In 1980, Bud Adams, Chuck Kelley and Steven Kronenberg chose a quiet neighborhood of Coconut Grove as the location for their new law firm. Four decades later, Kelley Kronenberg is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The founders’ core values — hard work, passion and exceptional client service — continue on today.
At the start, Kelley Kronenberg focused on serving businesses and the insurance industry. As those practices grew, the firm opened additional offices in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami Lakes.
Fast forward, Kelley Kronenberg hired Michael Fichtel, now Principal Partner and Chief Executive Officer in 1987, when he graduated law school. Howard Wander, now Principal Partner and Chief Operating Officer joined the firm shortly thereafter, and Heath Eskalyo now Principal Partner and Chief Financial Officer joined in 1995, after working as a Broward County prosecutor. All three attorneys were not only excellent legal practitioners, but also had keen eyes for the business of law. They applied their distinct yet complementary visions, which included adding additional practices, and offices in key markets. Now in 2020, the number of attorneys and staff have grown to nearly 400 employees in 11 locations throughout Florida and the United States.
“We saw the value of being diverse not just in our areas of practice, but in geography,” Michael Fichtel, CEO, said. “We knew that each metro area has its own needs. We capitalized on opportunities to acquire talent that fit the local market’s needs and best serviced our clients.”
Over the last 10 years, the firm has continued to expand its legal services, administrative team, marketing prowess and technology. The leadership has implemented a modern-day business model that allows more attorneys to share in the success of the firm.
In 2019, the firm reached major milestones when it surpassed 300 employees and moved into a brand-new, 35,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art corporate headquarters in Fort Lauderdale built from the ground up.
“We’re setting the stage for the next generation of firm leaders,” Howard Wander, COO, said. “The investments made today will benefit our clients, our attorneys, staff and communities for decades to come.”
Today, Kelley Kronenberg boasts more than 175 attorneys practicing across Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Miami Lakes, Naples, Orlando, Tallahassee, Tampa, Daytona, Jacksonville and Chicago. Some key additions include: real estate, mortgage banking and lending services, general business and commercial litigation, bankruptcy, immigration, first and third-party insurance defense, labor and employment, appeals, matrimonial law, and trusts and estate planning.
Kelley Kronenberg is a multi-practice business law firm with nearly 400 employees, more than 175 attorneys and 11 locations throughout Florida and the United States. Founded in 1980, the firm is one of the fastest-growing law firms in Florida and amongst the largest in the U.S. The firm serves all types and sizes of public and private companies, including small businesses and individuals nationwide. Kelley Kronenberg has been recognized amongst the “Largest U.S. Law Firms” by the National Law Journal’s NLJ 500, Law 360 400, and Florida Trend in 2020, “America’s Top Corporate Law Firms” by Forbes and “Top 10” in NLJ’s Women’s Scorecard in 2019. The firm has been the recipient of many accolades most recently including in 2020: “Best Multi-Practice Business Law Firm – USA,” Acquisition International; “Top Workplaces,” Sun Sentinel; “Best Places to Work,” South Florida Business Journal; “Business of the Year,” “Top 100 Private Companies,” “Top Law Firms,” and “Largest Law Firms,” South Florida Business Journal; “Largest Law Firms,” Tampa Bay Business Journal, Orlando Business Journal, and Jacksonville Business Journal; “Biggest Law Firms in Florida,” Florida Trend; “Top 100 Law Firms,” South Florida Business & Wealth; Florida’s Largest Law Firms,” American Lawyer’s, Daily Business Review “Review 100; and “Best Law Firms,” U.S. News – Best Lawyers®.
“Representing clients is not enough. It is our responsibility to make a difference in every community we serve,” said Heath Eskalyo, CFO. The firm created Kelley Kronenberg Cares, which provides all attorneys and employees with corporate support to assist local charitable organizations. The leadership and attorneys are expected to make contributions of their time to local organizations and to mentor new lawyers on becoming engaged, too.
Kelley Kronenberg has its roots in business, but today with its prescient leadership, the firm has evolved into a progressive multi-practice business law firm that has invested in people and technology to best serve clients.
The firm has also become a “Top Workplace” as recognized by the Sun Sentinel in 2020 and a “Best Place to Work” recognized by the South Florida Business Journal in 2020. This is largely due to the firm’s progressive and innovative HR Department. The team has developed training programs and benefits to attract and retain attorneys and employees. They include:
. The Akademy, the firm’s official training platform for professional development. Attorneys receive training and coaching on leadership, substantive legal topics, practice-specific areas, client-specific information and other critical skills.
. Rising Leaders Committee, which represents associates from almost every office in presenting ideas to the firm’s leadership on ways to better the firm.
. Predictive Index Team Building Events, whose behavioral training sessions assist teams to better understand themselves and enhance their knowledge of each member’s personality drives using Predictive Index assessments.
Complementing those are: a mentorship program to coach and train partners on how to be strong mentors for entry-level associates; leadership training for all partners and new managers; one-on-one personal branding and business development coaching sessions; and individual meetings between associates and partners to discuss growth opportunities. Additionally, the firm recently launched Diversity & Inclusion and Practice Group Partner Track programs.
For more information, visit kelleykronenberg.com.