- Email: Michael.Platner@lewisbrisbois.com
- Phone: 954.828.0350
- Fax: 954.728.1282
Michael Platner is the managing partner of Lewis Brisbois’ Fort Lauderdale office, as well as the chair of the firm’s national Corporate Practice and co-chair of its Securities & Corporate Finance Practice. He works with clients to develop and execute business-savvy legal strategies for businesses, from early stage through maturity and sale or merger, with a view toward maximizing benefit to their owners and investors.
Michael is an experienced corporate and finance “deals” attorney and strategist. He regularly acts as primary outside counsel to middle-market companies owned by private individuals, investment and private equity firms, and public companies. Consistently focused on helping companies and their owners build value and manage risk, Michael has negotiated and closed several hundred transactions including partnerships, business sales and acquisitions, and corporate finance in technology, distribution, manufacturing, and real estate development. Michael also handles litigation and alternative dispute resolution, including mediation. He manages litigation matters strategically with the client’s ultimate business goals in mind to achieve the best financial impacts and business solutions.
Michael has personally founded or been an early-stage investor in several businesses, including in software, internet infrastructure, new media, and cloud computing. Due to his extensive hands-on business experience, he has a deep understanding that is important to entrepreneurs and venture capital investors.
Michael’s specific industry experience includes software, e-business, manufacturing, restaurant and hotel management and operating agreements, computer systems acquisition, hospitality, insurance, funeral homes and cemeteries, joint venture and other corporate finance structuring, new ventures and emerging companies, as well as other strategic business consulting. He also has extensive experience with internet strategies, including deals involving collocation, hosting, API licensing, trademark, copyright and URL disputes, terms of service, and abuse.
An influential thought leader, Michael speaks nationally and abroad on applying merger and acquisition and partnering strategies to create value and liquidity, and to reduce or eliminate conflict. In addition, he hosts “Going Liquid,” a highly-commended series of ongoing workshops that provide actionable advice to business owners who want to position their organizations successfully for ultimate liquidity events. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael’s thought leadership has provided invaluable support and guidance for business leaders. He hosts numerous virtual workshops, which provide advice from leaders across various industries on proactive measures that business owners may take to navigate the COVID-19 crisis.
The South Florida Legal Guide has consistently recognized Michael as a “Top Lawyer” for over a decade and, in 2014, he was recognized as the “North American Corporate and Commercial Lawyer of the Year” by Lawyer Monthly. In addition, Michael holds a Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ of AV, a designation indicating that he has reached the highest level of professional skill and integrity.
- Author, Business Due Diligence Strategies, Leading Lawyers on Conducting Due Diligence on Today’s M & A Deals-- Inside the Minds, 2013
- Author, Mergers and Acquisitions Law 2013, Top Lawyers on Trends and Key Strategies for the Upcoming Year, Thomson Reuters/Aspatore
- Author, Business Due Dilligence Strategies Update, 2014, Thomson Reuters/Aspatore
- Author, Mergers and Acquisitions Update, 2014, Thomson Reuters/Aspatore
- "Mergers and Acquisitions Law 2015: Top Lawyers on Trends and Key Strategies for the Upcoming Year”, Thompson Reuters/Aspatore Thought Leadership (2015) - Contribution of Due Diligence Materials”
Represented seller in sale of $77 million Florida real estate portfolio.
- Workshop Leader, “Going Liquid,” Michael leads a highly-anticipated series of ongoing workshops which provide actionable advice to business owners who want to successfully position their businesses for ultimate liquidity events. Michael has also led numerous virtual workshops titled “Going Forward,” providing valuable advice from leaders across various industries on how business owners can take proactive measures to navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For a list of upcoming events, view the Going Liquid page here.
