Fowler White Burnett has hired three lawyers for its Miami office.
Immigration attorney Nera Shefer and former Foley & Mansfield complex liability defense partner Timothy Ferguson have joined Fowler’s Miami office as shareholders. Associate Laura Ross joins Fowler’s corporate practice group from Robert Allen Law.
Shefer won the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) benefit for undocumented youth living in the U.S. The case became precedent for an Obama administration executive order that allowed undocumented youth who arrived in the U.S. as minors to stay legally while obtaining a work permit, driver’s license and a social security number.
Fowler Managing Partner Chris Knight said Shefer is well-known in immigration circles and will bring her firm immigration business with her. Shefer is a founder of GRSH, a two-lawyer partnership firm in Miami. Fellow firm founder Oscar Grisales-Racini’s practice continues to concentrate on domestic and international tax issues.
At Fowler, Shefer will continue to represent clients in business immigration and visa matters, including employment and investment immigration, but also in family immigration petitions and naturalizations. She represents U.S. companies in petitions for professional and skilled workers and foreign companies in transfers of essential employees to the U.S.
Ferguson, who joins the firm’s products liability and toxic torts practice group, focuses on complex liability defense matters, including products, toxic tort, construction, premises, personal injury and medical malpractice. In addition to representing defendants in construction defect cases, Ferguson has defended product, equipment and chemical manufacturers in liability claims, including exposure to asbestos, benzene, radiation, chemical release and mold.
The new associate, Ross, who is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, focuses her practice in international law, corporate transactions, corporate law and business immigration. She represents foreign investors establishing companies in the U.S. and assisting clients in setting up their U.S. operations. In addition to her international corporate law experience, Ross has represented yacht manufacturers, owners and charterers in international maritime compliance issues. She has represented yacht buyers and owners in ownership, documentation, registration, vessel crew agreements and management agreements and advised on U.S. Customs and Border Protection issues, such as entry procedures, documentation, duty and crew visas.
Knight said his firm, which is gearing up for its 75th anniversary, has maintained a fairly constant head count of between 48 and 50 lawyers in its Miami office. The firm has three offices in South Florida, with a total of about 80 lawyers.