Akerman LLP, a top 100 U.S. law firm serving clients across the Americas, today announced David I. Spector has commenced his 3-year term as the firm’s ninth chairman and CEO, effective February 1, 2018. He succeeds Andrew Smulian, who concludes a remarkable decade-long tenure as chairman and CEO.
“It is the highest professional honor to serve as chairman and CEO of Akerman,” said Spector. “I am humbled to lead the next phase of our firm’s journey as we build on the remarkable foundation created by Andrew’s visionary leadership. Our firm today serves many of the world’s largest companies and financial institutions across the Americas, we have exceptional talent at all levels of our enterprise, and we are leading the market in client service innovation. I could not be more confident about our future.”
Spector will lead the strategic growth of the firm, advance client-driven initiatives and address challenges affecting the firm’s many communities. In addition to serving on the firm’s board of directors and the executive committee, Spector founded Akerman’s Fraud and Recovery Practice Group, one of the largest legal teams in the United States dedicated to the eradication of fraud. He previously served on Akerman’s Strategic Planning Committee and is a leader in many of the firm’s client-driven initiatives.
Spector joined Akerman in 2009 and built a national trial practice devoted to the investigation and litigation of complex fraud schemes, and unfair and deceptive practices, on behalf of the largest U.S. insurance companies and self-insured retailers. His work has carved a groundbreaking path in plaintiff-side fraud investigation and litigation, and developed case law that helps corporations recover financial losses caused by fraudulent acts. Spector has handled a series of cases involving issues of first impression that have had a significant implication in the eradication of fraud. He also has significant experience in defending law firms from claims of legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duties. His work earned him rankings in Chambers USA, Best Lawyers and other industry publications.
The firm also announced the following changes: Sandra Heller succeeds David Spector and Michael Goldberg as chair of the Fraud and Recovery Practice Group, expanding on her former role as deputy chair of the group. Jonathan Awner and Carl Roston, who previously served as co-chair of the M&A and Private Equity Practice, succeed Mary Carrol as co-chairs of the Corporate Practice Group. Eric Rapkin, who recently served as the Fort Lauderdale office managing partner, succeeds Richard Bezold as chair of the Real Estate Practice Group. Leslie Miller Tomczak will assume the role of Fort Lauderdale office managing partner, succeeding Eric Rapkin.