Eyeing the next frontier, Miami law firms ramp up Cuba strategy

A car used as a taxi drives through the streets of HavanaBy David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) – The Florida Bar is sending its first ever delegation of lawyers to Cuba this week to explore emerging new business opportunities as prospects heat up for closer political and commercial relations between the United States and the Communist-run island. Some big law firms with Miami offices, often staffed by Cuban-American exiles, are already beefing up their Cuba-related practices in response to queries from U.S. companies on issues ranging from telecommunications to banking, amid signs the longstanding U.S. trade embargo on Cuba is eroding. Pedro Freyre, a Cuban-born attorney who heads the international practice at Akerman, said his phones started ringing within minutes of the December announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro that they had agreed to reestablish diplomatic ties severed some 54 years ago, and to work toward normalizing relations.

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