MIAMI, FL–LawFuel.com – Miami-based Houck Anderson, a renowned maritime and admiralty law firm, announced that it will merge with The Chartwell Law Offices, LLP, one of the fastest growing law firms on the East Coast. The merger will be effective March 1, 2013.
Houck Anderson is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. The firm is also named a Best Law Firm in America in Maritime Law by US News and World Report. Founded in 1992, the firm has earned an outstanding reputation in maritime and admiralty law, and its principals, Mark Houck and Andy Anderson, are sought-after speakers at maritime conferences worldwide. The firm, with offices in Miami and in Ft. Lauderdale, expanded its practice areas to include general liability, premises, construction, aviation and other defense litigation over recent years. Houck Anderson represents many of the leading insurers, P & I clubs, brokers and commercial interests, here and abroad, in matters ranging from Superyacht and pleasure craft liability to international shipping, hull and machinery claims and crew member litigation.
The Chartwell Law Offices, LLP was founded by four lawyers in 2002. Following rapid growth and the opening of offices in Pittsburgh, Scranton, Philadelphia and Harrisburg PA, Chartwell expanded into New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Florida. The firm now has 85 attorneys practicing principally in first and third party insurance coverage, casualty, employment and commercial litigation. With the addition of the Houck Anderson attorneys, Chartwell now has 13 lawyers in its Florida offices.
“This is an important new chapter for Houck Anderson,” said Mark Houck, founder of the firm, and now the Managing Partner of Chartwell’s Florida operations and Maritime Practice. “We have worked hard to gain the respect of the maritime industry, and to be a leader in this arena. The timing of this merger is perfect as it gives us the opportunity to use Chartwell’s positioning to expand our marine-based practices to the entire eastern seaboard, while Chartwell can increase its footprint in the important Florida market.” Houck added that the two firms share important contacts in the London insurance market, as well as a culture of providing top-flight niche expertise. “This merger is a great fit,” he noted.
The merged firm will operate under the Chartwell name. Chris Troy, Chair of Chartwell’s Insurance Practices & Property section, said, “An expanded Florida presence is important to our domestic, European and London clientele. We handle major property and catastrophe work around the world, and with the addition of the Houck Anderson attorneys, we are now better positioned to meet our clients’ needs in Florida and throughout the Gulf Coast.” Chartwell is currently representing various insurance markets in several dozen major claims stemming from Hurricane Sandy losses.
Chartwell’s practice areas have also expanded to handle toxic tort, creditor’s rights and construction defect litigation. “We will continue to expand our firm, both geographically and by practice area, whenever we come across talented litigators who are also good people. The team at Houck Anderson certainly fits that bill,” noted Chartwell CEO Cliff Goldstein.