Miami Beach City Attorney Rafael Paz to Join Bilzin Sumberg

Press Release
February 27, 2024

Miami, FLFebruary 27, 2024 — Bilzin Sumberg, one of Florida’s most prolific law firms, is expanding its team of attorneys with the addition of Rafael Paz, who currently serves as the City Attorney for the City of Miami Beach. Paz will join Bilzin Sumberg as a Partner focused on land use matters, government relations, and public-private partnerships once his tenure as Miami Beach City Attorney ends on May 28, 2024.

In his role as City Attorney for Miami Beach, Paz counsels the City’s Mayor and Commissioners, the City Manager, dozens of administrative departments, and the City’s numerous boards, agencies and advisory committees. His responsibilities include preparing and reviewing legislation, resolutions, contracts, and bonds involving the City, advising on regulatory compliance matters, and overseeing state and federal litigation involving the City.

Paz is the latest high-profile attorney to join Bilzin Sumberg in the last year, following the addition of both Michael A. Hanzman the former Florida Judge who oversaw litigation stemming from the Champlain Towers South collapse, and Joseph Hernandez, one of South Florida’s most active practitioners in real estate development and finance.

“Once I decided to return to private practice, it was clear that Bilzin Sumberg would offer me the best platform for doing the work that I love,” Rafael Paz said. “This move will position me alongside high-quality attorneys leading important real estate and zoning matters on behalf of top-tier clients, both in my community and across Florida.”

Paz joined the City of Miami Beach in 2014 and was appointed City Attorney in 2020. Highlights of his time in office include serving as the lead attorney overseeing the $600 million redevelopment of the Miami Beach Convention Center, the $439 million General Obligation Bond Program approved by voters in 2018, the approval and pre-development of the Grand Hyatt convention hotel, and the City’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also negotiated numerous development agreements, construction agreements, financing documents, leases, and operating and management agreements.

As a Bilzin Sumberg Partner, Paz will focus on guiding transit-oriented and master-planned developments to completion, securing zoning entitlements for commercial and residential projects, and negotiating government contracts for infrastructure projects and public-private partnerships (P3s). The Firm has a long history of representing best-in-class clients across Florida, including Codina Development, Property Markets Group, Miami Worldcenter, Related Development, the Brightline rail system, Gencom, The Miami Dolphins, Starwood Capital Group, Terra, Hyatt Hotels, AMLI Development, and Odebrecht Construction.

“Rafael’s arrival at Bilzin Sumberg will add another layer of depth to our real estate, P3, and land use work,” said Bilzin Sumberg Land Development and Government Relations Practice Group Leader Javier Aviñó. “Rafael’s past experience will be especially valuable to clients navigating municipal governments, undertaking critical infrastructure projects, and transforming neighborhoods through development.”

Prior to his time as the Miami Beach City Attorney, Paz served as senior Counsel for Florida International University from 2007 to 2014. He was an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Miami School of Law from 2003 to 2013, an Assistant County Attorney in the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s Office from 2003 to 2007, and a Judicial Law Clerk to U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham in the Southern District of Florida from 2001 to 2003. He also worked in private practice at several firms, including Akerman and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

Paz earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from Florida International University.

About Bilzin Sumberg
Bilzin Sumberg counsels clients whose business and legal opportunities and challenges span the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, 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 stands at the center of virtually every major transaction shaping Florida and is at the forefront of the state’s most pressing economic issues – from infrastructure, transit and mobility, to affordability and the diversification of the state’s economy. Bilzin Sumberg lawyers concentrate on services at the heart of both regional and international commerce, including real estate, land development and government relations, environmental, construction, corporate and securities, finance, joint ventures, domestic and international tax and private wealth planning, antitrust, business litigation, and public-private partnerships. For more information, please visit

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