Fort Lauderdale-based Becker & Poliakoff announced Tuesday that it is merging with Taylor & Carls, a 13-lawyer Central Florida law firm specializing in community associations.

Taylor & Carls, which has offices in Altamonte Springs, Oldsmar and Palm Coast, will combine with Becker effective Dec. 1 under the Becker name. Taylor & Carls’ founding shareholders Robert Taylor and Harry Carls will serve as co-office managing shareholders for the combined firms’ Orlando office.

Like Becker & Poliakoff, Taylor & Carls specializes in representation of condominium and homeowner associations, and dominates the industry in Central Florida.

Carls said he was a reluctant merger partner when first contacted by Becker & Poliakoff managing shareholder Gary Rosen about 19 months ago.

“It’s kind of strange because we’ve been competitors for 30 years,” Carls said. “This had been our baby for 33 years. We were used to doing this ourselves. But eventually the advantages became undeniable.”

In a statement, Rosen said the merger should give Becker & Poliakoff dominance in Central Florida and a springboard into northeast Florida.

“Taylor & Carls is the pre-eminent condominium and homeowner association law firm in Central Florida,” he stated.

In Orlando, Taylor & Carls’ attorneys will relocate to Becker & Poliakoff’s Orlando office in the Regions Bank Building. Their Altamonte Springs office will remain open as the community association collections and foreclosure operations center for the combined firm.

All 13 attorneys and 36 staff from Taylor & Carls will join the Becker firm, Carls said.

This is the fifth merger in the past year for Becker & Poliakoff, which has about 170 lawyers, lobbyists and patent agents. The firm previously picked up the Miami lobbying shop Fuentes & Rodriguez Consulting LLC, a 12-member intellectual property firm in Virginia, the four-lawyer Stuart firm Cornett, Googe & Associates and the three-lawyer Boca Raton firm Seiden Alder.

Becker’s primary practice areas are: real estate, construction law and litigation, community association, customs and international trade, business litigation, corporate and securities, government law and lobbying, and intellectual property and emerging technologies.

Its offices outside Florida are in the District ogf Columbia, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Prague, Czech Republic.