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Dan McCawley focuses his practice on real estate matters. He has broad experience in the sale, purchase and leasing of commercial and residential properties including shopping centers, office buildings, industrial warehouses, apartment complexes, restaurants, golf courses, hotel projects and undeveloped land. His practice also includes acting as lending counsel for several banks, structuring joint ventures and partnerships and the negotiation of construction contracts and land use agreements. Dan's representative experience includes loan workouts, lease workouts, distressed real estate investments, and the acquisition and disposition of distressed loan portfolios. Dan represents several "serial" entrepreneurs and technology clients and assists them with their general legal issues. He also represents several restaurant chains regarding all their leases in the United States. Dan represents several distressed asset funds acquiring distressed loan portfolios, bulk condo purchases, REO and other distressed real estate.


  • Real estate
  • Acquisition and development
  • Leasing
  • Financings
  • Workouts
  • Land use agreements
  • Partnerships, joint ventures and limited liability companies
  • General business transactions
  • Construction contracts
  • Distressed real estate investments 
  • Green building and sustainable development



  • Handled more than 100 automobile dealership acquisitions, dispositions, and financings. 
  • Represented REIT in multiple-office building acquisitions throughout the United States.
  • Represented seller of 400,000 acres (over nine Florida counties) for $565,000,000 in largest land sale in modern Florida history.
  • Represented seller of $460,000,000 South Florida resort/golf complex.
  • Represented buyer of $110,000,000 distressed national real estate portfolio acquisition.
  • Represented "for-profit" educational company regarding campuses throughout the U.S.
  • Refinancing of signature hotel project on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
  • Multi-parcel assembly for major Fort Lauderdale oceanfront hotel and condominium development.
  • $75 million sale of portfolio of South Florida shopping centers.
  • $200 million sale of a recruiting powerhouse to consortium made up of communications and media companies.
  • Acquisition and ground lease of FBO at Pittsburgh International Airport. 
  • Represented several restaurant chains regarding all tenant leases in U.S.
  • Represented distressed asset fund acquiring $500 million distressed loan portfolio.
  • U.S. Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP)

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, South Florida Legal Guide, "Top Lawyer," 2020-2021 
  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law, 2010-2024
  • Team Member, Chambers & Partners USA Real Estate Law Firm of the Year, 2010, 2013, 2017-2018, and 2022
  • Selected, Fort Lauderdale Illustrated, "Top Lawyers - Real Estate Law," 2020 and 2022-2023
  • Selected, Daily Business Review, "Top Dealmaker of the Year – Land Category," 2015
  • Team Member, a U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, "Law Firm of the Year" in Real Estate Law, 2015
  • Selected, "Distinguished Alumni" Award, honored during 100 Year Graduating Class Celebration, Fort Lauderdale High School, 2015
  • Team Member, "M&A Deal of the Year (Over $1 Billion to $5 Billion)" for Platform Specialty Products Corporation (f/k/a Platform Acquisition Holdings Limited) acquisition of MacDermid, Incorporated and related entities, The M&A Advisor’s 6th Annual International M&A Awards, 2014
  • 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
  • Listed, South Florida Business Journal, "40 Under 40," June 2010
  • Listed, Gold Coast magazine, "Broward County's 40 Under 40," 2009
  • Listed, Florida Trend magazine, "Legal Elite," Real Estate Law, 2006, 2016
  • Listed, South Florida Business Journal, "Best of the Bar," April 2004
  • President of the Board of Trustees, St. Mark's Episcopal School of Fort Lauderdale, 2018-2020
  • General Counsel, Operation Lift Hope, Board of Directors
  • Former Executive Board Member, Stanford Alumni Club of South Florida
  • Member, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance
  • Member, Leadership Fort Lauderdale, Class VIII
  • Former Volunteer, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Broward County
  • Former Board Member, Broward Bank of Commerce, Advisory Board
  • Former Board Member, Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale, Board of Directors
  • Former Chairman, Downtown Council of The Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce
  • Former Member, Campaign Committee, United Way of Broward County, 1995-1996
  • Volunteer youth soccer, baseball, football and basketball coach for various organizations


  • J.D., Stanford Law School, 1997
    • Article Editor, Stanford Journal of Law, Business and Finance
    • Editor, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy
  • B.A., Finance, University of Florida, 1994
  • Florida
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida