Akerman opened an office in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and has expanded its Atlanta site with two corporate partners and the company seeking to establish a full-service site in Georgia.
Former Partners of Dent Ide and Amanda Leech have joined Akerman's corporate practice in Atlanta, and former firm of Kilpatrick Townsend, Paul Foley, will lead the firm's new Winston-Salem office.
Prior to joining Dentons, Monsanto had his general advice and served as president of American Bar Association in 1993. Leech, which focuses on general corporate consultancy both private and public companies, was promoted to Dentons last year. . The duo has represented many large corporations and board of directors in combinations and acquisitions, general corporate governance and compliance, and board risk management reviews.
Foley, who opens Winkin-Salem Akerman's office with two colleagues, was employed as chairman of Akerman's investment management group. It focuses its practice on advising on investments, compliance and securities law.
Kilpatrick said about Foley's event that “I wish Paul well.” Dentons did not respond immediately to a request for views on Ide and Leech's events.
Akerman's management partner Scott Meyers said the hires were driven mainly by client demand and set out two separate plans for each office.
Andrew Smulian, chairman and CEO of the firm, said that Atlanta has a wide range of sectors that will benefit from Akerman's extensive capabilities across the United States and Latin America. “We expect the office to grow rapidly in the years ahead, in terms of size and services,” he said.
The Atlanta office is being built in the model of similar extensions in Chicago and Texas, Meyers explained. Akerman hopes to expand the office – opened by three healthcare partners in September 2018 – into a full service service opportunity. The company opened its Chicago office for the first time in 2014 with eight attorneys. There has been an increase in the number of people to 50.
“Atlanta is very similar to cities like Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles,” Meyers said. “It is an international city where legal services must be both international and local.”
The firm has more modest plans for a smaller Winston-Salem market. While Meyers would not reveal specific clients, Foley will work with Akerman mid-market fund clients. Plans for the office are not the type of growth expected in Atlanta, but Meyers said the expansion is not out of question.
“If we see additional opportunities in the city, there is no reason why we would not benefit from that,” he said.
The increases in Atlanta and Winston-Salem in the framework of Akerman's overall plans for their historic Florida reputation only say that move, Meyers said. In recent years, the company has established offices in Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans and San Antonio. The Winston-Salem office marks the company's 25th position overall.
The firm has the second largest office in New York where it employs approximately 120 solicitors. Akerman also has 60 solicitors from four offices in Texas. And the Los Angeles site has grown over the past four years to 40.
“The growth continues the face of the mind,” Meyers said.
Akerman Sees Income, Raising Income in the Year of Unexpected Leadership Changes