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Jax Daily Record Monday, Jun. 17, 201905:10 AM EST

Law firms merge: Holbrook Akel joins Lippes Mathias

The combined practice has 29 attorneys and staff in Northeast Florida.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

After establishing its first Florida law office two years ago with one attorney, Buffalo, New York-based Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman added the 17 attorneys and staff from Holbrook, Akel, Cold, Ray & Reichard to expand its area practice.

“Sizewise, this is the largest joining together we’ve had. It’s a commitment to this area,” said Lippes Mathias managing partner Kevin Cross.

The seven partners at Holbrook Akel, a 65-year-old Jacksonville firm, joined Lippes Mathias:

▪ Daniel Akel concentrates his practice on corporate and business law; mergers and acquisitions; estate planning, probate and trust; and real estate.

▪ Edward Akel practices corporate and business law; mergers and acquisitions; estate planning, probate and trust; real estate; and tax law.

▪ Kathleen Holbrook Cold practices in corporate and business law; estate planning, probate and trust; and mergers and acquisitions.

▪ Musa Farmand focuses his practice in civil and commercial litigation, personal injury and wrongful death.

▪ H. Leon Holbrook III concentrates in civil litigation, corporate and business law, and marital and family law.

▪ Thomas Ray practices in construction law, corporate and business law, circuit court civil mediation, and labor relations and management law.

▪ Bethany Ray Reichard focuses her practice in civil litigation, including commercial and contract litigation, tort litigation and business transactions.

Lippes Mathias primarily practices transactional law and “we needed litigation help,” Cross said.

In addition to its two Florida offices and its headquarters in Buffalo, Lippes Mathias has offices in Albany, New York; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

The merger also will expand what Holbrook, Akel can offer its clients.

“We don’t do securities law, intellectual property or software licensing,” said Edward Akel. It now offers those practices.

The additional attorneys and support personnel brings Lippes Mathias’s Northeast Florida roster to 29, including lawyers and staff in the Ponte Vedra office established in 2017.

The new Jacksonville office is in the former Holbrook Akel offices Downtown on the 23rd floor at Wells Fargo Center.

Cross said in addition to adding litigation to the Lippes Mathias practice, the firm plans to expand its services for the health care industry, considering that Northeast Florida is home to Baptist Health, UF Health, Mayo Clinic and Ascension/St. Vincent’s Health Care.

“It has the makings of a very good marriage,” he said.

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