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MMM Names Corporate Tech Practice Founder and Visionary, John Yates, Co-Chairman of the Firm


Morris, Manning & Martin today announced John Yates, founder and head of the firm’s Corporate Technology practice, has been named firm Co-Chairman. Serving alongside current firm Chairman Gerald Pouncey, Jr., Yates will focus on enhancing the points of connection between clients, prospects, strategic partners, and the community. He will also help guide the firm’s strategic direction, with an emphasis on civic engagement, business development, and client success.

“John has been and continues to be critical to the success of MMM. I am delighted to have him assume this additional role and look forward to serving with him as Co-Chairman,” said Pouncey.

Yates has been with MMM for 37 years and created the South’s leading legal practice for technology clients. The firm’s Corporate Technology practice represents more than 600 clients across 45 states and 11 countries, including companies and leading private equity, growth equity, and venture capital firms. In the past three years, the team has closed more than 950 VC, growth equity, and M&A deals.

“John Yates is an integral part of MMM and has played a vital role in establishing Atlanta as a technology hub,” said MMM Managing Partner Simon Malko. “By appointing John Co-Chairman of the firm, we are institutionalizing the positive momentum he has created and instilled in our thriving Corporate Tech practice and spreading it across the firm to build on both the client experience and our national presence.”

In addition to building a leading Technology practice, Yates has been a passionate leader in the Atlanta business community and promoter of the state across the country. He co-founded the Technology Association of Georgia, the largest tech association in the country, the Southeastern Software Association, and the Technology Executives Roundtable. He has led Georgia officials—including Gov. Brian Kemp (while Georgia’s Secretary of State) and two Atlanta mayors—on tours of Silicon Valley to meet VCs and private equity funds fueling the growth of Atlanta tech. He was also instrumental in forming VentureAtlanta, an annual conference connecting investors and founders that has led to $7.5B in financings and more than $17B in successful exits for leading tech companies.

“I’m honored to be named Co-Chairman of a firm that has been my home for nearly four decades,” said Yates. “I’m looking forward to continuing to evolve and amplify the culture that was created with the firm’s founding in 1976 while maintaining the firm’s entrepreneurial spirit and rapid growth.”

Yates will also bring a civic mindset to his new role, instilling his passion and commitment to community in the next generation of MMM attorneys. Yates’ corporate citizenship includes:

  • Chairing Atlanta’s NCAA Final Four host committee on the 75th anniversary of the tentpole sporting event.
  • Chairing the annual corporate campaign of the Woodruff Arts Center, one of the largest arts centers in the world.
  • Leading the annual giving campaign for the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, which raised $5 million for the organization.
  • Serving on the Board of Visitors for Duke Law School and chairing the most successful fundraising campaign in its history.
  • Serving on the board of Furman University.
  • Serving as the President of the Rotary Club of Atlanta.
  • Co-chairing with his wife, Ellen, the 2025 annual gala event at Zoo Atlanta.

For these and other contributions, in 2023 Yates was given the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Leaders in Corporate Citizenship Ann Cramer Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Seeing John and Gerald, both of whom grew up in the firm, serve as Co-Chairmen is truly special,” said founding partner John G. “Sonny” Morris. “John and Gerald exemplify the best aspects of MMM, and I am thrilled they will help to lead the firm into its next chapter.”

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 corporate, technology, real estate, litigation, healthcare, intellectual property, capital markets, environmental, and international trade practices. MMM has offices in Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, Savannah and Washington, D.C.