Most Highly Regarded Firms: Florida 2007 – Competition

As one might expect, the scope for competition law is smaller in Florida than it would be in New York or Washington, DC, for example. However, our research has uncovered ten individuals from eight firms, all with an excellent reputation for competition-related work. The selected individuals counsel and litigate on behalf of a diverse client base on matters including the laws concerning cartels, monopolisation and mergers, and in some cases all three.

Kenny Nachwalter PA “has a good high-level antitrust practice” according to sources, emerging from our research as one of only two firms with multiple nominees in this chapter. Its practice encompasses both plaintiff and defence work, the lawyers having represented private and publicly held corporations, individual entrepreneurs and government agencies on a variety of matters. The “excellent” Scott Perwin’s practice has a strong competition and trade regulation flavour, and he currently serves as adjunct professor in Antitrust Law at the University of Miami School of Law. Perwin has “significant hands-on experience” according to one rival and is a “proven performer and good in court” according to another. William Blechman comes recommended as a “highly experienced attorney” and “automatic for inclusion in any list of Florida’s best”. Blechman’s international cartel practice was brought to our attention: he has worked on civil cases relating to conspiracies involving parcel tankers, vitamins, citric acid, rubber processing chemicals and hydrogen peroxide, to name but a few. He has also prosecuted and defended cases for clients in the telecoms, financial services, airlines and shipping industries on claims involving domestic conspiracy and monopolisation.

Litchford & Christopher PA is the only other outfit with more than one individual recommended on the following pages. Keith Rounsaville chairs the Florida Bar Association’s antitrust and trade regulation law certification committee and emerges as one of the most-nominated individuals in our research. Rounsaville focuses on litigation and counselling and was recommended as “an outstanding criminal antitrust lawyer”. His practice also encompasses civil litigation and investigations by both state and federal enforcement agencies. Hal Litchford, one of the firm’s founding shareholders, is another of the practice area’s high flyers. Litchford “has been active in the field for a long time” according to one rival and he emerges from our survey with nothing but praise.

Chris Coutroulis leads Carlton Fields PA’s business litigation & trade regulation practice and is “fantastic and knowledgeable”. Sources noted his particular expertise in class actions and his experience relating to government investigations in the antitrust arena. Coutroulis is evidently one of the state’s leading lights and his reputation in the field led one interviewee to remark: “If I had to give a referral in Tampa, he would be top of my list.” Lawrence Silverman in the Miami office of Akerman Senterfitt is similarly well regarded and consistently endorsed by some of the practice area’s leading lights. An “outstanding defence lawyer”, his counselling practice is also said to be particularly strong.

Jerome Hoffman at Holland & Knight LLP spent eight years as chief of the antitrust section of the Florida Attorney General’s Office and was said to be “absolutely first-rate, particularly for antitrust defence”. Sources also noted his strong health-care credentials: before joining the firm he served as general counsel for the Agency for Health Care Administration. Zuckerman Spaeder LLP is a nationally focused complex litigation firm that opened its first Florida office in 1979 in Miami. Ronald Ravikoff is partner-in-charge of the office and has a practice focusing on litigation and antitrust counselling. The last two years have seen him work extensively in health-care and his criminal antitrust practice is said to be particularly noteworthy. Barry Davidson is a “very good and respectable lawyer” and a partner in the Miami office of Hunton & Williams LLP. Davidson’s civil antitrust litigation practice was noted and he is also said to be active on price-fixing cases as well as merger counselling. Nagin Gallop & Figueredo PA is a Miami-based firm with a focus on antitrust and IP litigation. Partner Stephen Nagin emerges from our research as one of Florida’s leading individuals, recommended as “one of the best people in this area”. Nagin was also praised as “good and smart” and has a practice that is both national and international in scope. His entry completes what is a small but highly skilled group of individuals devoting a significant portion of their time to the practice of competition law.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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