Attorney Intel is pleased to announce The Top 50 Attorneys of Tampa for 2022. Florida is home to over 100,000 members of The Florida Bar, and many well-established and diverse law firms both which are vital to the individuals within the state. Tampa is the third most popular city for the state of Florida and some of the top attorneys reside in this area. This year’s attorneys and their firms service clients in various capacities by providing world class client service and legal representation. Their focus areas range from the business industry to healthcare to real estate, and much more.
Among this year’s awardees are Troy Carnite, Attorney of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, who focuses on mergers and acquisitions and represents both public and private companies; Elizabeth Jozsi, Attorney of Ogletree Deakins, where she is a member of the labor and employment practice group and is dedicated to providing her clients with quality service; and Brian Brijbag, Associate General Counsel of Corin Group, who focuses on health policy, compliance and practice within the firm.
These experienced professionals showcase their skills and knowledge to allow them to excel not only in their field, but for their clients as well. Please join us in celebrating their achievement in The Top 50 Attorneys of Tampa for 2022.
1. Troy Carnrite
Attorney of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings
Troy Carnrite is an Attorney of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, a national law firm with a reputation for skilled legal work, exceptional client service, and impeccable integrity. They provide business clients around the world with a full suite of legal services in dozens of industries and practice areas. Their 10 offices are in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and the District of Columbia, giving them an extensive geographic base to represent clients on a regional, national, and international basis. The firm frequently serves as national coordinating counsel, regional counsel, and statewide counsel for clients in various industries. Carnrite has 14 years of experience. He began his career in 2008.
Before joining Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, Carnrite was an attorney at Hodgson Russ LLP. Carnrite graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with a JD, and from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in applied economics and management.
2. Elizabeth Lanier
Attorney of Cole Scott and Kissane P.A.
Elizabeth Lanier began her professional career 21 years ago. Today, she is an Attorney of Cole Scott and Kissane P.A. The firm provides their clients with experienced counsel and services in numerous areas of the law. To better serve their clients, they have made a major commitment to utilize the best available technology in their practice of law. They believe this will enable them to deliver more organized and efficient service. Successful litigators know there is no substitute for thorough research, preparation, and management of information.
Lanier first got her start in 2001 as an attorney at Preston and Cowan, LLP. From there, she went on to Helms & Greene, LLC, before eventually rising to attorney at Gunn Law Group. Lanier graduated from Emory University School of Law with a JD and from Kennesaw State University with an undergraduate degree in nursing.
3. Ella Shenhav
Partner and Attorney of Shutts and Bowen
Ella Shenhav began her professional career 22 years ago. Today, she is a Partner and Attorney of Shutts and Bowen, a Florida-based law firm representing individuals and business entities nationally and internationally. They provide quality legal representation, combining their commitment to client service with the latest innovations in the practice of law.
Shenhav first got her start in 2000 as a recruit coordinator at Israeli Defense Forces. From there, she went on to Broadcast Data Consultants, Inc., before eventually rising to associate at Mintz Levin, her most recent position prior to joining Shutts and Bowen. Shenhav graduated from Harvard Law School with a JD and from the University of South Florida with an undergraduate degree in criminology.
4. Kent Ihrig
Attorney at Law of Shumaker Loop and Kendrick
Kent Ihrig is an Attorney at Law of Shumaker Loop and Kendrick. He first joined the company in 2001. Founded in 1925, the Shumaker team of more than 270 lawyers and advisors is a premier provider of legal and legislative solutions, focused on being a positive and impactful difference maker for its clients and in the communities they serve. The firm is involved in their communities and supports many professional and community activities and organizations.
Previously, Ihrig was a partner at Broad and Cassel and before that a managing shareholder at Anderson and Orcutt, P.A. Earlier in his career he worked with Anderson, Thorn, Grose and Quesada, P.A. as an associate. Ihrig earned a JD from Washington and Lee University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of South Florida.
