Ft. Lauderdale Law Firm ‘King’ of Hollywood, Fla.
Posted May 8, 2007 3:12 PM CST
By Martha Neil
Becker & Poliakoff doesn't actually have an office at the city hall in Hollywood, Fla. But a couple of the firm's lawyers reportedly are there so much that it might seem like the Fort Lauderdale-based firm does.
Lawyers at the more than 100-attorney firm serves not only as lobbyists for Hollywood, located north of Miami along the Atlantic Ocean in Broward County, but represents developers before city agencies and are active in the community socially, reports the Miami Herald. It describes Becker & Poliakoff as the "undefeated, undisputed king of contracts, fundraising and influence" among law firms doing business at city hall.
Some say the law firm has too much influence over Hollywood, among them former city manager Sam Finz. "Every major decision in the city of Hollywood went through them,'' he says. "I felt it was bad government and the taxpayers suffered sometimes.''
Others, though, say retaining the politically and socially connected law firm is a logical choice. "I would hire them, too,'' says City Commissioner Fran Russo. "They get the job done.''
Says founding partner, Alan Becker, a former Florida legislator, ''We bring good projects, and we should win. ... I have joked more than once referring to us as the economic development agency for the city of Hollywood.''