Scott E. Atwood, Stockholder, Fort Myers

From complex labor and employment counseling and litigation to general business matters, Scott Atwood has been representing the interests of entrepreneurs, public entities, and businesses of all sizes throughout the United States, including Florida and Georgia, for nearly 25 years. More specifically, Scott has extensive experience in all aspects of employment law, including Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and Section 1983 discrimination, harassment, and retaliation matters, FMLA leave issues, and FLSA and state law wage situations. He also assists his clients in whistleblower claims and non-compete, non-solicitation, trade secret and contract disputes. With regard to general corporate matters, he prepares employment agreements, operating and shareholder agreements, restrictive covenant (non-compete, non-solicitation, confidentiality) agreements, and business contracts.

Scott also brings his expertise as a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator to facilitate a resolution as an alternative to lengthy and expensive litigation. As a member of the Executive Council of the Florida Bar’s Labor and Employment Section, Scott is extremely active in helping formulate and implement legal policy on both the state and local level. He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Florida and Georgia, including U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida.

Scott may be reached at 239-344-1287 or via email at


Katherine E. Cook, Associate, Fort Myers

Katherine “Kati” Cook is an associate in the firm’s Business Litigation department based out of the Fort Myers office. She handles a variety of litigation matters, including FLSA, Title VII, ADA, contract and landlord/tenant disputes, and bankruptcy and creditors’ rights. Kati also provides litigation assistance to the Condominium and Homeowner’s Association Group. She is admitted to practice in all Florida state courts.

While in law school, Kati served as publications editor of Ave Maria Law Review and was a legal intern for United States Middle District of Florida. She graduated top of her class from Ave Maria School of Law, was honored as a Lee County Association for Women Lawyer’s scholarship recipient, and was published in Volume 17 of the Ave Maria Law Review. Kati served as a summer associate with Henderson Franklin during the summer of 2018.

Over the years, Kati has volunteered for the YMCA and Salvation Army. She currently serves on the board of Lee County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division and is a member of the Lee County Association for Women Lawyers.

Kati may be reached at or by phone at 239-344-1364.


Kyle C. Dudek, Stockholder, Fort Myers

Kyle Dudek is stockholder in the Tort & Insurance Litigation division. A large part of his practice is dedicated to serving as counsel for state and municipal entities involved in civil rights litigation. Kyle defends government actors against claims for false arrest, malicious prosecution, excessive force, and retaliation under the First Amendment. In the private sector, Kyle defends individuals and entities in cases involving premises liability, professional malpractice, subrogation rights, automobile liability, and wrongful death.

Kyle may be reached at 239-344-1237 or via email at

Heath E. Gelman, Stockholder, Fort Myers

Heath Gelman is a well-respected and zealous advocate for his clients in and outside of the courtroom. For 20 years, he has been passionately representing individuals and companies in matters of automobile negligence, premises liability, professional liability, first party insurance, and wrongful death.

Heath takes the time to truly listen to his clients’ needs and concerns and offers solutions to meet their goals. While he has the proficiency, skill and experience to try the most complex cases before a jury, Heath takes great pride in negotiating beneficial settlements on behalf of his clients in mediation and alternative dispute resolution to avoid costly litigation.

Heath brings a very unique perspective in evaluating matters, having initially served as defense counsel for a well-known insurance defense firm for the first thirteen years of his career, and then handling plaintiff personal injury matters and first party insurance claims for nearly seven years with one of the largest personal injury firms in the United States. Heath also lectures to diverse audiences on various topics, including the use of store-captured surveillance video in litigation and the best practices to handle multiple competing claims with minimal policy limits.

Heath may be reached at 239-344-1273 or via email at


Gregory Herman-Giddens, Stockholder, Naples

Gregory Herman-Giddens provides his clients with customized estate and trust planning and administration services, including creation of irrevocable trusts, estate, gift, fiduciary and individual income tax planning and compliance matters, taxation of deferred compensation, small business and nonprofit organization formation, trust modification and decanting, and trust protector services. He is a regular speaker at continuing education programs and frequently serves as an expert witness throughout the United States in trust and estate lawsuits.

