Longtime Tampa business law firm merges with state firm Gunster

A longtime Tampa tax and commercial law firm merges with one of the largest law firms in the state.

Barnett, Kirkwood, Koche, Long & Foster is absorbed into the Gunster law firm of West Palm Beach, which now has more than 250 attorneys in 12 offices across the state. This includes Barnett’s Bayshore Boulevard office as well as his own office in downtown Tampa.

The deal more than doubles Gunster’s presence in Tampa. Prior to the merger, Gunster had 43 employees in Tampa, including 29 attorneys. After the merger, the company will have 90 employees here, including 51 lawyers.

“As we continue to grow strategically, it’s important to align ourselves with attorneys who are committed to both the legal profession, the local communities we serve, and the State of Florida,” said Bill Perry, Gunster’s managing shareholder, in a statement. “The leadership and enthusiasm of Barnett’s attorneys around these causes are qualities we hold sacred at Gunster, which makes this merger appealing from a cultural standpoint, as well as a client service perspective. “

Terms of the merger were not disclosed.

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Barnett was founded over 40 years ago as a boutique tax, money management and estate planning firm, and has since expanded to encompass many areas of business law, including tax law and legal corporate finance and corporate and insurance litigation.

“After careful consideration, Barnett shareholders have determined that Gunster is the best fit to continue and expand the level of service and care we provide to our wonderful clients, while strengthening the professional culture of our exceptional lawyers and staff. “said Peter, managing partner of Barnett. Kirkwood said in a statement. “There are many exceptional law firms in Tampa, but we believe Gunster shares our commitment to excellence.”

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Kirkwood and fellow partners Leslie Barnett, David Koche and Thomas Long are among 22 Barnett attorneys moving to Gunster.

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