- Going Liquid: Strategic Planning and Liquidity Options for Private Business Owners, Tampa, FL. May 2022
- Going Liquid: Strategic Planning and Liquidity Options for Private Business Owners, Fort Lauderdale, FL. April 2022
- “Exploring The ‘New Normal’ In 2022,” January 27, 2022
- “Going Forward: Going Liquid,” April 29, 2021
- “Going Forward: Leaving 2020 behind,” December 10, 2020
- “Going Digital: A Virtual Workshop on Digital Transformation,” October 1, 2020
- "Going Forward: Thinking Like a Private Equity Investor," July 28, 2020
- "Going Forward: Beyond 2020 survival, navigating and building value and liquidity in the year ahead," July 1, 2020
- "Going Forward: Beyond 2020 survival, navigating and building value and liquidity in the year ahead," June 24, 2020
- "Going Forward: Beyond 2020 survival, navigating and building value and liquidity in the year ahead," June 10, 2020
- "Going Forward: Beyond 2020 survival, navigating and building value and liquidity in the year ahead," June 3, 2020
- "Going Forward: A virtual workshop for businesses navigating the COVID-19 crisis," May 27, 2020
- Co-Host, Exclusive Outdoor Dinner with NBA Hall of Fame Player Alonzo Mourning, produced by Jeff Fratarcangeli of Fratarcangeli Wealth Management, Mastro’s Ocean Club, Fort Lauderdale, FL. May 12, 2021
- Speaker, “Live Market Update,” hosted by Jeff Fratarcangeli of Fratarcangeli Wealth Management and joined by well-known investor and television personality Kevin O’Leary, Zoom podcast, December 2020
- Moderator, “The State of Venture Capital: How to Raise From VCs & Angels During a Pandemic,” TechFire, webinar, September 2020
- Moderator, "Transforming a Company in Response to the Pandemic,” Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) South Florida, webinar, September 2020
- Speaker, “Strategies for Business Owners,” hosted by Jeff Fratarcangeli of Fratarcangeli Wealth Management and joined by well-known investor and television personality Kevin O’Leary, Zoom podcast, July 2020
- Speaker, "Advanced Business Contracts: Secrets Only the Top Attorneys Know", NBI Seminar, West Palm Beach, FL. October 2017
- Keynote Speaker, Southeast Landmark Angels Venture Forum, “Avoiding Suboptimal Relationships While Growing A company”, Boca Raton, FL. November 2012
- Speaker, Technology Law Seminar, South Florida Business Journal
- Speaker, “Contracting for Cloud Computing, What You Need to Know,” Live Knowledge Congress Webcast, February 2012
State Bar Admissions
- New York
United States District Courts
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- Board member, Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) South Florida
- American Bar Association (Corporate, Banking and Business Law, Science and Technology, Antitrust Sections)
- Palm Beach County Bar Association
- South Palm Beach County Bar Association
- Broward County Bar Association
- Florida Bar CLE Instructor
- Member, Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), South Florida chapter
- Member and Speaker, Vistage
- Member, Computer Law Association
- Past Member, Independent Computer Consultants Association
- Member, International Franchise Association, Legal Affairs Legislative Committee
- Past Member, Canadian American Business Alliance of South Florida, Inc.
- Past Director, British American Chamber of Commerce, Fort Lauderdale Chapter
- Founding Director, Florida-Israel Chamber of Commerce
- Previously of-Counsel, Broward Economic Development Board (Broward Alliance)
- Past Director, Jewish National Fund
- Past Special Counsel, Broward Alliance (Economic Development Organization)
- Alumni, United Jewish Appeal, National Young Leadership Cabinet
- Past Director, Fort Lauderdale Jewish Foundation
- Past Director, Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, Past Business & Professional Division Chair
Awards & Honors
- ALM Top Rated Lawyers
- Recognized as the 2014 North American Corporate and Commercial Lawyer of the Year by Lawyer Monthly
- Recognized as one of the Top Lawyers in South Florida TMTM in the 2007–2018 editions of the South Florida Legal Guide
- Martindale-Hubbell Rating of AV* (which indicates very high to preeminent legal ability and very high ethical standards as established by confidential opinions from members of the Bar)
Juris Doctor, Masters of Business Administration, 1982
Bachelor of Arts, Economics, 1979
Harvard University Law/Business School
- The Exploding Internet: New Game, New Rules