A team of attorneys and government attorneys has moved from Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach offices to create a new lobbying and land use law firm. Government Law Group consists of government lawyers Keith Poliakoff and Neil Schiller, as well as litigators Alan Kipnis and Richard Dewitt.
In an interview, Poliakoff and Schiller said the enthusiasm for the region’s development influenced the group’s decision to leave Saul Ewing.
âSouth Florida is going through a period of unprecedented growth right now,â Poliakoff said in an interview. âWe’re getting great feedback from new clients who are looking for people in South Florida, small businesses, to be their quarterback, to take them from the location search to the development process. “
He added that his clients, who account for nearly $ 2 billion in statewide development deals, are increasingly from outside of Florida.
âWe get a lot of new customers from other parts of the United States, New York and beyond,â he said. “They love that we’ve been working here for years, that we can explain the landscape and the future of South Florida to them.”
Schiller, Poliakoff and Kipnis were partners in Am Law 200; Dewitt was an associate. At the Government Law Group, all join as partners, although Poliakoff and Schiller are the âmain financial partners,â Poliakoff said.
The new cabinet will maintain a recommendation agreement with Saul Ewing. In a press release, Fort Lauderdale managing partner Michael Denberg said he looked forward to a “mutually beneficial relationship, if any,” with the attorneys.
Poliakoff had worked at Saul Ewing for seven years after leaving Becker in 2013, when the firm was called Becker & Poliakoff. He is the son of the late Becker founder Gary Poliakoff and has served as Saul Ewing’s government relations co-chair in Florida for the past three years.
Schiller joined Saul Ewing in 2016 and lobbied towns and counties in South Florida for over 20 years, also advising clients on land use, zoning and government contracts. In an interview, Schiller said he would practice in Palm Beach County while Poliakoff would practice in Fort Lauderdale.
Dewitt, who joined Saul Ewing in 2015, and Kipnis will both practice in Fort Lauderdale.
âThe goal is to have two offices in Palm Beach County, one in Delray Beach or Boca Raton and one in West Palm Beach,â Schiller said. âHalf of my practice is before the county board, which is better served in West Palm Beach. We are going to develop our two offices and it will be two very exciting years.
The company’s existing development deals include approximately $ 1 billion in Hollywood and representation of Public Storage as the company expands operations throughout Florida, Schiller said.
Poliakoff said the company is targeting growth in other areas of the state as well.
âWe just created a huge distribution facility in Tampa. I was there all last week and they are also having a huge boom, âhe said. âNow is a great time to live in Florida and work in the development community.