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5. Richard Hanchett
Employment Law Attorney of Trenam Kemker
Richard Hanchett began his professional career 35 years ago. Today, he is an Employment Law Attorney of Trenam Kemker, serving the needs of their clients in the Tampa Bay community with offices in Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida. They have over eighty attorneys practicing in multiple practice groups, all sharing the goal of working with clients to establish cost-effective, highly automated and responsive representation. Their attorneys value relationships over projects, and they strive in all instances to be not just attorneys, but reliable partners and trusted advisors to their clients. Founded in 1970, Trenam has evolved to meet the changing needs of their clients. Their flexibility has allowed the firm to develop and retain clients, both large and small, across a wide range of industries including retail, real estate, development, banking, manufacturing, chemical, financial services and technology.
Hanchett graduated from Yale Law School with a JD and from the University of Massachusetts with an undergraduate degree.
7. Elizabeth Jozsi
Labor and Employment Attorney of Ogletree Deakins
Elizabeth Jozsi is a Labor and Employment Attorney of Ogletree Deakins, one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters. The firm has a reputation for legal excellence and responsive client service. Ogletree Deakins' labor and employment practice is complemented and supported by related practice groups in the areas of business immigration, litigation, employee benefits, occupational safety and health, and construction law. With offices throughout the United States and in Europe, Canada, and Mexico, the firm represents a diverse range of clients. Their depth of experience in labor and employment law has produced a successful track record for our clients - Fortune 50 corporations to start-up companies. Jozsi has 13 years of experience. She began her career in 2009.
Before joining Ogletree Deakins, Jozsi was an attorney at Johnson Turner PLLC and before that an attorney at McLin and Burnsed, P.A. Earlier in her career she worked with Duke University Union as a committee chair. Jozsi graduated from the University of Florida - Fredric G. Levin College of Law with a JD and from Duke University with an undergraduate degree in environmental science and policy.
9. Blake Delaney
Attorney of Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney PC
Blake Delaney began his professional career 23 years ago. Today, he is an Attorney of Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney PC., a national law firm with a proven reputation for providing progressive, industry-leading legal, business, regulatory and government relations advice to their regional, national, and international clients. Their 450 attorneys and government relations professionals across 15 offices proudly represent some of the highest profile and innovative companies in the nation, including more than 40 of the Fortune 100. While they serve a wide range of clients, the firm has especially deep experience in the energy, finance, healthcare, and life sciences industries. They bring intimate knowledge of the players, market forces, and political and regulatory landscape to their clients, and use their full-service capabilities to protect, defend and advance clients’ businesses.
Delaney first got his start in 1999 as an outside service at Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Delaney graduated from the University of Florida - Fredric G. Levin College of Law with a JD and from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in linguistics and anthropology.
11. Andre' Sesler
Partner and Attorney of Hinshaw and Culbertson
Andre' Sesler is a Partner and Attorney of Hinshaw and Culbertson. He first joined the company in 2020. Hinshaw and Culbertson LLP is a U.S.-based law firm with offices in 13 states and London. The firm's national reputation spans the insurance industry, the professional services sector including representation of law firms and lawyers and other highly regulated industries, such as banking and finance and the debt collection sector. Hinshaw also provides a series of closely coordinated litigation, business advisory and transactional services to clients of all sizes as well as governmental and public sector entities.
Previously, Sesler was a shareholder and attorney at Pennington P.A. and before that an attorney at law at Fowler White Burnett. Earlier in his career he worked with Fowler White Burnett as an attorney at law. Sesler earned a JD from the University of Florida - Fredric G. Levin College of Law and an undergraduate degree in finance from the University of South Florida.
13. Brian Brijbag
Associate General Counsel of Corin Group
Brian Brijbag is a Tampa attorney who serves as the Associate General Counsel for Corin USA, a part of Corin Limited. Corin is a UK based company that has led the way in orthopedic innovation – providing a faster, positive, and more assured return to quality of life for people all over the world offering a unique combination of clinically proven hip and knee solutions as well as industry leading technologies. Brijbag, in his role at Corin, handles a multi-faceted legal slate including healthcare compliance, contractual issues, and data management.
