IR Bronze Member

Michael S. Rosenthal

Partner Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP

Member Details

  • Georgia

Exclusive IR Member for:

  • Franchise and Distribution Law
1180 W. Peachtree Street NW Suite 2300
Atlanta GA 30309 United States

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Mike Rosenthal’s practice primarily involves the representation of franchise, professional franchise and service industry clients, providing both day-to-day business counseling and advice, as well as litigation services when necessary. He has represented numerous start-up franchisors, sellers of business opportunities, and other sellers in licensing and distribution arrangements and counsels on ways to structure their business. Mike files necessary government registrations and disclosures, addresses regulatory problems and concerns, and represents his clients in court to protect their interests. He particularly enjoys working with clients in the planning stages in order to avoid regulatory and other issues. Mike is a member of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising and the Georgia Bar’s Franchise and Distribution Law Section.

Mike received both his undergraduate degree and his law degree from the University of Florida. After graduation from law school, Mike served four years as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia. Following his entry into private practice in 1984, Mike remained active in service to the State of Georgia, both in the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs (as Coordinator of Special Projects) and as a Special Assistant Attorney General. Until its 2007 sale for $6.2 Billion, Mike served as an independent Director of Inland Retail Real Estate Trust, Inc. (IRRETI), a public real estate investment trust which was one of the largest owners of retail space in the Southeast. IRRETI managed over 300 retail shopping centers or single tenant properties, primarily east of the Mississippi River.

Firm Description

About Us

Smith Moore Leatherwood serves clients in the Southeast and across the nation through attorneys who are personally invested in solving clients' complex legal issues. Our offices are located in Atlanta, Georgia; Greenville, South Carolina; and in Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Wilmington, North Carolina. Our firm has more than 140 attorneys who concentrate in a wide range of substantive areas.

Our Commitment to You

We commit to provide the highest quality legal services at a value that our clients perceive as fair and reasonable. We fulfill this commitment by establishing long lasting relationships with our clients based on three fundamental principles – trust, communication, and efficiency. This dedication to client success and legal excellence has distinguished our firm for nearly a century – since Julius C. Smith began his legal practice in 1919.

Established Trust

Trust is the backbone of a mutually rewarding relationship. We strive to completely understand our clients’ businesses and needs in order to become a partner in their future. By having a stake in their future, our clients trust our advice to be in their best interest.

Effective Communication

Successful relationships depend on consistent and productive communications. We keep in touch with our clients – anticipating their needs and challenges, and focusing on true collaboration. By being proactive in communication, we can often provide innovative solutions to unique problems and keep small issues from becoming big ones.

Efficient Teamwork

Our clients deserve prompt and effective legal services. With a broad range of targeted services, the firm is equipped to respond immediately to most challenges that our clients face. By allocating our resources and applying different proficiencies to our clients' problems, we can work efficiently with the client as a team to handle the various issues they face.

Firm History

  • 1919: Brooks, Parker, Smith & Hayes was the first known predecessor firm of Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP and was founded in 1919 in Greensboro, NC. Founding partner Julius C. Smith was a South Carolinian and a Wake Forest University law graduate.
  • 1921: The firm was renamed Brooks, Parker, Smith & Wharton when Johnson J. Hayes withdrew to accept an appointment as a U.S. District Judge and was replaced by C. Richard Wharton. Smith and Wharton later withdrew from the firm and joined D. Edward Hudgins, Jr., to form Smith, Wharton & Hudgins. They practiced here until Hudgins withdrew and was replaced with Welch O. Jordan, thus changing the firm name to Smith, Wharton & Jordan.
  • 1930: Meanwhile, Leatherwood Walker Todd & Mann’s is founded in Greenville, SC by D.B. Leatherwood. Leatherwood was born in Waynesville, NC, in 1896 and attended the University of North Carolina. Wesley Walker joined Leatherwood in 1945, and the firm became Leatherwood & Walker. Three years later, Fletcher Mann joined the firm, and it was renamed Leatherwood, Walker & Mann. The firm grew by several attorneys over the next few years, including the addition of J.D. Todd, upon which the firm became Leatherwood, Walker, Todd & Mann in 1952.
  • 1945: Sapp & Moore was formed in December by Armistead W. Sapp Sr., and Beverly C. Moore in Greensboro, NC. Moore was a graduate of Yale Law School and had just returned from military service.
  • 1948: Smith and Wharton began merger discussions with Sapp & Moore, and two firms formed Smith, Wharton, Sapp & Moore on July 1, employing ten lawyers. It was the largest law firm in the area at the time.
  • 1952: Wharton withdrew from the firm, and the remaining name partners replaced him with new partner McNeill Smith, thus becoming Smith, Sapp, Moore & Smith.
  • 1955: The firm evolved to Smith, Moore, Smith & Pope with the name partner addition of Harrell Pope and Sapp’s withdraw. Within several years, Pope moved to an in-house role with a company, and Braxton Schell and Bynum M. Hunter became name partners. The firm was named Smith Moore Smith Schell & Hunter.
  • 1983: The firm acquired Reynolds & Cox in 1983 and gained offices in Raleigh, and Cary, NC.
  • 1986: In January, the firm merged with Charlotte-based Helms, Mulliss & Johnston and the combined firms were named Smith, Helms, Mulliss & Moore.
  • 2002: Due to tremendous changes in the Charlotte and Greensboro markets, the firm reorganized resulting in two separate firms—Smith Moore LLP and Helms Mulliss & Wicker LLP. Smith Moore retained offices in Greensboro, Raleigh, and Atlanta after the reorganization.
  • 2005: The firm opened an office in Wilmington, NC.
  • 2007: The firm opened a Charlotte office in Uptown. The firm also acquired Atlanta firm Carter & Ansley LLP, one of the city’s oldest law firms with 13 attorneys focused on life, health and disability insurance work.
  • 2008: Smith Moore merged with Leatherwood Walker Todd & Mann PC to form Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP. At the time, Smith Moore had over 130 attorneys and Leatherwood counted more than 50, with the combined firm having over 180 lawyers and six offices across three states.