WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21, 2011 – Becker & Poliakoff, a diverse commercial law firm with more than 125 attorneys in 13 Florida offices, New York City, New Jersey, Nassau (Bahamas) and Prague, today announced the opening of its Washington, D.C. office to assist clients working with the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch agencies.
The new office will be headed by former Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, Omar Franco, who will serve as managing director, and Clarence L. Williams, Chief of Staff to former U.S. Congressman Kendrick B. Meek of Florida.
Since the firm’s inception in 1973, Becker & Poliakoff has maintained a strong Government Law & Lobbying Practice, which now includes two dozen professionals with diverse legal and legislative backgrounds engaged in local and state, and Federal Government work.
“We’re excited to have two highly skilled government relations practitioners heading up our new presence in Washington,” said Alan Becker, managing shareholder, Becker & Poliakoff. “This addition strengthens our already well-known Government Law & Lobbying Practice and our ability to assist clients with a variety of government concerns and issues.”
Said Practice Group Chair Bernie Friedman, “Our clients can now rely on us for Federal Government relations as they have at the local, regional and state levels. As government work becomes more interrelated, it is important for lobbyists to be able to represent clients at all levels of government.”
Mr. Franco joins Becker & Poliakoff from Franco Government Lobbying, a firm he founded in 2010, which served as the lead government relations representative for Florida Gulf Coast University, Secure Wrap, Inc., Medical HealthCare Plans, and the Florida municipalities of Hialeah, Miami Lakes and North Bay Village.
During his four-year tenure as Chief of Staff for Congressman Diaz-Balart, Mr. Franco was responsible for managing the Congressman’s Washington, D.C. and District operations and focused on areas of expertise that included Federal appropriations, healthcare, higher education and issues dealing with the State of Florida. In his first three years, he assisted the Congressman in securing over $77 million dollars in appropriations for Florida local governments, as well as significant funding for Miami-Dade County’s MDX ‘s Intelligent Transportation Systems Integration and other transportation related issues.
Mr. Franco served as a member of the National Hispanic Working Group for the Bush/Cheney 2004 re-election campaign and is an active member of the Republicans Associated for Mutual Support (RAMS).
Mr. Williams served an eight-year term as Legislative Director and Chief of Staff for Congressman Meek, managing the 22-person staff. As the chief policy advisor and strategist, he directly managed the portfolio pertaining to the Congressman’s memberships on the Committees on Ways and Means, Armed Services, Homeland Security, and Budget.
While in Congress, Mr. Williams specialized in issues involving health care, armed services, taxation, alternative energy, local government issues, and domestic and international trade. As primary liaison to appropriations staff, he shepherded nearly $53 million directly to South Florida local governments, nearly $20 million to educational entities, and over $13 million to South Florida hospitals and community centers over a three year period from FY 2008-2010.
Mr. Williams holds a “Top Secret” security clearance and has extensive experience working with the Department of Defense. He honed his legislative skills working for Moffit, Hart, and Herron P.A, and later Akerman, Senterfitt, and Eidson P.A. as a legislative aide in the firm’s governmental relations section.
The Becker & Poliakoff Government Law & Lobbying Group represents businesses, trade and professional associations, local governments and advocacy groups.
The Becker & Poliakoff Government Law & Lobbying Group represents businesses, trade and professional associations, local governments and advocacy groups. Other Government team members include Nelson Diaz, former Chief of Staff to then Florida Representative and current U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (himself a former Becker & Poliakoff attorney) as well as Bernie Friedman, Yolanda Cash Jackson, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, Carlos Gimenez and others.
For more information about Becker & Poliakoff’s Washington, D.C. office, visit www.beckerlawyers.com or call (202) 731-3401. The address is 815 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20006.
About Becker & Poliakoff
Becker & Poliakoff is a diverse commercial law firm with more than 145 attorneys and lobbyists in 13 Florida offices, New York City, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Nassau (Bahamas), and Prague. Celebrating its thirty-eighth (38th) year of serving clients, the firm has seven primary areas of practice: Real Estate, Construction, Community Association, Customs & International Trade, Business Litigation, Corporate & Securities, and Government Law & Lobbying.