Attorney Intel is pleased to announce The Top 50 Attorneys of Miami for 2022. Miami is the second most populated city in Florida and where multiple top tier law firms reside. The area has become a new hot spot for professionals looking to begin or continue their career and in turn drawn in a robust group of individuals serving in the law industry. This year’s awardees are committed to their practice and clients in various fields including business, government, education, healthcare, real estate, insurance, and more.
Among this year’s awardees are Henry Smokler, General Counsel and Chief Legal & Risk Officer for PGA of America, who is responsible for all legal affairs for one of the world’s largest working sports organizations, including all corporate, strategic, and tactical legal initiatives; Susan Helfrick, General Counsel for Chewy, who manages strategic transactions, including acquisitions and new business initiatives for the Fortune 500 pet supply company; and Michael Burwick, Partner of Greenspoon Marder, who has dedicated his focus on the practice of entertainment, sports, media, and technology law.
These legal professionals exude the confidence, qualifications, and knowledge that allow them to excel in their fields. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Attorneys of Miami for 2022.
1. Susan Helfrick
General Counsel of Chewy
Susan Helfrick is a General Counsel for Chewy, an online retailer of pet food and other pet-related products. She first joined the company in 2014 and is responsible for all legal affairs of the company, including corporate and securities matters, corporate governance, complex commercial transactions, compliance, litigation, employment and intellectual property. In her role she provides advice and counsel to the company’s CEO, senior executive team members and the board of directors. Helfrick has over 27 years of experience. She began her career in 1995.
Prior to joining Chewy, Helfrick was a general counsel and executive vice president for GfK where she structured, negotiated and managed local and international strategic transactions and before that, she served as an assistant general counsel and vice president for Goldman Sachs. She first got her start with the Securities & Exchange Commission as a staff attorney. Helfrick graduated from Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management with an MBA, from Penn State Dickinson Law with a JD and from Georgetown University Law center with an LLM.
2. Henry Smokler
General Counsel and Chief Legal and Risk Officer of PGA of America
Henry Smokler is the Chief Legal and Risk Officer of PGA of America. He first joined the company in 2015 as General Counsel. PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to serve its 29,000 members and grow the game. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing, and research programs, the PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, the PGA elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere.
Previously, Smokler was a Managing Director of broadcast and digital media at the United States Golf Association, and before that, an Associate at Davis & Gilbert. Earlier in his career he worked with Willkie Farr & Gallagher as an Associate. Smokler earned a JD from Georgetown University Law Center and an undergraduate degree in Government from Cornell University.
3. Mike Antonello
General Counsel of Lynn University
Mike Antonello began his professional career 28 years ago. Today, he is a General Counsel of Lynn University, an independent college based in Boca Raton, Florida, with approximately 3,000 students from nearly 100 countries. U.S. News & World Report has recognized Lynn for innovation, international students and value. Lynn's NCAA Division II Fighting Knights have won 25 national titles, Conservatory of Music features a world-renowned faculty of performers, and the nationally recognized Institute for Achievement and Learning empowers students with learning differences. The school's dialogues curriculum and award-winning iPad program allow Lynn graduates to gain the intellectual flexibility and global experience to fulfill their potential in an ever-changing world.
Antonello first got his start in 1994 as a Show Attorney at Twentieth Television. From there, he went on to Danny!, before eventually rising to General Counsel at American Media, Inc. Antonello graduated from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law with a JD, from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with an MBA, and from Boston College with an undergraduate degree in Economics.
4. Michael Burwick
Partner of Greenspoon Marder
Michael Burwick began his professional career 27 years ago. Today, he is a Partner of Greenspoon Marder, a national full-service business law firm with over 225 attorneys and offices across the United States. Since its inception in 1981, the firm has been committed to providing excellent client service through the cross-disciplinary, client-team approach. Their mission is to understand the challenges that their clients face, build collaborative relationships, and craft creative solutions designed and executed with long-term strategic goals in mind. The firm serves Fortune 500, middle-market public and private companies, start-ups, emerging businesses, individuals and entrepreneurs nationwide.
Burwick first got his start in 1995 as an Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Attorney General. From there, he went on to the United States House of Representatives, before eventually rising to Partner at The Wagner Law Group. Burwick graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with a JD, an MLL in Taxation, Securities Law and Financial Regulation, and from Boston University with an undergraduate degree in Sociology.
View the complete list of awardees.
5. Marcus Sandifer
General Counsel of Celsius Holdings
Marcus Sandifer began his professional career 18 years ago. Today, he is a General Counsel of Celsius Holdings, a global consumer packaged goods company with a proprietary, clinically proven formula for its master brand Celsius. A lifestyle energy drink born in fitness and a pioneer in the rapidly growing energy category. Celsius offers proprietary, functional, essential energy formulas clinically proven to offer significant health benefits to their users. Celsius is backed by six university studies that were published in peer-reviewed journals validating the unique benefits Celsius provides.
Sandifer first got his start in 2004 as an HR Supervisor at PepsiCo. From there, he went on to Nestlé Waters North America, before eventually rising to Associate at DLA Piper. Sandifer graduated from Emory University School of Law with a JD, and from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University with an undergraduate degree in Business Administration.
7. Steve Sibner
General Counsel & Chief Legal Officer of NCCI
Steve Sibner is a General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer with of NCCI. He first joined the company in 2015. Founded in 1923, the mission of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) is to foster a healthy workers compensation system. In support of this mission, NCCI gathers data, analyzes industry trends, and provides objective insurance rate and loss cost recommendations. These activities, combined with a comprehensive set of tools and services, make NCCI the source of trust for workers compensation information.
Sibner first got his start in 1986 as an associate with Cummings & Lockwood before joining Durant Sabanosh Nichols and Houston. He later joined the American Society of Workers’ Compensation Professionals as a director before joining NCCI. He served in various positions with NCCI including division executive of affiliate services and managing attorney and compliance official. Sibner graduated from Penn State University with an undergraduate degree in business administration and economics and from American University Washington College of Law with his JD.
9. Michael Cheah
General Counsel of Vimeo
Michael Cheah is aGeneral Counsel of Vimeo, the world’s leading all-in-one video software solution. The platform enables any professional, team, and organization to unlock the power of video to create, collaborate and communicate. The organization proudly serves the growing community of over 260 million users, from creatives to entrepreneurs to the world’s largest companies. Cheah has 22 years of experience. He began his career in 2000.
Before joining Vimeo, Cheah was a Senior Litigation Counsel at IAC/InterActiveCorp, and before that, an Associate at Heller Ehrman. Earlier in his career he worked with Sullivan & Cromwell as an Associate. Cheah graduated from the University of Toronto with a JD and from Dalhousie University with an undergraduate degree in Commerce.
11. Megan Grant
Managing Attorney of National Council on Compensation
Megan Grant is a Managing Attorney of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). She first joined the company in 2016 as Senior Counsel. NCCI’s mission is to foster a healthy workers compensation system. In support of this mission, they gather data, analyze industry trends, and provide objective insurance rate and loss cost recommendations. These activities combined with a comprehensive set of tools and services make NCCI the source that individuals trust for workers compensation information. At NCCI, they recognize that their employees are the reason the legacy endures today.
Previously, Grant was a Partner at Colodny Fass, P.A., and before that, a Sole Practitioner at the Law Office of Megan M. Grant. Earlier in her career she worked with Van Ness Feldman as an Associate. Grant earned a JD from the University of Idaho College of Law, an MLL in International Law from Tulane University Law School, and an undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of San Diego.
13. Aimee Cernicharo
Attorney of St. Thomas University Human Rights Institute
Aimee Cernicharo is an Attorney of St. Thomas University Human Rights Institute. She first joined the company in 2007. St. Thomas University is a Catholic university with a rich cultural and international diversity that is committed to the academic and professional success of its students, and to graduating students who have been taught the essential attributes to be a leader in their chosen field. At St. Thomas University, you learn the key traits of successful leadership, knowledge, confidence and ethics. St. Thomas makes no apology for believing that the community and the world can be a better and happier place, and makes sure students are learning the leadership skills to make it happen.
Previously, Cernicharo was an Attorney at NExt Era Energy, and before that, an Attorney at FPL Energy. Earlier in her career she worked with Steel Hector & Davis as an Attorney. Cernicharo earned a JD from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law and an undergraduate degree in International Relations and Affairs from the University of Pennsylvania.
15. Michele Martello
General Counsel of MDVIP
Michele Martello began her professional career 18 years ago. Today, she is a General Counsel of MDVIP, a personalized healthcare program that empowers people to reach their health and wellness goals through in-depth knowledge, expertise and one-on-one coaching with an affiliated primary care doctor. The MDVIP model was created with the hope and vision of bringing more life to more lives, both young and old, by putting impersonal healthcare practices and tactics aside and embracing a new way of healing. MDVIP will always put the patient at the heart of everything they do, and see their patients as people, not numbers or charts, but unique individuals with personal stories. Because patients are all different, MDVIP tailors care to specifically meet the needs, goals and aspirations.
Martello first got her start in 2004 as a Healthcare Associate at Broad and Cassel. Martello graduated from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law with a JD, and from Westminster College (PA) with an undergraduate degree in Accounting and Economics.
17. Arthur Neiwirth
Attorney of Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer P.A.
Arthur Neiwirth is a Attorney of Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer P.A., a full-service national law firm and the largest minority and women-owned law firm in the nation. The firm is composed of exceptional lawyers and staff who all have unique and different backgrounds, experiences, personalities and ideas to guide the firm to success and address the clients’ needs. QPWB handles premises liability, products liability, liquor and food liability, transportation, construction defect, and all other types of negligence and tort actions such as personal injury, employment, and workers’ compensation. QPWB’s professional liability clients include all types of healthcare facilities and practitioners, accountants, attorneys, architects, engineers, brokers, and agents. Neiwirth has 13 years of experience. He began his career in 2009.
Neiwirth graduated from the University of Florida with a JD and an undergraduate degree in Journalism.
View the complete list of awardees.
19. Sonya Miller
General Counsel of Florida Memorial University
Sonya Miller is a General Counsel of Florida Memorial University. She first joined the company in 2020. The legacy of determination and accomplishment from Florida Memorial since 1879 has made FMU the only historically black university in southern Florida. The university has culturally diverse institutions, transforming lives and helping create a future for people of many races, ethnicities, countries, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds. Members of the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students, and alumni take every opportunity possible to express pride in the institution.
Previously, Miller was a Deputy General Counsel at Broward College. Miller earned a JD from Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law and from Emory University with an undergraduate degree.
22. Janet Tacoronte
General Counsel of Boats Group
Janet Tacoronte is a General Counsel of Boats Group where she joined the company in 2022. Boats Group shares one purpose: making it easy for people to buy and sell boats. Connect to millions of people with the world’s largest selection of boats and sellers. Committed to leveraging technology to deliver leading value to their industry partners and investing in new innovations that bring the boating industry to the forefront of modern business. A global company with an entrepreneurial spirit, and passionate about creating a world-class shopping experience for more than 65 million boaters each year. Converting more shoppers to buyers than any other source - putting them one step closer to achieving the mission of getting the world on the water.
Previously, Tacoronte was a Senior Regional Counsel at Selina, and before that, an Associate General Counsel at Diamonds International. Earlier in her career she worked with Law Offices of Patrick L. Cordero, PA as an Associate Legal Counsel and Lead Chapter 7 Attorney. Tacoronte earned a JD from St. Thomas University College of Law, a MIM in project management from Colorado State University Global, and an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Government from Florida International University.
24. Ronald Lacayo
Partner of Kelley Kronenberg
Ronald Lacayo is a Partner of Kelley Kronenberg. He first joined the company in 2021. Kelley Kronenberg was founded in 1980 and is now a multi-practice business law firm with more than 175 attorneys and 12 locations throughout Florida and the United States. Kelley Kronenberg is one of the fastest-growing law firms in Florida, built on relationships, and committed to exceptional client service. The firm serves all types and sizes of public and private companies, as well as small businesses and individuals nationwide. Kelley Kronenberg has been recognized amongst the “Largest U.S. Law Firms” by the National Law Journal’s NLJ 500 and Law 360 400 in 2020, America’s Top Corporate Law Firms by Forbes and Top 10 in NLJ’s Women’s Scorecard in 2019.
Previously, Lacayo was an Associate Attorney at Fields Howell, and before that, an Associate Attorney at Lydecker Diaz. Earlier in his career he worked with Barnard Law Offices as an Associate. Lacayo earned a JD from St. Thomas University College of Law and an undergraduate degree in International Business from Florida International University.
26. Cristobal Casal
Attorney of Conroy Simberg Ganon
Cristobal Casal is an Attorney of Conroy Simberg Ganon, a result-oriented insurance defense law firm offering a full range of legal services to insurance companies, self-insured organizations, businesses and professionals operating across Florida and throughout the nation. The firm represents clients in construction, healthcare, insurance, general liability, manufacturing, professional services, retail, automotive, and transportation industries, just to name a few. Their primary objective is to deliver outstanding results for each of the clients in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. The legal team at Conroy Simberg is sensitive to the needs of the clients and appreciates that every case involves unique challenges and opportunities. Casal has 15 years of experience. He began his career in 2007.
Casal graduated from the University of Miami School of Law with a JD and from Northwestern University with an undergraduate degree in History.
28. Kenneth Duvall
Attorney of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod
Kenneth Duvall is an Attorney of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod, a commercial law firm based in Florida. The firm has extensive experience in the areas of corporate and securities; finance; commercial real estate; litigation; restructuring and bankruptcy; land use and government relations; environmental; commercial finance; technology and telecommunications; media and entertainment; trusts, estate and wealth transfer; and tax. Duvall has 14 years of experience. He began his career in 2008.
Before joining the firm, Duvall was an Associate at Berkowitz Oliver Williams Shaw & Eisenbrandt, and before that, a Judicial Clerk at Missouri Court of Appeals. Duvall graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law with a JD, and from Saint Louis University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology.
30. Camilo Espinosa
Managing Attorney of Loigica P.A.
Camilo Espinosa began his professional career nearly 10 years ago. Today, he is a Managing Attorney of Loigica P.A., a bilingual law firm that offers entrepreneurs and their organizations counsel regarding intellectual property law, immigration law and corporate law. Loigica P.A. strives to create value for businesses and entrepreneurs by offering counsel and legal solutions from the initial start-up of a company and continuing to provide for a company’s legal needs as it expands. The firm fosters an ethical environment where enduring relationships develop from their unwavering commitment to procure solutions that address their clients’ business objectives and personal priorities in the most efficient and effective manner.
Espinosa graduated from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law with a JD, and from the University of Nebraska with an undergraduate degree in Political Science, Government and Marketing.
32. Jamie Barrett
General Counsel of Vohra Wound Physicians
Jamie Barrett is a General Counsel of Vohra Wound Physicians. He first joined the company in 2022. Founded in 2000, Vohra Wound Physicians is a physician-led, wound care specialty practice with 300+ physicians serving post-acute facilities nationwide. They provide bedside clinical care to hundreds of thousands of patients annually at nearly 3,000 skilled nursing facilities across 28 states and patients healing at home via telemedicine. Supported by proprietary technologies and extensive, ongoing physician training, Vohra delivers results, including a 21-day improvement in healing time and an 88% reduction in wound-related hospitalizations. Their mission is to improve patient outcomes and reduce hospitalizations while reducing costs for facilities and home health partners.
Previously, Barrett was an Assistant General Counsel at Envision Healthcare. Earlier in his career he worked with Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society of Maryland as an Associate Attorney. Barrett earned a JD from the University of Baltimore School of Law, and an undergraduate degree in English and Political Science from West Virginia University.
View the complete list of awardees.
34. Carlos Gonzalez
Partner of Rubenstein Law
Carlos Gonzalez is a Partner of Rubenstein Law. He first joined the company in 2011. Rubenstein Law’s founder first opened the firm in 1988 as a plaintiff’s personal injury firm. Over the years, the firm has grown to over 45 attorneys including 16 Partners, in 12 cities across Florida; from a leading auto and slip and fall accident firm in Miami to being recognized across the state for its personal injury practice handling all types of injury and accident claims. Today, the firm represents clients throughout the state in all manner of personal injury claims including catastrophic injuries, premise liability, medical malpractice, child & birth injury, motorcycle accident cases, and traumatic brain injury (TBI) & spinal cord cases in addition to car accidents and slip and fall injury cases. Rubenstein Law has the financial resources to stand up to big insurance companies and businesses, and also has access to experts, a state-of-the-art system for managing cases and a mock courtroom to prepare its litigation clients.
Gonzalez earned a JD from Florida International University - College of Law, and an undergraduate degree in Political Science, Government, and Philosophy from Florida International University.
36. Miguel Espinosa
Attorney of Vernis & Bowling
Miguel Espinosa began his professional career over 10 years ago. Today, he is an Attorney of Vernis & Bowling. Vernis & Bowling has proudly served the needs of their clients since 1970 and is proud to have received an “AV” rating from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, evidencing the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards. The firm is also listed in Best’s Directory of Recommended Insurance Attorneys. Personal service and attention have always been trademarks of Vernis & Bowling. Their attorneys and staff are viewed as an extension of the firm; therefore, each provides the highest level of personal service to the firm’s clients. In providing this level of service, the firm consistently exceeds the expectations of its clients.
Espinosa first got his start in 2012 as a Legal Assistant at The Law Offices of Hoffman and Hoffman. From there, he went on to Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, before eventually rising to Associate Attorney at Hoffman and Hoffman. Espinosa graduated from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law with a JD, and from Nova Southeastern University with an undergraduate degree in Legal Studies.
38. Juan Zorrilla
Attorney of Fowler White Burnett
Juan Zorrilla is an Attorney of Fowler White Burnett, a full-service law firm providing client-focused, proven legal strategies and business solutions to domestic and international clients across a wide spectrum of industries. The organization offers clients a talented roster of seasoned legal professionals who practice in numerous disciplines, including aviation, commercial litigation, bankruptcy and restructuring, maritime, health care, labor and employment, insurance defense, real estate and white collar crime. Combining this approach with the firm’s knowledge of substantive areas of law, technical proficiency and first-hand industry experience, enables it to resolve the complex legal and regulatory issues facing its clients. Today, Fowler White distinguishes itself by their unique blend of traditional values and innovative thinking. They act as trusted partners with their clients and deliver intelligent, creative, and effective counsel. Zorrilla has over 7 years of experience. He began his career in 2015.
Zorrilla graduated from Boston College Law School with a JD and from Boston College with an undergraduate degree.
40. Barry Chenman
Attorney of Steinger Iscoe & Greene
Barry Chenman is an Attorney of Steinger Iscoe & Greene. He first joined the company in 2013 as a Law Clerk. Steinger, Greene & Feiner is a proven legal team whose number one goal is to get injury victims every dollar they truly deserve. Since 1997, the firm has been serving and defending the rights of their clients and families through some of life's most challenging times. The entire legal team is committed to representing and fighting for injury victims' best interests, giving each client insight into Florida and California law and their rights. Steinger, Greene & Feiner values the livelihood and well-being of its clients; they lend help, guidance, or professional resources as they strive to put the pieces of injury victims' lives back together as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Chenman earned a JD in Trial Advocacy from Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center, and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Miami.
42. Adam Hecht
Attorney of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA
Adam Hecht began his professional career 13 years ago. Today, he is an Attorney of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley P.A., a nationally recognized firm of trial attorneys committed to fighting for the rights of people injured through negligence, deceit, or abuse of power. They are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to ensure that the cases are organized, presentations are powerful and effective, and the messages reach opposing attorneys, insurance adjusters, judges, and ultimately, jurors. The firm also maintains ongoing relationships with nationally known experts in fields such as medicine, law enforcement, engineering, business and economics to ensure that its cases are well founded and carefully supported. The firm has offices in West Palm Beach, Tallahassee and Tampa while staffing 32 trial attorneys, 12 paralegals and a support staff totaling more than 100 employees.
Hecht first got his start in 2009 as an Assistant State Attorney, 15th Judicial Circuit at the State Attorney’s Office. Hecht graduated from the University of Florida - Fredric G. Levin College of Law with a JD and from the University of Florida with an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Government.
44. Telsula Morgan
Senior Attorney of Lewis Longman & Walker
Telsula Morgan is a Senior Attorney of Lewis Longman & Walker. He first joined the company in 2015. For more than 20 years, the attorneys at Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A., have helped individuals, businesses and governments that have shaped Florida's future. They offer solutions to issues associated with complex local, state, and federal laws and regulations. They focus on the specific, technical and seemingly ever-changing areas of Environmental, Land Use and Governmental Law. The Lewis, Longman & Walker team is composed of well-known and respected attorneys with the experience and skill to quickly resolve difficult legal challenges. The firm is committed to responding to clients' needs promptly and economically and believes in building long-term attorney-client relationships based upon collaboration and solid performance.
Previously, Morgan was a Senior Attorney at Palm Beach County Health Department. Earlier in his career he worked with the Seminole County State Attorney's Office as an Assistant State Attorney. Morgan earned a JD from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, College of Law, and an undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Florida.
47. Lian Riva
Attorney of Markowitz Ringel Trusty + Hartog
Lian de la Riva is the Attorney of Markowitz Ringel Trusty + Hartog. He first joined the company in 2018. Markowitz Ringel Trusty + Hartog (MRTH) is a Florida firm dating back to the 1940s. MRTH recognizes that South Florida is constantly growing and changing, so the firm works to structure and reshape the firm in a manner that allows them to provide the legal services that their clients need and demand. Today, that includes several practice areas such as restructuring + insolvency, litigation + dispute resolution, real estate + business, probate + guardianship, and trust + estates.
Previously, de la Riva was an Attorney at Palmer, Palmer and Mangiero, and before that, a Staff Attorney and Case Manager at Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida Probate Division. Earlier in his career he worked with Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center as an Assistant Project Coordinator. De la Riva earned a JD from Florida International University - College of Law, and an undergraduate degree from Universidad de Sevilla.
View the complete list of awardees.