Construction projects are complicated beasts, and disputes are all too common. When you have a legal dispute over the scope of work or want to foreclose on a mechanics lien, it helps to have an experienced construction attorney in your corner. Below is our list of the top construction lawyers in the Tampa area.
Why construction lawyers are important
As you know, the construction industry is seldom black-and-white, and the laws surrounding it aren’t either. In fact, the term construction industry can be misleading. That’s because each contract and project requires the cooperation of contractors from several different industries to bring it to completion—be it plumbers, electricians, carpenters, architects, designers, and more. Just like the “construction industry,” construction law is made up of several different specialties. These specialties could include contract law, environmental, employment, insurance, real estate, torts, payment disputes, litigation, etc.
When you combine all the different layers and peculiarities that come with the construction industry, it should come as no surprise that construction lawyers are vital to contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, owners, and every other party that’s involved in a given project.
Learn more about what construction lawyers do — and when you might need one.
The top construction lawyers in Tampa, FL
The attorneys on this list were selected because they meet a significant number of the below criteria:
- Focus their practice on the construction industry
- Work on cases in southwest Florida
- Are thought leaders in construction law
- Hold a Construction Law Certification from the Florida Bar Association
- Actively seek to help answer contractor questions about getting paid in Florida
Jason S. Lambert
Jason S. Lambert is an associate at Nelson Mullins, a Tampa law firm that specializes in construction law among many other industries. Jason graduated cum laude with a JD from Stetson University College of Law in 2012, and has over a decade of experience in the construction industry prior to joining the team at Nelson Mullins.
Jason’s specialty lies in the construction and real estate industries. His clients include contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, developers, and other related financial institutions.
On top of that, he’s recently been appointed as president of the Tampa Bay area chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), a “homeowners’ resource for finding quality contractors, design-build firms, suppliers, and other related professionals in the area,” according to the NARI website. Jason is also on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County.
Jason is an active member of Levelset’s Expert Center. He has answered over 67 questions (and counting) from contractors that are struggling to get paid. Here are two recent answers Florida contractors:
- What are the rules for withholding retainage on architect and engineer designers?
- Can I file a mechanics lien if the property was already sold?
David M. Adelstein
David M. Adelstein’s experience in Florida construction law spans several trades and benefits the many contractors, subcontractors, developers, suppliers, designers, and more. He’s a partner at Kirwin Norris, a law firm dedicated to representing parties involved in any area of the construction industry. Over the course of David’s successful career at Kirwin Norris, he’s helped his clients with bid protests, payment disputes, insurance coverage disputes, lien and payment bond claims, construction licencing issues, OSHA issues, and much, much more.
David is an established thought-leader in the Tampa construction industry. He’s the publisher for the Florida Construction Legal Updates blog, an accomplished construction ebook writer, webinar host.
David got his B.A. from Florida Atlantic University in 1999 and graduated cum laude from the Florida State University College of Law in 2003.David is an active member of the Expert Center. He has earned a 5-star rating for his helpfulness and knowledge of the issues that construction companies face on a daily basis. Here’s a sample of the questions David has answered recently:
- Is our 90 day lien deadline based on the last completion date, or does each project phase have a 90 day deadline?
- How is the Notice of Nonpayment Due used in conjunction with the Claim of Lien?
Bret M. Feldman
Bret M. Feldman is a partner at the Phelps Law Firm in Tampa, Florida. He’s a board-certified construction lawyer that practices in construction and commercial litigation. His specialty is resolving construction disputes for a broad range of clients, including project developers, engineers, architects, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and more.
Along with negotiating and drafting construction contracts, Bret assists his clients with claims of breach of contract, breach of warranty, design or construction defects, insurance coverage and defense, prosecution and defense of lien claims, and much more. Bret is Certified in Construction Law by the Florida Bar Association and Construction Law Certified by the American Bar Association.
Bret graduated with honors from the University of Florida in 2000, earning both his M.A. in journalism and his J.D. in the same year.
Seth M. Schimmel
Seth M. Schimmel is also a partner at the Tampa-based Phelps Law Firm, and specializes in construction and commercial litigation. Seth primarily represents engineers, architects, commercial and residential developers, owners, and general contractors. He helps his clients with a wide range of services, including construction defect and delay claims, professional liability, errors, and omissions, warranty claims, drafting and negotiating construction contracts, and counseling his clients on their administrations.
Seth graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in history from Tufts University in 1990, and he earned his J.D. from the Vanderbilt University Law School in 1993. Seth is a regular speaker at legal events for the construction industry, such as the ABA Forum on Construction Law.
