Matthew J. Ahearn

Trust and Estate Attorney Orlando

Mr. Ahearn is Board Certified in both Wills, Trusts & Estates and Tax Law by The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization. He has extensive experience in the areas of estate and business succession planning, asset protection planning, charitable planning and planning to minimize or avoid wealth transfer taxes. Mr. Ahearn handles all aspects of probate and trust administrations, including estate and gift tax audits before the Internal Revenue Service. He represents both beneficiaries and fiduciaries in contested matters.

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David J. Akins

Mr. Akins is a shareholder in Dean Mead’s Orlando office. He provides representation in the area of personal wealth planning, with an emphasis on gift planning, charitable planning, estate planning, probate, and the administration of estates and trusts. A significant portion of his practice is related to planning for family-owned and closely held businesses. He represents taxpayers in gift, estate and GST tax controversies with the IRS. Mr. Akins also represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in disputes involving estates and trusts.

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Dana M. Apfelbaum

Ms. Apfelbaum practices in the areas of federal income, estate, and gift tax law and family business succession planning. She counsels individuals in estate planning, with an emphasis on implementing the client’s objectives, asset protection and minimizing wealth transfer taxes. Ms. Apfelbaum also represents fiduciaries through all stages of probate, estate and trust administration. In addition, she represents businesses and business owners in all types of business and tax matters, including choice of entity, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, other general business matters, and succession planning. Ms. Apfelbaum is Board Certified by the Florida Bar as an expert in the area of Wills, Trusts and Estates.

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David P. Barker

Mr. Barker is a member of the Real Estate department in the Orlando office. He focuses his practice on real estate law, including sales, purchases, and large scale development for residential, warehouse and commercial development, and commercial leasing. Mr. Barker represents National and Regional home builders, developers and select individuals throughout the State of Florida in all phases of the acquisition, development and sale of real property. Mr. Barker is known for his ability to provide pragmatic and forward-thinking solutions, to guide his clients to successful business results. With over 30 years of experience, Mr. Barker provides pragmatic problem solving to all types of real estate issues. Mr. Barker and his team handles all transactional aspects of a deal, including contract preparation and negotiation, due diligence and title/survey review, deal structuring and joint development agreements, development agreements and closings.

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Vicki L. Berman

Ms. Berman has been with the firm for 36 years. During that time, she has represented buyers and sellers, landlords and tenants, borrowers and lenders, investors, brokers, developers and consultants in a wide variety of commercial and residential real estate transactions. She has significant expertise in all aspects of leasing transactions, including office, retail and industrial. She also leads the team which represents the firm’s largest client, a major Florida landowner, and has handled several significant transactions for the purchase and sale of real estate, including several 1031 transactions.

In addition, Ms. Berman is involved in a number of professional and civic organizations including Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) of which she has been a member since 1996 and has served on the Board of Directors and chaired and served on a number of committees over the years. She presently serves on the 2019 Host Committee for the 2019 National Convention to be held in Orlando, Florida. In addition, she serves as a member of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee for the onePULSE Foundation, and chairs the Design and Construction Committee tasked with designing and constructing both the Interim Memorial and the Permanent Memorial and Museum.

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Angela C. Bonds

Ms. Bonds has over 10 years of experience in government and legislative affairs. She has worked with government officials at the local, state and national level. During her career, Ms. Bonds held roles at several state agencies, and she has handled a wide range of government issues. She has assisted with drafting legislation and veto recommendations for complex policy issues; contributed to the development of policy agendas; coordinated the implementation process at the conclusion of legislative sessions; and provided officials with research for bill proposals and impact analysis.

Prior to joining Dean Mead, Ms. Bonds was the director of legislative affairs for the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Along with the other aspects of her position, she was involved in the response to Hurricane Michael. Ms. Bonds assisted with the communication of vital disaster information to members of the Florida House of Representatives and Senate and U.S. Congress, as well as local officials.

Ms. Bonds also served as director of legislative affairs for the Florida Department of State and deputy director of legislative and cabinet affairs for the Florida Department of Highway Safety. Additionally, she has worked for the Executive Office of the Governor, Office of Policy and Budget, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

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Richard Brightman

Richard’s unique education background, which includes a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering Sciences before attending law school, lends to his 40 plus years of experience in state and federal environmental law and administrative law. Richard’s experience includes obtaining rights to use state-owned lands, siting and licensing of complex energy facilities, and representation of port facilities…

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H. French Brown, IV

Dean Mead Attorney French Brown

French Brown offers clients 12 years of experience practicing in state and local taxation. Prior to joining Dean Mead, he practiced at Hopping, Green & Sams. He began his legal career at the Florida Department of Revenue, where he quickly rose to the position of Deputy Director of Technical Assistance and Dispute Resolution. There he oversaw more than 50 department attorneys, accountants and auditors in charge of legal guidance, agency rulemaking, and informal audit protests. Mr. Brown assists businesses with Florida tax planning and controversies.

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