Akerman has opened an office in Winston-Salem, N.C., and added to its recently opened Atlanta office, continuing its strategic expansion.

The firm has opened seven U.S. offices in the last five years, including Austin, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, and San Antonio.

“We continue to aggressively expand in major business centers across the country to accommodate the needs of our growing client base,” Andrew Smulian, Akerman chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

Corporate M&A partners R. William Ide and Amanda Leech joined the Atlanta office, while Paul Foley, chair of the Investment Management practice, is launching the firm’s Winston-Salem branch.

Foley, who advises hedge funds, mutual funds, and venture capital funds on investments, compliance and securities law, is joined by associates Caroline Scarff and Shea Ward.

Ide and Leech join healthcare partners Sidney Welch, Jeremy Burnette, and Amy Jeon McCullough, who launched Akerman’s Atlanta office in September 2018.

Despite the firm’s rapid expansion, it recently experienced a shake-up when its chairman, David Spector, left the firm after being at the helm for only nine months. He and 11 other Akerman attorneys jumped ship to Holland & Knight in March after Smulian resumed his role as chair, which he’d held for a decade before Spector took over in Feb. 2018.

Akerman’s more than 700 lawyers and business professionals advise clients across the United States and Latin America on middle market M&A and complex disputes, as well as in the financial services and real estate industries.