Three Leave GrayRobinson For Akerman Senterfitt

, Daily Business Review

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Robert Lewis and Marbet Mier Lewis
Robert Lewis and Marbet Mier Lewis

The head and founding member of GrayRobinson's alcohol beverage practice has defected to Akerman Senterfitt, bringing two lawyers with him.

Shareholders Robert Lewis and Marbet Mier Lewis along with associate Valerie Haber joined Akerman on Monday, where they will beef up its alcohol beverage group. Based in Miami, Lewis will head the practice.

"Akerman's expansive platform and leading reputation across the Americas attracted our team to the firm," Lewis said in a statement. "Our clients frequently need a full range of services and experience that extend beyond their borders. Akerman's known strengths in transactions and disputes involving corporate and real estate matters, and depth in the hospitality and restaurant industries, will significantly expand our reach and provide our clients with an array of new services."

The husband-and-wife Lewises joined GrayRobinson eight years ago from Holland & Knight. Robert Lewis was the co-head of Gray’s 20-member alcohol beverage practice, representing clients on liquor licensing, alcohol trade practice regulations, business permitting, land use and zoning regulations and other matters. He is a former employee of the FBI and agent with the state Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.

"They are good lawyers, Akerman is a fine firm, and we wish them well," said Byrd "Biff" Marshall Jr., president and CEO of GrayRobinson. "Rob and Marbet had philosophical differences on the way the practice should develop, and we had a mutual and amicable parting of the ways."

GrayRobinson still has more than 20 professionals in its alcohol beverage practice group, he added.

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