Sirote & Permutt prides ourselves on being one of the premier law firms in the state of Alabama. Our long and rich history paints the picture of a group of dedicated men and women, who have reached for excellence with regard to their practice, their clients, and Birmingham as a whole.
The history of Sirote & Permutt began after World War II in 1946 when Morris Sirote and Edward Friend, Jr. joined forces with James Permutt to establish a law office in Birmingham, Ala. Karl Friedman soon joined the group, and together these men built one of the Southeast’s largest and most respected law firms across a wide range of practice areas.
As the firm grew, its founders adopted a keen work ethic that thrives to this day. They worked long and hard for their clients, adopting a mindset of, “providing excellent service in a rapid fashion for a reasonable price.” At times, they took on clients who couldn’t afford to pay, but the gentlemen were making a name for themselves as a firm that treated people like real people – not just clients. They were friendly and formed personal relationships with the people who hired them.
It was during this time that the firm’s founders created some of the policies and tenets that contributed to its success.
Sirote, Permutt, Friend & Friedman continued to make a name for themselves during the 1950s. Other firms in town were not as specialized and efficient, and word quickly spread that Sirote was the visionary firm in the area.
It was during this time that one of the basic hallmarks of the firm – charitable giving – began. The firm’s partners encouraged all attorneys to participate in civic, religious and social organizations and to give back to the community. It is a practice that remains a cornerstone of the firm to this day, with attorneys championing worthwhile causes to help others in the community.
The 1960s were a turbulent time in the South, with racial tensions rising during the Civil Rights movement. Birmingham was making national news, with disturbing images of the treatment of African Americans in the city that was making headlines. However, Sirote, Permutt, Friend & Friedman went against the grain of the times and made it a goal to support the cause of African Americans. The firm gave free legal advice to African Americans in the community, offered their offices as meeting space to groups involved in the Civil Rights movement and donated funds to the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League. It wasn’t always a popular cause; Karl Friedman still has a bullet hole in the side of his house from an unknown person who disagreed with his stance on Civil Rights.
Unprecedented growth occurred for the firm during the 1970s, as the economic policies of the US and the laws that were being passed shaped and supported business growth, and Corporate and tax planning became a large part of the firm’s business.
The 1980s showed even more growth for the firm. By 1981, the firm had grown into one of the largest firms in Alabama. The first satellite offices in Huntsville and Mobile were opened, and offices in Fort Lauderdale and Pensacola, Fla., would follow. During this time the firm hired its first female attorney, Melinda Mathews. Within two years, she became the first woman to be a partner in a major law firm in Alabama.
In 1984, J. Mason Davis joined the firm. Mason stepped into his role as a Sirote & Permutt attorney seamlessly, as a full senior partner. Mason had played an active role in the Civil Rights movement for more than 25 years, and was a respected member of the legal community. He was the first African American attorney to be hired by a major Alabama law firm.
Throughout the years, Sirote & Permutt has operated as a family. Many say the key to our longevity is that we genuinely like each other. What started as a one-man firm has withstood trials – both in the courtroom and in the world around us – and come out a strong, successful law firm with outstanding attorneys, strong ties to the community, and a commitment to excellence.
Today, Sirote & Permutt is one of the most respected law firms in the country, employing more than 300 people in five offices. Our firm has provided representation to clients in hundreds of strategic transactions involving billions of dollars. Our attorneys service a broad array of practice areas for clients of all sizes in numerous industries. We are privileged to serve a geographically diverse clientele, from startups and closely held businesses to major national and international corporations. Our attorneys have argued cases before the United States Supreme Court and testified before Congress. However, what sets Sirote apart is not just the knowledgeable and experienced counsel we have provided over nearly 70 years of serving the community with distinction. It is also our unwavering belief in always being there for our clients, never satisfied until their goals are fully met, never sacrificing principles along the way.