Dear Clients, Colleagues and Friends,
First and foremost, Happy New Year! I hope that this note finds you in good health – and in good spirits, now that we’ve left 2020 behind us. What a year it was: from the horrific pandemic to social unrest, from businesses shuttering to a contentious political climate and election season, 2020 was a year many would like to forget/erase/do-over/end. Amidst the challenges and tragedies, though, we have seen incredible strength and resiliency – in our health care workers, our communities, our employees, and our clients. That strength, along with the hope brought by the COVID-19 vaccines and the beginning of a New Year, brings the cautious optimism that 2021 will be better, stronger, healthier, and happier for everyone.
Despite the challenges of the past year, we have been fortunate to have advised clients on numerous projects and helped them to accomplish important goals.
Our LAND USE attorneys have historically been active on behalf of clients attending hearings and public meetings multiple times every week, and the pandemic didn’t stop them; it only changed the method. In the past year, they have represented clients in approximately 170 virtual hearings and nearly a dozen community meetings. They have received approvals for industrial space, retail centers, medical facilities and office space, as well as a number of redevelopment projects.
In what the Orlando Business Journal called one of the biggest deals of the year, our REAL ESTATE team represented a client in the sale of 3,000-plus acres in Daytona Beach. Other projects included mixed use properties, office towers, multi-family communities, affordable housing, and multi-site/multi-state restaurant sales.
Unquestionably, the HOSPITALITY industry suffered tremendous challenges during the past year. Facing multiple convention and group cancellations, our clients looked to us for advice on contractual obligations, including force majeure clauses, leasing, licensing, financing and insurance issues. Certainly, EMPLOYMENT issues were paramount and will continue to be prevalent in every industry. Many clients, facing an uncertain future, turned to our PRIVATE WEALTH SERVICES team for counsel on estate planning, business succession issues and the like.
Despite the economic downturn, our FINANCE, CORPORATE and REAL ESTATE teams collaborated on several multi-million-dollar bond financings, including the development of a SENIOR HOUSING facility and a mineral recovery project.
A few of our clients actually made history this past year. Our CORPORATE attorneys advised a client in a multi-party joint venture ventilator licensing agreement that provided for the mass production of ventilators during the early stages of the pandemic. Our LIFE SCIENCES team welcomed registered patent attorney Clay Shorrock to the firm, who assisted a client with its patents and ultimate FDA Emergency Use Authorization for a COVID-19 diagnostic kit. A multi-discipline team of CORPORATE, SECURITIES and INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY attorneys advised a client with regard to the launch of its telemedicine ophthalmologic screening product. And, we have filed PATENTS on behalf of a client whose composite bridge structure, being tested for a government entity, could change the way bridges are constructed in the future.
Never compromising on our commitment to our clients, we know that many found our many e-blasts and our Coronavirus Resource Center helpful throughout the tumultuous year behind us. Always striving to bring helpful business insights to clients, we launched Lowndes Legal Talk, a series of short interviews highlighting a variety of topics of interest. For specific topics, you are invited to subscribe to any of our informational resources and blogs where we post frequent updates to legal and business issues.
Looking forward, I suspect much of this year will be one of continued transition and disruption, one in which all of us will be resetting our business goals and assessing our future needs and strategies. Our new year’s resolution is to continue helping you and your business succeed, so let us know how we can help you. We look toward 2021 with resilience and optimism.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and be well!
William T. Dymond, Jr.
CEO & President