Tallahassee, FL—Jan. 12, 2017— The Tallahassee office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig P.A. celebrated its 25th anniversary with a reception Jan. 11 at the Governor’s Club just blocks away from the Capitol building. Joining the firm’s Tallahassee lawyers and business staff in attendance were Governor Rick Scott, who gave brief congratulatory remarks, as well as Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, numerous state lawmakers and state agency heads, countless colleagues, clients, family and friends. Founding Chairman Larry J. Hoffman, Senior Chairmen Cesar L. Alvarez and Matthew B. Gorson, and Co-President Ernest L. Greer were among the Greenberg Traurig leadership in town to mark the momentous occasion.
On Dec. 31, 1991, the attorneys of the Tallahassee law firm of Roberts, Baggett, LaFace & Richard, then a 14-lawyer firm that held a prominent position in the landscape of Florida government and politics, joined the Miami-based firm of Greenberg Traurig. The first full day of operation for Greenberg Traurig’s Tallahassee office was Jan. 3, 1992. This move marked Greenberg Traurig’s first major venture outside of South Florida.
Today, the Tallahassee office has grown to include a diverse and powerful team of lawyers, government relations professionals and business staff. Located just one block from the state’s Capitol building, and three blocks from Florida’s Supreme Court, Greenberg Traurig’s Tallahassee office offers clients an immediate physical and political link to the heart of the nation’s third largest state.
“Since joining Greenberg Traurig 25 years ago, we have built a full-service platform to serve all of our clients’ needs, both here in Florida and across the nation, through the firm’s legal and lobbying efforts,” said Fred W. Baggett, managing shareholder of Greenberg Traurig’s Tallahassee office. “You simply cannot deny the success this partnership has achieved.”
“When the Greenberg Traurig Tallahassee office opened 25 years ago, we gained not only an established state government relations team that had been instrumental in practically every major legislative issue over the preceding 20 years, but a strong multidisciplinary legal team experienced in all major areas of the law as well,” Gorson said.
During the firm’s 25 years in Tallahassee, its lawyers have played integral roles in some of Florida’s most notable and newsworthy court cases. In 2000, Greenberg Traurig Tallahassee shareholder Barry Richard served as lead counsel for George W. Bush in the Florida presidential litigation, where he managed 46 cases, and personally argued most of them, in federal and state courts during a 36-day marathon.
Richard also played an integral role in the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s successful compact negotiations with the state in 2008. The historic compact, which was ratified by the Legislature in 2010, has significantly improved the economic well-being of the tribal members and produced over a billion dollars in revenue to the state. When a portion of the compact that authorized the Tribe to offer blackjack and other card games expired in 2015, Richard filed suit against the state on behalf of the Tribe and won a federal court ruling in late 2016 that entitles them to continue to conduct such games through the full term of the compact, which runs until 2030.
In 2004, shareholder Fred F. Harris assisted Florida’s insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, in obtaining a half billion dollar refund in federal income taxes. For years, Citizens had paid federal income tax on its earnings, as if they were private insurers. In federal court, Greenberg Traurig successfully established that Citizens was an integral part of the State of Florida, established for a public purpose, controlled by the state through its Department of Insurance and therefore not subject to federal income tax. Citizens has since been allowed to operate without any obligation to pay federal income tax, and has been allowed to issue tax-exempt debt to provide a cushion for future hurricane losses. Those tax benefits continue to this date.
Over the last 25 years, Greenberg Traurig Tallahassee has also made it a priority to give back to the community it calls home. The firm’s lawyers have held prominent positions and volunteered considerable amounts of time to assist a wide range of organizations including the United Way of the Big Bend, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Opening Nights, and Tallahassee Friends of the Library Endowment, Community Foundation of North Florida, The Shelter and Elder Care Services of the Big Bend.
About Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GTLaw) has more than 2,000 attorneys in 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and is celebrating its 50th anniversary. One firm worldwide, GTLaw has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, was named the second largest firm in the U.S. by Law360 in 2016, and among the Top 20 on the 2016 Am Law Global 100. Web: www.gtlaw.com Twitter: @GT_Law.