Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP announced today that Franklin K. Jelsma has been elected Managing Partner of the Firm, effective January 1, 2014. As part of a long planned transition, Jelsma will succeed Bill Hollander, who has served as Managing Partner since 2007.
Jelsma assumes the leadership of a 200 lawyer, full-service law firm, with six offices in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Indiana. Jelsma has served as the Partner in Charge of the Louisville office since April, 2012, and two terms on the firm’s Executive Committee beginning in 2006. He joined the Firm in 1996 after working in the Governor’s office during the administration of Governor Brereton C. Jones.
“Franklin represents the next generation of leadership at Wyatt” said Hollander. “I am confident he is the right person for the job. He has a demonstrated track record of leadership and accomplishment, dating back to his days in the Governor’s office and carrying through to his law practice and role as head of our Louisville office. He has done a fantastic job developing his law practice and is deserving of his reputation as an excellent M&A lawyer. Most importantly, he has the trust and respect of our partners.”
Jelsma will continue to advise his clients in M&A transactions, venture capital investments and general corporate work. “Part of my agreement with my partners is that I will be able to continue to practice law” said Jelsma. “My clients are very important to me and I will not be stepping away from my work obligations when I take on this new role.”
Jelsma also plays an active role in the community, particularly in regard to education. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Jefferson County Public Education Foundation and the Vice Chair of the Prichard Committee. Jelsma also serves on the Board of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Louisville Rotary Club.
“I’m honored to have this opportunity” Jelsma said. “When Bill announced he was not planning to serve another term, we were surprised but we appreciated the opportunity he gave us for a long and complete transition period. Bill has guided our Firm through a very difficult economy, helped us change the way we think as a Firm and strengthened our foundation. We are grateful to him for his years of dedicated service. From Wilson Wyatt to Gordon Davidson, through the lawyers who guided me as I learned to practice law, Stewart Conner, Kevin Hable and Larry Cashen, our Firm has distinguished itself with a great tradition of service, both to our clients and to our communities. We have a hard working group of exceptional lawyers who are excited about the future and committed to strengthening our legacy during the years ahead” said Jelsma.
Mr. Jelsma received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was an editor of the Kentucky Law Journal and Order of the Coif. He has been identified as a top lawyer in the region for his practice in corporate, M&A and Venture Capital law by numerous legal peer review publications, such as Chambers USA 2013, Woodward White’s The Best Lawyers in America 2014, and Kentucky Super Lawyers 2013. Recently, he was voted as one of the "Top Lawyers" in the areas of Business-Commercial Law, Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisition Law and Venture Capital Law by Louisville Magazine, April 2013.
Hollander intends to stay active in the Firm and the community. Prior to serving as Managing Partner, Hollander led the Firm’s Intellectual Property practice, which now numbers 14 lawyers. In addition to his legal practice, Hollander plans to stay involved in civic and charitable matters. He recently served as Chair of Leadership Louisville and is currently Vice Chair of both Maryhurst and the Louisville Free Public Library Foundation. He also serves on the Board and finance committee of the Fund for the Arts.
Andrew J. Payton
Chief Marketing Officer
Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP
500 West Jefferson Street, Suite 2800
Louisville, KY 40202