Signaling that the hiring activity in the year-old Tampa office of Shutts & Bowen LLP is far from over, Tampa Office Managing Partner R. Alan Higbee announced today that the statewide law firm recruited prominent real estate attorney Lee E. Nelson as a partner to head Shutts & Bowen’s Real Estate Group in the Tampa Bay region.
“A top-notch senior real estate lawyer with a substantial practice, Lee Nelson is truly one of the area’s leading go-to real estate transactional attorneys,” Higbee said. “He brings to the firm more than 15 years of experience handling a wide variety of complex transactional matters for developers, lenders, landlords and investors who buy, sell, finance, develop and lease real estate. In addition to strengthening our real estate practice locally, Lee rounds out our full-service capabilities in the Tampa Bay region.”
Nelson, 44, is the twenty-first attorney to join Shutts & Bowen’s fast-growing Tampa office, which opened in March 2006 with four lawyers. The Tampa office represents clients in corporate and securities, mergers and acquisitions, government contracts, intellectual property, commercial litigation, real estate, banking, tax, bankruptcy, health care and employment law matters.
“We are particularly delighted to have Lee Nelson join the firm,” said Shutts & Bowen Chairman Bowman Brown. “A number of our real estate lawyers in various offices have dealt with him in the past with regard to major real estate transactions and have found him to be extraordinarily capable. We’ve pursued an arrangement with Lee for some time and cannot imagine a better choice to head our Tampa real estate practice.”
Nelson described himself as a “full-service real estate lawyer with a passion for satisfying clients’ multifaceted legal needs.”
He routinely negotiates and structures a variety of complex deals, including the sale and acquisition of improved property, such as Class-A office buildings, retail centers and industrial parks; the acquisition, financing and development of multi-phased and mixed-use projects; development joint ventures; and office, retail and industrial leases. His experience encompasses master project permitting and entitlements, including annexations, development agreements and environmental resource permits, as well as representation of banks and other financial institutions in site acquisition, complex construction lending, and working capital lending. Nelson also handles debt restructuring for borrowers, private lenders and banks, and represents corporate clients pursuing asset sales, acquisitions, and working capital.
In a recent transaction, Nelson represented the buyer and the managing principal of a joint venture entity in the $36 million acquisition of a regional mall in Pinellas County. He also handled the acquisition, vertical construction and sale of mid-rise buildings in Lee County, and served as developer’s counsel for a $55 million bond financing of a Community Development District (CDD) in Orlando. In another complex transaction, he created a unique partnership between public and private companies in the acquisition of a Development of Regional Impact (DRI).
Nelson noted that he previously had worked closely with attorneys in Shutts& Bowen’s Orlando office on several real estate transactions and was intrigued to learn that the firm had opened a Tampa office.
“Shutts & Bowen offers a terrific statewide platform for me to expand my real estate and general business practice,” Nelson explained. “The firm has a great mix of experienced department heads and talented younger lawyers. In addition, on the business side, Shutts & Bowen is run as a model law firm.”