Tampa Bay’s ingenuity and innovation in face of adversity highlighted second annual launch conference

Tampa Bay’s ingenuity and innovation in face of adversity highlighted second annual launch conference

By: Max Crampton Thomas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

August 21, 2020

Tampa Bay’s economic resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges and innovation stemming from the pandemic highlighted the launch of the second edition of Invest: Tampa Bay 2020.

 

Tampa Bay, FL – In this time of uncertainty, it has never been more important to showcase the strength and overall resilience of the local community and economy. On Thursday, integrated media platform Capital Analytics provided an opportunity to shed light on the challenges and opportunities in the region as it launched its 156-page analysis Invest: Tampa Bay 2020 with a virtual launch conference held via Zoom Webinar.

The 2020 edition of Invest: Tampa Bay highlights the region of Tampa Bay, including both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, as well as a special focus chapter on the city of Clearwater. The in-depth and well-researched economic analysis also highlights business opportunities that exist for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators within the Tampa Bay region despite the harsh economic climate resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the opportunities spotlighted throughout the publication include Tampa Bay’s healthcare market that has made significant strides to establish this region as one of the preeminent medical hubs in Florida. The region’s real estate market is also covered in great detail as new developments continue to rise from the ground despite major roadblocks caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a true testament to the thoughtful and strategic planning by the sector’s leaders. The publication also dives into the banking and finance sector, which has remained strong while also aiding the local business community through this unprecedented time. 

The launch conference was the first that Capital Analytics has held in virtual forum, and by all it was a resounding success, reflecting the get-it-done character of the region. “When I think of our global readership and the Tampa Bay business community’s lean-in attitude over the past couple of months, it’s a testament to the ingenuity and collaborative spirit of the Tampa Bay community,” said Capital Analytics’ CEO Abby Melone in her opening remarks. “Rather than shelter in place and do nothing, we sheltered in place and did plenty to promote community and push our business forward despite the challenges. Businesses across the Tampa Bay region are being innovative and embracing technology as they pivot from a pre-pandemic to a post-pandemic world.”  The event featured three robust panel discussions and ended with a thoughtful closing keynote speech by Pinellas County Commissioner Kenneth Welch.

All three panels addressed the current economic climate as well as prevailing themes currently dominating the Tampa Bay region’s economy: finance and banking in the time of a pandemic, adaptation and transformation for the legal sector, and innovation within the business community stemming from the current crisis. Gregory Kadet of UBS Global Wealth Management U.S., Terry Igo of the Tampa Bay Trust Company, Scott Perry of AmeriLife Group and Travis Jennings of Finance Cape all participated in the panel, “Making the right financial choices amid economic uncertainty.” Rita Lowman of Pilot Bank moderated. The second panel, “Adaptation for legal professionals in the wake of the pandemic,” featured Marie Tomassi of Trenam Law, William Schifino of Gunster, Michael Lundy of Older, Lundy and Alvarez and Alan Higbee of Shutts and Bowen. The moderator was Kevin Johnson of Johnson Jackson. The final panel, “Crisis breeds innovation: What this means for the business community,” consisted of John Couris of Tampa General Hospital, John Johannessen of AdventHealth and Douglas Wright of Holland & Knight. The moderator for this panel was Christopher Bowen of RD Management. 

Over 450 high-level guests and officials from Tampa Bay’s key industries and economic institutions tuned into the event via Zoom Webinar. For those who missed the event or would live to revisit some of the highlights from the day, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le35fKJv4Lo&feature=youtu.be

“The value of Invest: Tampa Bay is that it brings us together to listen, to learn, to collaborate and to build a stronger, more resilient and prosperous Tampa Bay,” remarked Commissioner Welch in his closing keynote speech. 

***

About Capital Analytics & Invest: Tampa Bay

Capital Analytics is an integrated media platform that produces in-depth business intelligence through its annual print and digital economic reviews, high-impact conferences and events and top-level interviews via its video platform, Invest: Insights.

Invest: Tampa Bay is an in-depth economic review of the key issues facing Tampa Bay’s economy, featuring the exclusive insights of prominent industry leaders. Invest: Tampa Bay is produced with two goals in mind: 1) to provide comprehensive investment knowledge on the Tampa Bay region to local, national and international investors, and 2) to promote Tampa Bay as a place to invest and do business.

