Akerman Disaster Preparedness GroupHelping Clients Gear Up For Hurricane Season

Tuesday, August 1, 2006 - 01:00

With 17 named storms and nine hurricanes predicted for 2006, Akerman Senterfitt's Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Group is busy assisting clients with their preparations for this year's active season. Addressing a wide range of issues that arise prior to, during, and after a hurricane, the group is counseling clients on continuity planning, design and construction defects, insurance coverage, lobbying and governmental hearings, condominium and homeowner association claims, indoor air quality and water intrusion, surety law, construction liens, construction licensing regulations, class actions, building codes, labor and employment issues, bankruptcy, tax, health, safety and FEMA.

Construction and project development clients are receiving the Hurricane Preparedness Policy and Procedures guidelines drafted by the group, specifically targeted to the construction industry. They include a checklist for pre-hurricane procedures, the pre-evacuation stage during storm warnings, the hurricane watch and warning stages, and post-hurricane procedures. The guidelines cover everything from personal safety to minimizing property damage, policy requirements of each party involved in a construction project, evacuation responsibilities, and supplies to be ordered in advance.

'Preparation is the best protection,' said Stacy Bercun Bohm, a shareholder in Akerman's real estate practice and a member of the firm's Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Group. 'With the extensive damage and complications of last year's hurricane season, many businesses are now taking more seriously the process of establishing policies and procedures in advance. In some cases, we've been preparing businesses for this year's hurricane season since the end of last year's.'

Akerman Senterfitt's Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Group includes attorneys and consultants from 15 practice areas and specialties throughout Florida and in Washington, DC.

Akerman Senterfitt has announced that Wickwire Gavin, a nationally recognized construction law and government contracts boutique, has joined the firm, adding 30 attorneys from its Virginia, Los Angeles and Wisconsin locations. With these additions, Akerman Senterfitt will have the ability to offer its clients large-scale project development, disaster preparedness and recovery, construction, and government contracts services on a national and global scale.

Founded in 1974 by Jon M. Wickwire and Donald G. Gavin, Wickwire Gavin is recognized as one of the leading construction boutiques in the country that also has a strong government contracts practice. Additional practice areas include postal contracting, surety and fidelity, insurance, bankruptcy, corporate and commercial law, commercial litigation, and environmental law.

Mr. Wickwire and Mr. Gavin, along with 20 other attorneys, will join Akerman Senterfitt as shareholders, while two join as of counsel and six as associates. The Virginia, Los Angeles and Wisconsin locations will continue to be managed by the current managing directors of those offices: Stanley M. Salus in Tysons Corner, VA, David P. Dapper in Los Angeles and Robert J. Smith in Madison, WI.

Akerman Senterfitt has announced that Lawrence D. Silverman recently was presented with the Richard C. Milstein Pro Bono Award from Put Something Back, a joint pro bono project of the Dade County Bar Association (DCBA) and Eleventh Judicial Circuit. The award is presented annually to the lawyer who has demonstrated and sustained the highest commitment to pro bono legal work.