Business law firm Gunster is completing a merger agreement with Naples-based law firm Grant Fridkin Pearson.
The merger is effective Jan. 1 and will see the 12 attorneys and 15-member professional staff of Grant Fridkin Pearson join Gunster, one of the state’s largest commercial law firms.
Naples is an expansion for Gunster, which will now have a foothold in every major market across Florida, and with this additional growth, expands the firm’s statewide footprint to 12 cities across Florida.
Grant Fridkin Pearson is a comprehensive law firm that represents a broad range of individuals, businesses, entrepreneurs and institutions across Florida. The firm’s attorneys focus within four main areas of practice: transactional real estate; business services; litigation and dispute resolution; and estate planning and trust and estate administration services.
The new expansion follows Gunster’s merger with the Barnett firm in October, solidifying it as one of the largest firms in the Tampa Bay region. Gunster is a 97-year-old Florida law firm currently with 12 offices across the state and nearly 250 attorneys and government affairs consultants.
“The attorneys of Grant Fridkin Pearson are the consummate professionals, many of them achieving some of the highest recognitions available in the legal industry. Additionally, they share a strong commitment to their community, which is a pillar of Gunster’s culture. These attorneys serve in leadership roles within our profession, in civic organizations and the broader Naples community,” said Bill Perry, managing shareholder of Gunster.
“As we continue to grow strategically, it’s important to align ourselves with attorneys who are committed to both to the legal profession and the local communities we serve. Both firms share a civic commitment to our state which ensures alignment not only from a client-service perspective, but from a cultural perspective, as well.”
Richard Grant, one of the founding members of Grant Fridkin Pearson, said Gunster “has a sound vision for embracing the future as Florida grows and the delivery of legal services evolves.”
“By merging with Gunster, Grant Fridkin Pearson will be afforded the opportunity to broaden its ability to well serve our clients, for our attorneys and professional staff to grow professionally, and to provide the best service possible. Gunster shares our values: exceptional client service; commitment to our profession; and devotion to our Naples community and the southwest Florida region as a whole. We look forward to joining our teams together to better serve all of our constituents and to grow stronger together,” he continued.
The Grant Fridkin Pearson attorneys joining Gunster include litigators Jeffrey Fridkin, Michael Traficante and Keith Wickenden; trust and estate attorneys William Pearson, Marcie Charles, Travis Hayes and Ryan Beadle; and transactional attorneys Richard Grant, Alexandra Gabel, Cheryl Hastings, Charles Whittington and Christina Woods.
Gunster has grown rapidly over the last two years. The firm brought on more than 40 new attorneys in 2021 and is on track to hire more than 40 again in 2022. The firm said Naples has long been an ideal market for an expansion and that finding the right firm was a strategic imperative.
“It’s important to have an alignment of people, culture and approach to client service when making these significant decisions,” Perry said.