The book conducts a deep dive into the top economic sectors in the county, including real estate, construction, utilities and infrastructure, transportation and aviation, banking and finance, legal, healthcare, education, and arts, culture and tourism. The publication is compiled from insights collected from more than 200 economic leaders, sector insiders, political leaders and heads of important institutions. It analyzes the leading challenges facing the market, and uncovers emerging opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

For more information, contact: 

Max Crampton-Thomas, Content Manager, 305-523-9708 Ext: 233
Spotlight On: Michael A. Okaty, Office Managing Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP

Spotlight On: Michael A. Okaty, Office Managing Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP

By: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read February 2020 — Orlando needs to promote itself as a hotbed for investors and companies as it enters more and more into the spotlight as a destination for private investors and venture capitalists. Historically, much of the local M&A activity has been on the sell side, said Michael A. Okaty, office managing partner at Foley & Lardner LLP, in an interview with Invest:.

Are you seeing a comeback of the corporate consolidation trend in the Orlando market?

 

Yes, I think that’s been happening for the last several years. We are seeing both consolidation of strategic owners who are trying to grow and consolidate, but also financial buyers, private equity and family offices that are trying to consolidate what would otherwise be fragmented industries into larger companies with more economies of scale.

 

We live in a middle-market city so more often than not we would tend to be on the sell side, representing a solid, family-owned, multidecade, multigeneration business that has gotten to the point where the founders are looking for liquidity and there are buyers, both strategic and financial, out there looking to roll up. Home-grown businesses based here over the last few years tend to be on the sell side. We don’t have a lot of large, publicly-traded companies based here, but we have a lot of defense and aerospace companies, like Siemens and Lockheed, but they are in a different league. Still, companies in Orlando, to the extent that they are engaging in M&A activity, are probably on the sell side.

 

What are the fastest areas of growth for the firm in the Orlando market?

 

Healthcare M&A, both in consolidation as well as provider practices and primary care groups. There’s also the area of medical office buildings, and we do a lot of work in the senior housing area. Healthcare and healthcare M&A is a really hot, growing area.

 

Private equity and venture capital, regardless of the industry, are also moving. They are looking at everything from diversified services like home plumbing and electrical to software technology, cybersecurity and health-related services. The interest of private equity and VCs in Florida, and Central Florida in particular, is increasing.

 

Another big area in Central Florida is simulation. Orlando is the capital of the simulation industry, both for medical and military simulation and engineering. The same kind of simulation that can be used in the military field can be used in healthcare. For example, surgeons are using simulation to practice surgery before actually doing the procedure.

 

Are there any particular areas where you are looking to expand your reach?

 

Real estate, the hospitality industry and healthcare. We have a major presence in real estate, and in particular in the hospitality industry, representing the vacation clubs that are based here in Orlando and the senior housing industry nationwide. We have a major presence in those areas.

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

Foley & Lardner LLP: https://www.foley.com/en/offices/orlando 

Spotlight On: Alan Zuckerman, Managing Shareholder & COO, Flaster Greenberg PC

By: Max Crampton Thomas

2 min read February 2020 — Flaster Greenberg’s South Jersey attorneys are bringing in new talent to hone and increase the services they offer their mostly business and high-net-worth clientele, which include everything from M&A to succession work, while preparing to face challenges such as the impending legalization of cannabis in the state, the nationwide PFAS environmental problem and the changes to retirement planning contained in the SECURE Act,. Invest: spoke with Flaster Greenberg PC’s Managing Shareholder & COO Alan Zuckerman. 

 

What sets Flaster Greenberg apart from other law firms in the South Jersey market?

 

We are a midsized commercial law firm specializing in pretty much every practice that businesses and high-net-worth individuals, our primary clientele, would need. Most of our lawyers have come from large Philadelphia firms. We pride ourselves in doing the same type and quality of work as the larger firms, but at lower rates and more efficiently.

