Florida Senate President Joe Negron has rejoined Akerman’s litigation practice group as of counsel in West Palm Beach after leaving Gunster six months ago to avoid “even the possible appearance” of a law firm conflict with his legislative duties.
Negron left Gunster in January, shortly after assuming the senate presidency. One of Negron’s legislative priorities concerned a bill that called for building a 78 billion gallon reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee in an effort to improve Everglades restoration. One of Gunster’s major clients, U.S. Sugar, opposed the land buy required for the water storage. The company sold 26,791 acres to the South Florida Water Management District for $197.4 million in 2010.
Despite the opposition from the state’s powerful sugar industry, the bill passed, and Gov. Rick Scott signed it into law last month.
Negron started working at Akerman in 2005 but left to join Gunster in 2010. Now back at Akerman, he said he will represent clients in high stakes litigation, business law and complex commercial litigation, and will continue to serve in the Florida legislature.
“As a member of Florida’s citizen Legislature, I will work diligently to fulfill my obligations to my law firm and my constituents throughout the year,” said Negron, a West Palm Beach native who represents the 25th District and previously served in the Florida State House of Representatives.
Negron is the most recent addition to Akerman’s litigation team, which has added more than 50 litigators nationwide in the past year. The firm has more than 350 litigators across 24 offices. Another Florida lawmaker, Miami Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, is also of counsel at Akerman.
Negron counsels officers, directors, publicly traded and privately held corporations, and individuals in an array of business disputes. He said Akerman provides the platform he needs to advance his practice while maintaining his “deep commitment to the West Palm Beach market.” The firm’s bench of litigators will also bring value to his clients, he said.
Akerman, like Gunster, represents high-profile clients with business before the Florida Legislature. The firm also promotes itself as carrying out “Florida legislative and executive lobbying.”