Chase Berger, of Ghidotti | Berger

The Berger Firm in Miami merged with The Law Offices of Michelle Ghidotti in Santa Ana, California, to create a national commercial litigation and creditors’ rights practice.

The merger of equals creates Ghidotti|Berger, a firm with 14 attorneys practicing in federal and state courts in Arizona, California, Florida, Texas, Nevada and Washington.

“Lenders and other creditors doing business on a national platform can now bring their matters to one law firm,” co-founder Chase Berger said. “We take our big-firm backgrounds and knowledge and deliver personalized service in a boutique setting.”

Berger is a former Genovese Joblove & Battista associate who practiced bankruptcy and commercial litigation. Before that, he was a judicial clerk in the U.S. attorney’s office, focusing on white-collar and economic fraud, according to his website.

His namesake firm had five lawyers and two of counsel. It handled complex commercial litigation, bankruptcy, real estate litigation and transactions, creditors’ rights and commercial transactions.

In 2015, Berger secured a surprising victory in a real estate foreclosure suit by winning more than $26,000 in surplus funds for a third party who was not the owner of record when the case was filed. Surpluses typically go to the owner of record.

His new partner Michelle Ghidotti-Gonsalves is admitted to practice in the federal and state courts in California, Arizona, Washington and Illinois. She is a former associate at California-based Attlesey | Storm, successor to Miller and Clark, where she represented financial institutions on real estate, bankruptcy and real estate finance.

Ghidotti founded the Law Offices of Michelle Ghidotti in February 2012. About three years later, she launched Prestige Default Services, a foreclosure trustee serving California, Arizona and Texas.

Berger and Ghidotti said they met through mutual clients and realized they shared management philosophies.

“The new firm leverages the old firms’ footprints and complementary services,” Ghidotti said. “The cross-pollination of litigation and transactional practices benefits any company active in real estate.”