Press Release

Firm Expands into Atlanta and Winston-Salem


Akerman LLP, a top 100 U.S. law firm serving clients across the Americas, today announced the firm's expansion in Atlanta and Winston-Salem, N.C., marking the establishment of the firm's 24th and 25th offices within seven months. The expansion is part of a national growth strategy to meet increasing client demand in major financial and business centers across the United States and in areas of core strength.

Akerman is expanding its presence in Atlanta with the addition of Corporate Practice Group Partners R. William "Bill" Ide and Amanda Leech. Ide and Leech bring robust transactional and governance experience, having represented numerous large corporations, Fortune 100 companies, and boards of directors in merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions, general corporate governance and compliance, and board risk management reviews. Ide's background as a former in-house counsel gives him strong insight into the day-to-day needs and demands confronting clients.

Ide and Leech join Healthcare Partners Sidney Welch, Jeremy Burnette, and Amy Jeon McCullough, who formally launched Akerman’s Atlanta office in September 2018. The team has dedicated experience in healthcare litigation, transactions and regulatory compliance for a range of providers, including healthcare systems, specialty physician practices and associations, and technology companies. Welch serves as the Atlanta Office Managing Partner.

“We continue to aggressively expand in major business centers across the country to accommodate the needs of our growing client base,” said Andrew Smulian, Akerman Chairman and CEO. “Atlanta is a vital market for many of our clients and is home to a broad range of sectors that will benefit from Akerman’s extensive capabilities across the United States and Latin America. We expect the office to grow quickly in the years ahead, both in size and service offerings."

Akerman also welcomes Paul Foley as chair of the Investment Management Practice. Foley joins Akerman in Winston-Salem, bringing substantial experience in investment fund formation and fund offerings. He is adept at advising hedge funds, mutual funds, and venture capital funds on investments, compliance and securities law. Associates Caroline "Kiki" Scarff and Shea "Bree" Ward also join Foley in the Winston-Salem office.

“Paul is an excellent lawyer and a much desired addition to Akerman’s Corporate Practice Group,” said Jonathan Awner, co-chair of Akerman's Corporate Practice Group. “Paul’s extensive experience in fund formation, investment adviser regulation and securities matters further advances our capabilities in serving private funds, sophisticated institutional investors and other corporate clients nationwide.”

The opening of the Atlanta and Winston-Salem offices are the latest examples of Akerman's strategic expansion in new markets throughout the United States. In recent years, the firm has established offices in Austin, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans and San Antonio. In 2018, Akerman more than doubled the size of its Chicago office space to accommodate its rapid growth. Headcount has grown from eight lawyers when the office opened in 2014 to more than 50 today. Headcount in Texas has grown to nearly 60 litigation and transactional lawyers in four offices. The momentum is also seen in Los Angeles, where Akerman expanded its downtown office space and tripled headcount to nearly 40 lawyers and real estate professionals in less than three years. In New York, the firm’s second largest office, headcount has grown to 120 lawyers and business professionals, more than tripling in size over a four year period.

Jeremy Burnette: Partner, Healthcare Practice Group – Atlanta
Burnette is a seasoned healthcare litigator with substantial experience working within the complex regulatory framework in which providers operate. His practice focuses on representing healthcare providers in complex litigation matters, including whistleblower and government investigations and claims, state licensure board investigations and enforcement actions, government and private payor audit and recoupment actions, medical staff matters, practice dissolutions and commercial disputes. 

Paul Foley: Partner, Chair of Investment Management Practice – Winston-Salem
Foley focuses his practice on securities and corporate law, with a particular focus on investment fund formation, investment adviser regulation, securities enforcement, and mergers and acquisitions. He represents investment advisers, hedge funds, mutual funds, private equity funds, venture capital funds, funds of funds, institutional investors, broker-dealers, financial institutions and other entities in complex federal and state securities regulatory matters.

William Ide: Partner, Corporate Practice Group – Atlanta
Ide focuses on structuring M&A transactions, risk management reviews, and representing boards of directors, audit committees and management with corporate governance, special investigations, crisis management, ethics and strategic projects. He has been an active advisor to Fortune 100 and 500 companies, boards of private companies, and boards of government agencies and not-for-profits.

Amanda Leech: Partner, Corporate Practice Group – Atlanta
Leech focuses her practice on general corporate counseling of both privately held and public companies. She has advised clients on mergers, acquisitions, divestures, joint ventures and strategic alliances. Leech has experience with transactions in a number of sectors, including media and entertainment, technology, manufacturing and defense, and she has developed a particular focus advising government contractors on corporate transactions.

Amy Jeon McCullough: Partner, Healthcare Practice Group – Atlanta
McCullough represents a range of healthcare providers, including health systems, physician practices and healthcare technology clients. She helps healthcare providers effectively and efficiently navigate the complex healthcare regulatory landscape, providing guidance on federal and state healthcare statutory and regulatory issues, including fraud and abuse laws such as the Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute, and False Claims Act; corporate practice of medicine and fee splitting; HIPAA and state privacy and security laws; Medicare and Medicaid compliance; reimbursement and billing, including alternative payment models; and telehealth.

Sidney Welch: Atlanta Office Managing Partner, Healthcare Practice Group – Atlanta
Welch is a nationally recognized strategic advisor to large specialty physician practices and associations and technology companies, providing counsel on cutting edge and traditional healthcare, transactional and litigation matters. She serves as strategic regulatory counsel, advising clients on tomorrow’s healthcare, including health and digital health ventures, telehealth, precision medicine, artificial intelligence and machine learning, data aggregation and analytics, health information privacy and security, and advanced payment and delivery models. 

About Akerman
Akerman LLP is a top 100 U.S. law firm recognized among the most forward thinking firms in the industry by Financial Times. Its more than 700 lawyers and business professionals collaborate with the world’s most successful enterprises and entrepreneurs to navigate change, seize opportunities, and help drive innovation and growth. Akerman is known for its results in middle market M&A and complex disputes, and for helping clients achieve their most important business objectives in the financial services, real estate and other dynamic sectors across the United States and Latin America.


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