Up Front - The Publisher's Column
Inside scoop on the Top 350
The private firms are led by Publix, with more than $30 billion in sales and expansion throughout the Southeast. In fact, there are 52 private companies with at least $1 billion in sales apiece.
The public firms include a who's who of names you know. There are 10 firms this year with more than $10 billion in sales — ranging from World Fuels with $30 billion to Tech Data, AutoNation, Jabil, NextEra (FP&L), Carnival, Office Depot, WellCare, CSX and Hertz.
This issue also includes special coverage of the women who lead many of these firms. Shelley Broader is the new CEO of Chico's in Fort Myers; Mindy Grossman leads Home Shopping Network, or more properly HSNi, in St. Petersburg; Lisa Lutoff-Perlo heads Celebrity Cruises in Miami; and Liz Smith is CEO of Bloomin Brands in Tampa, known for Outback Steakhouse among other restaurants.
In the legal issue, Florida Trend has expanded its regular coverage of the law because of its importance to Florida business. We include articles on litigation lending, the 1st District Court of Appeal and intellectual property law. And, of course, there's a wrap-up of major cases that the courts have grappled with in the past year.
You can also see a listing of the biggest law firms in Florida — 20 of them have 100 or more attorneys in the Sunshine State, and they range up to 400-plus Florida attorneys. Some of these are national or international firms with broad reach, while others focus entirely on Florida.
Further, we offer a list of the dozen law schools located here; collectively they enroll some 8,162 students for their three-year programs.
The Legal Elite section appears for the 13th consecutive year, providing guidance to Florida Trend readers and their companies who are seeking top legal advice.
To compile the list, Florida Trend invited all active members of the Florida Bar to name attorneys they hold in the highest regard — the list includes 1,144 honorees who practice in 67 Florida cities.
While the overall list contains fewer than 2% of all Florida attorneys, the Hall of Fame only includes 10% of the winners, or less than 0.2% of Florida attorneys.
121 law schools are represented, yet more than two-thirds of the winners attended five top law schools — the University of Florida, the University of Miami, Florida State, Stetson and Nova Southeastern.
Now that hurricane season is firmly upon us, we thought a look at the insurance industry would be appropriate.
After consistent work, state-run Citizens Property has reduced its exposure by two-thirds — from 1.5 million policies to 488,565, pushing it down to the fourth-largest home insurer in Florida based on market share.
A passel of for-profit companies has sprung into the breach. And state regulators assure us that these young companies are financially capable. Now let's just keep the storms away, reduce Citizens further, encourage private-company profitability and perhaps even lower the rates.
Fitness update: OK, it's hot outside, but I like to sweat, so running has become more frequent. I'm under 10:00 minutes per mile on a fairly regular basis.
— Andy Corty