Chairman: Eugene E Stearns
Managing Partner: Rick Schatz
Number of partners/shareholders: 100
Number of other lawyers: 30
Stearns Weaver Miller is a full-service, multidisciplinary law firm with offices throughout Florida.
The firm enjoys resources not often found in private law firms, including a state-of-the-art courtroom, a proprietary system for the efficient, electronic presentation of evidence, and an in-house multimedia department dedicated to producing high-level presentation materials and audiovisual aids. Stearns Weaver Miller regularly uses its courtroom to mock-try cases and make moot appellate arguments, to prepare witnesses to testify, and to plan the effective, forceful, and seamless presentation of evidence using its proprietary system. The goal is to attain the highest level of preparedness for every court appearance.
The firm believes in giving back and strives every day to better the communities in which it practices. The firm provides financial and leadership support to a myriad of not-for-profit organizations impacting the arts, children and families, community service, education, the environment, health and wellness, and legal services.
Main Areas of Practice:
The firm represents domestic and international commercial banks, finance companies, investment banks and REITs, as well as borrowers, guarantors and other credit enhancers on an array of matters including commercial and asset-based financing, commercial real estate lending, mergers and acquisitions and securities and regulation issues. It assists clients in structuring, negotiating, documenting, closing and managing their credit transactions, including asset-based and leveraged lending, multi-borrower and single-borrower secured and unsecured lending, cash flow lending, syndicated lending and acquisition lending.
The firm represents parties in the extension, restructuring and working out of secured and unsecured credit facilities and routinely handles financings secured by a variety of assets, including all types of commercial real estate. Experience also includes representing debtors, creditors, trustees, receivers, landlords, asset purchasers, and other parties in bankruptcy cases, court receiverships, assignment for the benefit of creditors proceedings, and out-of-court work-outs. The team handles the defense and prosecution of director and officer liability cases and has litigated complex insolvency-related cases in federal and state courts.
The firm represents owners, developers, contractors, and design professionals in disputes arising from design and construction agreements, including construction defect and delay claims, surety bonds, insurance coverage, construction liens, and warranty claims. It provides counsel in a variety of matters, from contract negotiation and risk management to litigation and dispute resolution. The firm also actively participates in clients’ development activities from site acquisition, to negotiating and drafting design and construction agreements, to the conclusion of the warranty period for the finished project.
Corporate & Securities:
The firm provides legal counsel to clients on business activities from formation and day-to-day commercial operations, to corporate governance, public and private securities offerings, to acquisitions, mergers, sales and liquidations. With experience in virtually all areas of business transactions, the firm identifies business and legal issues quickly and offers clear, practical advice to achieve optimal solutions for clients.
Labor & Employment:
The firm provides employers with practical, businessoriented counseling and advice on labor and employment issues. It works closely with clients to educate and train their managers and employees on workplace issues, audit employment practices, comply with wageand-hour laws, draft employment agreements, protect trade secrets, realign workforces, and comply with EEO and affirmative action requirements and plans. Services also include representation in administrative and litigation matters at mediation and at trial. The firm counsels employers on employee benefits and executive compensation and provides representation in ERISA litigation and before the IRS and DOL on plan audits.
Land Development, Zoning & Environmental:
The firm represents clients at federal, state, regional, and local levels on a range of issues involving wetlands, coastal development, greenfields, comprehensive plan amendments, protected species and habitat, property rights, water quality, brownfields, rezoning, contaminated sites, sovereign submerged lands, marinas/ docking facilities, due diligence reviews, water use, developments of regional impact, toxic torts, utilities, stormwater management, beach nourishment, variances, platting, transfer of development rights, and climate change/coastal resilience. The firm provides legal and planning services as well as related litigation and government affairs representation.
The firm represents Fortune 500 companies, multinational financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, professional firms, media and entertainment companies, insurance companies, and other business enterprises, municipalities, and individuals in a variety of litigation matters in state and federal courts, before administrative agencies, and alternative dispute resolution proceedings. It has tried class actions for plaintiffs and defendants, cases involving antitrust, patent issues, securities fraud, product, professional and lender liability, construction defects, commercial foreclosure, breach of contract, business torts, and insurance, and the appeals from those cases, including presenting oral argument to the United States Supreme Court.
The firm has extensive experience representing buyers, sellers, lenders, investors and developers across the entire spectrum of commercial and residential real estate transactions, including contract preparation and negotiation, acquisition, financing, project planning and development, construction, leasing and disposition of commercial real estate and corporate assets. It assists clients with sale-leaseback transactions, 1031 exchanges, loan defeasances, restructurings, and foreclosures, and dispositions of non-performing and distressed loans.
The firm represents clients seeking to form, acquire, reorganize, and liquidate public and private business entities and are experienced in guiding clients through the array of tax issues that confront corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, individuals, trusts, and estates. The firm also handles tax litigation, representing clients in tax controversies with the IRS and the Florida Department of Revenue.