Miami-headquartered Akerman was founded in 1920. The firm currently operates 24 US offices, giving it an extensive reach into a diverse range of domestic legal markets. Some of the firm’s other locations include central business hubs such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as smaller centers such as New Orleans, Salt Lake City and Madison, Wisconsin. However, with its Miami headquarters and eight separate Florida offices, the firm’s Sunshine State pedigree and expertise are hard to overlook.
The firm’s Florida attorneys are especially known for M&A and restructuring work. Akerman frequently works with private equity firms on middle-market transactions, and sees consistent activity from sectors such as healthcare, automotive and technology.
Akerman also handled deals in the agriculture sector, with the firm representing Del Monte Fresh Produce on multiple transactions through the research period. In one of the deals for Del Monte, the firm advised the company on its $360 million acquisition of Mann Packing.
In another highlight for the M&A team, the firm advised the Special Committee of Perry Ellis in connection with its $437 million acquisition by its founder to take the clothing retailer private.
Private equity firms Warren Equity Partners and BelHealth Investment Partners were also two of the firm’s key clients, with Akerman working on multiple deals for the two groups over the research period.
Miami-headquartered Greenberg Traurig is a national leader in the middle and upper-middle and market spaces. The firm has 30 different offices in the US, with locations that include New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Denver and Houston. Greenberg Traurig has continued to expand its already impressive national reach, opening a Minneapolis office in February 2019 with the addition of three attorneys from DLA Piper.
In addition to its Miami headquarters, Greenberg Traurig has Florida offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tallahassee, West Palm Beach and Tampa, making it a dominant player across the entire state.
The Florida team was kept busy with a considerable number of both private equity and public finance transactions over the course of the research period.
One of the firm’s most significant public finance deals came from serving as bond counsel in connection with a $196 million issue of Florida water and sewer revenue bonds.
One of the firm’s private equity standouts came from representing Trivest Partners on the sale of legal services company Advanced Discovery.
In one highlight from outside of the private equity space for the M&A group, the firm advised chemical company Platform Specialty Products on the $4.2 billion sale of Arysta Life Science to UPL.
“The expertise, depth of knowledge and efficient work product are excellent.” –M&A
“David is committed to legal excellence and is a true advocate for his client. I can trust David to handle matters quickly and efficiently. David understands our business and our specific needs and that helps get our work done at the highest level of expertise.”
Greenspoon Marder was founded in South Florida in 1981, and since then has expanded at a prolific rate throughout its home state and the rest of the US. In 2017 the firm opened offices in Newark, New Jersey, Nevada City, California, Portland, Oregon and Phoenix, Arizona. This momentum continued into 2018 with six more new offices: Iselin, New Jersey, Los Angeles, California, Scottsdale, Arizona, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Washington DC and Dublin, California. In total, the firm operates 26 offices across numerous regions in the US.
Many of the firm’s most significant deals from the research period remain confidential, but the firm continued to maintain its status as a Florida leader in the real estate sector. Greenspoon’s real estate works spanned a variety of building types in places across the country.
Among the deals that are public, one highlight comes in connection with the development of Ofizzina, a 16-story office condominium in Coral Gables, Florida. The firm represented TSG Group in connection with the financing, assembly and closing on the building’s $50 million in units.
“I have found all of the lawyers at Greenspoon Marder to be smart, hardworking and diligent. Additionally, they have extensive industry knowledge that results in excellent service.” – Corporate
“The firm is experienced in representing lenders in commercial real estate secured transactions. Their strengths are the experience and collegiality of their attorneys.” – Real estate
“Tom is a seasoned attorney specializing in real estate secured transactions and representing lenders. I found him knowledgeable, professional and easy to work with.”
McDermott Will & Emery was founded in Chicago in 1934. Now, the firm also has offices in Massachusetts, New York, Texas, California, DC and Florida. Although the firm works across a range of sectors, it has established itself as a strong firm when it comes to healthcare transactional work.
McDermott Will & Emery’s Florida team works out of Miami, where the firm’s focus was primarily on private equity deals in the healthcare sector over the research period.
One of the team’s most significant deals came in connection with private equity firm Comvest Partners’ $161.5 million acquisition of employee services company Engage2Excel. The firm advised Comvest on the deal.
In another private equity highlight, the firm represented Hidden Harbor Capital Partners on its acquisition of the automotive aftermarket division of Cloyes Gear & Products.
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough is based in Columbia, South Carolina, but the firm has 18 offices across 11 states and DC. The firm acts on a range of matters in the mid-market and is ranked by IFLR1000 for its work in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.
In August 2018, Nelson Mullins completed its merger with Florida firm Broad & Cassel, propelling upwards in the competitive Florida law firm food chain. In Florida, the firm operates under the name Nelson Mullins Broad & Cassel. One of its main focuses is on Florida’s highly active real estate market.
The firm worked in significant financings and acquisitions in the real estate sector over the research period. One standout came from representing ZOM Living on its $160 million joint venture acquisition of a mixed-use project in the Dallas Arts District.
In another highlight, the firm advised Tavistock Development on its Lake Nona project, a $780 million shopping and entertainment destination.
One of Florida’s leading law firms, Stearns Weaver has offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Tallahassee and Coral Gables. The Coral Gables office opened in July 2017, demonstrating Stearns Weaver’s continuing growth as a key player in this highly competitive legal market. The firm’s accomplished banking, restructuring, capital markets and M&A practices are frequently busy in the middle market and lower middle market spaces working with industries such as insurance, banking, retail and healthcare.
The life sciences and banking industries were among the biggest sources of work for Stearns Weaver over the research period. The firm also handled a number of deals for private equity clients.
Among the capital markets deals that Stearns Weaver worked on was NOW Diagnostics’ $20 million convertible preferred stock offering. The firm represented the issuer on the offering.
In one M&A highlight, the firm advised TotalBank on its $529 million acquisition by City National Bank. The merger made City National the third-largest bank in Florida.
The restructuring team also kept busy over the research period. One of the team’s most notable sources of work was electric vehicle company T3M’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Stearns Weaver served as special settlement counsel to the insured directors and officers of T3M, which has since reopened for business under the name T3 Motion.