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
  • The Constitutional Court abolished the Article 16/5 of the Decree Law numbered 556

    The Constitutional Court abolished the Article 16/5 of the Decree Law numbered 556.
  • Assignment of Trademarks and Licensing of Trademarks in Turkey

    I. Introduction
  • Austria: Amendments to Chemicals Act and Biocidal Products Act

    On March 5 2015 Austria's agriculture, forestry, environment and water economics minister presented a draft law to amend the Chemicals Act and the Biocidal Products Act. The proposed amendments are the last steps towards the final standardisation of the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures in accordance with EU Regulation 1272/2008 (the 'CPL Regulation'). The amendments simplify the term 'toxin' and shift the existing toxin purchase permit system to a simplified system of toxin purchase certificates. Read more...
  • Poland: Traders' Obligations under the New Consumers Protection Act

    The new consumers protection act (" Act ") which came into force on 25 December 2014 changed the obligations that traders (entrepreneurs) have with regard to the execution of sales contracts with consumers (relating to both goods and services) and warranty rules relating to the provided goods. read more...
  • Tax Legislation Overhaul Proposed in the Republic of Srpska

    Significant changes to the tax regulations in the Republic of Srpska (“RS”) are expected in the coming months. On March 6, the National Assembly of RS passed amendments to the Law on Fiscal Cash Registries. In addition, Parliament approved the Government’s proposals on amendments to several important tax laws, including corporate income tax, personal income tax, social security contributions and property tax. Proposed changes to the laws governing accounting and financial audits have also been approved. These changes are intended to clarify and strengthen existing tax rules, widen the tax base and introduce more discipline in the payment of tax, but also to reduce the tax burden for businesses in order to stimulate economic growth.
  • Careless limit values threaten the Mining Industry

    By lawyer/partner Pia Pehrson and associates Pelle Stubelius and Ludvig Gustafson, Foyen Advokatfirma
  • Wage moderation - The Act providing the new remuneration margin has been published

    On Thursday 30 April 2015, the Act establishing the maximum margin for the evolution of remuneration costs for 2015 and 2016 was published in the Belgian Official Gazette and entered into force.
  • Installment Sales

    The Regulation About Installment Sales ( "The Regulation" ) entered into force by being published in the Official Gazette on 14 th  January 2015. Although the title is 'installment sales'; the main subject of the Regulation is financial leasing agreements. It is important to be careful not to confuse the installment sales with the prepaid sales. In prepaid sales the buyer have the possession of the sold movable property after completing the payment. However in installment sales the buyer gets the property immediately and then makes the payment. Moreover the sales made by credit cards are not the subject of this Regulation.
  • Protection of Creditors and Employees and Personal Liabilities of Shareholders in Mergers

    Synergies and increase in the assets of the merging companies are aimed at mergers. However, a merger may at the same time result in the increase of the liabilities of the merging companies. Further, in some cases the financial standing of the absorbed company in a merger may not even show positive figures thus such a merger may present a potential risk on the creditors of especially the surviving company. Due to the fact that creditors of the merging entities do not have a veto right against a merger, there arises the need for a specific protection tool for the creditors. A merger may also negatively affect the employees of the merging entities, again especially the ones of the absorbed company. On the other hand, "over-protection" may defeat the purpose of the merger concept so a fairly balanced protection mechanics is essential. This article focuses on the means of protection of creditors and employees, and personal liabilities of shareholders in mergers, as regulated by the Turkish Commercial Code ("TCC").
  • The Gas Pipelines, the Cold War and the Black Sea Region

    Since the end of the Cold War, the Black Sea region has gained even greater political and economic importance and has become the subject of a dominance battle between world powers including the United States of America, Russia and the most influential member states of the European Union. While these world powers battle for dominance, local players such as Turkey and Ukraine have also gained importance and have used their geopolitical position to promote themselves as key international policy players.