Johnson Pope

Johnson Pope is a full-service, Tampa Bay-based law firm with offices in Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg. Johnson Pope’s more than 100 lawyers represent professional individuals, closely held businesses and publicly traded corporations in a wide array of legal specialties including complex commercial transactions and high stakes litigation. Regularly named one of the best law firms in the Tampa Bay area and the state of Florida, Johnson Pope offers uniquely specialized legal services to discerning clients who seek the highly quality of legal representation. The firm has served the businesses of Tampa Bay and beyond for more than 50 years.

Steve Pratico, Esq.

Steve Pratico is a commercial litigator with more than 20 years of experience prosecuting and defending complex business disputes on behalf of his clients. His practice focuses on multi-million-dollar business torts, breach of contract matters, real estate litigation and construction disputes. Steve’s list of clients includes global pharmaceutical companies, Florida’s largest real estate developers, and mid-to-large scale corporations operating in a host of industries. Steve is widely recognized as a leading commercial litigator in Florida and is named among The Best Lawyers in America© in the Commercial Litigation category.

In addition to being a married father of four, Steve is an avid outdoorsman and serves the community as a board member of the following not-for-profits: Tampa Bay Economic Development Corp., ReliaQuest Bowl; AdventHealth Hospital; Pasco Sheriff’s Charities; and the Wesley Chapel Youth Hockey Foundation.

Steve Pratico, Esq.

Hancock Askew

Hancock Askew is full-service tax, accounting, audit and advisory firm. The firm provides professional services that include tax planning and compliance, financial statement audits, outsourced accounting, employee benefit plan audits, state and local tax consulting, tax credits and business incentives advisory, risk assurance and internal audit, SOC examinations, transaction advisory, business valuations and other critical business consulting services. Hancock Askew has a staff of over 275 professionals across offices in Florida (Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando) and Georgia (Savannah, Atlanta, Augusta). The firm works with an array of clients ranging from emerging businesses to large corporations, nonprofit organizations to publicly traded companies and high net worth individuals. Hancock Askew is an independent member of the BDO Alliance USA. For more information about Hancock Askew, visit

C.J. Evans, Jr.

C.J. Evans is a Director with the State and Local Tax (SALT) team at Hancock Askew. With more than 25 years of SALT experience, he combines his accounting experience and legal expertise to ensure his clients minimize state and local tax and maximize business incentives offered by federal, state, and local jurisdictions.

C.J. specializes in providing economic development/site selection consulting services to companies opening new facilities or expanding existing operations. He secures business incentives for job creation and capital investment, including cash grants, property tax reductions, sales tax reductions, infrastructure grants, and utility rate reductions. Guiding companies through every step of the economic development/site selection process, C.J. provides site location financial analysis and serves as a liaison with state and local economic development and governmental representatives. He also manages the compliance process.

Additionally, C.J. works with other Hancock Askew SALT professionals to assist companies with federal and state tax credits, state income tax, sales and use tax, and real or personal property tax consulting.

C.J. joined Hancock Askew at the firm’s Tampa office in August 2022. Previously, he was a Managing Director at Savills, a leading global commercial real estate services company. He also has held leadership positions at Merit Advisors, Ryan, and Ernst & Young.

C.J. is a member of the International Professionals in Taxation. He also serves as Treasurer of the Alpha Eta House Corporation of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at the University of Florida.

C.J. Evans, Jr.

Husch Blackwell

Husch Blackwell is a different kind of law firm built on long-term partnerships and a culture of selfless service. We help clients achieve business success by providing leading legal strategies, creative solutions that blend technology and teamwork, and more than 900 attorneys who deliver unmatched personal service in uncommon ways.

Unlike other national firms, Husch Blackwell is structured top to bottom around client industries so teams with diverse experience across practice areas can readily tap collective knowledge and resources to help our clients solve the world’s most complex challenges. Everything we do is designed to make it easy for clients to do business with our firm.

