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Carlton Fields Reignites Its Real Estate Practice In Miami

Jay Koenigsberg joined Carlton Fields to lead its Miami real estate team.

The real estate practice at Carlton Fields' Miami office took a hit in May, when six attorneys left to take positions at Duane Morris. But with the addition of some power hitters, the team is rebuilding. 

Real estate attorney and then-city commissioner Francis Suarez joined the office just weeks before he was elected mayor in November. Now, Jay Koenigsberg is stepping in to head up the real estate practice.

Koenigsberg comes from Isicoff, Ragatz & Koenigsberg and brings with him associate Matthew Jacobson and of counsel Michele Softness.

Koenigsberg said he has been courted several times in the past by national firms, "and the answer has always been no," he said. "Why would I give up my freedom and autonomy to be in a big law firm?"

But in this case, Koenigsberg said he feels more comfortable with the personalities he will work with in Carlton Fields' Miami office.

"The firm culture is one of cooperation and mutual support," he said. "So many firms have a fundamental culture of 'everyone has to eat what you kill' — billable hours, sharp elbows. That's fine, but that's not the life I want to live, and I don't think that's conducive to clients."

Because the firm has offices around the country, Koenigsberg said he is now better able to help clients with matters in multiple states. Because real estate is so fundamental to Miami economically, he said virtually every business need helps with real estate issues. 

Koenigsberg is a graduate of the University of Miami law school and has 24 years of experience in real estate law. 

"We are going to make this the preeminent real estate department in Miami," he said.