Statewide law firm announces second merger in two months
With the expansion into Naples, Gunster will have a foothold in each major market in Florida.
Business Observer Staff
| 11:43 a.m. November 28, 2022
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A corporate law firm headquartered in West Palm Beach is expanding its reach to Naples after announcing a merger with 27-year-old law firm Grant Fridkin Pearson.
The Naples firm will officially merge with Gunster, dubbed Florida’s law firm for business, Jan. 1, 2023. All 12 attorneys and 15 staff members with Grant Fridkin Pearson will join Gunster through the move.
“The attorneys of Grant Fridkin Pearson are consummate professionals, many of them achieving some of the highest recognitions available in the legal industry,” Bill Perry, managing shareholder of Gunster, says in a press release. “Additionally, they share a strong commitment to their community, which is a pillar of Gunster’s culture. These attorneys serve in leadership roles within our profession, in civic organizations and the broader Naples community.”
The expansion grants Gunster a foothold in each major market in the state with office locations across 12 cities.
“As we continue to grow strategically, it’s important to align ourselves with attorneys who are committed to both to the legal profession and the local communities we serve,” Perry says. “Both firms share a civic commitment to our state which ensures alignment not only from a client-service perspective, but from a cultural perspective, as well.”
A comprehensive law firm, Grant Fridkin Pearson’s focus revolves around four main areas of practice — transactional real estate, business services, litigation and dispute resolution, and estate planning and trust and estate administration services. The press release states these practices complement Gunster’s existing services and that the firm’s culture aligns well.
This is the second merger Gunster has gone through in the past two months. In October, the firm expanded into Tampa through a merger with the Barnett firm, which was formerly known as Barnett, Kirkwood, Koche, Long & Foster. The 97-year-old firm now employs nearly 250 attorneys and government affairs consultants.
“We determined that Gunster has a sound vision for embracing the future as Florida grows and the delivery of legal services evolves,” Richard Grant, a founding member of Grant Fridkin Pearson, says in the release. “By merging with Gunster, Grant Fridkin Pearson will be afforded the opportunity to broaden its ability to well serve our clients, for our attorneys and professional staff to grow professionally, and to provide the best service possible.”
Gunster has been growing consistently the past two years with the addition of more than 40 new attorneys in 2021 and being on track to hire 40 additional attorneys in 2022. Naples has been on Gunster’s radar, but the release says finding the right firm was imperative.
Perry says, “It’s important to have an alignment of people, culture and approach to client service when making these significant decisions.”