Brijbag is the founder of the Brijbag Family Foundation, a local 501c3, which raises money to supply Tampa area public schools with sensory equipment for use with students with disabilities. He also sits on the Board of A-Town, a local non-profit focusing on designing and building transitional housing for young adults with disabilities. Brijbag is married with five children and has been in the Tampa area since 1992. Brijbag received his law degree from Western Michigan University and is barred in the State of Florida as well as in the Middle District of Florida. Brijbag has a Masters Degree in Public Health and a Masters Degree in Anthropology both from the University of South Florida. Brijbag holds a certification in Negotiation Mastery from the Harvard School of Business.
16. Matt Towery
Attorney of Hall Booth Smith P.C
Matt Towery is an Attorney of Hall Booth Smith P.C. (HBS). He first joined the company in 2013. HBS is a full-service law firm with six regional offices strategically located throughout Georgia, as well as offices in Birmingham, Alabama; Little Rock and Rogers Arkansas; Denver, Colorado; Jacksonville, Miami, Tallahassee, Tampa, St. Petersburg and West Palm Beach, Florida; Missoula, Montana; Saddle Brook, New Jersey; New York, New York; Asheville and Charlotte, North Carolina; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Charleston, South Carolina; and Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee. Experienced across a wide range of legal disciplines, HBS prides itself on providing knowledgeable, proactive, client-specific counsel to individuals, domestic and international corporations, state and federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
Previously, Towery was a political analyst at FOX5 WAGA and before that a nationally syndicated columnist at Creators Syndicate. Earlier in his career he worked with the Georgia General Assembly House of Representatives as a state representative. Towery earned a JD from Stetson University College of Law.
18. Ed Carlstedt
Attorney of FordHarrison LLP
Ed Carlstedt is an Attorney of FordHarrison LLP. Today, FordHarrison is committed to helping employers minimize the legal risks involved in making employment decisions against the backdrop without compromising business needs. The workplace becomes highly regulated, litigious, and constantly evolving; This is why, with a fierce commitment to superior client service, their attorneys work with clients to devise strategies to lessen the risks associated with employee claims and ensure compliance with federal and state labor and employment laws and regulations. Carlstedt has 23 years of experience and began his career in 1998.
Carlstedt got his first start in 1998 as an attorney at Bush Ross, P.A. He moved on to an attorney at Trenam Kemker, his most recent position before joining FordHarrison LLP. Carlstedt graduated from Stetson University College of Law with a JD and from University of Florida with an undergraduate degree in economics.
View the complete list of awardees.
20. Donna Hanes
Attorney of Wicker Smith
Donna Hanes began her professional career 31 years ago. Today, she is an Attorney of Wicker Smith. With over 260 attorneys, Wicker Smith services their clients through a network of 16 locations in Atlanta, Brunswick, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Key Largo, Melbourne, Miami, Naples, Nashville, Orlando, Palmetto Bay, Pensacola, Phoenix, Sarasota, Tampa and West Palm Beach. Wicker Smith offers legal services in over 30 different practice areas and has a wealth of experience handling complex litigation for a broad variety of clients, ranging from multinational corporations to individuals. The true strength of Wicker Smith resides in their ability to recruit and tenure a talented group of attorneys and staff professionals.
Hanes first got her start in 1991 as an assistant State attorney at Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office. From there, she went on to Wilkes and McHugh, P.A. as an attorney. Hanes graduated from Florida State University College of Law with a JD and from Florida State University with an undergraduate degree in communication.
