New York -- December 3, 2014 -- Akerman LLP, a top 100 U.S. law firm serving clients across the Americas, today announced the formation of its Restaurant Industry Group, one of the most comprehensive, multidisciplinary legal teams devoted exclusively to the restaurant industry to be established by a national law firm. The team was formed in response to a need in the marketplace for highly focused and experienced legal counsel in multiple practice areas, who understand the unique intricacies of the restaurant industry.

The Akerman Restaurant Industry Group includes nearly 30 lawyers and regulatory professionals with broad experience representing restaurant industry clients in major U.S. and international markets. Located in New York, Florida, Washington, D.C., and California, the team advises clients in operational, transactional, regulatory, and litigation matters, with particular strengths in mergers and acquisitions; capital markets and other financing transactions; franchising and licensing matters; real estate leasing and development; alcohol beverage regulations; labor and employment matters; intellectual property counseling; and commercial and transactional business disputes.

Akerman is deeply connected to the restaurant industry through long-standing relationships with clients and key industry associations. The firm represents numerous publicly-traded and privately-held national and regional restaurant companies; franchisors and franchisees of national restaurant chains; high-end independent restaurateurs and restaurants; and private equity firms that invest in restaurant industry companies. Akerman Restaurant Industry Group lawyers have experience across all restaurant industry segments, representing some of the largest quick service, fast-casual and casual dining chain restaurant companies. The Akerman Restaurant Industry Group is structured to anticipate and react quickly to shifting industry trends and regulatory developments.

"An intimate understanding of the restaurant industry is absolutely critical to representing our growing number of restaurant clients," said Wayne Wald, chair of the Akerman Restaurant Industry Group and a partner in the firm's New York office. "The Akerman Restaurant Industry Group integrates our extensive industry knowledge and experience across multiple practice areas, and positions us to further provide effective and efficient legal services to restaurant companies and other industry stakeholders."

Notable clients include Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc., the largest Burger King® franchisee globally, and Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc., which owns and operates the Pollo Tropical® and Taco Cabana® fast-casual restaurant brands. Additional clients include: Dave & Buster's®; Front Burner Brands, Inc., the owner and operator of The Melting Pot® Restaurants, Inc.; Hard Rock International; Ker's WingHouse®; Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill®; and TGI FridaysSM Restaurants.

Click here for additional information on the Akerman Restaurant Industry Group.

About Akerman LLP

Akerman LLP is a leading transactions and trial law firm known for its core strengths in middle market M&A, within the financial services and real estate industries, and for a diverse Latin America practice. With more than 600 lawyers and government affairs professionals and a network of 20 offices, it is ranked among the top 100 law firms in the United States by The National Law Journal NLJ 350 (2014). Akerman also is ranked among the top 50 law firms for diversity in The American Lawyer's Diversity Scorecard (2014).