March 31, 2008: Gunster Yoakley announced that shareholder George LeMieux was named to the newly created position of Chairman of the Firm. He will assume his role effective April 1, 2008 as part of an overall restructuring of the firm to reflect a new corporate identity and statewide strategy. LeMieux was the former Chief of Staff to Governor Charlie Crist and former Deputy Attorney General for the State of Florida. In addition, H. William “Bill” Perry will assume the duties and title of managing shareholder. Don Beuttenmuller who has held that position for six years will now serve as general counsel to the firm.
“We are excited about the changes at the firm, and welcome these leaders as we usher in a new era at Gunster Yoakley,” said Beuttenmuller. “Along with the changes at the top comes an overall refocusing on our structure and philosophy to more closely mirror the companies with whom we do business.” According to Beuttenmuller, Gunster Yoakley will now function as more of a corporate entity, forming a board of directors to aid in leadership and direction. Shareholders Linda Conahan, Robert Hackleman, Michael Mitrione, and Clemente Vazquez-Bello comprise the board. This new approach will give the firm greater strength to help propel its statewide growth initiatives.
“It has been a pleasure to serve as the firm’s managing shareholder and I am proud of our success. The time is right to turn the reins over to a new generation as I refocus on other matters important to the firm. George is a proven leader who has already made a significant positive impact upon his return to Gunster Yoakley. Bill’s long history and dedication here are tremendous assets as we move forward at this important juncture. As a team, LeMieux and Perry will have the support of the entire firm, and the resources at hand to create an even more vibrant and energetic Gunster Yoakley,” said Beuttenmuller.
LeMieux, who practiced in Gunster Yoakley’s Fort Lauderdale office from 1994 to 2002, rejoined the firm in January as the office chair in its newest location in Tallahassee, overseeing operations, providing strategic advice, and driving new business development efforts. Perry has been with the firm for more than 20 years and is a member of its real estate department. Both were members of the firm’s Governing Committee, which forms the basis of the new Board of Directors.
LeMieux has a long and impressive list of successes, including managing more than 400 lawyers as Deputy Attorney General, leading the compact negotiations with the Seminole Tribe of Florida as Chief of Staff to the Governor, and overseeing all aspects of the Executive Office of the Governor including the Governor’s legislative agenda, policy initiatives and the management of all aspects of state business. He is an AV-rated attorney, and is board certified in business litigation. He earned his J.D. cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center and graduated magna cum laude, phi beta kappa from Emory University. “This is an exciting time to be at Gunster, Yoakley. With offices from Miami to Jacksonville, West Palm Beach to Tallahassee, Gunster is well positioned to provide first class legal services to Florida’s most important businesses and individuals”, said LeMieux.
Perry focuses his practice on complex business transactions and real estate development and finance. He is also an AV-rated attorney and has been involved with numerous charitable and community organizations, including various youth sports organizations, Cystic Fibrosis and Easter Seals of Palm Beach County. Perry is the firm’s representative on the Economic Council, the leading business organization in Palm Beach County. He earned his J.D. with honors from the University of Florida College of Law and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
About Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart
Gunster Yoakley was established in 1925, offers a broad range of legal services to its impressive client base of businesses, institutions, local governments, and prominent individuals. Gunster Yoakley has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Vero Beach and West Palm Beach. Gunster Yoakley is home to more than 130 attorneys and over 200 dedicated support staff providing counsel to clients through numerous practice groups including corporate, litigation, real estate, and trusts and estates. For more information, visit www.gunster.com or call (800) 749-1980.