22. Megan Albrecht
Attorney of Southwest Florida Water Management District
Megan Albrecht is an Attorney of Southwest Florida Water Management District. The district is responsible for managing and protecting the water resources and related environmental systems. To protect natural systems that sustain groundwater, there must be limitations on how much water can be withdrawn. This is accomplished through planning, permitting and regulation. Local and regional governments, agricultural and other users come to the district to request water use permits. In addition to protection through regulation, the district technically and financially assists regional water supply authorities and local governments in developing new water sources. Albrecht has 10 years of experience. She began her career in 2012.
Before joining Southwest Florida Water Management District, Albrecht was an attorney at the Office of the Public Defender, Ninth Judicial Circuit. Albrecht graduated from Stetson University College of Law with a JD, and from the University of South Florida with an undergraduate degree in history.
24. Adam Hardman
Partner of Kelley Kronenberg
Adam Hardman is a Partner of Kelley Kronenberg, a law firm that lives through their brand of seamless blend of diversity, ingenuity, professionalism, and stability. Kelley Kronenberg was built on hard work, passion, and a focus on client service. Since 1980, the firm has evolved and progressed each year to meet the needs of their clients and the ever-changing landscape of their businesses. The firm has extensive experience, as they have become a leader within the insurance industry for over 40 years and a leading law firm that serves a wide range of businesses. Their attorneys dedicate their practice to several areas, such as business law, construction law, criminal defense, family law, gig economy liability, international client practice, labor & employment, mediation, nursing home defense, real estate, social media representation, and much more.
Hardman received his JD from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and his undergraduate degree in business administration from Malone University.
26. Steven Mezer
Attorney Shareholder of Becker and Poliakoff P.A.
Steven Mezer is an Attorney Shareholder of Becker and Poliakoff P.A., founded in 1973, their attorneys have always been pioneers, boldly breaking new ground and taking unconventional approaches to tough legal challenges. Today, their attorneys have tremendous expertise and depth of strength in their core practice areas. With experienced attorneys and a solid track record of innovative thinking, the firm is relentlessly focused on their clients’ – the business, the circumstances, the objectives, and the challenges. Mezer has 53 years of experience. He began his career in 1969.
Before joining Becker and Poliakoff P.A. Mezer was an attorney at Bush Ross, P.A. and before that an attorney president at Steven H. Mezer, P.A. Earlier in his career he worked with WKNY as an announcer engineer. Mezer graduated from Stetson University College of Law with a JD, and from the University of Miami with an undergraduate degree in psychology.
28. Samuel Cooley
Attorney of Conroy Simberg
Samuel Cooley began his professional career 15 years ago. Today, he is an Attorney of Conroy Simberg, a result-oriented insurance defense law firm offering a full range of legal services to insurance companies, self-insured organizations, businesses, and professionals operating across Florida and throughout the nation. They represent clients in construction, healthcare, insurance, general liability, manufacturing, professional services, retail, automotive, and transportation industries to name a few. Their primary objective is to deliver outstanding results for each of their clients in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.
Cooley first got his start in 2007 as an assistant public defender at Hillsborough. From there, he went on to Abbey Adams Byelick & Mueller, LLP, before eventually rising to general counsel and chief compliance officer at Datex Corporation. Cooley graduated from Stetson University College of Law with a JD in civil litigation, appellate law, and international law and from Vanderbilt University with an undergraduate degree in American, United States studies and civilization.
31. Mark Lehman
Attorney of Galloway Johnson Tompkins Burr and Smith A PL
Mark Lehman began his professional career 18 years ago. Today, he is an Attorney of Galloway Johnson Tompkins Burr and Smith A PL., a Gulf South-based litigation firm dedicated to delivering value in legal counsel for more than thirty years to local, national, and international clients in dozens of industries. Galloway’s recent expansion has resulted in over 130 attorneys in twelve cities located in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Missouri, and Georgia. Galloway’s attorneys are experienced in handling insurance defense, admiralty and maritime law, energy, oil and gas, products liability, employer’s liability, general casualty, professional liability, property, construction, transportation, title resolution, amusements, sports and leisure law, restaurant and retail law, as well as corporate transactional matters.
