On the move: Law firm makes changes with new partners, retirement

The Columbus and Atlanta law firm, Butler Wooton & Fryhofer, has a new name and new partners.

It now will be known as Butler Wooten Cheeley & Peak LLP, the firm said last week.

Robert D. "Bob" Cheeley is rejoining the law firm he helped start in 1988, when it was known as Butler Wooten Overby & Cheeley. Cheeley was co-counsel or lead counsel on many of the firm's countroom "victories," the firm said. For the last 18 years, he has focused on a variety of business pursuits and ecently has returned to law practice with another firm in Atlanta.

"I am so excited to be rejoining the firm that I helped found in 1988, and even more excited about renewing strong friendships with its partners and staff," said Cheeley, who has undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia.

The firm also said Brandon L. Peak has become a name partner. He joined the firm in 2006 and has

been involved in a number of major cases, including the False Claims Act cases that settled for

over $161 million in 2012 ... a number of automotive defect and tire defect cases, and trucking or wreck cases, including one in which he obtained a $2.6 million verdict in Troup County last year, the firm said. Peak graduated summa cum laude from The Citadel and was first in his class at the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.

John Coleman "Buddy" Morrison also has become a partner with the firm. He's been with it since 2006 and has worked on a variety of cases, including being very involved in two of the firm's major victories this year -- Cohan vs. KPMG -- a breach of fiduciary duty/accounting fraud

and malpractice case -- and Miller vs. Langdale -- a breach of fiduciary duty/breach of trust case. Morrison graduated magna cum laude from Mercer University with a double major in political science and computer science, and graduated magna cum laude from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.

The firm also said Michael A. "Mike" Sexton is joining it as counsel. He was most recently a

partner with the Weinberg Wheeler firm and, before that, an associate at King & Spalding. He has

an undergraduate degree from Florida State University in economics and a law degree with high

honors from the University of Florida College of Law. He has had a nationwide practice involving a wide variety of cases, the firm said, including business disputes, class actions, False Claims Act ("whistleblower") cases, and RICO cases.

Finally, the law firm said its partner of 20 years, George W. Fryhofer III, has decided to retire after a career spanning 30 years.

"George is a superb lawyer who has been involved in many of our firm's significant cases over the years. More than that, he is a good friend whose wise counsel we will miss," said partner Joel Wooten.

Said partner Jim Butler: "We're incredibly excited about the team we are assembling and about the great work we plan to do in the future."