Midwest's Armstrong Teasdale is latest law firm to enter Miami market

2 minute read

The downtown skyline of Miami, Florida. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

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  • Florida has been a hot legal market, with out-of-state firms moving in and lots of lateral activity
  • Miami marks Armstrong Teasdale's ninth new office in the past three years

Jan 3 (Reuters) - Armstrong Teasdale has established its first Florida outpost with the acquisition of Miami litigation boutique Waldman Barnett.

The St. Louis-based law firm said Monday that it absorbed Waldman Barnett’s seven attorneys and five staff members and is using its Miami office space, bringing its total number of attorneys to more than 370 nationally.

“Their experience further adds to our deep litigation bench, and having a physical presence in the Southeast is certainly advantageous to our clients,” said Armstrong Teasdale managing partner Patrick Rasche, who also cited Florida’s robust economy as a draw.

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Florida is currently a legal market hotspot. The state saw 43 law firm office openings in 2021, according to Leopard Solutions, which tracks hiring at law firms and large companies. Only California and Texas had more openings last year.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan; Kutak Rock; and Spencer Fane are among the out-of-state firms that moved into Florida in 2021.

The hiring market is also hot. The number of Miami-based associates who switched firms in 2021 increased 64% over the average from the previous four-years, according to data from Decipher Competitive Intelligence, making it the most active lateral associate market in the country.

Waldman Barnett was founded in 2009 by co-managing partners Glen Waldman and Eleanor Barnett. The firm handles complex litigation at the trial and appellate levels in a variety of areas, including real estate and development, corporate governance, copyright and trademark disputes, and employment litigation. Barnett said in an announcement of the merger that she expects to add more attorneys and staff to the Miami office and throughout South Florida.

Armstrong Teasdale has been expanding its footprint over the past three years, opening nine new offices. In February, it combined with London firm Kerman & Co., adding more than 50 lawyers and staff. It also added an office in Wilmington, Delaware last year with four partners from local firm Elliott Greenleaf.

Read more:

Quinn Emanuel expands in Southeast, tapping Miami mayor for new Florida office

Armstrong Teasdale expands again, landing in London with U.K. mini-merger

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Reporting by Karen Sloan

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Karen Sloan reports on law firms, law schools, and the business of law. Reach her at karen.sloan@thomsonreuters.com