The Legal 500

Akerman LLP

420 SOUTH ORANGE AVENUE, ORLANDO, FL 32801, USA
Tel:
Work +1 407 423 4000
Fax:
Fax +1 407 843 6610
Email:
Web:
www.akerman.com

United States

Recommendations


United States: Labor and employment

Within Immigration, Akerman LLP is a third tier firm,

Akerman LLP is praised for its ability to provide ‘the support and resources of a large law firm but the attention to detail of a small firm, resulting in the best of both worlds’. It is also noted for its ‘impressively reasonable fee structure’. The group offers expertise in all aspects of business immigration. It recently advised Interchange Group on the establishment of its operations at Orlando International Airport. Other clients include Cable & Wireless Communications, Spirit Airlines, and, reflecting the firm’s growing resorts practice, The Everglades Club and Diamond Creek. Orlando-based Thomas Raleigh, who is ‘very professional and explains all steps clearly’, and Miami-based Michael Benchetrit co-chair the immigration, planning and compliance practice. The firm welcomed Scott Bettridge who was formerly the Coral Gables office managing partner at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy; his ‘knowledge of immigration law is outstanding’ and he is ‘professional, informed, experienced and a nice guy’, with one client remarking that they ‘strongly urge anyone with immigration law needs to contact him’.

[back to top]

United States: Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts

Within M&A: middle-market ($500m-999m), tier 4

Akerman LLP has a ‘top-notch M&A practice, not just the best in South Florida, but also competitive on a national level. The hourly rates are very cost effective, without any diminution in the quality of the legal service provided’. The group stands out for its experience in middle-market M&A work, particularly in the healthcare, financial services, technology, retail, and restaurant industries. It acted for OPKO Health on the acquisitions of Cytochroma and PROLOR Biotech, providing the company with a pipeline of important therapeutic and unique diagnostic products in various stages of development; advised Red Zone Capital Management on its sale of the Johnny Rockets restaurant chain to Friendly’s and also its sale of dick clark productions to Guggenheim Partners; and acted for XPO Logistics, one of the fastest-growing providers of transportation logistics services in North America, on its acquisition of 3PD Holdings. The practice also acted for AutoNation, America’s largest automotive retailer, on several recent transactions which add $825m to the company’s annual revenues. Miami-based Mary Carroll chairs the national corporate practice group; Carl Roston and Martin Burkett co-chair the M&A and private equity practice; and Jonathan Awner and Teddy Klinghoffer are also highly rated. Roston and Klinghoffer are ‘hardworking attorneys, with many years of practical experience and strong business acumen’. Names in New York include local corporate practice group head Wayne Wald; Carlos Méndez-Peñate, who co-chairs the Latin America and Caribbean practice; and Kenneth Alberstadt. Michael Kelley in Washington DC joined from EMP Global; Orlando-based of counsel Melissa Koch joined from Brambles; and of counsel Rod Manning in Fort Lauderdale joined from White & Case LLP. Kelley has significant experience in M&A, joint ventures, and privatizations, and the structuring of investments, divestments, and financing transactions in Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia; Koch advises public and private companies, start-ups, investment banks and private equity funds, with a focus on the supply chain, industrial services and technology industries; and Manning focuses on foreign investment in the US. Robert Zinn and Marc Druckman left for Carlton Fields Jorden Burt’s Miami office.

[back to top]

United States: Real estate and construction

Within Construction, Akerman LLP is a third tier firm,

Miami-headquartered Akerman LLP’s construction practice is headed by Jeffrey Gilmore out of the Virginia office, and forms part of its real estate group. The highest concentration of construction competence can be found in the Florida, Virginia and Washington DC locations, though the firm fields expertise in most of its offices. It handles construction defect claims for developers, investors and manufacturers both domestically and internationally, and the Florida office is heavily involved in industrial projects in Latin and South America. It also represents private and public owners, public authorities, non-profit companies, lenders, designers, insurance carriers and surety companies. A recent increase in inbound international investments, chiefly in Florida in relation to hospitality and multi-family projects, resulted in an uptick in transactional matters and front-end work such as contract negotiations and reviews. Other areas of expertise include conventional and renewable energy, infrastructure, healthcare, luxury residential buildings and EPC delivery methods. Miami-based Stacy Bercun Bohm is acting for the City of Orlando on the $200m renovation of the Citrus Bowl stadium, and is acting for Miami Children’s Hospital on the construction of a $200m bed tower. In another highlight, Robert Smith is acting as a member of the international dispute adjudication board in a $3.2bn dispute arising from the Panama Canal Authority’s design/build contract for a set of locks. Kim Ashby in Orlando is highly recommended.

[back to top]

Within Land use/zoning, Akerman LLP is a second tier firm,

With particular experience in large-scale development projects in Florida and New York, Akerman LLP`s ‘very good’ 15-partner practice is currently advising new client Faena along with Access Industries on site plan approvals and related development matters for various projects, including the redevelopment of the Saxony hotel in Miami Beach. Led by New York-based Michael Bailkin, the department is also advising Street-Works Development LLC on the $1.3bn redevelopment of the entire downtown area of the City of Quincy in Massachusetts. Cecelia Bonifay heads the practice from Orlando.

