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FRIENDSHIPS TO STAY INTACT AS BIG LAW FIRM OFFICIALLY SPLITS IN TWO

Fowler White Boggs Banker has agreed to what both sides indicate is an amicable separation.

"I'm very happy with the way it's turned out," said soon-to-be-ex-partner Robert Banker. "I'm sad to leave the firm I've been a member of since 1961, but it wasn't going to work out the way it was going, and in the end I think it worked out for the best for both sides."

Banker will lead the spinoff firm of Banker Lopez Gassler starting in November. He takes with him 150 staffers, including 64 lawyers with expertise in trial and appellate law, including insurance defense, aviation and admiralty

The remaining firm will keep the truncated name of Fowler White Boggs P.A., with more than 300 employees, including 130 lawyers. The firm will keep a number of practice groups, including litigation teams, tax and estate planning lawyers, and a corporate practice that includes real estate and land use.

"It's actually been very amicable, and we hope to continue a good relationship," said John Emmanuel, president of Fowler White Boggs Banker and a member of the firm's board of directors. "We've been practicing together for a number of years, and have friends on each side."

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