Skip to Content
John  Morris

John G. Morris

Partner, Retired

John G. “Sonny” Morris is the Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Morris, Manning & Martin and a Senior Partner in the Real Estate and Real Estate Capital Markets Practices. Morris, Manning & Martin has been recognized by Chambers USA as a top four law firm in the state of Georgia as well as among the leading real estate practices in the nation by Commercial Property Executive for many years.

Mr. Morris is the consummate real estate deal lawyer and brings to his practice unequaled negotiating skills honed by 40 years of experience. Clients seek his advice and counsel in connection with developing operating and investment strategies that harmonize business objectives with legal structures.

His achievements include leading the expansion of the Firm’s real estate practice from an Atlanta market focus to a national practice representing clients in major markets throughout the United States.  This expansion has been supported by the growth of the Firm’s related practice areas that are critical to today’s sophisticated and complex real estate financings and transactions, such as tax, securities, environmental, construction and litigation.

Mr. Morris has demonstrated comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of the real estate business, including:

  • Represented Cole Real Estate Investments in its 2014 $11.2 billion merger which created the largest net lease REIT, with an enterprise value of $21.5 billion.
  • Representing investors and companies in major acquisitions, financings and developments, including complex mixed-use developments and multi-asset acquisitions and dispositions in direct asset transactions or through corporate M&A transactions. 
  • Serving as general counsel for major real estate companies through multiple market cycles.
  • Assisting with recapitalizing and reorganizing real estate companies and developments.
  • Representing clients in connection with raising equity capital for real estate companies and investments involving both private and public offerings of real estate investment funds and real estate investment trusts.
  • Specializing in representing sponsors of private equity investment funds and real estate investment trusts.

Mr. Morris is Past Chairman of the Buckhead Coalition and Chairman of the Sam and Francis H. Hemphill Educational Foundation. He was named the 2014 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Emory University School of Law and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Fulton County Daily Report in March 2015. Mr. Morris 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 Atlantamagazine 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).


  • Selected, The Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law, 2019 - 2021