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Coffey Burlington: A Culture of Excellence

Coffey Burlington: A Culture of Excellence

John Fields

June 12, 2024 06:32 PM

Coffey Burlington stands as Florida’s premier commercial litigation and white-collar defense boutique, with more than 35 years of exemplary service. As commercial litigators, the firm’s attorneys focus on complex business disputes spanning real estate, intellectual property, lender liability, partnership, legal malpractice defense, family law litigation and arbitration. The firm is also renowned for handling complex white collar criminal defense cases, government enforcement actions, anti-corruption compliance, OFAC sanctions matters and internal investigations.

“For our firm, growth hasn’t been defined by expansion but by the depth of talent we’ve been able to develop as a litigation boutique,” co-founding partner Robert Burlington observes. “That experience is ultimately what has attracted a variety of businesses, institutional clients and referring lawyers to our practice.”

The firm and its trial lawyers have earned a stellar reputation, with multiple lawyers selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024. Both Robert Burlington and Kendall Coffey were named as Best Lawyers® Miami “Lawyer of the Year” honorees in 2023 and 2024, respectively, in the area of Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants. In 2024, Best Law Firms® ranked the firm as Tier 1 in Miami across various practice areas: Commercial Litigation, Family Law, Litigation – First Amendment, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, Mediation and Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants.

From its inception more than 35 years ago, Coffey Burlington aimed to be different. “We created and maintain a firm with a higher partner-to-associate ratio to ensure clients work directly with the lawyer who is going to be trying their case in court, because we know clients are more comfortable with seasoned lawyers, especially in high-stakes, complex litigation,” notes partner Susan Raffanello. In fact, Coffey Burlington lawyers often take complex commercial cases to trial in federal and state court and win—a distinction that sets them apart in the realm of commercial litigation firms.

As a result of its success, Coffey Burlington has attracted an impressive clientele that includes Fortune 500 companies, banks and financial institutions, broker-dealers, developers, investors, oil and gas companies, contractors, national and global law firms, tech companies, accounting firms and local and foreign governments. Many of the country’s premier law firms refer their clients to Coffey Burlington when conflicts of interest affect their ability to serve as counsel , or when they are in need of South Florida co-counsel.

“Our attorneys share a commitment to providing exceptionally responsive and proactive service to our clients,” says partner Fernando Tamayo. “By giving the best service possible with intensity and integrity, we help our clients achieve their desired outcomes.”

In the area of white-collar defense, Coffey Burlington often defends companies and individuals in significant federal and state probes. The firm represents corporations and institutions of all sizes as well as owners, executives and prominent individuals who are facing government investigation or have become the target of enforcement proceedings. In many cases, Coffey Burlington defends clients in parallel proceedings or investigations conducted by federal agencies such as the United States Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Federal Trade Commission. The firm is a go-to choice to conduct internal investigations for domestic and foreign companies with concerns of possible corruption, fraud or sanctions violations.

Indeed, Coffey Burlington recognizes that in order to thrive in an international marketplace like South Florida, a law firm must be able to service clients from across the globe, including in foreign languages. The firm boasts lawyers who are fluent or conversationally proficient in Spanish, Russian and Portuguese and who have extensive experience in cross-border litigation, arbitration and internal investigations. Due to the firm’s victories and successes in various international matters, Coffey Burlington has developed an impressive referral network of foreign lawyers from countries like Brazil, Colombia, Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Ecuador and Argentina.

“Foreign clients and referring lawyers appreciate our extensive experience managing cases in multiple jurisdictions and our ability to communicate in their native language whenever possible,” says Tamayo, who along with Kendall Coffey serves as a co-chair of the firm’s International Law practice group. “Our international perspective uniquely equips us to navigate and resolve complex legal issues on multiple fronts.”

Beyond its legal practice, Coffey Burlington remains deeply committed to charitable organizations in the Miami community and upholds a longstanding tradition of pro bono legal service. Many of its lawyers also serve as adjunct professors of law at the University of Miami and Florida International University. “Our focused and individualized attention to our clients is matched by our steadfast commitment to community service, philanthropy and pro bono work,” says partner Kevin Kaplan. “As we continue to grow and evolve, our core values remain unchanged—excellence, integrity and a steadfast dedication to our clients’ needs.”

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