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United States: Labor and employment
Akerman LLP’s Florida-based immigration practice assists clients in all immigration matters, such as the case preparation and legal analysis of corporate, NIV, and PERM immigration transactions, I-9 immigration compliance and the EB-5 program. The practice is co-led by Michael Benchetrit and Thomas Raleigh. Benchetrit has developed a niche practice centered around the immigration needs of Israeli companies seeking to access the US market, while Raleigh serves as the firm’s market entry coordinator and assists public companies, sports teams, investors and professionals in obtaining US work authorization, preparing petitions, and applications with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services and US Embassies overseas. The practice has wide-ranging industry knowledge, but is particularly active in the hospitality sector, where it acts for a number of Florida country clubs, such as The Everglades Club in Palm Beach, The Westchester Country Club and Glenview Country Club. Other clients include Coldstone Creamery and Somfy Systems. Scott Bettridge joined Fox Rothschild LLP.
United States: M&A/corporate and commercial
M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m)
Akerman LLP has a strong track record of middle-market M&A work, particularly within the healthcare, technology, retail, and restaurant industries, handling complex work for both buyers and sellers, including in the private equity space. Healthcare mandates included advising Simply Healthcare Holdings on its sale to healthcare insurance giant Anthem. On the buy side, the team assisted Canada-based Resolute Forest Products with its $156m acquisition of tissue products manufacturer Atlas Paper Holdings; acted for Shanghai-based multimedia company Tiger Media (now IDI) in its acquisition of US-based data solutions provider The Best One; and advised IT services provider Advanced AV on its simultaneous acquisition of two companies and a related debt and equity refinancing. Growth in the practice saw Arturo Banegas Masiá join the New York office from Verizon Wireless, Andres Mendoza join from Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP and Felipe Berer promoted to partner. Martin Burkett and Carl Roston head the M&A and private equity group from the Miami office and senior statesman of the firm’s M&A practice Teddy Klinghoffer is highly rated. Corporate practice chair Mary Carroll advises general partners, private equity funds, entrepreneurs and private and public companies on a broad range of deals; Jonathan Awner specializes in public and private securities transactions, M&A and private equity investments; and Stephen Roddenberry has assisted buyers, sellers, investors, directors’ boards and their special committees, and other stakeholders with hundreds of M&A deals, spin-offs, and restructurings involving private and public companies. All partners listed above, unless otherwise stated, are in Miami.
Carl Roston - Akerman LLP
United States: Real estate and construction
Construction (including construction litigation)
The construction group at Akerman LLP is spread across five offices and chaired by Jeffrey Gilmore in Washington DC. It advises owners and developers on procurement and transactional work in relation to large government contracts as well as renewable energy, hospitality and infrastructure projects in the US, Middle East and Central and South America. The team has been advising Faena Group on the Faena District hospitality project and surrounding investments, totaling at $700m. On the contentious side, it represented Peabody Energy in disputes arising from the development, engineering, procurement and construction of a $3bn 1,600MW coal-fired power plant in Illinois. The LEED-accredited Stacy Bercun Bohm acts as Florida counsel to Barrick Gold and recently assisted the client negotiate a $3.8bn contract for the construction of a mine and related facilities in Chile and Argentina. Stephen Hurlbut continues to defend Ceco Concrete Construction against claims filed by its subcontractors arising from a $73m parking garages project.
Akerman LLP handles high-profile projects in Florida, New York and across the US, and is currently advising Swire Properties on its Brickell City Centre project. It is also advising All Aboard Florida on negotiating public-private right-of-way agreements for the development of an intercity passenger rail project, and Faena Group on the development of a mixed-use project in Miami Beach. Orlando-based Cecelia Bonifay heads the department. Other key individuals include the ‘brilliant’ Neisen Kasdin, who is managing partner of the Miami office, where Spencer Crowley is also based.
Akerman LLP’s 61-partner practice continued to be at the forefront of large-scale development projects, particularly in Florida and New York, where the team acted for multiple national homebuilders and developers in land use and transactional matters and also finalized Bottega Veneta’s lease with the Wildenstein Organization for its flagship location in Manhattan. The practice also handles corporate transactions and debt finance mandates for clients such as Northstar Commercial Partners and Rialto Mortgage Finance. Further experience was added in areas such as multifamily and mixed-use projects, the environmental aspects of real estate development and private equity and M&A via the introduction of a number of lateral hires, including Denver-based Howard Gelt, who joined from Polsinelli PC, New York-based Richard Leland, who joined from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, and Miami-based Andres Mendoza, who joined from Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP. Richard Bezold in Miami heads the team.
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Offices in West Palm Beach, Tampa, Tallahassee, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Los Angeles, Jacksonville, New York, Tysons Corner, Madison, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Salt Lake City, Washington DC, Naples, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, and Chicago