 

Most recently, we have done a tremendous amount of deals and merger and acquisition work. We have also had some very large bankruptcy cases. Regarding M&A, it has been all over the industry. Most of our clients have usually been closely-held businesses, even some very large ones. At some point, some of those businesses have to be passed on to the new generation, or they are sold. As a result, we have been seeing a tremendous amount of activity in the sale market, and we have been representing a lot of companies in all business sectors that are selling, in many cases to private equity firms. Private equity firms have been the most active buyers in the transactions we have been representing.

 

Is there any legislation, local or federal, that could have an impact on the way you or your clients do business?

 

There are two significant pieces of legislation, one at the national and another at the state level. There are environmental laws coming in that could mean a lot of environmental litigation. The others are, on a national level, the SECURE Act, which really impacts retirement plans, in particular, the amount and period of time in which people with 401k retirement plans will be allowed to take money out of their retirement plans and defer paying taxes. This new law substantially changes those rules and shortens the period of time for withdrawals. For many people who have done planning on their retirement plans, that is all going to have to be revamped.

 

There is also the pending legalization of cannabis in the state of New Jersey. We have some businesses gearing up for it, although there has not been a whole lot of demand just yet.

 

What are the main challenges facing firms and their clients in the South Jersey area?

 

One of the challenges is rate pressure, as our clients are cost-sensitive to legal work, as they should be, and that requires lawyers to be more efficient in their work. From a local standpoint, the opportunity we find in the South Jersey market is that office spaces are much less expensive compared to Philadelphia, which is only a few miles away. Although we have seen most of our growth over the last few years in Philadelphia and expect to see more, we made the decision last year to renew our lease here in South Jersey because the occupancy cost is less expensive.

 

One of the downsides in South Jersey we face for that decision is the lack of transportation infrastructure. We get into Philadelphia but that is about it. There is no local transportation for the most part. From a statewide perspective, taxes are very high, both income and property taxes, which make it harder for businesses to stay or relocate here.

 

What are the company’s main areas of focus for 2020?

 

Our focus is to continue to be able to be a full-service firm with very efficient and quick response to our clients. To do that, we feel that we need to continue to grow, bringing new attorneys into our firm. In addition to a six-lawyer firm we have already brought into the fold, we have expanded our footprint into the western Philadelphia suburbs with the opening of our Conshohocken, PA, office last June. Most recently, we grew our intellectual property department by welcoming an 11-member patent team headquartered in the firm’s Philadelphia office.

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

 

https://www.flastergreenberg.com/

 

South Florida to Address Heavy-Hitting Priorities Ahead of Election 2020

South Florida to Address Heavy-Hitting Priorities Ahead of Election 2020

By: Sara Warden

2 min read January 2019 — With its status as one of the most important swing states in federal elections, Florida’s voting pattern generally serves as a bellweather for the overall outcome. With President Donald Trump running for re-election in November 2020, South Florida’s agenda for the year is packed with contentious issues, such as gun reform, climate change and foreign policy.

 

 On Dec. 23, an appeal was filed by the state government against several Florida cities, including Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, arguing the cities were flaunting the law by applying harsher restrictions on guns than exist on a state level. “If allowed to stand, the decision will not only invite the development of a patchwork regulatory regime in the area of firearms but also render the Legislature impotent to deter power grabs by local officials in other areas,” the brief argued. The issue of gun reform is set to remain a key issue as the 2020 election nears.

Another issue coming back to the forefront is climate change, and South Florida is disproportionately affected by rising sea levels and potable water availability. In November, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed the state’s first chief science officer and the 2020 legislative session is expected to put more emphasis on climate issues. “State agencies are now beginning to collaborate on these important issues and gather at a leadership level to talk about resilience and how to plan for sea level rise,” Noah Valenstein, secretary of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, told the Herald Tribune.

But by far, one of the most headline-grabbing issues leading up to the election will be President Trump’s flagstone immigration campaign. According to the most recent census data, about 23% of the population of Palm Beach County identify as Hispanic or Latino, and the same is true for around 19% of the Fort Lauderdale population. The Democrats chose to host their first presidential debate in Miami, a city where more than 70% of the population is Hispanic, partly because of the immigration platform.

“Latinos are still seen as a monolith,” says Liz Alarcon, a Venezuelan-American Democratic activist and author of Caracas Chronicles, told TIME magazine. “Politicians as a whole still don’t get it, and that’s a problem.”