  • We are the only law firm to be recognized by both the CLOC LIO Project and ACC Value Champion award series for our ability to deliver legal solutions that cut spending, improve predictability and achieve better outcomes.
  • We are among only 7% of all law firms using artificial intelligence tools that also staff an in-house Data Science team to elevate the design of new solutions.
  • In 2022, our firm achieved a world-class Net Promoter Score® (85), far exceeding the industry average (32).
  • The Link – the Am Law 200’s first and widely renowned all-virtual office recognized by The Wall Street Journal – is changing the way we work for the better. The office has rapidly grown to include 200+ attorneys and 600+ total members located across 35+ states.
  • Inclusion is an important value of how we do business and an integral part of our outreach efforts, operations and strategic plans, and we are proud to have been recognized for our efforts with Mansfield Certification Plus for four consecutive years and a perfect score on Corporate Equality Index for seven consecutive years.

Jamie Lawless

Over the course of a 25-year career in the professional services industry, Jamie has developed a keen awareness that client service and satisfaction are the foundation of any firm’s success. She has routinely been tasked with envisioning, building, and implementing service delivery models that challenge existing approaches and that drive institutional excellence.As Husch Blackwell’s Chief Executive-elect—she will assume the Chief Executive role on February 1, 2024—Jamie works side by side with the firm’s current chief executive and others in firm leadership to guide the firm’s strategic direction and operations. As Chief Executive, Jamie will direct and oversee the overall performance, profitability, and finances of the firm, leading nearly 2,000 partners, attorneys, and business professionals. She will implement and execute the firm’s existing three-year strategic plan and play a principal role in the next strategic planning cycle. Jamie will lead all the firm’s management and administrative departments and oversee the initiatives and strategies implemented at the business-unit level by the firm’s six business units.Before joining Husch Blackwell, Jamie spent a decade at Baker McKenzie, where she built from the ground up a business and alternative legal services center that served each of that firm’s 74 offices across 45 countries. During her tenure there, Jamie held many leadership roles, including Chief Operating Officer for offices in Washington and New York, two of the country’s leading legal markets, while leading global modernization projects and earning the trust of lawyers, which enabled her to serve on the firm’s Global Leadership Team, Global Risk Committee, and North America Inclusion, Equity & Diversity Committee.

Jamie Lawless
Chief Executive Elect

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Bradley is a national law firm with a reputation for skilled legal work, exceptional client service, and impeccable integrity. We provide business clients around the world with a full suite of legal services in dozens of industries and practice areas.

With 10 offices located in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and the District of Columbia, we have an extensive geographic base to represent clients on a regional, national, and international basis. We frequently serve as national coordinating counsel, regional counsel, and statewide counsel for clients in various industries.

Although Bradley is a large law firm with almost 600 lawyers, our clients still enjoy the personal attention, responsiveness, and deep relationships they would expect from a boutique firm. Our attorneys combine legal experience and knowledge with a sophisticated understanding of industries to find practical, strategic solutions specifically tailored to our clients’ business operations. Bradley lawyers use their talents, judgment, work ethic, and experience to go above and beyond expectations to help clients meet their goals.

Bradley’s Economic Development Experience

Bradley handles projects throughout the U.S., representing companies with a creative, proactive approach that is fundamentally multidisciplinary. The 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America includes nine Bradley attorneys listed for Economic Development and the firm is listed nationally for Economic Development Law.

We empower our clients by lending our experience to a project from any stage of the development. From the outset, we lead a process that leads to identifying the location that is most profitable for the company. We routinely assist the client’s site selection team, not only in connection with identifying and implementing the economic development incentives, but also in the many aspects of the new project or expansion, including real estate, tax, governmental, planning and zoning, environmental, permitting, financing, labor and employment, and construction.

We are also experienced and staffed to assist companies in connection with expansions and new projects that may be relatively small in terms of capital investment and job creation, but significant for the company.

Bradley has handled economic development deals in thirty-one states.  Our services include the following.

  • Our multidisciplinary efforts integrate experience in real estate and construction, utilities and environmental work, corporate and employment law, and tax incentives.
  • We routinely handle related tax matters at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • We provide experienced interaction with government developers at the state, county, and city levels, including economic and community development groups, chambers of commerce, industrial development boards, power companies, and utility providers.
  • We advocate for clients before governmental agencies in negotiating approvals for various incentives.
  • We have experience in large land assemblies for industrial parks; megasite programs; and all aspects of permitting, entitlements, land use, industrial development revenue, and municipal financing.
  • We help clients facing ongoing disputes in states with viable project sites resolve issues and maximize the number of options available during the decision-making process.

