Lee Nelson is a partner in the Tampa office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where he is a member of the statewide Real Estate Practice Group.

A Martindale Hubbell AV® rated attorney, Lee has been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America® in banking and finance as well as real estate, and has been listed in Florida Super Lawyers for real estate law since 2006.

Lee regularly represents banks, financial institutions, New York Stock Exchange and closely-held companies, as well as multinational, national and local developers in a variety of complex transactional matters. He negotiates, structures and closes deals involving the:

  • sale and acquisition of improved property, such as Class A office buildings, shopping centers and industrial parks;
  • acquisition, financing and development of multi-phased and mixed-use projects;
  • development joint ventures;
  • office, retail and industrial leases;
  • master project permitting and entitlements, including annexations, development agreements and environmental resource permits;
  • construction and working capital lending, as well as debt restructuring;
  • corporate asset sales, acquisition and finance; and,
  • other sophisticated business matters.

Lee is the current president of the Real Estate Investment Council and he previously served as legal counsel for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. He has received the Hillsborough County Bar’s Pro Bono Community Counsel Award and Nehemiah Award for Distinguished Community Service. He's also a regular guest speaker at conferences, recently moderating a panel on the future of construction and development.



  • Wake Forest University, J.D.
    • The Order of Barristers
    • National Trial Team
    • National Moot Court Team
  • Wake Forest University, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Professional and Civic

  • Real Estate Investment Council
    • President, 2016—2017
    • Board Member, 2015—present
  • Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce
    • Co-Chair of International Business Committee, 2016—present
    • Legal Counsel, 2015—2016
    • Board Member, 2012—2016
    • Co-Chair of Public Policy, 2013—2015
  • Downtown Rotary Club of Tampa, 2003—present
  • Board Member, Sunshine State Economic Development Corporation
  • Co-Founder and Board Member, Catholics for Cameroon
  • Director, Executive Board of The Center for Real Estate Education & Research at Florida State University, 2015
  • Former Vice Chairman, Board of the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa
  • Former Executive Council Member, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar

News & Insights


  • Moderator, The Future of Construction and Development in Tampa Bay, hosted by Tampa Bay Business Journal (October 14, 2014)

In The News

News & Speaking Engagements


  • Hillsborough County Bar’s Pro Bono Community Counsel Award
  • Nehemiah Award for Distinguished Community Service
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Rated, 5.0 out of 5.0
  • Best Lawyers in America®,
    • Banking and Finance Law, 2013, 2014, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
    • Real Estate Law, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • Florida Super Lawyers, Real Estate, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • Top Rated Lawyer by Tampa's Legal Leaders, 2013, 2014
  • Tampa Top Lawyer, 2014

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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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