Morris Manning & Martin, LLP

Sonny Morris Honored as National Law Journal Real Estate Trailblazer


Atlanta (April 2020) – John G. “Sonny” Morris, co-founder and chairman emeritus of Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, has been honored as a National Law Journal Trailblazer in Real Estate and Construction. The publication honors those who have made a significant mark on the industry they serve. This is the NLJ’s first Trailblazer issue focused specifically on Real Estate and Construction.

Morris, a senior partner in the firm’s Real Estate and Real Estate Capital Markets Practices, has 40 years of experience in real estate law. The National Law Journal cites Morris’ trailblazing accomplishments including co-founding MMM in 1976 and leading its expansion into one of the largest national real estate practices in the U.S. – showing the way with innovations including air rights and opportunity zones.

Instead of growing via mergers, Morris helped expand the firm with business-focused practices and developed related areas that included tax, securities, environmental law, construction and litigation—as well as the use of capital finance markets, which was highly unusual at the time. His many projects include representing AIG and local developer Jim Jacoby in converting an old steel mill into Atlantic Station, Midtown Atlanta’s iconic, upscale commercial and residential area.

In the future, the National Law Journal says Morris believes online sales will constrain retail. However, he sees home and land sales remaining robust, industrial spaces heating up and capital markets—with investment funds and REITs—continuing to flourish. “But we really need affordable housing, and technology can change the way we build a basic home. So, the issue has arrived in the marketplace.”

Morris is past chairman of the Buckhead Coalition and chairman of the Sam and Francis H. Hemphill Educational Foundation. The 24th Edition of Best Lawyers in America© recognized him as Lawyer of the Year for Real Estate in Atlanta in 2018 – a designation awarded to individual attorneys with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic location. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Emory University School of Law in 2014 and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Fulton County Daily Report in March 2015.

He was honored as one of 24 Atlanta Real Estate Icons by Real Estate Forum in 2012 and has been named a “Georgia Super Lawyer” by Atlanta magazine for each year 2004 through 2018, placing him in the top five percent of lawyers in the state.  He is also ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading attorney in Real Estate & Construction (2009), in The Best Lawyers in America for Real Estate (2010 - 2019), as well as Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business - listed as a top lawyer in Real Estate (2010 – 2018.)

About Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP

Morris, Manning & Martin ( is an Am Law 200 law firm with national and international reach. We dedicate ourselves to the constant pursuit of our clients’ success. To provide our clients with optimal value, we combine market-leading legal services with a total understanding of their needs to maximize effectiveness, efficiency and opportunity. MMM enjoys national prominence for its real estate, corporate, litigation, technology, healthcare, intellectual property, capital markets, environmental, international trade, and insurance practices. MMM has offices in and around Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, Savannah and Washington, D.C.

Media Contact for MMM: Terri Thornton, (404) 932-4347,