Akerman Senterfitt today announced the opening of its 18th U.S. office in Naples, Florida, the firm’s third new office in the state in just the past eight months. Recently, Akerman has significantly added to its dominant Florida presence, opening new offices in Boca Raton and Palm Beach, and increasing its numbers in West Palm Beach.
The Naples opening is fueled by the addition of Jonathan Gopman and John Clough, who will bolster the firm’s Trusts & Estates and Litigation practices. Jonathan was most recently with Cummings & Lockwood and John was most recently with Cheffy Passidomo. In addition, George Powell, who recently joined Akerman as a Shareholder in the firm’s Real Estate practice, will spend time in both the Miami and Naples offices.
“We are pleased to welcome such prominent lawyers to the firm as our new colleagues,” said Andrew Smulian, Chairman and CEO of Akerman. "Their arrival to Akerman underscores our continued investment in building our capabilities for clients with sophisticated legal needs in South Florida as well as other key markets in the U.S."
Mr. Gopman joins the Trusts, Estates & Family Services practice as a Shareholder. He focuses on sophisticated wealth accumulation and preservation planning strategies for entrepreneurs. Jonathan is a member of the legal advisory board of Commonwealth Trust Company in Wilmington, Delaware, and a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Worth Magazine has recognized Jonathan as one of the top one hundred estate planning attorneys in the U.S. Jonathan is the originator of the idea for the statutory tenancy by the entireties trust (commonly referred to as a “STET”). This statute was enacted into law in Delaware in July of 2010 and became effective on August 1, 2010. Jonathan’s articles, commentaries and presentations have also served as the impetus for changes to the trust laws of several states. Mr. Gopman has been recognized by Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America for the past two years. He is admitted to the Florida and North Carolina bars.
Considering that the very favorable estate and gift tax changes implemented with the recent passage of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 will expire at the end of 2012, comprehensive long term estate and tax planning strategies are more critical then ever. Akerman's Trusts and Estates lawyers are an integrated team of planners who represent high-net-worth individuals, including senior corporate executives and owners of family businesses, as well as foundations in instituting and administering a variety of trust, estate, guardianship and other fiduciary planning.
Mr. Clough joins the Litigation practice as Shareholder. He is a commercial litigator representing clients in a wide variety of transactional disputes. His experience includes complex business and commercial litigation, including business and contractual disputes, construction and real estate disputes, employment-related disputes, probate and trust litigation, and alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Clough is Florida Bar Board Certified in Business Litigation and has been recognized in Gulfshore Business' "40 Under 40" and named to Super Lawyers Rising Star List for 2011.
Akerman is top ranked in Florida by Benchmark Litigation and is recognized as a national tier one law firm for International Arbitration in the Best Law Firms rankings of the 2010 U.S. News & World Report - Best Lawyers survey. Akerman's lawyers have vast experience in a wide range of civil and criminal litigation, including actions involving banking, securities, healthcare, insurance, real estate, and construction.
Mr. Powell, who joined Akerman in October, brings particular experience to the firm in the areas of tax appeals, eminent domain, and real estate repositioning and restructuring.
About Akerman Senterfitt
Akerman is ranked among the top 100 law firms in the United States by The National Law Journal NLJ 250 (2010) in number of lawyers and is the leading Florida firm. With 500 lawyers and government affairs professionals, Akerman serves clients throughout the United States and overseas from Florida, New York, Washington, D.C., California, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada and Texas. More information can be found at www.akerman.com or www.twitter.com/akerman_law.