Left to right: Daniela Berisiartu, Michael Stevenson and Scott Bettridge, Cozen O'Connor
Left to right: Daniela Berisiartu, Michael Stevenson and Scott Bettridge, Cozen O’Connor (courtesy photo)

Cozen O’Connor has lured three immigration attorneys from Fox Rothschild to its Miami office, continuing its growth in South Florida and adding a new practice area to the mix.

Scott E. Bettridge joined Cozen O’Connor as a member, and Michael W. Stevenson and Daniela Berisiartu Barshel joined as associates. The three, who are now part of the labor and employment group at Cozen O’Connor, focus on employment-based immigration and advising U.S. and foreign companies on corporate finance and infrastructure development.

“High-end immigration was one of our target groups we were looking at in Miami,” said Martin Schrier, managing partner of Cozen O’Connor’s Miami office and vice chair of its corporate practice group. “There’s a lot of folks in our office that have high-net-worth clients or international clients that have immigration needs.”

Bettridge, Stevenson and Barshel joined Fox Rothschild about a year ago. Bettridge said he had not been planning a move before Schrier approached him about joining Cozen O’Connor. He and Stevenson had previously worked with Cozen O’Connor members Susan Eisenberg and Jennifer Williams at Akerman LLP, he noted.

Cozen O’Connor offered the opportunity of a national footprint in labor and employment, along with international offices in Toronto and London, Bettridge said.

“You don’t find a lot of international presence at local firms” in Florida, he said.

The move from one Philadelphia-based large firm to another was merely coincidence, Bettridge said, although he noted that both firms have been pushing to expand in Florida. He said the move will be “seamless” for clients, with the only real change being his email address.

In addition to visas, permanent residence, family-based immigration, citizenship and compliance matters, Bettridge, Stevenson and Barshel work with companies on relocation, tax incentives, corporate finance and infrastructure development, as well as advising on the EB-5 immigrant investor program.

Immigration reform has been a hot topic for five to 10 years, Bettridge noted.

“A lot of talk now is on the new administration, what this holds in terms of the impact,” Bettridge said. But he predicted that Donald Trump’s election would bring less fundamental change than many people expect. “The things that were going to change are still going to change, and the things that were not going to change still are not going to change.”

EB-5 work is another story, Bettridge said, as foreign investors are likely to face heightened investment requirements in the near future. In addition, he said, because of some fraud within the EB-5 industry, the due diligence requirements on those deals will likely increase. Some of the changes in that portion of immigration law could take place in the first half of the year, he said.

Schrier said Bettridge, Stevenson and Barshel bring a broad range of knowledge on immigration law, and provide cross-marketing opportunities with other practice areas. Some of the group’s existing clients are already clients of the firm in other practice areas, he said.

Cozen O’Connor’s Miami office has grown from four lawyers in 2013 to 37. A large part of that growth came in June, when 15 lawyers joined the firm from intellectual property boutique Feldman Gale.

Schrier said the office could grow to 45 or 46 attorneys, and that the growth strategy there has been focused on practice areas, both from a local and national perspective.

Fox Rothschild did not respond to a request for comment on the departures by press time.

Lizzy McLellan can be contacted at 215-557-2493 or lmclellan@alm.com. Follow her on Twitter @LizzyMcLellTLI.

Cozen O’Connor has lured three immigration attorneys from Fox Rothschild to its Miami office, continuing its growth in South Florida and adding a new practice area to the mix.

Scott E. Bettridge joined Cozen O’Connor as a member, and Michael W. Stevenson and Daniela Berisiartu Barshel joined as associates. The three, who are now part of the labor and employment group at Cozen O’Connor , focus on employment-based immigration and advising U.S. and foreign companies on corporate finance and infrastructure development.

“High-end immigration was one of our target groups we were looking at in Miami,” said Martin Schrier, managing partner of Cozen O’Connor ‘s Miami office and vice chair of its corporate practice group. “There’s a lot of folks in our office that have high-net-worth clients or international clients that have immigration needs.”

Bettridge, Stevenson and Barshel joined Fox Rothschild about a year ago. Bettridge said he had not been planning a move before Schrier approached him about joining Cozen O’Connor . He and Stevenson had previously worked with Cozen O’Connor members Susan Eisenberg and Jennifer Williams at Akerman LLP , he noted.

Cozen O’Connor offered the opportunity of a national footprint in labor and employment, along with international offices in Toronto and London, Bettridge said.

“You don’t find a lot of international presence at local firms” in Florida, he said.

The move from one Philadelphia-based large firm to another was merely coincidence, Bettridge said, although he noted that both firms have been pushing to expand in Florida. He said the move will be “seamless” for clients, with the only real change being his email address.

In addition to visas, permanent residence, family-based immigration, citizenship and compliance matters, Bettridge, Stevenson and Barshel work with companies on relocation, tax incentives, corporate finance and infrastructure development, as well as advising on the EB-5 immigrant investor program.

Immigration reform has been a hot topic for five to 10 years, Bettridge noted.

“A lot of talk now is on the new administration, what this holds in terms of the impact,” Bettridge said. But he predicted that Donald Trump’s election would bring less fundamental change than many people expect. “The things that were going to change are still going to change, and the things that were not going to change still are not going to change.”

EB-5 work is another story, Bettridge said, as foreign investors are likely to face heightened investment requirements in the near future. In addition, he said, because of some fraud within the EB-5 industry, the due diligence requirements on those deals will likely increase. Some of the changes in that portion of immigration law could take place in the first half of the year, he said.

Schrier said Bettridge, Stevenson and Barshel bring a broad range of knowledge on immigration law, and provide cross-marketing opportunities with other practice areas. Some of the group’s existing clients are already clients of the firm in other practice areas, he said.

Cozen O’Connor ‘s Miami office has grown from four lawyers in 2013 to 37. A large part of that growth came in June, when 15 lawyers joined the firm from intellectual property boutique Feldman Gale .

Schrier said the office could grow to 45 or 46 attorneys, and that the growth strategy there has been focused on practice areas, both from a local and national perspective.

Fox Rothschild did not respond to a request for comment on the departures by press time.

Lizzy McLellan can be contacted at 215-557-2493 or lmclellan@alm.com. Follow her on Twitter @LizzyMcLellTLI.