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Hill Ward Henderson


Hill Ward Henderson - Tampa
  • 101 East Kennedy Boulevard
  • Suite 3700
  • Tampa
  • Florida
  • USA
  • FL 33602
  • Managing Shareholder: R James Robbins, Jr
  • Number of shareholders: 64
  • Number of other lawyers: 36

Firm Overview:
Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, Hill Ward Henderson is a full-service commercial law firm that caters to the varied needs of clients spanning a broad range of industries and professions. The firm’s attorneys are experienced in multiple legal disciplines, and are familiar with the most ground-breaking legal issues and trends. Hill Ward Henderson is committed to serving with the utmost integrity, professionalism and breadth of legal knowledge. The depth of the firm’s “bench strength” spans a vast number of years of experience as well as the hiring of attorneys from some of the best law schools in the U.S. With over 100 attorneys, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the firm among the top firms in Tampa for practice excellence.

Main Areas of Practice:
The Litigation Group at Hill Ward Henderson represents corporations in state and national litigation matters including: antitrust and trade regulation, appellate, class action and complex mass tort, commercial, consumer products, criminal defense, eminent domain, employment, industrial/commercial products, insurance, intellectual property and trade secrets, international disputes and resolution, mediation, noncompete, personal injury defense, products liability, professional liability and securities litigation.
Contact: Dennis P Waggoner

Real Estate:
HillWard Henderson’s Real Estate Group is widely regarded as one of the elite practices in Florida for its depth of personnel, experience and knowledge applied to all aspects of commercial real estate. The firm represents clients in a vast range of complex issues and transactions in a number of areas, including: acquisition and development, commercial leasing, entity formation and tax structuring, finance, property tax litigation, real property litigation and zoning and land use.
Contact: Jonathan P Jennewein

Corporate & Tax:
The Corporate and Tax Group at Hill Ward Henderson represents public and private companies of all sizes in corporate matters and business transactions. Hill Ward Henderson attorneys serve in the following areas of practice: general corporate advice, mergers and acquisitions, securities and corporate governance matters, joint ventures and partnerships, tax planning, venture capital and private equity.
Contact: David S Felman

Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights:
At Hill Ward Henderson, the Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Group regularly handles a broad variety of sophisticated bankruptcy reorganization and liquidation matters, creditors’ rights litigation, foreclosure proceedings, problem loan workouts, lender liability litigation and other related complex commercial litigation cases. The firm represents and advises many of the state’s leading financial institutions, private lenders, investment groups, leasing companies, public and private corporations, commercial landlords and real estate investment entities in all aspects of the debtor/creditor relationship.
Contact: Keith T Appleby

Construction & Design:
Hill Ward Henderson represents private developers, government agencies, architects, engineers,design-build firms, homebuilders, construction managers, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. Attorneys in the Construction and Design Group serve in the following areas of practice: claim avoidance, construction claims, contractor documents and project management, design claims, insurance and surety issues, as well as mediation, arbitration and litigation.
Contact: Timothy A Hunt

Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits:
Hill Ward Henderson has one of the largest employee benefits practices in the Southeast. The Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Group provides a full range of services in connection with the establishment and maintenance of all types of employee benefit and executive compensation plans. Attorneys serve in the following areas of practice: executive compensation, fiduciary and prohibited transactions, health and welfare plans, professional employer organizations, qualified retirement plans, representation before federal agencies and tax-exempt organizations.
Contact: Alton C Ward

Hill Ward Henderson serves as counsel to publicly and privately held companies that conduct business within the automotive industry. Many of the firm’s clients own or operate multiple automotive dealerships, and among these, almost all of the franchise brands sold in the United States are represented. As part of the transactional practice, the firm assists clients in acquisitions and divestitures, real estate matters, land use and zoning issues, joint ventures, securities law compliance, tax strategies, preferred lending and vendor relationships, and general corporate governance items. The firm’s litigation and regulatory attorneys assist clients with sales, finance, insurance compliance, consumer and products liability litigation, regulatory investigations and equity ownership disputes.
Contact: R James Robbins, Jr

The Healthcare Group at Hill Ward Henderson offers a wide range of services to a variety of clients within the healthcare industry. Attorneys at the firm provide advice and assistance across a broad spectrum of state and federal regulatory issues, as well as transactional and operational matters. A wide range of litigation services and administrative representation are also provided.
Contact: R Reid Haney

Trusts & Estates:
Hill Ward Henderson represents a wide range of clients in the area of Trusts and Estates including wealthy individuals, multigenerational families, business owners, professionals, charities and other nonprofit organisations and professional fiduciaries. The Trusts and Estates Group provides a wide range of services including estate planning, asset protection planning, estate, trust and probate administration, family business succession planning, charitable gift planning, fiduciary controversies and litigation representation.
Contact: Linda D Hartley

Some of the firm’s representative clients include: Asbury Automotive Group, Inc.; Bay Care Health System Inc.; Chrysler, LLC; Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation; Global Imaging Systems, Inc.; Honeywell International, Inc.; Latt Maxcy Corporation; Lifestyle Family Fitness, Inc.; OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC; Progress Energy; Pulte Home Corporation; R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company; Raymond James & Associate, Inc.; SRI Surgical Express, Inc.; SunTrust Banks, Inc.; Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Tropicana Products, Inc.; Verizon Florida;Walter Energy, Inc.


