Land Use Practice Expands with Seven New Attorneys

Press Release
August 9, 2022

August 9, 2022 – Miami, FL – As Florida experiences a steady influx of residents, businesses, and investment, law firm Bilzin Sumberg is expanding its Land Development & Government Relations practice and its Environmental practice to keep pace with demand for its services. The Firm, widely recognized for its market-leading work on some of the largest and most complex real estate and infrastructure developments in South Florida, has added seven attorneys: Krista D. DeCastro, David Jessup, Lauren L. Kahn, Rena Kelley, Nicholas Noto, and Andrés T. Rivero

These additions expand the Firm’s ability to address every facet of a client’s real estate needs – from facilitating inbound investment and transacting financing deals on behalf of developers and joint ventures, to counseling on environmental due diligence, site remediation, and regulatory permitting, to navigating the complex issues involved in condominium terminations, and securing zoning entitlements and structuring infrastructure projects for public and private sector clients. Demand for these services is expected to grow as Florida sees a surge of new companies and residents, with more than 200,000 people relocating to the state in 2021 alone.

Bilzin Sumberg stands at the center of virtually every major project shaping Florida. Current and recent examples include the development and expansion of the privately financed Brightline rail system, the $400 million overhaul of Hard Rock Stadium, and development of The Plaza, which is the largest private development to take shape in the history of Coral Gables. Given Bilzin Sumberg’s in-depth knowledge of the dynamics driving Florida’s key markets, the Firm is often the first choice for those coming into the South Florida market. 

“As new residents and investment dollars pour into South Florida, we have seen demand surge for well-positioned, strategic legal counsel that allows for groundbreaking developments in the region to occur,” says Javier Aviñó, Practice Group Leader for the firm’s Land Development & Government Relations Group, “With the expansion of both our Land Development & Government Relations and Environmental practices, we have further grown our ability to serve the sophisticated investors and developers reshaping local skylines.”

The newest members of Bilzin Sumberg’s Land Development & Government Relations practice include:

Krista D. DeCastro negotiates development agreements for public-private developments and advises clients on the complex ground leases that are at the heart of many P3 projects. Her broad experience covers the acquisition, disposition, and development of real property, including office, retail, industrial, hotel, marina, condominium, residential, and mixed-use properties.

David Jessup focuses his practice on government contracting, environmental site remediation, and environmental regulatory permitting. He is also a key member of the firm’s Resilience and Sustainability Team, which advises clients on risk mitigation and potential business growth opportunities surrounding resiliency and sustainability.

Lauren L. Kahn represents owners and developers before local government boards and regulatory agencies to obtain necessary development approvals for residential, commercial, mixed-use, and workforce housing projects throughout various municipalities within Miami-Dade County. She also has experience handling appellate work in land use and shareholder valuation matters.

Rena Kelley focuses her practice on government contracting and procurement, public-private partnerships, and land use and zoning. She has experience with the submission of planning and zoning applications, compliance with code enforcement, and obtaining government approvals and permits. Rena has represented clients before county and municipal governments and regulatory bodies throughout South Florida. She also handles land use litigation matters at the trial and appellate levels.

Nicholas Noto handles land use, zoning, and government procurement matters for the firm’s clients. He has previously worked as the Assistant City Attorney for the City of Coral Springs, where he served as Board Attorney to the Planning and Zoning Board, the Administrative Zoning Review Committee, and the Stipulated Agreement Administrative Panel. 

Andres T. Rivero represents owners and developers before local government boards and regulatory agencies to obtain necessary development approvals for residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects throughout Miami-Dade County, with a focus on the City of Miami.

About Bilzin Sumberg

Bilzin Sumberg counsels clients whose business and legal opportunities and challenges span the United States and cross borders to Europe, Latin America, Canada, the Middle East, and Asia. The firm's growth has paralleled that of its Miami home base, a region known for its rich cultural, social, and professional diversity. Bilzin Sumberg lawyers concentrate on services at the heart of both regional and international commerce, including real estate, land development and government relations, environmental, corporate law, joint ventures, domestic and international tax and estate planning, business litigation, finance, and public-private partnerships. For more information, please visit

Krista D. DeCastro
Of Counsel
David Jessup, Jr.
Lauren L. Kahn
Of Counsel
Rena Kelley
Of Counsel
Nicholas Noto
Andrés T. Rivero
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