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Akerman Ranked Among Top 20 Most Innovative Law Firms in North America by Financial Times
Firm Commended for Commitment to Collaborative Innovation and Differentiated Client Service
December 7, 2016
Akerman LLP, a top 100 U.S. law firm serving clients across the Americas, has once again been selected as one of the nation's most innovative law firms by the Financial Times. The firm ranked no. 20 on the 2016 FT 25 North America list, which recognizes market leaders who are driving change in the areas of the business of law, legal expertise and social responsibility. Akerman received further distinction for its commitment to client service innovation and collaboration.

Akerman was ranked among the top four law firms in the first-ever Innovation in Collaboration category for the creation of the Akerman Data Law Center, an automated inventory of data privacy and security laws developed in partnership with Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services and Neota Logic. The Akerman Data Law Center leverages the power of integrated "expert systems," a form of artificial intelligence (AI), to deliver legal advice from Akerman lawyers to clients efficiently and cost-effectively. This AI-driven approach enables clients to remain on the frontlines of business-critical data laws and handle routine compliance issues in-house at a greatly reduced expense, allowing them to engage with outside counsel in even more meaningful and effective ways.

Akerman's lauded experience in U.S.-Cuba policy earned the firm distinction among the top five firms in the Regulatory Work for Clients category. A short time after the Obama Administration launched historic steps to re-establish full diplomatic relations with Cuba, Akerman negotiated with government officials to construct a groundbreaking legal framework that enabled its client Musicabana to launch the largest, most historic music event of its kind in Cuba. Regarded as corporate America's go-to legal team for Cuba by CNN Money and Chambers Latin America, Akerman leveraged its deep knowledge of Cuban policy to navigate complex regulations and forge a strategy while ensuring compliance with the ongoing changes in law. Establishing this new framework helped pave the way for other U.S. businesses to enter the market.

The firm also was ranked in the same category for leading a historic victory for the Seminole Tribe of Florida that reverberated for Native American tribes across the United States. The action challenged the constitutionality of the Florida commercial rental tax, as it applies to rentals of Indian land. The court victory clarified that federal law prohibits state taxation of rentals of Indian land, defining the limits of states' taxing authority in Indian Country.

The Financial Times previously recognized Akerman as one of the country's most forward-thinking firms in the business of law category for establishing the Akerman R&D Council, the legal industry's first R&D co-venture with clients. The firm was also singled-out among the most innovative law firms in social responsibility for creating an unprecedented law firm partnership with the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association during the launch of the Akerman Give Back campaign.

The annual Innovative Lawyers report was developed by the Financial Times in partnership with RSG Consulting. Each year the team conducts an investigation on the challenges that businesses face and how lawyers have innovated to help their clients solve them. Firms are selected following extensive independent research and direct client feedback.

About Akerman LLP
Akerman LLP is a leading transactions and trial law firm known for its core strengths in middle market M&A, within the financial services and real estate industries, and for a diverse Latin America practice. With more than 650 lawyers and government affairs professionals and a network of 24 offices, it is ranked among the top 100 law firms in the United States by The American Lawyer (2016). Akerman also is ranked among the top 60 law firms for diversity in The American Lawyer's Diversity Scorecard (2016).

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