2 min read May 2023 — Greenberg Traurig is a global law firm founded in Miami. Invest: spoke with Miami Office Co-Managing Shareholder Jaret Davis about last year’s highlights for the firm in Miami, harnessing technology transformation and the evolution of the legal sector. “For the next three to five years, my outlook is positive,” he said.
What have been the key highlights and milestones for the firm over the last 12 months?
2022 was a very busy year for Greenberg Traurig, both on the transactional side and the litigation side. For example, in the real estate area, we are involved in a historic 99-year lease agreement with the city of Miami to develop a $1 billion Major League Soccer stadium. We’re the lead council on all development, land use and environmental aspects of that project. Going into hospitality, we represented developer Michael Shvo and the redevelopment of hotels in Miami Beach. We’ve done a significant amount of work for CBRE Investment Management in its acquisition of 57 logistics centers in the United States and Europe for $4.9 billion. We’ve been doing a transit-oriented public partnership at Douglas Road Metrorail Station. On the corporate side, we represented London-based financial technology company Paysafe in the acquisition of SafetyPay, an online payment systems developer. We represented Miami-based cybersecurity provider, Appgate, in reverse merger with Newtown Lane Marketing to take it public with a $1 billion valuation, plus a concurrent $75 million notes offering to Magnetar Capital in Chicago. Overall, 2021 was a record year for us and 2022 pretty much matched it. This year, we’re going into a lowercase recession, but we still continue to be busy.
What are some of the unique characteristics that set Greenberg Traurig apart in the Miami market?
When you think about Greenberg Traurig in the Miami market, you think of that nexus of global excellence and local roots. Miami is blessed with a number of law firms that are highly sophisticated global powerhouses. It’s also blessed with several law firms that have deep penetration points within our local community. Greenberg Traurig, though, is uniquely positioned as that one firm that has both characteristics.
How do you see the legal sector changing and evolving, and how are you preparing to meet those needs?
Our firm has always been somewhat conservative in terms of our core structure. Historically, we have weathered recessions better than most. During recessionary periods, Greenberg Traurig has often found significant opportunities, particularly as several of our practice groups are also cyclical. We are expecting spikes in litigation and bankruptcy. With a potential recession, company valuations are also starting to normalize. In 2020, 2019, 2018, and so on, we had unusually high corporate valuations. When valuations are high, it tends to stifle M&A activity. In real estate, even though you would expect prices to fall in a recession, there will continue to be a significant transaction pipeline. We are well positioned and remain optimistic that we will see opportunities.
How will the industry continue to evolve regarding the digital transformation?
I expect the tech ecosystem in Miami to keep exploding and growing. The reason is that it has become self-sustaining, and we’ve successfully evangelized it to the world. That awareness alone keeps an ecosystem going. Miami has never had such fertile ground for growing its own unicorns as what exists right now. And the beauty of these unicorns is twofold. One, the narrative is helpful and, two, those unicorns provide a fertile ground for talent. When I meet with a new technology company that I’m not familiar with, I’ll always ask them where they source their talent from. Ten or 15 years ago, they would be recruiting from New York or California. Now, they’re recruiting from the other companies around here. That is an extraordinarily healthy development for Miami.
Is there anything in the legislative arena either at the state, local, or federal level that you’re keeping an eye on?
There are two things I’m tracking right now and they are both federal. One is the Infrastructure Bill, which will be implemented this year. The bill includes increased investment behind technology infrastructure, such as data centers. The other item is that the Federal Trade Commission has proposed rules essentially banning non-compete agreements. The business community is quite vocal in its objections to this and are hoping that it will ultimately get revised.
What is your outlook for the firm over the next three to five years and what are your top priorities?
For the next three to five years, my outlook is extraordinarily rosy. We’re still one of the best-positioned firms to take advantage of where society globally is going and with where the market is going in Miami. The one thing that law firms have figured out is that clients want one-stop shopping to handle all their legal needs. And most firms do not have the benefit of the footprint that we have. If you look at our geographic footprint, it’s expansive. The other good thing about that is it helps incorporate a natural hedge for recessions, as you have the benefit of diversity geographically and in terms of practice areas.
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