Howard E. Nelson

Partner, Head of Environmental Practice
Area of Focus: Environmental

"He is incredibly versatile in various environmental issues; Howard Nelson is the best environmental lawyer in Florida."
- Chambers USA source

Howard E. Nelson
Partner, Head of Environmental Practice
Howard has more than 30 years of experience in environmental law and land development. He represents clients throughout all phases of the development process from site location through permitting and construction, as well as in permit appeals and defense of environmental enforcement matters.

Howard represents several national homebuilders throughout Florida and the eastern United States in pre-acquisition site analysis and post-acquisition remediation. He works closely with a network of environmental professionals, including engineers and planners. He also represents a variety of other types of businesses in contamination assessment and remediation.
Howard has extensive experience representing clients in complex wetland matters, including issues related to protected and sensitive wetlands, preservation efforts and enforcement defense. 
Q & A
What sets Bilzin Sumberg's environmental practice apart from its competitors?

We really understand the science behind many decisions being made — from chemistry and hydrology to contamination and wetland viability. Everyone on our team has some background in engineering, planning, or science.

How does your background help you in practice today?
Prior to entering private practice, I served as a regional planner for both the South Florida Planning Council and the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. I was also a senior planner for a major South Florida engineering firm. That experience is especially beneficial when I am assisting property owners in navigating the maze of local, state, and federal permitting.
  • Nova Southeastern University, J.D., 1991
    University of Florida, M.A., Urban and Regional Planning, 1985
    University of Florida, B.A., 1980
  • Broward County
    Parks Advisory Board, Vice Chair
    Parks Foundation
    Builders Association of South Florida
    Environmental Subcommittee Co-Chair
    Florida Brownfields Association
    1998 - 2005
    Florida Department of Environmental Protection
    Contaminated Media Forum, 2013 - Present
    Law360 Editorial Advisory Board
    Environmental Issues, 2017
    Leadership Florida
    Class XXXI
    National Association for Industrial and Office Parks
    University of Florida

    Department of Urban and Regional Planning
     Advisory Council Chair
    Bergstrom Real Estate Center
     Advisory Board Member, 2017 - 2018
    Gator Boosters

  • Florida
  • Band 1, Chambers USA, Environmental, 2007 - present

    The Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law, Litigation - Environmental, 2012 - present

    Florida Super Lawyers, 2006 - 2009, 2012 - present

    Builders Association of South FloridaJoseph G. Goldstein Legislative Leadership Award, 2023

    Daily Business Review, Florida Trailblazers, 2019

    Daily Business Review, Top Dealmakers of the Year - Office finalist, 2014

     Florida Trend's Legal Elite, 2013

    Martindale-Hubbell™, Top Rated Lawyer in Land Use & Zoning, 2013

    University of Florida Urban and Regional Planning Distinguished Alumni, 2013

    Daily Business Review, Finalist, Most Effective Lawyers, Environmental Law - 2006, Real Estate - 2010, Government/Regulatory - 2019

    AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell