Continuing its expansion tear, Miami-based Lydecker Diaz has acquired the Coral Gables commercial litigation firm Clyne & Associates, picking up veteran trial attorney Reginald Clyne and two associates.
Lydecker Diaz has doubled in size from 40 attorneys to 80 in just over three years while adding offices in Bonita Springs, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach. The firm’s strategy has been to acquire small regional shops around the state and compete with Florida’s big law firms with more competitive fees.
The acquisition of Clyne & Associates followed discussions between Lydecker Diaz founder Richard Lydecker and Clyne, who both serve on the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission and the state Board of Bar Examiners.
“Reggie was talking to other firms as well,” Lydecker said. “I said, ‘Why not join up with us?’ It turned out there was a lot of synergy between our firms.”
Clyne has been a trial lawyer for 24 years, trying more than 30 cases to verdict in federal and state courts. After working as an associate at Greenberg Traurig, Fine Jacobsen and Kelley Drye & Warren, he spent 20 years running his own litigation firm.
His clients include ExxonMobil Corp., BB&T Corp., University of Miami, Starbucks Corp., Wells Fargo & Co. and a variety of Miami-Dade government agencies and colleges.
Clyne is a past president of the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Bar Association and the Black Lawyers Association and a member of the Miami Financial Oversight Board and the mayor’s urban revitalization task force.
Clyne joins Lydecker Diaz as a shareholder and will handle complex commercial, employment law, and environmental and mass tort litigation. He brings with him associates Sophia McGill and Anne Rose from the six-attorney firm.
“I had been on my own for 20 years and had spurned all attempts to merge with a big law firm,” Clyne said. “But after a fight between a secretary and a paralegal, I got a call from a headhunter and thought, ‘Why not? I don’t need these personnel problems.’ ”
Clyne said he wound up joining Lydecker Diaz because they were “not a stuffy old-guy firm.”
“This is a very relaxed but hard-working group,” he said. “I’m having fun.”
Six associates also have been hired recently. They are Katie Gudaitis, Alfonso Icochea, Rachel Lyons, Monica McNulty, David Schillinger and Daniel Smith.
Lydecker formed the firm in 2001, and former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz joined after leaving office in 2009. The firm moved to a 23,000-square-foot office at 1221 Brickell Ave. in 2011.