Eleven Attorneys Rated by Chambers and Partners


Eleven attorneys have been named top lawyers by London-based Chambers & Partners in the latest edition of “Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers.” The firm was recognized for excellence in: banking and finance, construction, corporate/M&A, real estate, and zoning/land use.

Shutts & Bowen’s financial services practice has achieved the guide’s highest possible ranking every year since 2003.  In addition, Shutts & Bowen Chairman Bowman Brown has been ranked number one in Florida in the banking and finance practice area since the inception of the U.S. guide.

To determine the rankings, Chambers and Partners conducts independent research that includes extensive telephone interviews over an eight-month period. A team of full-time researchers interviewed business people and lawyers throughout the country to assess the attorneys’ and firm’s legal abilities, professional conduct, client service, diligence, commitment and other qualities most valued by clients.


BOWMAN BROWN, Chairman of the firm’s Executive Committee and Financial Services Practice Group,  has an extensive practice representing domestic, interstate and international banks, broker/dealers and insurance companies, and drafting laws and regulations addressing the development of international banking and insurance in Florida. Chambers quotes that Mr. Brown is widely regarded as "the dean of the Florida banking Bar."

ROD JONES is a partner in the firm’s Financial Services Practice Group. A former Director of Florida's Division of Banking with responsibility for licensing and supervision of state-chartered financial institution of all types, he concentrates on bank regulatory matters, including supervisory compliance and remediation efforts, capital augmentation strategies and disposition of troubled assets, as well as mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions involving financial institutions.


JOHN H. DANNECKER is the Statewide Leader for the firm’s Construction Practice Group. He is Florida Bar Board Certified in Construction Law, a member of the National Association of Home Builders Construction Law Attorney Forum, Associated General Contractors, and Associated Builders & Contractors. He represents clients in construction litigation, contract negotiation and defect and delay litigation. He also works on mold- and mildew-related disputes and has litigated numerous claims involving moisture intrusion, subsurface conditions and pipe failures.  Chambers and Partners quotes interviewees describing him as "a really astute guy."

BRENT C. BELL is a partner in the firm’s Construction Practice Group.   He assists clients with litigation avoidance and also handles disputes through negotiation, mediation, administrative proceedings, arbitration and litigation. He handles cases involving construction defects, lien and bond law, defective products and product liability claims. He also works on contracts, drafting and enforcement. Mr. Bell is a frequent lecturer to audiences in the construction industry. He often speaks on bond and lien laws, construction defects, project delivery systems, the anatomy of construction lawsuits, the fundamentals of construction law and collections.

Corporate M&A and Private Equity

LUIS A. DE ARMAS, is a member of the firm’s Executive and Distributions Committees.  Mr. de Armas has been recognized by Chambers and Partners for his experience with cross-border capital markets and mergers-and-acquisition work, both outbound and inbound.

R. ALAN HIGBEE is the Managing Partner of the firm’s Tampa office.  He represents public and private companies and entrepreneurs in all facets of general business, corporate and securities matters, including public and private equity and debt offerings, mergers and acquisitions, business contracts, business transactions, joint ventures, corporate governance, and franchise matters.  Mr. Higbee’s clients include both domestic and international persons and entities.  Mr. Higbee has significant experience in the restaurant and hospitality, auto dealership, defense, homeland security, fertilizer, agricultural products, chemicals, metals, mining and manufacturing industries.  Chambers quotes sources as saying Mr. Higbee “…is a ‘hugely focused business partner who really understands where the client's coming from.’"


LINDA M. ROBISON is a partner in the firm’s Healthcare Practice Group.  She has more than thirty years experience in private practice, focusing on corporate and securities law matters, including extensive experience representing public and private companies in the healthcare industry and lenders to such companies. Her securities experience encompasses preparation of registration statements for equity and debt offerings as well as exchange offers, private placements, proxy statements, and various other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ms. Robison also routinely represents provider entities in the structuring of joint ventures with referral sources, general fraud and abuse matters, and provider contracting arrangements.  Chambers and Partners quotes interviewees as saying Ms. Robison is "..’a skillful transactional lawyer’ with impressive securities law expertise.”

MARK D. FOLK is a partner in the firm’s Healthcare Practice Group.  He has more than fifteen years experience in private practice, focusing on corporate and securities law matters, including extensive experience representing public and private companies in the healthcare industry.  Mr. Folk’s practice routinely involves the representation of provider entities in structuring contractual arrangements with referral sources, general fraud and abuse matters, and healthcare receivables securitizations.  Chambers and partners quotes referral sources as saying “Folk is ‘really smart and absolutely great with clients.’”

Real Estate

KEVIN D. COWAN is Co-Chairman of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group.  Mr. Cowan’s experience ranges from downtown office or anchor/tenant retail leases to mega yacht marina/mixed-use hotel/retail developments, commercial ground leases and related financing, and large-scale condominium developments. In addition, he represents institutions in connection with the sale or acquisition of office complexes.

MICHAEL J. GRINDSTAFF is a partner in the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group.  His real estate and land use practice focuses on the acquisition, zoning, permitting, development and sale of retail shopping centers, mixed-use developments, residential subdivisions, multi-family apartment complexes, and office buildings.


STEVEN K. BARBER is a partner in the Employee Benefits section of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group.  He has more than 25 years of experience in the areas of ERISA transactional and compliance law and employee benefits law.  Mr. Barber has worked extensively in the design, adoption, operation and administration of employee benefit plans, including preparation of all necessary plan documents.  He has provided counsel to numerous clients on ERISA fiduciary best practices and qualified plan corrections under compliance resolution programs sponsored by the IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor.  He has also represented clients with respect to plan investigations by the Department of Labor and plan examinations by the IRS.

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Shutts & Bowen, established in 1910, is a full-service business law firm with approximately 270 lawyers located in eight offices across Florida.

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