Skip to main content

Dennis W. Hillier, founding partner of the law firm Hillier & Associates, P.A., concentrates his practice on corporate and real estate law, with emphasis on the design of club membership programs. Dennis is recognized as the pioneer in the industry of equity club conversions and membership programs. During the past 30 years, he has designed more than 1,800 membership programs throughout the United States, Caribbean, Europe and the Pacific Rim. Dennis has designed these programs for a wide variety of developments encompassing a broad range of amenities and target markets, including golf, tennis, equestrian, yacht and social facilities for communities with low density and permanent residents, to resort-oriented communities.

Dennis also has wide-ranging experience in preparing the legal infrastructure for residential and resort developments, including property owners association documents, declaration of restrictive covenants, sales contracts and sales registration requirements, real estate acquisition and disposition agreements, and environmental compliance plans.

His knowledge of the hospitality industry also includes preparing management, operational, franchise, financing and refinancing, and recreational access agreements for resorts.


  • Recreation and hospitality practice
  • Real estate
  • Corporate
  • Taxation
  • Contracts
  • Land Development associated with master planned communities and resorts



  • Represented developers in selling more than 200 clubs to the members by converting the club to an equity club that owns and operates the club facilities.
  • Created club membership programs that have enabled developers to recoup their investment in recreational facilities in conjunction with real estate and club membership sales.
  • Designed and created club membership programs that are an integral part of private residence clubs.
  • Obtained significant rulings and Technical Advice Memoranda from the Internal Revenue Service indicating that certain types of membership deposits paid by members to acquire a club membership are nontaxable loans and are not subject to interest imputation requirements.
  • Obtained no action letters from the Securities and Exchange Commission and state securities agencies indicating that club membership programs do not require a securities registration.
  • Represented owners and developers with regard to hotel franchise and management agreements.
  • Represented lenders in the securitization of loans regarding club membership programs.
  • Created a database, including market research, regarding more than 4,000 clubs and golf courses that are used for recommending amenity strategies and designing club membership programs.
  • Developed long-term business strategies for developers, resort owners and companies in the golf and club industry.
  • Club marketing group developed marketing plans for clubs, and conducted training sessions to instruct club sales personnel in implementing sales and marketing strategies.
  • Legal Writing Instructor, University of Florida Levin College of Law

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law, 2007-2024
  • Team Member, a Law360 “Hospitality Practice Group of the Year,” 2021
  • Team Member, Chambers & Partners USA Real Estate Law Firm of the Year, 2010, 2013, 2017-2018, and 2022
  • Team Member, a U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, "Law Firm of the Year" in Real Estate Law, 2015
  • Team Member, The Legal 500 United States, "Top Tier" Firm in Real Estate, 2013 and 2014
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Real Estate Practice Group of the Year," 2011-2013, 2015, and 2022
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Florida Bar Association
  • Member, Palm Beach County Bar Association
  • Member, Urban Land Institute
  • Member, National Club Association
  • Member, National Golf Foundation


  • J.D., University of Florida Levin College of Law, 1968
  • B.S.B.A., University of Florida, 1965
  • Florida