Lehman first got his start in 2004 as a network technician and operations manager at
IT Lighthouse. From there, he went on to The John Marshall Law School, before eventually rising to associate at Sandman, Levy and Petrich, LLC. Lehman graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law with a JD and from Northern Illinois University with an undergraduate degree in operations management information systems.
33. Kelly Klein
Attorney of Luks Santaniello Petrillo and Jones P.A.
Kelly Klein began her professional career 17 years ago. Today, she is an Attorney of Luks Santaniello Petrillo and Jones P.A., a Florida Corporate and Insurance Defense Litigation firm. Their mission is to provide their clients with legal services that help them manage risk and reduce exposure. Their goal is to ensure that their clients obtain equal justice in the courtroom. The firm's practice areas span a wide range of corporate and insurance defense litigation with 11 offices in Key West, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Stuart, Fort Myers, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Pensacola. They defend most lines of liability and workers' compensation insurance, including auto/general Liability (standard and nonstandard), architect and engineers, business auto, commercial general liability, directors and officers, errors and omissions, excess a surplus lines, property and casualty, professional liability, pollution legal liability, excess lines and extra-contractual claims, transportation and trucking, construction defect and products liability.
Klein first got her start in 2005 as an attorney at Conroy Simberg, P.A. From there, she went on to Allen, Norton & Blue, P.A., before eventually rising to attorney at Murray, Morin and Herman, P.A. Klein graduated from Florida State University College of Law with a JD and from Florida State University with an undergraduate degree in marketing and international business.
View the complete list of awardees.
35. Christopher Lindhardt
Attorney of ALAW - Albertelli Law
Christopher Lindhardt began his professional career 16 years ago. Today, he is an Attorney of ALAW - Albertelli Law. ALAW is a full-service real estate law firm with attorneys practicing in multiple offices throughout the Southeastern states. The firm represents institutional and private lenders, along with investors throughout the loan life cycle of securitization to originator and asset reclamation. Their firm is led by experienced and seasoned industry veterans with a great track record of success within the industry. They are supported by the collaborative efforts of experienced attorneys and operational experts. Above all, ALAW is committed to serving both their clients and community with conviction and integrity.
Lindhardt first got his start in 2006 as an associate attorney of The Plante Law Group, PLLC. From there, he went on to be a litigation attorney of Florida Default Law Group, P.L. Then an attorney with Kass Shuler, P.A. then Westerman Zetrouer, PA, his most recent position before joining ALAW. Lindhardt graduated from Stetson University College of Law with a JD and University of Florida with an undergraduate degree, double major in criminology and english language and literature/letters.
37. Cosmo Bloom
Trial Attorney of Dan Newlin Injury Attorneys
Cosmo Bloom began his professional career 16 years ago. Today, he is a Trial Attorney of Dan Newlin Injury Attorneys. The law firm was founded by Attorney Dan Newlin, who began practicing law in Orlando, Florida over 19 years ago with just a small office and one secretary. Today, the firm has grown into one of the largest law firms in the USA, with nine stellar class A fully staffed offices across central Florida employing over 300 support staff and 80 expert attorneys. Attorneys of the firm have recovered billions of dollars for accident victims and has been recognized as one of the nation’s top personal injury law firms, in addition to being voted best law firm by the Orlando Sentinel and Orlando business journal.
Bloom graduated from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles with a JD, from the University of Southampton with a Master’s in Law, and from Cheltenham College with an undergraduate degree in economics and politics and geography in ancient history.
