Press Release

Top 100 U.S. law firm Akerman LLP today announced the appointment of Kenneth R. Wiggins and E. Paul Quinn as Co-Chairs of the firm’s M&A and Private Equity Practice, effective immediately. Ken and Paul join Martin G. Burkett, who continues to serve as a Co-Chair of this practice. The appointments underscore Akerman’s commitment to empowering new leaders and strategically developing bench strength across the firm.

"We are thrilled to have Ken and Paul join Martin in leading this significant practice," said Akerman Chairman and CEO Scott Meyers. "Their deep knowledge and extensive experience in M&A and private equity will enhance the firm's ability to continue growing in this space and advising clients on a myriad of deals across sectors."

"Ken and Paul are both highly-regarded practitioners, and I have had the pleasure of collaborating on transactions with both of them for years," said Burkett. "They both possess the technical excellence and strategic approach to guide our successful and ambitious M&A and Private Equity Practice forward."

Kenneth R. Wiggins, Co-Chair of the M&A and Private Equity Practice, represents public and private companies, private equity funds, and individuals in complex corporate transactions and general corporate matters, including M&A, private equity, venture and growth capital investments, private placements of debt and equity securities, and recapitalizations. He also represents both insureds and underwriters in connection with transactional risk products. He is based in Miami.

His significant work includes:

  • Representing Trivest Partners, the oldest private equity firm in the Southeast, in connection with numerous M&A and finance matters, including dozens of company acquisitions, sales, and dividend recapitalizations;
  • Representing Ferguson Enterprises, LLC, the nation’s largest distributor of residential and commercial plumbing supplies and pipe, valves, and fittings, in connection with M&A and corporate matters, including dozens of acquisitions throughout the U.S.;
  • Representing AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE: AN), America’s largest vehicle retailer, in connection with its acquisitions and dispositions of car dealerships, including dozens of recent acquisitions throughout the U.S.;
  • Representing CFC Underwriting Ltd. in connection with the issuances of representations and warranties insurance policies; and
  • Representing BlueChip Underwriting Ltd. in connection with the issuances of representations and warranties insurance policies.

Wiggins was listed as a BTI Consulting Group “M&A Client Service All-Star” in 2021, and in Best Lawyers in America 2022, among other honors.

E. Paul Quinn, Co-Chair of the M&A and Private Equity Practice, focuses his practice on advising private equity funds and their portfolio companies in leveraged acquisitions and dispositions, corporate governance, and restructurings. With more than three decades of experience, Quinn also represents corporate management in employment and compensation arrangements, and distressed-focused private equity funds in acquisitions in bankruptcy court and out-of-court processes. Ranked by Chambers USA, he is commended by peers who note that "he is a strong, experienced M&A negotiator."

Quinn was formerly a certified public accountant with Arthur Andersen, where he provided auditing and tax services to clients in the healthcare, financial services, technologies, and manufacturing sectors. He is based in West Palm Beach and Chicago.

His successful representations include:

  • Representing AE Industrial Partners in the acquisitions of Crestwood Technology Group and Brighton Cromwell;
  • Working with H.I.G. Capital in the acquisition of over 50 Outback Steakhouse restaurants from T-Bird Restaurant Group and a subsequent add-on acquisition of 45 restaurants from Outback Steakhouse of Florida;
  • Representing the management team of Otis Eastern in the company sale to CD&R portfolio company Power Team Services.
  • Representing H.I.G. in the sale of TestAmerica Environmental Services, the largest environmental lab testing business in the United States, to JSTI Group;
  • Representing the management team of eVestment in the company sale to NASDAQ; the management team of CTI Foods in the company sale to Thomas H. Lee Partners and Goldman Sachs;
  • Representing private equity firm in the acquisition of Naumann Hobbs;
  • Representing private equity firm in the acquisitions of Gen3 Marketing and Oak Digital.

Quinn has been ranked highly by Chambers USA in both Florida and Illinois, and by Best Lawyers in America since 2008.

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.

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