Senator John Kennedy & James Bates LLP Help Businesses and Georgia Grow

Barbara Kieker

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Smart, thoughtful and financially savvy businesses are dealing with employment issues proactively to avoid future problems, according to John Kennedy, partner at James-Bates-Brannan-Groover-LLP, a full-service business law firm. Taking proactive steps – from creating and updating an employee handbook to having a comprehensive set of policies and procedures in place – can prevent an employee grievance from turning into a major issue for businesses of any size. 

“We’re doing more and more of this type of work for our clients, particularly small to medium size businesses. Increasingly companies want to work with one firm for all their legal needs,” Kennedy said. 

“We’ve been very thoughtful and made special efforts to be a full-service partner for small businesses. Our mindset is to ask what can we provide to our business clients to help them meet their growth objectives.”

Advising clients on the health care law

For example, according to Kennedy, James Bates is advising many of its clients on the economic and legal implications of the Affordable Care Act, which impacts businesses of all sizes.

“There are many different ways businesses are being touched by the ACA.  I think everyone is still trying to figure it all out.  We do a lot of work in health care – with doctor practice groups and hospitals.  That gives us additional insight into the impacts the ACA can have on other types of businesses.” 

James-Bates-Brannan-Groover-LLP delivers high-quality, cost-effective legal services for individuals and businesses throughout Georgia.  The firm has approximately 40 attorneys located in offices in Macon and Atlanta.  The firm has several practice groups, including civil litigation, real estate, tax and wealth planning, health care, employment and corporate. 

“Our firm was founded by five attorneys in Macon in 1999.  Since then we’ve grown at a healthy pace.  We opened our Atlanta office in 2010 with three attorneys and now have 20 attorneys in that office,” Kennedy said. 

“”There aren’t many firms with offices in Atlanta and Macon, neither of which are outposts.  Our offices are equally sized with equal expertise and that gives us greater reach for our clients.  We can be more effective handling business around the state.” 

Focusing on economic development in the Georgia Senate

Kennedy currently serves in the Georgia Senate, following his election from Senate District 18 in 2014.  In that role, his focus has been on economic development. 

“Good-quality, good-paying jobs are necessary for a good-functioning society.  How we attract and retain those types of jobs is an ever-changing model.  We’re in competition with all the other states, particularly southern states, so we need to constantly question whether we have the right policies and the right legislation to further economic development,” Kennedy said.

“It’s not happenstance.  We’re fortunate in Georgia to have a governor who has worked very hard – with the legislature – to make Georgia the number-one state in the country in which to do business.  We want to stay there.” 

While Kennedy agrees that jobs are not a panacea for all problems, he believes that many other problems – such as high crime rates or high dropout rates – will start to self-correct in a growing economy.

Before he began work as a state senator, Kennedy had hoped to split his time between the state capitol and the nearby James Bates Atlanta office.  Yet in his first months of service, he didn’t make it to the law office once. 

“I’ve been surprised how consuming the position is – it’s an eight-hour to 12-hour day,” Kennedy said. 

“And I’ve been impressed by the number of good, well-intentioned people who work in the legislature.  They’re there to do what’s best for the state and they’re making a real sacrifice to serve.” 

In June, Kennedy received the 2015 New Legislator of the Year Award from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.  While he continues to practice law at James Bates, Kennedy no longer serves as the firm’s managing partner.  Jeff Rutledge was elected managing partner as of January 1, 2015. 

More information on James-Bates-Brannan-Groover-LLP is available at More information on Senator Kennedy is available through the Georgia State Senate at

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.