  • 101 East Kennedy Boulevard,
  • Suite 3700,
  • Tampa,
  • Florida
  • USA
  • FL 33602
  • Tel +1 813 221 3900
  • Fax +1 813 221 2900
  • Website : www.hwhlaw.com

Corporate/M&A - Florida

What the team is known for Lower-midmarket corporate transactional practice with experience in handling deals for medium-sized private equity houses.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They have a good general corporate practice, which is very plugged-in to the local Tampa market."

Work highlights Acted for Aerosonic on its $39 million sale to TransDigm.

Advised SRI/Surgical Express in its sale to Synergy Health, a deal worth $25 million.

Notable practitioners  

David Felman is a respected practitioner who is well known for his private equity-related work. Peers also highlight his work on capital markets matters.

Significant clients Asbury Automotive Group, KLH Capital, HealthEdge Investment Partners, Ballast Point Ventures, Superior Uniform Group.

Litigation - Florida

What the team is known for Particularly active in class action and tort defense, including environmental litigation and product liability cases for clients in the tobacco industry. Frequently hired by other law firms to defend professional malpractice suits.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The quality of the work product is extremely high."

Work highlights Represented Verizon Florida in a $5 million ad valorem tax appeal relating to the telecommunications provider's Hillsborough County local exchange network, including issues around the valuation of an obsolete copper network which was replaced with fiber optic cable.

Advised on putative class action cases brought against Beazer East and Koppers, for groundwater contamination which it is alleged emanates from a former facility in Gainesville.

Notable practitioners  

Sources single out Benjamin Hill as an "outstanding litigator" and note his "tremendous reputation, particularly in the Tampa Bay area." He often defends law firms accused of professional malpractice, and also tries a broad spread of business cases.

David Knight's peers consider him "a very good commercial litigator, with all the things you'd want in a lawyer." He handles a range of issues, including contractual disputes and shareholder litigation.

Dennis Waggoner represents major clients in commercial litigation and also handles professional malpractice cases. Clients describe him as a "very good litigator," reporting that "he's good to work with and the quality of his work product is very good as well."

Significant clients Covanta Energy, Martin Marietta, Quest Diagnostics, Raytheon, Siemens Medical Solutions USA.

Real Estate - Florida

What the team is known for Standout real estate group handling a diverse range of work, including retail projects and lease negotiations. Excellent track record of representing local and national clients in large-scale developments.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The attorneys are all very talented, very personable and enjoyable people to work with. They are driven to get a project done in a timely manner."

Work highlights Advised USAmeriBank on the provision of loan relating to the development of a major retail center in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Represented Cardinal Point Management on matters relating to its purchase of the Carillon Office portfolio.

Notable practitioners 

Sources say that Katherine Frazier "is one of those people who really gets into the details of a transaction and makes sure everything is done." She is praised by clients for her organized and careful manner.

James Robbins is active in a range of real estate matters, with a focus on automobile dealership dispositions and purchases. He is described by sources as "terrific with execution and terrific with big-picture thinking."

Sources report that Ed Armstrong is exemplified by "his preparation and focus on results." Clients report that he demonstrates "total knowledge of local zoning and governance issues."

The "preeminent" Thomas Henderson is identified as "a real star." His acclaimed practice is strengthened by his long-standing experience, and "committed, driven and hard-working" approach.

Significant clients Hillsborough County School Board, MetLife, PulteGroup, SunTrust Bank, USAA Real Estate.

Tax - Florida

What the team is known for Offers expertise in the fields of employee benefits, executive compensation, trusts and estates, and a range of general tax matters, including M&A, private equity and venture capital. Represents public and private companies, financial institutions, tax-exempt organizations, closely held businesses and high net worth individuals.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are excellent. We have been very impressed with their expertise and with the business advice they offer, in addition to their legal advice. They deal with the client wonderfully."

"Very strong in retirement planning, estate planning and transactional work." 

Work highlights Represented Orthodontic Specialists Management in a matter concerning the tax implications of its acquisition by Sebring Software.

Represented CLW Reality Group, a real estate company, in connection with the tax implications of its acquisition by Cassidy Turley.

Notable practitioners  

Alton Ward is co-leader of the firm's tax group. He is an expert in the field of employee benefits, and is regarded as a "very knowledgeable and efficient" practitioner who "meets the client's needs."

Brian Sparks specializes in the field of estate planning. He advises closely held businesses, business executives and high net worth individuals.

John Connery focuses his practice on the planning and structuring of transactions. He has a particular interest in M&A and joint ventures, and is regarded by clients as "a very capable guy: smart, professional and very helpful." 

Significant clients Asbury Automotive Group, Gerdau Ameristeel, Kforce, Raymond James, Sykes Enterprises.