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Akerman LLP opens in Wilmington

Katie Tabeling

Akerman LLP has opened its latest office in Wilmington, with partners Andrew Dupre, left, and Brian Lemon at the helm. | PHOTO COURTESY OF AKERMAN LLP

WILMINGTON — Akerman LLP, a top transactions and trial law firm, has opened a Wilmington office as a move for strategic growth in the corporate law arena five blocks away from the Delaware Court of Chancery.

The firm will be led by litigation partners Andrew Dupre and Brian Lemon with Dupre serving as the office managing partner for the Delaware office. Dupre is an experienced corporate litigator with a strong track record in shareholder class actions and breach of contract suits, as well as mergers and acquisitions disputes. Lemon is a veteran litigator that has experience in handling commercial and intellectual property disputes. Both have recently served as partners at McCarter English LLP.

The office at 222 Delaware Ave. has room for up to 10 attorneys, although Akerman CEO and Chairman Scott Meyers told the Delaware Business Times that there is no magic number of staff the firm is targeting.

“Many of our clients have had their cases heard before the Delaware Chancery Court and this seems like the next, natural step for the firm,” Meyers said. “Some of our clients are Fortune 500 companies that have needed assistance navigating bankruptcy and merger issues, and more and more of their needs need to be handled in Delaware itself. We go where the client wants us to go.”

Akerman LLP was established in 1920 as a transactions law firm in Orlando, Fla. Over the years, it has grown to 700 attorneys in 25 offices across the country with core practices in bankruptcy, consumer financial services, intellectual property, labor matters and taxes. In particular, the firm is known for its work in middle market mergers and acquisitions within the financial services and real estate industries.

The opening of Akerman’s new office continues a growing street in the legal industry in Wilmington. This year, two firms have opened offices. However, Morris James announced it would be leaving the city for Avenue North in Fairfax. 

More than 66% of Fortune 500 companies have incorporated in Delaware, in part because of its rich corporate law that has been established and amended over a century, but also because the Court of Chancery is known to settle matters decisively. The firm has many clients incorporated in Delaware and many with connections to venture capital and private equity firms in the First State.

“Delaware is a unique market and opening our 25th office there opens up some breathing room to handle our existing clients needs and to organically grow our client base,” Meyers said. “It’s clear that our clients want us there in the market, and with the visibility that we have for clients all over the world, we think having that visibility out in the market and in the courtroom will naturally get the word out of our first-class customer service for our clients.”

“We’re excited and we know that Andy and Brian are up for the task of expanding in this wonderful market,” he added.

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