To learn more, visit

Ben Dachepalli

Ben Dachepalli has extensive experience negotiating and drafting construction-related agreements, and litigating complex construction claims regarding contract disputes, construction defects, design errors, surety bonds and construction liens. He is dedicated to understanding each client’s business to provide comprehensive strategies that go beyond legal issues, disputes or contracts.

Ben is board certified by the Florida Bar in Construction Law. He was selected as national coordinating counsel for a large, publicly traded REIT with projects all across the United States. In this role, Ben advised and counseled this client on matters that affect their multi-family apartment projects across their entire portfolio and addresses legal issues that are critical to executing the company’s strategic business goals.

As a former board member of the Construction Industry Licensing Board for the State of Florida, Ben is also experienced in licensing matters and disputes for contractors and subcontractors.

Ben Dachepalli

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie helps clients overcome the challenges of competing in the global economy. We solve complex legal problems across borders and practice areas. Our unique culture, developed over 65 years, enables our 13,000 people to understand local markets and navigate multiple jurisdictions, working together as trusted colleagues and friends to instill confidence in our clients. Baker McKenzie chose Tampa for the site of its new Global Services Center, the first of its kind in North America, following the success of similar sites in the Philippines and Northern

Renee Agler

Renee Agler is currently the Executive Director for Baker McKenzie’s global service center in Tampa and a member of the Firm’s global leadership team. Renee played a key role in building the center from the ground floor and is responsible for providing overall strategic direction to the Center, enabling employees to deliver high-quality business services for the Firm’s stakeholders.

Prior to the Executive Director role, Renee was a seasoned HR leader with a demonstrated history of successfully deploying change management initiatives, executive coaching, and building and implementing HR strategies. Renee is a passionate business leader and strategic influencer who brings an innovative mindset to business issues. Renee believes in creating inclusive workplaces where employees have a sense of belonging and promotes an environment that accepts diverse backgrounds as a way to generate creative and innovative ideas.

Before joining Baker McKenzie, Renee held various HR roles at Raymond James, Charles Schwab, EverBank (now TIAA), and Bank of America.

Renee is passionate about giving back to the community and creating career pathways for future leaders, as evidenced by her roles on the Board of Directors of FL Gulf Coast of Alzheimer’s and the HR Advisory Board for Florida State University. Additionally, Renee contributes to the economic prosperity of Tampa Bay by serving as a member of the Competitiveness Committee with the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council.

Renee has an MBA and is Greenbelt certified.

Renee Agler
Executive Director, Tampa Center




Founded in 1985, the Tampa office of Shumaker has experienced tremendous growth since its inception. Shumaker is the largest business law and government affairs firm on the west coast of Florida, with over 120 attorneys and 20 government relations specialists. A difference maker in the Tampa Bay community, Shumaker helps our clients navigate the legal, political, and community landscapes to achieve success.

Ron Christaldi

Ron Christaldi is the Managing Partner of Shumaker’s Tampa office, the President/CEO of Shumaker Advisors Florida, and the Secretary/Treasurer of the Tampa Bay EDC. A hardworking and intensely prepared attorney, Ron is known for connecting and building relationships within the community. He has a broad practice comprised of both transactions and complex litigation; colleagues and clients alike describe Ron as an indispensable part of their team when they want to get a big deal done, prevail in complicated litigation, or solve a complex problem. Ron is proud and honored to give back to the community he loves and has served a variety of organizations in a leadership capacity.

Ron Christaldi
Managing Partner

Holland & Knight

Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers, providing representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law. Interdisciplinary practice groups and industry-based teams provide clients with access to attorneys throughout the firm. With more than 400 lawyers in its litigation section, the firm is engaged in a broad range of civil and white collar litigation in U.S. federal and state courts. Holland & Knight’s Business Section has more than 300 lawyers and advises local, national and international clients on a broad range of matters and business transactions. With more than 240 lawyers and professionals, their Real Estate Section is one of the largest of any U.S. law firm. Their Government Section has more than 100 attorneys and professionals engaged in federal, state, local and tribal government affairs, regulatory counseling and related disciplines.

