Marlon Hill and Michelle Delancy, who were the main principals of the law firm delancyhill, are now partners at Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel. This week we speak to Marlon Hill about the recent merger and the benefits to the Caribbean Diaspora.
1. Is Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP (HM&B) now the largest law firm owned by Caribbean/Jamaican nationals?
With delancyhill, P.A. joining HM&B as of January 5th, HM&B will increase to 19 partners and a total of 41 attorneys with offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, New York, Norfolk, U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. HM&B is ranked as one of the most diverse law firms in South Florida with ½ of the Firm’s partners being minorities and 1/3 of the partners being women. Based on preliminary estimates, it is likely that HM&B will be largest law firm owned and managed by Caribbean/Jamaican nationals in the United States.
2. What are some of the new services offered?
HM&B offers legal counsel in a wide range of practice areas, especially in the areas of insurance defense and coverage, premises liability, medical and professional liability, labor and employment, admiralty and maritime and complex business litigation. With the alliance of delancyhill, HM&B will expand its provision of services in corporate transactions, administrative/government law, white collar criminal defense, intellectual property/entertainment, and construction litigation. The Firm aims to elevate its relationship with the with small to medium sized companies to Fortune 100 companies in the maritime, hospitality/tourism, transportation, construction, insurance, and government interest industries.
3. What will this merger mean for people who in the Caribbean diaspora that need legal representation in the Caribbean?
This merger will provide the Caribbean diaspora with a proven option of talented attorneys who can provide the highest standards of legal counsel and who understand the cultural nuances and needs of business persons and families of Caribbean descent. The diversity in our legal team at HM&B gives us a real advantage in communicating with diverse jurors, opposing counsel, or clients – one of the keys to achieving results for our clients. In addition, the success for our law firm will also open doors to other opportunities for our Firm’s partners or vendors.
4. What is your new role in Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, L.L.P and what areas will you be focused on?
With our alliance, we will be joining HM&B as partners in the Miami office . Michelle Delancy will continue her practice in commercial, construction, administrative litigation and white collar criminal defense. Marlon Hill will further build his practice in corporate transactions, intellectual property, business immigration, and government law.
5. What were some of the main challenges of the alliance? How did you over come them?
The primary challenges of the transition are centered around the administrative and data transfer of cases for clients. With the coordination of our technology/IT teams, this process is moving smoothly. In addition, the process of communicating with our clients, community partners, and the public is also an important task in sharing that our firm is simply expanding, evolving and empowering into a new chapter.
6. What advice do you have for young lawyers who are just leaving law school?
The best advice for young lawyers who are just leaving law school is to secure as many opportunities (paid or unpaid) as possible to gain experience and apply the principles from law school training. In addition, we encourage all young lawyers to be mindful of your personal and professional reputation, especially in what you share or communicate on social media platforms. Third, we certainly recommend finding a mentor or two in your preferred practice area, and get involved with a charitable interest or organization where you may offer your time and legal skills.
7. How has your Caribbean/Jamaican background contribute to your success?
We owe much of our success to the foundation values of the pursuit of higher education, work ethic, and respect for cultural diversity. Growing up in Jamaica or as first generation immigrants in the United States, we learn that no accomplishment is ever taken for granted. The journey of our immigrant assimilation, acclimation, and integration into the United States is one that is taking root.
8. What are the some of the top legal issues or challenges facing the Jamaican/Caribbean community in the United States?
Today, some of the critical challenges facing Jamaican/Caribbean businesses and families include : (1) proper planning in the immigration process to become familiar with the landscape of the chosen state/city prior to migration; (2) taking time to understand and engage the governmental and political processes in the United States so as to secure benefits available to citizens; and (3) ensuring that any business ventures are properly vetted and documented to protect your interests.
9. Will HM&B continue with making any contributions to community initiatives?
Over the years, HM&B has been actively involved in local voluntary bar association, the Marine Cares Foundation, Urban League of Broward County, and the Jamaica USA Chamber of Commerce. The Firm plans to deepen its community ties to the South Florida community through philanthropic partnerships with the Miami Foundation and other local charitable institutions.
10. How can Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP be reached?
The main number for our Miami office and our other offices is 305-379-3686. You may also visit www.hamiltonmilerlaw.com or follow the Firm on Twitter @HMBLegal #HMBLaw or on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram @HamiltonMillerLaw. I can be reached directly at [email protected] or on Twitter/LinkedIn @MarlonAHill.