Melissa E. McMorries


Atlanta, Georgia

Melissa (Missi) McMorries has extensive experience in a variety of corporate matters, both large and small. Her work in corporate governance and transactions, coupled with her trust and estate planning experience, position her to advise both closely held and family businesses in their day-to-day and long-range planning and needs.

Ms. McMorries represents several manufacturing companies, technology start-up businesses, and event planning, production and public relations firms. She has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, public and private offerings of debt and equity securities, corporate finance and restructuring, negotiating complex corporate and commercial agreements and negotiating disputes between business owners.

Ms. McMorries’ estate planning practice includes preparation of wills, trusts and related documents, including counseling clients on tax planning options and preparation of prenuptial agreements.

Ms. McMorries started her career in-house, first with RJR Nabisco Inc. as counsel and then The Regina Co. as vice president and general counsel. She later went into private practice, first with a business law firm based in Atlanta and then with an international law firm, in their respective corporate and securities groups. After serving as interim executive director of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, she formed her own practice, representing start-up companies and estate planning clients. Ms. McMorries has been an adjunct professor of law at Emory University School of Law since January 2012, teaching “deal skills” to second- and third-year law students enrolled in Emory’s Transactional Law Certificate Program.


  • Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta (ALMA), Alumna
  • Atlanta Bar Association – Estate Planning & Probate Section
  • Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Board of Directors, 1997-2008
  • President, 2002-2004
  • Lost-n-Found Youth, Board of Directors, 2016-2019
  • North Carolina State Bar, 1982-present
  • The Atlanta Opera, Board of Directors, 2007-2010
  • Women’s Finance Exchange, Board of Directors


  • Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite, Corporate Law, 2013, Taxes/ Estates/Trusts, 2012-2016, 2019, 2021
  • Wake Forest Law Review, Executive Editor

Practice Areas

  • Corporate & Business
  • Estate Planning
  • Finance & Securities
  • Manufacturing
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Technology


  • Wake Forest University School of Law, JD, cum laude, 1982
  • Duke University, BA, cum laude, 1973

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia
  • North Carolina