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After just two years in the D.C. market, Akerman Senterfitt is trying to expand its presence. The Florida-based firm has been in merger talks with Virginia-based Wickwire Gavin for more than two months. “The boards met and have decided to see if the numbers work,” says Richard Spees, managing partner of Akerman’s D.C. office. “This could take months, but there certainly has been [interest] from both firms.” Based in Tysons Corner, Va., the 45-lawyer Wickwire specializes in construction and government contracts. With more than 400 lawyers in 10 offices, Akerman has been aggressively trying to grow along the Eastern seaboard. Last year it opened a New York office and has been building up its lobbying practice in the District by hiring Daniel Craig, former director of the Recovery Division for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Jose Fuentes, former ambassador to Puerto Rico and most recently at Reed Smith. Should the merger go through, Akerman’s hurricane infrastructure practice and Wickwire’s construction and contracts work could prove a potent combination. The combined firm would have 43 lawyers and lobbyists in the D.C. area. So far, the firms have not signed a letter of intent to merge, and for now, Wickwire’s keeping quiet. Anna Palmer can be contacted at [email protected]

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