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A small labor and employment law firm in Boca Raton, Fla., has been taken over by a large Ohio firm that wants to expand its South Florida presence. Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, a full-service firm based in Akron, Ohio, and with an office in Boca Raton, has acquired Pheterson & Bleau. “Technically, it was a merger because of the way the business aspects of the firm were acquired,” said Michael Mopsick, managing partner of the Buckingham office in Boca Raton. Both Jeffrey Pheterson and Denise J. Bleau, principals in their own firm until the merger, have become Buckingham partners, Mopsick said. Pheterson has practiced law in Florida for 29 years; Bleau for 19. Buckingham, founded in Akron in 1913, has 144 lawyers in five offices, four of them in Ohio. With the addition of Pheterson and Bleau, Mopsick said, the Boca Raton office has grown to 16 lawyers. Further growth is expected. “We expect to be adding some associates in coming months,” Mopsick said. “We also want to bolster what we offer now in trusts and estates. We’re on the move here.” Buckingham began its life as an employment/labor law firm. But Mopsick said the Boca office has concentrated its energies in the areas of general business law, patent litigation, probate and trust litigation and representing lenders in real estate deals. Nicholas T. George, Buckingham’s Akron-based president, said that the growth of the South Florida region has driven the growth of Buckingham’s Boca office. “The combination of our attorneys and staff with those of Pheterson and Bleau,” he said, “provides additional depth to the services we offer our clients — particularly in the areas of labor and employment law and complex litigation.”

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