PLDO Expands Corporate and Commercial Real Estate Development Team Serving the South Florida Market

Boca Raton, FL – December 14, 2021 – Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC (PLDO) is pleased to announce the addition of PLDO Partner John “Jay” R. Gowell and Associate Josh J. Butera to its commercial real estate development and business team in its Boca Raton office. With the addition of attorneys Gowell and Butera, PLDO adds experience and depth to its business and commercial and residential real estate advising and legal services for developers, commercial property owners, lenders and investors, public and private corporations, and municipalities. Other members of the team are PLDO Partner Drew B. Sherman, Senior Counsel Leah A. Foertsch, and Associate Jason P. Jones.

“The strength and talent of our Florida real estate and business team of attorneys provides our clients with the highest level of quality service in multiple industries and sectors,” said Managing Principal Gary R. Pannone. “The PLDO platform offers clients cost efficiencies, responsive representation and comprehensive counsel, drawing upon the knowledge and experience of our entire team of highly skilled, dedicated practitioners providing clients innovative and cutting-edge solution to complex issues.”

Attorney Gowell is a nationally recognized bond counsel, with extensive experience in the areas of corporate law, finance and real estate development in both the private and public sectors, and has represented private developers, public agencies and corporate clients in development, permitting, construction, leasing and financing transactions and in the purchase and sale of office buildings, shopping centers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, marinas and other real estate assets. He is listed in the Bond Buyer “Red Book,” and has served as bond counsel, issuer’s counsel and underwriter’s counsel in a wide range of public bond financing transactions. As counsel to private developers, Attorney Gowell has worked on various residential, industrial, office and hotel projects, public development and urban redevelopment projects, public-private partnerships (P3) and economic development projects.  He also has significant experience in utilizing tax increment financing for rehabilitation of contaminated, former industrial sites into productive, economically successful land development projects.

Attorney Butera concentrates his practice assisting clients in the areas of corporate compliance, administrative and regulatory law, policy and contract law and other general private and public sector issues. He has represented software and renewable energy companies in multimillion-dollar real estate and business transactions and acted as bond counsel for a $2.8 million bond refunding for a municipality.

Attorney Gowell and Butera join PLDO Partner Drew B. Sherman, a commercial and residential real estate and corporate attorney with over 20 years of experience drafting and negotiating commercial leases, purchase and sales agreements, and licensing and distribution agreements, as well as acting as outside general counsel for public and private corporations in multiple industries, including banking, pharmaceutical, medical device, electronics, household goods, manufacturing and distribution. Among Attorney Sherman’s notable work in the South Florida restaurant and food-service industry includes representing the owner of a landmark beachfront restaurant in Deerfield Beach, Florida, involving real estate and complex financing issues, and representing the principal of a new start-up venture in West Palm Beach in connection with its online meat purveying business, including negotiating the commercial lease agreement for the company’s first storefront location, drafting and negotiating an operating agreement between the principal members, drafting employment agreements, handling licensing issues, and addressing other corporate and business-related issues.

Rounding out the team of experienced business and real estate attorneys is Senior Counsel Leah A. Foertsch, who has managed multimillion-dollar real estate transactions, estate and business succession planning matters, and has extensive experience in title insurance matters for commercial and residential properties, and Associate Jason P. Jones, who is fluent in Spanish and advises U.S. and international business clients on wealth management issues and tax planning matters with respect to mergers, acquisitions, and consolidations.

PLDO is located at Peninsula Plaza, 2424 North Federal Highway, Suite 260 in Boca Raton, with other offices in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. For information about PLDO, visit and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Download PDF