Vaughan Baio & Partners was featured in the article, “Midsize Firm Vaughan Baio Enters Florida, Launches 2 New Offices,” published in the Daily Business Review on September 23, 2022. ALM Florida Bureau Chief Raychel Lean spoke with Partner Daniel J. DeMay about the “perfect marriage” of the two firms. Eleven attorneys in all joined in Palm Beach Gardens and Sarasota, including three partners – DeMay, Carlos J. Hernandez and Jeffrey L. Marks. The attorneys in the new Florida offices will focus initially on workers’ compensation although the firm plans to grow across practice areas in that region.
The exciting Florida expansion of Vaughan Baio’s footprint came almost simultaneously with the addition of a new office in Atlantic County, in southern New Jersey. Partner Mitchell Waldman was joined by two associates to establish that office, which currently focuses on insurance defense litigation.
“Many of our clients in Florida were requesting that we provide services to them for their claims outside of Florida, and this is something that we have wanted to be able to fulfill and provide … but had not been able to find a way to do that until, as it turns out, we learned of Vaughan Baio,” DeMay said. “Interestingly enough, Vaughan Baio was at the same time hearing from their clients who had business in Florida and preferred to use Vaughan Baio attorneys for that Florida business.”
Though Vaughan Baio’s presence in Florida is new, the attorneys jointly managing the two offices have deep roots in their areas. Law partners DeMay, Carlos J. Hernandez and Jeffrey L. Marks have worked together in various capacities for three decades, most recently at their Palm Beach Gardens firm Pallo, Marks, Hernandez, Gechijian & DeMay.
“It really provides an exciting opportunity for us as lawyers to provide a greater, expanded level of service to our clients, many of whom have been with us for many, many years,” DeMay said.
Vaughan Baio has 46 attorneys who cover more than 20 different practice areas. Its other offices are in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia.
DeMay said the firm’s goal is to recruit top-level attorneys who can help expand its Florida client base, while also “avoiding the mega- monster law firm culture that sometimes does get created when firms grow too rapidly without the proper direction and guidance.”
The timing is great, the way DeMay sees it, as Florida has “without question” become a “tremendous magnet for high-quality businesses” seeking to expand their footprints.
“Florida’s economy is growing at a very, very rapid pace,” DeMay said. “The number of businesses that are entering the state are astonishing, and this presents incredible opportunities for us as lawyers and for the firm as a whole to expand our presence, not only in Florida but throughout various other states that we’re presently doing business.”
DeMay, Hernandez and Marks’ team predominantly handle worker’s compensation claims, but they’re planning to launch more Florida offices and to hire attorneys in other practice areas that fit with the firm’s existing focus. DeMay said insurance defense, general liability and labor and employment would be an especially good fit.
“The ideal candidate would be someone who is bright, motivated, highly interested in having a positive impact on the delivery of high- quality services to clients but also in developing new client relationships and new business, both here in Florida and, if possible, beyond Florida as well,” he said
DeMay said firm culture is top of mind as he looks for candidates.
“The culture of the firm can really dictate the environment that people find themselves in every day, can really dictate how the clients perceive their attorneys as being happy and positive in what they’re doing,” he said. “The culture of the firm has so many ramifications that are important for the day to day operations and potential growth of the business.”
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