Gov. Bob Martinez

Former Governor of Florida Bob Martinez is a senior policy advisor with Holland & Knight’s Public Policy & Regulation Practice Group and is co-chair of the firm’s Florida Government Advocacy Team. Martinez is one of Florida’s most respected leaders, and his distinguished career in public service spans more than 40 years. Career highlights include serving in the following positions: Cabinet-level office as the nation’s second Drug Czar under President George H.W. Bush from 1991-1993, Governor of Florida from 1987-1991, Mayor of the City of Tampa from 1979-1986 and Vice Chairman of the Southwest Water Management District from 1975-1979. Martinez is known for his creation of effective environmental protection programs such as Preservation 2000, the largest conservation land-purchasing initiative in the nation of its time. He is also recognized for his focus on drug control and his commitment to public education.

Gov. Bob Martinez
Senior Policy Advisor

Carlton Fields

Carlton Fields serves business clients in key industries across the country and around the globe. Through their core practices, they help their clients grow their businesses and protect their vital interests. Their national and international litigation teams handle the most complex business trials, arbitrations and appeals. They have deep experience in the defense of class actions and mass actions, white collar representation, high-stakes business litigation and government investigations. The cases they handle cut across every subject area, including consumer and business fraud, FCPA enforcement, contracts, shareholder disputes, antitrust, insurance, securities, products liability, construction, real estate, creditors’ rights and bankruptcy, labor and employment, intellectual property, health care, telecommunications and federal and state governmental disputes. Carlton Fields also advises clients on sophisticated business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, securities compliance and disclosures, tax planning, ERISA, capital formation, debt financing, corporate governance and transactions and cyber security concerns.

Gary Sasso

Gary Sasso represents business clients in securities fraud and consumer fraud class actions and other complex litigation at the trial and appellate level, in the financial services industry, energy sector, products manufacturing industry, and services sector. Gary has tried cases in the areas of securities fraud, business contracts, product liability, professional malpractice, employment discrimination and termination, eminent domain, bankruptcy, construction, administrative law, and land use in Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Gary has argued appeals on diverse issues including business fraud, federal and state constitutional claims, product liability, personal injury, insurance coverage, national bank regulation, employment discrimination, federal occupational safety and health regulation, eminent domain, county taxation, and public utilities law.

Before joining the firm in 1987, Gary worked as a law clerk for Justice Byron R. White of the U.S. Supreme Court, and as a law clerk for Judge Spottswood W. Robinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Gary Sasso
President and CEO

Greenberg Traurig



Greenberg Traurig, P.A. (GT) is an international law firm with approximately 2,000 attorneys and governmental affairs professionals in more than 38 locations in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.  GT provides integrated, business-focused legal services for clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to innovative start-ups, with a focus on efficient, effective strategic advice and legal services.  Their multidisciplinary team includes lawyers who have been the chief legal officers at major multinational companies and have spent years solving real-world problems in the business, political, and legal arenas.  GT’s Central Florida practice, which includes offices in Tampa and Orlando, provides a broad array of services, including corporate law, federal & state taxation, health care, labor & employment, intellectual property & technology, real estate, land use & zoning, environmental, construction, bankruptcy & creditors’ rights, and a broad range of civil and criminal litigation, trial and appellate practice in state and federal courts.

David Weinstein

David Weinstein has an active civil and white-collar litigation practice, with an emphasis on business, environmental, real estate, health care, and other challenging matters. Weinstein has significant “first-chair” trial experience in jury and non-jury trials, as well as arbitrations. He is listed in Band 1 of Chambers USA Guide, which describes him as “a really fabulous lawyer . . . well-liked by clients . . . the kind of guy you would want leading the charge if you had a problem.”  He is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America, The Legal 500 United States, and Who’s Who Legal.  Florida Trend magazine—which inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2010 recognizes David as one of “Florida’s Legal Elite.”  The Tampa Bay Business Journal selected him in 2005 for its “Who’s Who in Business in the Tampa Bay Area.”

Weinstein has a long record of service to the community, including serving on the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, and WEDU.  A fourth degree black belt, he served as the senior instructor of Tampa Moo Duk Kwan, a not-for-profit martial arts club.

David Weinstein
Managing Shareholder