U.S. Latin America policy is expected to play a major role in the South Florida 2020 electoral result, and Trump has been largely praised by the Latin American community for his tough stance toward Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. “Florida elections always come down to margins,” Frank Mora, a professor of politics at Florida International University, told the New Yorker. “Foreign policy is intensely local in South Florida.” Because of the high concentration of Latinos in South Florida, foreign policy related to Latin America hits close to home.

It could also help decide who wins Florida in 2020.

 

To learn more, visit:

https://www.flgov.com/

https://www.caracaschronicles.com/author/lizrebeccaalarcon/

https://pir.fiu.edu/people/faculty-1/faculty/frank-mora/

https://floridadep.gov/sec

 

Spotlight On: Johanna W. Clark, Co-Managing Shareholder, Orlando Office, Carlton Fields

Spotlight On: Johanna W. Clark, Co-Managing Shareholder, Orlando Office, Carlton Fields

By: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read December 2019 — Orlando, known for its thriving tourism industry, is growing quickly and diversifying its economy to attract new companies to the region. Sectors like construction and technology are seeing healthy growth and with that comes the need for a knowledgeable legal team. In an interview with Invest: Orlando, Carlton Fields Orlando office co-managing shareholder Johanna Clark talks about the impact the growing economy has had on the firm’s legal practices, efforts to help the business community in the region, and outlooks for the legal sector heading into the new year. 

 

What are the benefits of being located in the Orlando market?

The Orlando market is unique as it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. Orange County leaders project growth of over 1,000 new residents per week. Business is also booming. Carlton Fields’ Orlando office is centrally located in the heart of the Business District. We are in the SunTrust Center and our new office offers a more modern and efficient workspace to better serve our clients in this growing region.

 

From what types of industries are you getting the most demand?

 

Technology is a growing sector of Orlando’s economy and our attorneys are handling a lot of tech-related client needs. The gaming company Electronic Arts recently announced plans to move its headquarters from Maitland to downtown Orlando’s Creative Village. On top of that, with universities like Full Sail and the University of Central Florida in the area, there is an influx of great gaming-related talent coming to Orlando. To meet client needs, we have a team of attorneys who specialize in electronic gaming. Our attorneys help our tech-based clients with cybersecurity, as well as licensing, labor and employment, mergers, or any type of technology issue. They help companies and tech-based entrepreneurs navigate this developing aspect of the law. The same is true with the growing construction industry in the region. The influx of new businesses is impacting our practice areas. 

 

What are some of your focus areas in the Orlando market?

Our main goal is to attract, train and retain attorneys. We have a culture that seeks to develop young lawyers into exceptional professionals. As Orlando continues to grow and its economy continues to diversify, we are keeping an eye on the incoming businesses. Many new companies are arriving and we want to know how we can best serve their needs. We also provide free business and legal resources online for entrepreneurs and startups where they can get information to develop their companies through LaunchToThrive.com. That is how we can gauge the changing business climate in the region. As lawyers, our priority is to offer our services to help companies thrive in the Orlando area and beyond.

 

What is your outlook for the region’s legal sector and economy?

 

The forecast for Central Florida is superb. New businesses and high-paying jobs are coming to the region. Our local leaders are doing a great job attracting companies to the area. Orlando is a great place to live and work. From a business perspective, the outlook for 2020 is exceptional. From a legal perspective, it will also continue to be a booming area. Companies need help and deals need to be done, and lawyers help make that happen. With so much development and construction, there will be a demand for representation in litigation matters as well.

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

Carlton Fields: https://www.carltonfields.com/ 

Spotlight On: Tansy Jefferies, Principal, International Tax Services, RSM US LLP

Spotlight On: Tansy Jefferies, Principal, International Tax Services, RSM US LLP

By: Max Crampton-Thomas

2 min read November 2019 — In today’s tight labor market, companies are feeling the pressure more than ever to stand out as leaders both in their industry and in their community. This includes efforts to promote diversity and inclusion within their organizations. Tansy Jefferies, principal for international tax services at RSM US LLP, spoke with Invest: about how RSM is leading the way in shattering the gender barriers in the accounting industry with 30 percent female ownership within the company, and the firm’s efforts to empower their employees with constant investment into enhancing the employee experience. 

