Assouline & Berlowe was started in 2003 by attorneys Eric Assouline and Peter Berlowe. Besides both serving as editors on the University of Miami (UM) Law Review together, prior to starting the Firm, Mr. Assouline and Mr. Berlowe, worked together, and trained as litigators, in the Miami office of the prestigious international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP.
In addition to various general litigation matters they handled at Weil Gotshal, Mr. Assouline spent much of his time as the lead litigation attorney representing former U.S. Attorney Otto Obermaier, as the court appointed receiver for an international Ponzi scheme. Even though the case was filed by the Securities & Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission in the Southern District of New York, the headquarters for the fraudulent enterprise was in Naples, Florida and most of the litigation took place in South Florida. Similarly, Mr. Berlowe, spent much of his time at Weil Gotshal attending to the complexities involved in two major American Airlines (AA) antitrust matters. The first, was a “bet the company” action filed by the United States Justice Department (DOJ) against AA, alleging that it had engaged in predatory antitrust activities with the low cost airlines competing in various different markets. After years of litigation, AA eventually prevailed on a hotly contested appeal at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and was cleared of any wrongdoing. Mr. Berlowe was also extensively involved in the acquisition of the long standing iconic TWA airline by AA, which was subject of DOJ scrutiny.
When the Firm was opened in 2003, Assouline & Berlowe rented office space from engineer Frederic Berlowe, Mr. Berlowe’s father, in Coral Gables, at the 420 S. Dixie Highway address (a building initially engineered by Frederick Berlowe years earlier). Peter Berlowe had worked with his father as an engineer before going to law school and that experience was the inspiration to become an attorney as well as an engineer. At the time, the office had shag carpet, wood paneling, and had not been renovated in decades. The new partners invested into the office, furnished the office with used furniture, and used left over materials from Eric Assouline’s home to build a new countertop for the receptionist.
The Firm soon quickly began to generate its own business cases. Among the new matters for the Firm were a number of contested interstate non-compete matters, at times representing the employer and at others representing the employees. A number of the Firm’s other early representations included a contested copyright federal court case, a contested usury case, and an interesting unauthorized likeness case where the adverse party was represented by Greenberg Traurig.
In order to expand its footprint into Broward county, in 2004, the Firm opened its second office and Eric Assouline worked at this location. In 2005, the Broward office grew and recruited its first Of Counsel attorney, another UM law school colleague, from Carlton Fields labor department, that helped with the Firm’s continuing complex commercial practice and substantially improved the Firm’s labor & employment practice. In 2006, Peter Koziol, joined the Firm and greatly expanded the Firm’s knowledge base for handling complex intellectual property matters.
Over the next several years, both the Miami and the Broward offices continued to grow and recruit business attorneys that deepened the Firm’s ability to handle complex commercial matters, including the recruitment of another Carlton Fields attorney in the Miami office. In 2008, the Firm opened its third office in Boca Raton, which provided an office in each of the tri-counties to cater to its growing South Florida clientele.
In 2009, the Firm recruited Washington D.C. Crowell & Moring partner Daniel Vielleville to the Miami office to head up the Firm’s international arbitration department. Mr. Vielleville first learned of the firm when he worked for Greenberg Traurig and was adverse to the Firm in its early unauthorized likeness cases mentioned earlier. Mr. Vielleville was so impressed with the quality of the Firm’s work and the professionalism of its partners, when he wanted to relocate back in Miami from Washington D.C., he thought the Firm would be a good fit. Mr. Vielleville was born in Venezuela and through his Latin American contacts regularly receives referrals from South American attorneys and clients.
In 2012, the Firm bolstered its labor and employment practice by recruiting Ellen Leibovitch, a seasoned litigator, Board Certified by the Florida Bar in the areas of Labor & Employment. Ms. Leibovitch and Mr. Assouline worked together years before at a prior firm and were happy to work together again. Ms. Leibovitch works and lives in Boca Raton and firmly established the Firm’s presence in the Palm Beach county legal community, as an officer of the South Palm Beach County Bar Association.In 2013, the Firm recruited Alan Krinzman from Becker & Poliakoff, to head the firm’s growing real estate practice area. Mr. Krinzman has over 35 years of real estate experience, including work in the areas of title insurance, buying, selling, leasing, and financing of real estate projects all over Florida and Louisiana, where he initially started his legal career. Collectively, the Firm now boasts more than 100 years of experience providing clients with valuable legal advice for their real estate transactions.
Over the years, the Firm also added Patent Attorney Greg Popowitz, formerly with Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart to work with intellectual property partner Peter Koziol, as well as with the business litigators of the firm.
Through the Firm’s eleven attorneys, the firm now has over 250 years of collective business law experience, most of whom have worked and trained in large and prestigious law firms. Our attorneys use this valuable experience to cater to the Firm’s clients at its three South Florida offices.