Richard Cole of Cole, Scott & Kissane.
Richard Cole of Cole, Scott & Kissane. (J. Albert Diaz)

In the 2017 Review 100, which ranks Florida’s largest law firms by number of lawyers, many firms remained at or close to their previous ranking, moving up and down the chart by one or two slots. But a handful made bigger moves.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and Fox Rothschild, for example, each added six lawyers in the past year­—an increase to their respective head counts of 26 percent. This resulted in them both rising to No. 82 on the chart, increasing their rankings by about 10 slots each.

But for most firms, the rankings did not change significantly. Akerman and Greenberg Traurig retained their places at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

Holland & Knight, despite holding its own with a flat lawyer head count in Florida, dropped two slots to No. 5 after Cole, Scott & Kissane and GrayRobinson each added lawyers.

GrayRobinson added 14 lawyers to tie with Holland & Knight at 300 lawyers. But because GrayRobinson has more partners—184 versus 169—GrayRobinson took the No. 4 spot.

Cole, Scott & Kissane, which is primarily an insurance defense firm, added 40 lawyers—an increase of 13 percent—bumping it up a slot to No. 3 on the list. This marked the greatest increase in actual number of lawyers on the list, despite increased competition from out-of-state firms in the area of insurance defense.

“2016 was a very good year for us,” said Cole, Scott managing partner Richard Cole. “We had continued growth in all aspects of our practice across the state.”

Roig Lawyers, however, which focuses on personal injury protection insurance defense, shrank its head count by 26 lawyers in 2016, dropping six slots to No. 23. Its 23 percent decrease in head count was the greatest percentage decrease among the firms included on the list.

Other firms also lost attorneys: Fowler White Burnett lost 15, a decline of 17 percent that dropped the firm 10 spots to No. 31. Carlton Fields Jorden Burt shrank by 31 lawyers, or 11 percent, but only moved down one spot to No. 7.

Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer added 34 lawyers in 2016—the second-largest increase in the state. But even with this 17 percent growth in head count, the firm moved up only one notch in the rankings, to No. 8. This bumped Morgan & Morgan, whose head count dropped by 12 lawyers—a 5 percent decline.

Kelley Kronenberg moved up three spots to No. 17 with a 20 percent increase in its lawyer pool after adding 19 lawyers, for a total of 112. Kubicki Draper also moved up three spots to No. 19, after its head count grew 15 percent to 99 lawyers. Vernis & Bowling grew 16 percent to 89 lawyers and moved up seven slots in the rankings to No. 22.

Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith and Duane Morris each added to their lawyer count by 22 percent, landing at No. 50 and No. 77, respectively. For Lewis Brisbois, this translated to the addition of eight lawyers; for Duane Morris it meant an increase of six.