 

How is RSM tackling gender challenges in the accounting industry?

 

We are proud to report that RSM in South Florida is leading the charge and breaking the proverbial glass ceiling with 30 percent female ownership in an industry where the average is approximately 16 percent. RSM places a high emphasis on coaching and mentoring our high-performing women to retain and accelerate them into leadership positions. We also want to increase diversity and inclusion more broadly throughout our organization. Culture, diversity and inclusion are strategic business drivers and have shown to be great catalysts for business growth. Our mission is to be the first choice adviser to middle market companies globally and to do that, we need a workforce that is as diverse as our clientele. This is the best way to truly deliver the power of being understood. 

 

How is RSM finding the talent it needs, given the county’s low unemployment rate?

 

We have found that our focus on culture, diversity and inclusion has also differentiated us from other firms when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent. RSM places a great deal of emphasis on delivering the power of being understood, not only to our clients but to our people as well. Through the RSM talent experience, we empower each other to enhance our value and build successful careers. We build rich, enduring relationships based on a profound understanding of each other, our goals and our aspirations. Because when we feel truly understood, we are empowered to move forward with confidence, both personally and professionally. RSM is constantly enhancing the talent experience by investing in and implementing new training, tools and resources. Specifically related to recruiting, we align with the State’s top universities to bring students into our internship programs. We also drive recruitment through diverse professional organizations, such as the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), which aligns with our goals of building a diverse workforce for the future.

 

In what areas is RSM seeing the greatest demand for its services?

 

As a specialist in transfer pricing, I have seen an uptick in services that affect multinational, middle market organizations. From tax reform to changes across the broader global tax landscape, there has been a significant impact on international companies. We have also seen a rise in enquiries from investors on the tax programs related to Opportunity Zones. On the assurance side, there have been increased activities related to implementing the new revenue recognition and lease accounting standards for public, private and government entities. Our financial advisory services practice has also been growing, as the economic outlook makes it a favorable market for buying and selling businesses. As for RSM’s consulting services, our cybersecurity, blockchain, infrastructure, managed IT services, and risk consulting practices are all growing at a rapid pace.

 

What is enticing investors into the Broward market?

 

South Florida is an enticing climate for a multitude of reasons, including the federal tax changes and incentives that have fostered an interest from our clients determined to keep jobs and intellectual property in the United States. One of the usual challenges for inbound foreign investors is understanding the complexity of U.S. tax law, because of the different layers of taxation at the federal, state and local levels. Fortunately, for businesses seeking relocation into Broward County, those layers are not quite as complex as in other parts of the country, which makes Broward a favorable option. From an economic perspective, Broward has a high quality of life, strong economic growth, and is dedicated to investing in infrastructure and the community, all of which are great reasons for businesses to invest in our community. 

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit: 

 

https://rsmus.com/

Face Off: Two Legal Leaders on Growth, Talent and Tech

Face Off: Two Legal Leaders on Growth, Talent and Tech

By: Max Crampton-Thomas

4 min read November 2019 Seemingly every industry in the Tampa Bay region is firing on all cylinders as the area continues to exceed expectations in terms of economic growth. In concurrency with this growth is increased demand from businesses and individuals for legal services and counsel. Law firms in the region have taken notice and are acting swiftly to establish or reestablish themselves as prominent figures in this space. Invest: spoke with Michael Lundy, the managing and founding partner of Older, Lundy & Alvarez, and Kevin Johnson, a shareholder of Johnson Jackson, about the role of Tampa Bay in their businesses, navigating the lingering challenge of labor and the importance of technological advancements in the legal sector. 

 

 

How is the setting of Tampa Bay conducive to your business and legal practice?

Michael Lundy: The Tampa Metro Area is growing rapidly in about every sector. I think that the local political climate is conducive to this growth. We are seeing development driven by businesses that want to operate in Tampa, as well as an influx of outside capital investment from sophisticated sources that see the area as ripe for growth. It seems as though all the pistons are firing at the same time.