39. Nathan Berman
Attorney of Zuckerman Spaeder
Nathan Berman is an Attorney of Zuckerman Spaeder. He first joined the company in 2006. Zuckerman Spaeder LLP is consistently recognized as a leading national litigation boutique. For 45 years, the firm has attracted extraordinarily talented and experienced attorneys who are committed to each one of their clients. They help them with their most complex, high-stakes legal problems and consistently deliver positive results. The firm’s attorneys have extensive experience related to criminal investigations, securities violations, legal ethics, food and drug law, health care disputes, and tax controversy. With an approach that is both aggressive and savvy, Zuckerman Spaeder seeks to resolve matters before they get to trial, often saving clients from considerable expense and unwanted attention. And when needed, the firm’s focused trial lawyers know how to go toe-to-toe with government investigators, major corporations, and the largest law firms.
Previously, Berman was a law clerk at the Hon. James S. Moody Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and before that a law clerk at the Hon. Cynthia G. Angelos of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida. Berman graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with a JD, and the University of Kansas with an undergraduate degree.
41. Bonita Wang
Attorney of Bush Ross P.A.
Bonita Wang is an Attorney of Bush Ross P.A., one of the preeminent law firms in Florida. Founded in 1981, Bush Ross has earned a reputation for providing superior legal services and having attorneys and staff who are among the best in their fields. Bush Ross has established itself as one of Florida’s leading law firms by creating a “client-first culture” with exceptional attorneys who are resourceful and readily accessible. With genuine concern, they adopt the problems of their clients as their own. Although Bush Ross focuses on commercial litigation and commercial transactions, the experience and expertise of their attorneys equips them to handle the broad range of legal issues and challenges that face their clients. Regardless of the nature of its work, its commitment is to bring measurable value to each client’s unique situation. Wang has 10 years of experience. She began her career in 2012.
Before joining Bush Ross P.A., Wang was an attorney at Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney PC. Wang graduated from Mercer University - Walter F. George School of Law with a JD, and from the University of Florida with an MLL in taxation.
42. Faith Searles
Attorney of Eraclides Gelman Hall Indek Goodman and Waters
Faith Searles is an Attorney of Eraclides Gelman Hall, Indek Goodman and Waters. She first joined the company in 2014. Their firm defends small and midsize business as well as large corporations, municipalities and insurance companies utilizing a hands-on approach to legal representation. They are committed to providing quality legal services in a cost-effective and timely manner. Clients’ needs are their top priority. Their attorneys are trained in dispute resolution. They routinely litigate complex legal matters at all judicial levels. They strive to provide their clients with prompt legal services and successful results.
Searles earned a JD from Florida Coastal School of Law and an undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Florida.
44. Brian Wright
Attorney of Ruden McClosky
Brian Wright began his professional career 24 years ago. Today, he is an Attorney of Ruden McClosky, a full-service law firm serving the legal needs of clients throughout Florida, the U.S., and internationally. They are committed to delivering superior client service, cost-effectively, with a focus on results. They take pride in their tradition of legal excellence and integrity and have become one of the largest and most respected law firms in Florida since their founding in 1959. With offices throughout Florida and in Latin America, their attorneys have insight into important business, economic, and political trends, and offer clients the resources, access, and creative solutions that only a preeminent law firm can provide.
Wright first got his start in 1998 as a pharmaceutical sales representative at Innovex. From there, he went on to Wyeth, before eventually rising to senior specialty sales at Merck, his most recent position prior to joining Ruden McClosky. Wright graduated from Stetson University College of Law with a JD and from The University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree.
46. Jim Hengelbrok
Attorney of Bay Area Legal Services
Jim Hengelbrok is an Attorney of Bay Area Legal Services. He first joined the company in 1980. Bay Area Legal Services is a nonprofit, public interest law firm. Their lawyers, paralegals, and support staff provide free civil legal services to qualified and low-income residents and nonprofits throughout the Tampa Bay area. They believe that access to justice is fundamental to strong, safe communities. Last year, they helped and educated more than 25,000 individuals, families, and community groups.
Hengelbrok earned a JD from the University of Notre Dame and an undergraduate degree in history and Spanish from Xavier University.
View the complete list of awardees.