Mr. Leonard received a BA with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1978 and his JD from there in 1982. After law school he practiced with Pilsbury Winthrop (on Wall Street) where he worked on various corporate projects, including mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, corporate and commercial financings, syndicated bank financings, structured financings (including leasing and project finance), specialized financial products (such as derivatives), reorganizations/restructurings and bankruptcies.
He moved to Atlanta in 1988 where he initially worked with King & Spalding. There he focused on representing borrowers and lenders in transactions involving corporate and commercial finance, including mergers and acquisitions, public securities offerings, asset-based and syndicated bank financings, workouts, structured financings, reorganizations and bankruptcies.
In 1993 became a partner with Kilpatrick Stockton where he led the Leveraged Finance Team and continued to focus on the areas of practice referred to above. In addition, he developed sub-specialties in the areas of health care, telecommunications, media and transportation and government contracts. While there, he was the principal outside counsel to GE Capital’s Healthcare Financial Services unit and represented several other large institutional investors as well as private hedge funds and borrowers in all aspects of corporate finance transactions and workouts, both domestic and international. In addition, he formed several hedge funds and supervised the legal aspects of their fundraising efforts.
Mr. Leonard retired as a partner from Kilpatrick Stockton at the end of 2007 to pursue other interests. During that time he was involved in various matters, including working with Batten Capital on several highly leveraged investments in corporate acquisitions, advisory engagements and restructurings and helping to organize a private distressed loan servicing entity. He returned to practicing law with Zakas & Leonard at the start of 2010 with the goal of returning to the traditional practice of law. His goal is to work personally with clients to provide the highest quality of legal service at a reasonable price by eliminating the overhead, inefficiencies, expense and layering of personnel associated with a large law firm.
Before his retirement, Mr. Leonard served as a member of the Georgia State Bar UCC Committee, the Subcommittee on the Adoption of Revised UCC Article 9 (secured transactions) and the Subcommittee on Legal Opinions in Secured Transactions. He was a frequent speaker at various Georgia Continuing Legal Education Seminars. He was listed in “Best Lawyers in America” and “Georgia Super Lawyers.” He also served on several pro bono matters including acting as general outside counsel to the Hands On/City Cares volunteer services organization and Visiting Nurse Atlanta. Mr. Leonard also has been active in the YMCA youth sports programs and various church groups. He has 2 grown daughters.