[back to top]

Within Real estate, tier 4

Akerman LLP’s ‘professional’ 69-partner team is led by Richard Bezold, ‘a very highly skilled attorney with a wealth of experience’. The group focuses predominantly on high-profile development projects and complex financing transactions. Recent work led by Eric Rapkin includes advising Parmenter Realty Partners on the acquisition of the Rocky Point office buildings as well as Island Center and Waterford Plaza, in Tampa, Florida; the team also advised it on the sale of the Gwinnett Commerce Center for $20.5m and the sale of 1000 Parkwood Circle for $28m in Atlanta. It has been retained as US counsel by an affiliate of Hilton Worldwide: Andy Robins, chair of the lodging and lifestyle team is leading the firm’s advice on negotiating a $72m hotel management agreement for the operation of a 298-room full-service Hilton hotel currently under construction in Rio de Janeiro. Clients also include Samsung, Faena Group and UBS Securities. Steven Polivy, who heads the economic development practice and is managing partner of the New York office, is ‘very well connected’ and Miami-based Manuel Fernandez is ‘excellent’. Steven Bloom recently joined in New York from Bryan Cave LLP and Israel Alfonso joined in Miami from Greenberg Traurig LLP. The Orlando office was also boosted by the arrival of George Graham.

[back to top]


Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Recent Issues of Data Protection Regulation in Korea

    The Personal Information Protection Act ("PIPA") was enacted as a general law of personal information in March 2011 to fulfill the need for presiding rules to govern personal information protection. In fact, there have already been a number of special laws governing personal information protection in various special areas and cases, such as The Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization Information Protection ("Network Act") governing information and communications services, and the Use and Protection of Credit Information Act ("Credit Information Act") governing personal credit information. Special laws prevail over the general law, when in conflict with individual articles of the general law.
  • Work Permits for Foreign Shareholders and Managers in Turkey

    Since last 10 years the financial developments and the promising financial and technological progresses notably in energy, tourism and infrastructure sectors have attracted the foreign investors' interest. Since the number of foreign investments has been increasing within these developments, the question, if a company may have foreign shareholders and foreign board members has come to the fore. This was actually the result of the frequent change in laws as part of adaptation progress to E.U legislation. 
  • Concerns regarding UCA as a result of coalition agreement Michel I

     
  • INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN DEFENSE INDUSTRY: BEYOND THE INTANGIBILITY IN TURKEY

    The intellectual property rights (IP) are conceptually is linked to both intellectual and industrial rights in Turkish legislation. Intellectual property rights are almost related to the intellectual and artistic works, linked rights (neighboring rights), computer programs and databases and protected with royalty, while industrial rights contain patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial designs, topographies of integrated circuits (chips), geographical indications, plant varieties, other names and signs, trade secrets (know-how, undisclosed information) and they are protected with industrial and exclusive rights.
  • An Overview of FIDIC Rules

    FIDIC, (Federation Internationale Des Ingenieurs Conseils), International Federation of Consulting Engineers aims to find a resolution in construction sector. There are five different FIDIC contracts in different colors that regulates different and separate obligations and rights. Today FIDIC is applied to 30 % of international construction project contracts. In Turkey, FIDIC mostly was preferred in high volume construction projects such as Marmaray Bosphorus Project, Baku Ceyhan Pipeline Construction Project, Ankara- Istanbul Highway Construction. 
  • Delivery of Leviathan Gas through Turkey

    Israel's offshore Tamar and Leviathan gas fields in Eastern Mediterranean Sea have a significant discovery in order to meet Europe's rising gas and energy need.
  • Present and Future of Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism in Turkey: “YEKDEM”

    Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority ("EMRA") has announced on 1st October 2014 that the electricity manufacturing license holders producing electricity from renewable resources are required to submit their applications for Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism ("YEKDEM") for the year 2015 until 31th October 2014, in order to benefit from the facilities regulated by the related legislation.
  • Re-employment of Employees & Constructive Dismissal Claims

    This update reports recent developments on employment law and practice in Singapore.
  • Comprehensive Measures to Protect Personal Data in the Financial Sector

    The following is a summary of the press releases made by the Financial Services Commission on 10 March 2014. These are action items and policies that the FSC and relevant ministries are seeking to implement. The following measures have developed from a series of measures previously announced since the data leakage from the three credit card companies were revealed last January.
  • Essilor’s Proposed Combination with an Optical Lens Maker in Korea is Blocked

    In its press release on March 17, 2014, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the "KFTC") blocked the proposed acquisition of 50% shares by Essilor Amera Investment Pte. Ltd. (a subsidiary of Essilor International S.A., the largest optical lens maker in the world) in Daemyung Optical Co., Ltd. (the second largest optical lens maker in Korea) citing inter alia the likely lessening effect on price competition and the probable future abuses of the enhanced market power. On top of the expressed competitive concerns, the KFTC observed that allowing foreign firms to acquire local firms and turn them into their local sub-contractors worsens the competitive market structure of the domestic optical lens industry.