He said the expansion will raise the profile of the 220-attorney firm and help build the firm’s budding national brand. Simmons said what makes the firm attractive to clients is “a sophistication level that is comparable to national firms but a cost structure that is much more favorable to clients.”