From Right to left: Brett Schneider, Marc Solomon, Anthony Soroka, Matthew Ramenda and Milton Collins. (Courtesy photo)
Florida municipal government practice firm Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman has opened a third South Florida office, this one in Boca Raton, where the firm plans to hire a handful of new attorneys.
The firm serves as outside counsel to the cities of Boca Raton and Delray Beach, and wants to be available to other municipalities and private clients in Palm Beach County. It also serves as city attorney to a number of cities in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, including Miramar, Cooper City, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Bal Harbour, Doral, Key Biscayne, Homestead and Weston.
“We pride ourselves in being a one-stop shop for everything that a municipality needs in terms of legal assistance,” said Brett Schneider, the office’s partner-in-charge and chairman of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. “Our goal is to make ourselves available to cities as they need us. We haven’t targeted any particular cities. … We think there are needs we can fill.”
The firm serves cities as inside and outside counsel, corporate and private clients on a range of matters ranging from governmental relations to communications and cable law to land use and government law. Schneider said the extensive government work has given the firm the expertise and capability of big firms, while still having the efficiencies of a midsize firm.
On Monday, Schneider and his team were still sorting out the IT issues and other details of the new office that opened last week. The firm’s existing offices are in Coral Gables and Fort Lauderdale.
The five attorneys in the new Boca Raton office are existing Weiss Serota Helfman employees who live in Palm Beach County and had been commuting to the Fort Lauderdale office. Schneider said the shorter commute is a welcome benefit, but the firm chose to expand to Palm Beach County as part of strategy, not convenience. Palm Beach County has dozens of municipalities within its borders.
In addition to Schneider, who is board-certified in labor and employment law, the office will house partners Marc Solomon, who focuses on corporate law, and Anthony Soroka, who focuses on municipal law, as well as associate Matthew Ramenda, a commercial litigator, and of counsel Milton Collins, who practices labor and employment law.
The Boca Raton space, located at 1200 N. Federal Highway, Suite 312, has room for more and the firm plans to add attorneys in 2017—most likely in the areas of real estate, land use and commercial litigation, Schneider said. The firm may make replacement hires in the Fort Lauderdale as well, Schneider said.
“It depends on finding people who are the right fit for our firm and our office,” Schneider said. “We see ourselves as being very collegial, very collaborative. We’re not going to grow just for the sake of growing.”
Weiss Serota Helfman opened in Miami in 1991. The founding attorneys saw an opportunity as the number of municipalities in the area increased.