Miami Legal Market Woos Another Big Law Firm

Miami has seen a number of Big Law firms open offices in the city in recent years.

Los Angeles-headquartered Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan set up in Miami in May 2021. King & Spalding is also new to Miami as of January of this year. And in May, both Kirkland & Ellis — the world’s largest law firm by revenue — and Winston & Strawn announced the opening of new offices in Miami.

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Now, Venable is the latest big law firm to set up shop in Florida. It will gain offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa through its planned combination with 30-lawyer firm Genovese Joblove & Battista, which will take effect January 1, 2023.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the 850+ lawyer, 10-office Venable was founded in 1900. The Miami location will give Venable a much-desired presence in the growing market.

Venable said in a statement that Genovese Joblove & Battista "is well established in Florida, where the legal market, population, and economy continue to grow."

Genovese Joblove & Battista specializes in practice areas including bankruptcy, commercial litigation, franchise law, real estate, and securities.

There are a number of reasons why big law firms have decided to place increased focus on Florida of late. Law firm leaders have cited Miami's growing tech and finance sector client base, as well as a migration of lawyers to Florida as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying acceptance of working remotely.

South Florida’s increasingly vibrant economy and startup scene is another draw for firms as they try to follow clients, wherever they may be.

And this expansion into Florida is not limited to larger firms. A number of smaller firms, including Washington, D.C.-based Akrivis Law Group, have also opened offices in Miami.

Often, the most important decision for firms is not whether to expand into Florida, but rather how to go about doing it. The firms that have entered the market recently have employed various expansion strategies. While some have relocated willing lawyers from existing offices, others have opted to poach local talent.