Trent Cotney is the CEO at Cotney Construction Law, where he employs his vast experience in the construction industry to help Tampa contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, manufacturers, architects, developers, and others conquer any legal or administrative challenges they may face. He earned his B.S. at Vanderbilt University summa cum laude with high honors in 1996 and his J.D. from Vanderbilt in 1999, graduating on the Dean’s List.
Trent is deeply involved in a high number of professional construction groups, including:
- Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal Association
- Florida Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Association
- Tennessee Association of Roofing Contractors
- Roofing Technology Think Tank
Additionally, Trent is Board Certified by the Florida Bar Association in Construction Law, an American Arbitration Association Construction Mediator, a Member of the AAA Panel of Construction Arbitrators, and has OSHA Safety Training and HAZWOPER Certification.
Scott S. Amitrano
Scott S. Amitrano is a shareholder at Banker Lopez Gassler, Attorneys at Law. Scott specializes in construction defect litigation, commercial litigation, products liability, professional liability, and insurance defense claims.
At Banker Lopez Gassler, he’s represented countless Florida owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, manufacturers, and design professionals in a number of cases involving construction-related disputes on both private and public projects across the Sunshine State. Scott earned his J.D. from the Rutgers School of Law in 2011 and graduated cum laude with a B.A. from Montclair State University in 2007.
Scott is Board Certified in Construction Law by the Florida Bar Association and AV Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Kenneth M. Curtin
Kenneth M. Curtin is a partner at Adams and Reese, LLP with over 20 years of experience in representing developers, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, temporary help agencies, architects, engineers, and many other parties involved in the construction industry. Ken got his B.A. from the University of South Florida in 1991, his M.B.A. from Florida Atlantic University in 1999, and his J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law in 1996.
As a construction lawyer in Tampa, Ken is a Florida Super Lawyer®️ in Business and Construction Litigation, and is certified in Construction Law by the Florida Bar Association.
Ken wears many hats at Adams and Reese. As a litigator, his services include representing his clients’ interests before the Florida Department of Business, the Construction Industry Licensing Board, the Board of Architecture and Interior Design, and the Division of Real Estate. He also helps his clients with complex disputes, high-end insurance defense, construction defect cases, commercial hazards, industrial accidents, drafting contracts, and clean-up to prevent issues down the road.
Hardy Roberts is a trial lawyer at Carey, O’Malley, Whitaker, Mueller, Roberts, & Smith P.A., Attorneys at Law. His specialty lies in helping his clients through multi-layered commercial disputes, mainly in construction litigation and regulation.
Hardy is deeply involved in Florida construction law, having spoken at events such as the American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law, the Construction Management Association of America at Tampa, the Construction Licensing Officials Association of Florida, the Florida Bar Construction Law Committee Seminar, and many more.
Hardy is Board Certified by the Florida Bar Association in Construction Law and the Co-Vice Chair of the Construction Law Committee.
Edward O. Savitz
Edward O. Savitz is a shareholder at Bush Ross Attorneys at Law in Tampa, and has been in the legal practice for almost 40 years.Edward got his B.A. at Duke in 1969 and graduated with honors and a J.D. from the University of Florida in 1974.
Edward assists his clients with issues involving construction litigation, franchise litigation, intellectual property litigation, and more.
Mr. Savitz is a Charter Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America, an affiliate member of the American Institute of Architects, and an allied member of the Tampa Bay Chapter and Florida Association of the AIA.
On top of that, he’s been recognized by Best Lawyers in America®️ and has received their “Lawyer of the Year” award for Construction Litigation Practice in 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2019.
Daniel L. Saxe
Daniel L. Saxe is a partner at Saady & Saxe, P.A. Attorneys at Law. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY, New Paltz, New York. He then attended Western New England University Law School, where he was a member of the Western New England University Law Review.
He has more than 37 years of experience in construction law, and he specializes in representing clients in claims relating to the Fair Housing Act, insurance agents, and construction law and litigation. Additionally, he helps his clients draft commercial contracts, navigate commercial business disputes, and manage accounting malpractice.
Before joining the team of attorneys in Tampa, he served as an adjunct professor at Stetson Law School, creating and teaching a course on contract and construction law. Daniel regularly lectures at various contracting associations and trade groups.
Get answers to payment questions in Tampa and beyond
As you can see, there’s no shortage of highly-qualified and capable construction lawyers in Tampa, Florida. We hope this list has helped you orient yourself with the legal talent that’s at your disposal.
Construction professionals use the Levelset Payment Help Center to get answers to their payment questions from top construction lawyers in Tampa and around the nation. When you have a question about getting paid for the work you do, the experts on this Q&A platform are available to help. They can give contractors specialized, local knowledge that allows you to make more informed decisions and tackle your issue with confidence.