My personal practice is marital and family law, but Older, Lundy & Alvarez handles real estate transactions and litigation, commercial litigation, tax work and corporate counsel. With so much local development and population growth, we have benefited greatly because there is a higher demand for the many services that we provide. It is our goal to provide legal services for every aspect of one’s life, or what we call “the ultimate representation.”

Kevin Johnson: For our business, Tampa is a great location for a multitude of reasons. One is that it is extremely easy to reach the entire state from this region. We are only a couple hours from Naples, Jacksonville and Tallahassee. We also have a terrific airport. Most significant would be the strong business climate in the region. Tampa has done a lot of things well over the last 20 years in regards to establishing a conducive environment for businesses in the region. We have been lucky because this city has had a string of progressive and insightful mayors who have gone to great lengths to really improve the business environment. 

Has your firm been challenged in navigating the tight labor pool for legal professionals in the region? 

Lundy: Recruiting talent has not been a challenge. We have been able to recruit incredible lawyers. Tampa has a large pool of amazing legal talent. Tampa is a great place to live. It is an area that has had undervalued real estate, especially in the Downtown area, and that has attracted a lot of development. There has been a steadily growing young population. It has become a city where we talk about technology all the time. Local leadership has had a great positive impact in the area as well. The county commissioners and past and present mayors have had their eyes on the future and have worked very hard to develop a true vision for Tampa. Also, we do not have an income tax in the state of Florida, which is an attractive factor on top of all the amenities Tampa has to offer.

Johnson: The labor pool for legal staff is tight, but we are happy with the people we have on our team. We have found that there are good people out there who you can hire, but there is obviously a lot of competition for them. As a smaller firm, we have to work harder to find those right people, and it really depends on finding the right recruiter to help with that process. It is also very much about the type of work environment we can offer potential candidates. Culture is truly the big driver behind this. We made a commitment to create the kind of culture where people would enjoy working for us. Not only do we offer competitive pay and good benefits, but they also have a lot of freedom in terms of being flexible with their work time to meet family obligations. We also offer legal staff the opportunities to learn and grow so that they can adapt to new skills and new positions. It is all about creating an environment where people really enjoy coming to work and where work doesn’t feel like a job.

How important is new technology to the future success of the legal sector in Florida? 

Lundy: We have embraced technology. We are completely electronic, especially in our research and court filing. We are also all mobile and can work remotely when needed. We embraced technological improvements faster than other law firms and will continue to do so. It will be interesting to see how artificial intelligence will change law practices. Historically, the manner in which legal services were delivered has been very old school, but that is changing.

Johnson: The Florida Bar has been quite progressive when it comes to technology. The Florida Bar is really taking a leadership role and we are seen as the national leader in introducing lawyers to new technology and helping them deal with the effects as technology takes over their practices. We are fortunate to have such a progressive Bar in that respect. Our Supreme Court also has done a good job of trying to figure out where our rules should be so that it is easier for us to deal with the challenges that we face as lawyers. These elements combined make Florida a pretty good environment to practice in.

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

https://www.olalaw.com/

https://www.johnsonjackson.com/

 

Philly Legal: These Sectors Are on the Right Side of the Law

by Yolanda Rivas

2 min read SEPTEMBER 2019 — Over the last few years, Philadelphia’s legal sector has seen a steady flow of law firms entering the market as well as local firms expanding in and outside the region. As the market gets more concentrated, many firms are betting on key growth areas to expand their practices. 

According to Invest: interviews with leading legal voices in the Philly area, health and life sciences, technology, real estate and finance are some of the sectors keeping attorneys busy. With a diverse business ecosystem in Philadelphia, firms like Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy, P.C. are experiencing high demand in commercial business, especially in the areas of banking, leasing, real estate financing and real estate development.

“We also have seen growth in our employment practices area, in part due to the #MeToo movement, which is generating many more workplace claims. Commercial litigation is also a growth area for us,” Mitchell Kaplan, managing shareholder at Zarwin Baum, told Invest:. “But we are currently seeing the most growth in our data privacy and cyber-liability department. That department gets involved in the training of businesses to prevent data leaks and breaches. We provide training, prevention and breach response,” Kaplan said. 

