Gary Poliakoff, Pioneer in Condo Homeowners Association Law

Pioneer in Condo Homeowners Association Law

Gary A. Poliakoff, a co-founder of Fort Lauderdale-based law firm Becker & Poliakoff and pioneer in condominium and homeowner association law, died Friday of complications from cancer. He was 69.

Mr. Poliakoff served as managing shareholder of his firm from its inception in 1973 until 2008.

He and partner Alan Becker helped conceive, draft and pass laws governing shared ownership housing in Florida, the firm said in a news release.

Mr. Poliakoff wrote and lectured on the topic, earning awards and even testifying before the U.S. Senate. He was invited to assist post-Communist countries with their transition from state housing to private ownership.

More recently, Mr. Poliakoff worked as a municipal attorney and helped incorporate his own town of Southwest Ranches. He also taught condo law and practice at Nova Southeastern University.

Colleagues remembered Mr. Poliakoff as smart, hard-driving, entrepreneurial and caring.

“He’s the pioneer and founder of the community association industry for the state of Florida and by extension for the whole country,” said attorney Dennis Eisinger, who works with his own Hollywood firm and represents condo and homeowner groups. “He’s definitely an innovator.”

At Becker & Poliakoff, he developed camaraderie with theater nights, family picnics and the firm’s annual Thanksgiving potluck lunch.

“Gary had the toughness to build and run a large law firm, combined with a rare compassion and caring for the people who worked for the firm and the clients we served,” said Becker.

Mr. Poliakoff earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina and his law degree from the University of Miami, where he met Becker.

He is survived by his wife, Sherri; sons Keith and Ryan and their families.

A funeral service is planned for noon Monday at Temple Sinai in North Miami Beach.

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