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MIAMI � Andrew M. Smulian has been named the new chairman of Akerman Senterfitt, a Miami-based national law firm. Smulian, who is based in Miami, was elected by the firm’s shareholders. He succeeds Thomas Cardwell, who served a five-year term as chairman of the 420-lawyer firm. Smulian, who received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, has served as chair of the firm’s real estate practice and on the firm’s board of directors for several years. News of Smulian’s ascension was known around Akerman for months. Smulian is popular and, having spent years as a lawyer in New York before coming to Miami, “he speaks to a bigger market than Florida,” said a former Akerman lawyer. “He has strong ties to New York,” said the lawyer, who declined to be identified. “He is a very articulate, smart guy.” Earlier this month, Akerman was rocked by the news that eight partners were leaving the same week. Akerman president Robert Zinn insisted the departures were unrelated and that there are no morale problems at the firm. Since that time, two other lawyers have quit � Robert Fernandez, an of counsel in Miami, and Carlos Reyes, a prominent partner in Fort Lauderdale. Fernandez, former deputy general counsel for the executive office of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, left to open his own office in conjunction with Miguel de Grandy. De Grandy is a prominent Republican lawyer-lobbyist who has represented the Florida House of Representatives, The City of Miami, and the Palm Beach School Board. Reyes, a prominent Republican fundraiser, announced Tuesday that he was moving to Rothstein Rosenfeldt, a 50-lawyer Fort Lauderdale law firm, to start a government affairs practice group, effective February 1. Akerman has more than 500 lawyers and governmental affairs professionals throughout Florida and in New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.

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