Similarly, St. Louis-based Armstrong Teasdale LLP is growing its intellectual property presence in Philadelphia as a result of the increasing demand in technology litigation around the country. “Intellectual property services, whether it be trademark, patents or copyrights, are required by any business. We support our clients with many trademark and retail issues. For example, in the science, healthcare and pharmaceutical fields, we do a lot of patents and protection of intellectual property. There is high demand for intellectual property services in Philly,” Armstrong Teasdale’s Eastern U.S. Partner and Leader Richard Scheff said in an interview with Invest:. 

According to an article from The Legal Intelligencer, Pennsylvania-based firms saw demand growth of 2.6 percent last year, slightly above the industry average of 2.3 percent. One of the benefits of Philadelphia’s legal sector is the presence of 20 Fortune 500 companies and over 75 Fortune 1000 companies. 

Besides technology and intellectual property services, financial institutions and real estate companies are particularly robust areas for Philadelphia’s legal sector. “Blank Rome’s Real Estate and Financial Services practices are very strong, particularly in Philadelphia. Both continue to be core areas of our law firm with a strong national presence,” Alan J. Hoffman, chairman at Blank Rome LLP, told Invest:.

Finance and technology also form part of Duane Morris LLP’s Top 5 sectors in terms of revenue and areas of focus. “About 85% of our revenue is in the following industries: financial institutions, health and life sciences, technology and telecommunications, infrastructure (including construction and energy) and finally, retail and consumer products. Those areas are our focus across the firm and in Philadelphia, which is our largest office with over 200 lawyers,” Matthew Taylor, chairman & CEO at Duane Morris LLP, told Invest: 

Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group’s Q2 2019 report projects a good year in 2019 relative to earlier post-recession years, although it will be a challenge for the industry to see a repeat of 2018’s strong performance.

 

 

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy, P.C.: https://www.zarwin.com/ 

Armstrong Teasdale LLP: https://www.armstrongteasdale.com/ 

Blank Rome LLP: https://www.blankrome.com/ 

Duane Morris LLP: https://www.duanemorris.com/ 

Spotlight On: Roxana Scaffidi, CEO and Owner, Florida Accounting & Advisers

By Max Crampton-Thomas

 

2 min read August 2019 — There are multiple factors that attract people to Florida, including wonderful weather, a growing economy, an ecosystem that is conducive to successful businesses and perhaps most attractive, the tax climate. After the passage of the sweeping tax reform known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the tax climate in Florida only became more attractive to both people and businesses looking to relocate. Now, almost a year and a half since the reform has been in effect, there is a greater need for proficient accountants and financial professionals to help navigate this legislation. Invest: Palm Beach spoke with Roxana Scaffidi, CEO and owner of Florida Accounting & Advisers about how the new tax code is affecting people’s lives, the key to success within the accounting and financial world, and how she created a successful business in Palm Beach County. 

How have you seen the tax reform affect people’s lifestyle? 

The new tax code has really changed people’s lives, and we are now seeing certain individuals immigrating to Florida because of the business opportunities that the state offers and its quality of life. High income tax states include New York, California and Massachusetts, and those are the people coming here. To qualify for Florida’s tax benefits you must be a legal resident here, which means six months and one day of residency. Under the new tax laws, individuals are capped at $10,000 as a deduction for their state income taxes, personal property taxes and their sales tax. In addition, if they have a large mortgage on their house, the new tax code only allows them to deduct interest up to $750,000.

 

What is the key to success in this industry? 

The key in this industry is to be proactive rather than reactive. We observe what’s going on in the world today with the national and world economies. Everything is changing and as it changes you start to see more vacancies in areas where there used to be none. This is demonstrated with how Amazon has essentially killed a lot of the big-chain retail stores. To succeed in today’s market you need to stay on top of emerging trends and you can’t be afraid to point out these things.

 

To what do you credit the success of your business in Palm Beach County? 

When I started this company I knew that to run a successful business I needed to not only have a great product but also to always remain community-minded. As the 2018 Small Business of the Year recipients, I realized quickly that Boca Raton is very business and community-minded, so it was the perfect place to set up my business. I set out to build this business based on my values, knowing that those same values would translate to trust among our clients. In this business there is nothing more important than having your clients’ full support and trust.

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

https://www.fl-accounting.com