King& Spalding launches Miami office, helps extend East Coast reach

King& Spalding launches Miami office, helps extend East Coast reach

Randy Bassett, former tobacco and consumer products trial practice head, was appointed as office head by Atlanta giant.

Miami is the next stop for King& Spalding as the firm expands its trial, transactional and governmental capabilities while deepening its prevailing connections with the Sunshine State’s active legal market.

Opening next month, it will become the firm’s 13th US and 23rd worldwide office. The office will be headed by Randy Bassett, head of King & Spalding’s tobacco and consumer products practice, who will serve as managing partner after moving from Atlanta headquarters. King & Spalding’s other US offices will assist in the launch through the relocation of 12 partners.

The firm’s lead trial attorney, Bassett, has tried more than 30 cases to juries in the US, most of which has involved high exposure product liability cases. Mr. Bassett joined the firm in 1992 when he started his legal career.

Some 50 King & Spalding lawyers who are licensed to practice law in Florida and regularly work on matters in the state will also use the office as a ‘base of operation,’ the firm announced on Wednesday. All the twelve partners who have experience advising clients in Florida will either relocate to Miami full time or ‘spend the majority of their time’ there starting in February.

Based in Miami, Bassett’s new partners include Val Leppert, Ray Persons, Harry Burnett, Jonathan Arkins, Erica Franzetti, Chris Kenny, Tom Spulak, Jeff Furr, Ursula Henninger and Cory Hohnbaum.

In addition, Senior adviser Kendrick Meek, who represented the 17th Congressional District of Florida in the US House of Representatives from 2002 to 2010, is moving as well.

According to Robert Hays, chairman of the firm, “King & Spalding now has a footprint in a state where the firm is already well-connected, experienced and resourceful.”

“The Miami office will serve both the firm’s many clients with interests in the state and our rapidly expanding economy in Florida more broadly in the United States and Latin America. This will be an important hub for the firm and its clients”, he added.

It has represented Florida clients in more than 100 jury trials during the past ten years, including ‘hundreds’ of legal matters over the past two decades. One of King & Spalding’s most prestigious clients in Florida is several of Florida’s most prominent hospitals and healthcare providers.

Moreover, the firm hopes to gain a foothold in Florida to develop its existing practices in that state, including its healthcare, international arbitration and mass tort and consumer class action practices.

In addition, the firm noted that it will use the office to expand its government advocacy and public policy practices and its private equity, fintech and healthcare technology practices in the Florida market.

Miami’s mayor, Francis Suarez, and his partners from Hogan Lovells and Greenspoon Marder have signed up with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to open an office in the city to knock the city’s expanding legal market.

A US rival firm, K&L Gates, added crypto talents Andrew Hinkes and Justin Wales to its Los Angeles and Miami fintech practices in June 2021.

In 2021 as well, US insurance giant Kennedys expanded its US Virgin Islands reach by adding corporate insurance lawyer Ed Hiller as a partner along with three associates from Clyde & Co.

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