Greg is a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law (North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization), a Certified Financial Planner™, a Registered Trust and Estate Practitioner (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), and is a member of WealthCounsel, LLC. He is qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales and is admitted to practice in North Carolina, Florida, New York and Tennessee. Greg also serves on the Carolina Meadows Board of Directors in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Greg received his B.A. from the University of North Carolina, his J.D. from Tulane University School of Law, and his LL.M. (Estate Planning) from the University of Miami School of Law.

Greg may be reached at 239-344-1240 or by email at

Erin E. Houck-Toll, Stockholder, Fort Myers

Erin Houck-Toll serves as chair of Henderson Franklin’s Mergers & Acquisitions, Business Organizations & Planning, Tax, and Intellectual Property practice areas. She is a dual Florida Bar Board Certified Health and Tax attorney, one of only three in the entire state of Florida. She concentrates her practice in the areas of federal and state taxation, including representing taxpayers before the IRS and Florida Department of Revenue. Erin also assists clients in many aspects of business planninghealth care law matters, mergers and acquisitions, and intellectual property issues. She also represents nonprofits and tax exempt organizations in various matters, including assisting in initial organization and obtaining tax exempt status. Erin is admitted to practice in the State of Florida and before the United States Tax Court.

Erin may be reached at 239-344-1296 or via email at

David J. Ledermann, Of Counsel, Fort Myers

David Ledermann brings twenty-plus years of experience in the employee benefits field. His representations involve tax-qualified retirement plans and nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements, as well as group health plans and other employer-provided welfare benefit plans. David addresses benefits issues from plan design, drafting and implementation to dealing with the complexities of benefits programs in the context of business mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations and other transactions.

A significant part of David’s practice involves advising clients concerning compliance with the myriad complexities of the two principal federal laws affecting the provision of employee benefits, ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act) and the Internal Revenue Code. He represents clients before government agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

David attended Oakland University (B.S., magna cum laude) and Michigan State University (M.S., Physics) before earning his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, and subsequently, an advanced degree from the University of Miami School of Law (LL.M., Taxation). He is admitted to practice in Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

David may be reached at 239-344-1192 or by email at


Mark A. Nieds, Associate, Fort Myers

Mark Nieds concentrates his practice on intellectual property and Internet matters with specific emphasis on trademarks, copyright, trade secret protection, franchising, privacy and data protection.

For over twenty years he has advised clients on domestic and international intellectual property issues, including new product launches, corporate rebranding projects, acquisitions and licensing.

In addition to intellectual property, Mark’s practice also encompasses digital and internet-related legal issues where he assists clients with the creation and implementation of privacy policies, terms of use agreements, user agreements, GDPR and DMCA compliance. He also counsels clients on data protection and data breach response matters. Mark also works with clients to develop comprehensive intellectual property and trade secret protection strategies.  He represents clients in licensing transactions as well as franchising by assisting both franchisors and franchisees.

Mark may be reached at 239-344-1153 or via email at


Amanda J. Sharkey Ross, Stockholder, Fort Myers

Amanda Ross focuses her litigation practice in the areas of transportation (automobile, marine, trucking liability), premises liability, negligent security, wrongful death, construction litigation and product liability. Prior to joining Henderson Franklin, Amanda worked in the Miami area and handled maritime and admiralty defense, as well as vessel and yacht purchase and sale transactions. Amanda is fluent in both English and Spanish.

Amanda may be reached at 239-344-1249 or via email at


Guy E. Whitesman, Stockholder, Fort Myers

Guy Whitesman is an active member and the past chair of the Tax Section of The Florida Bar. He is Board Certified in Tax Law and is a past chairman of Tax Law Certification Committee which oversees the board certification process.  Guy is previous chair of Henderson Franklin’s Mergers & Acquisitions, Business Organizations & Planning, Tax, and Intellectual Property practice areas. He concentrates his practice in mergers and acquisitions, business organization operations and planning, taxation, estate planning and health care law.

Guy frequently writes and speaks on issues regarding taxation, business, and estate planning to members of the public, as well as to accountants and attorneys through Florida Bar and other nationally recognized continuing legal education programs.

Guy may be reached at 239-344-1180 or via email at