2021 Vault Rankings
At nearly 100 years old, Gunster has been a part of Florida since it was mostly orange groves and mangroves. The firm helps mid to large business in a range of market segments navigate the particulars of Florida’s legal landscape. Nearly 200 lawyers work out of 11 Florida offices from Jacksonville in the north all the way to Miami.
Growing with the Sunshine State
In 1925, John Kenneth Williamson—the founding attorney for the First National Bank in Palm Beach—opened his law office in West Palm Beach. The firm grew very slowly over the next five decades. It took 17 years for the firm to double in size to a two-man shop with the addition of Joseph F. Gunster in 1942. Another decade later, the firm had doubled again to four lawyers with the addition of Marshall Criser, who would go on to serve as the President of the Florida Bar and the President of the University of Florida. By 1970, the firm had only ten lawyers in one office, but Gunster’s growth in the ‘70s and ‘80s mirrored that of Florida, growing from one to six offices and nearly 100 attorneys.
All Things Florida
Gunster does it all for Florida businesses: corporate deals, litigation, real estate transactions, and tax planning. The varied practice areas have led to a varied roster of clients, including banks like Bank of America and TD, resorts like The Breakers Palm Beach, and educational institutions like Nova Southeastern and the Max Planck Institute for Neuroscience. Gunster is also known as the go-to firm for private wealth management in South Florida, especially for the wealthy enclave of Palm Beach County.
Location, Location, Location
Founded during South Florida’s first real estate boom, Gunster attorneys have been connected to the Florida real estate market throughout the firm’s history. The firm has played a role in developments as varied as planned retirement communities in north Florida to the revitalization of Miami’s South Beach. Gunster represented U.S. Sugar Co. in one of the largest land deals in the state’s history when the company sold more than 26,000 acres of land in the Everglades to the South Florida Water Management District for the “River of Grass” restoration project.
All of Gunster’s shareholder and lateral associate recruiting is taking place virtually (as of March 2021). Gunster’s 2L recruiting for summer 2021 took place virtually during the fall of 2020. The firm is proceeding cautiously with the reopening of its offices and is taking precautions to protect the health and safety of all of its employees. Office openings are proceeding on an office-by-office basis factoring in CDC guidance, local COVID-19 infection levels, and vaccination rates.
777 South Flagler Drive
Suite 500 East
West Palm Beach, FL 33401-6194
Phone: (800) 749-1980
CEO and Managing Shareholder: H. William Perry
Total No. Attorneys 2021:
150 - 250
No. of Partners Named 2020:
1st year: $160,000 (south FL offices); $140,000 (central & north FL offices)
Summer Associate: $3,076/week (south FL offices); $2,692/week (central & north FL offices)
Brad Sprayberry, Esq.
Director, Attorney Recruiting & Professional Development
No. of U.S. Offices: 11
No. of International Offices: 0
Boca Raton, FL
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Palm Beach, FL
Vero Beach, FL
West Palm Beach, FL (HQ)
Banking & Financial Services
Creditor Rights & Bankruptcy
Environmental & Land Use Law
Franchise & Distribution
Government Affairs Law & Lobbying
Hospitality & Leisure
Intellectual Property Litigation
Labor & Employment Law
Probate, Trust & Guardianship Litigation
Real Estate Law
Securities Law & Corporate Governance
White-Collar Criminal Defense