C. David Brown, II

Partner, Nelson Mullins, large-scale real estate and corporate transaction

Law degree from University of Florida, 1978; Bachelor of Science, business administration, University of Florida, 1973

Previously chairman of Broad and Cassel, David Brown serves on the Executive Committee of Nelson Mullins, is a member of the Board of Directors and chairman of the Compensation Committee for CVS Health, and formerly was chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Florida. He also was lead director of the Board of Directors for Rayonier and Rayonier Advanced Materials and a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Florida Council of 100.

What do you love most about what you do in your job?
Complex real estate and corporate matters that provide a challenge and when completed are satisfying to watch grow and mature.

What advice would you give to a lawyer coming up on reaching the pinnacle?
It sounds simple, but it means so much: “Always be client-focused.” If you make your clients’ best interest the center of your universe, you will become an indispensable asset and trusted advisor for many years.

Is there one recent achievement or accomplishment that is a point of pride for you?
The Broad and Cassel Executive Committee had a puzzle to solve: How could they create the same opportunities for the next generation of lawyers and their clients that they had experienced. Nearly a half century earlier Broad and Cassel’s founders solved the same puzzle for their Miami-based firm. Their solution was to create a statewide law firm. I knew this plan well, as a young lawyer hired for their new Orlando office in 1979. As chairman, I was asked to lead a search for a like-minded firm with national reach. We discovered Nelson Mullins and found a strategic and cultural fit. Law firms today are either growing, falling behind or will quickly become a melting ice cube. Nelson Mullins is now a firm of 850 lawyers and professionals that was ranked as the 68th largest firm in the U.S.

What advice would you give to a lawyer entering the legal field who has some doubts about their abilities?
Work hard, work long and don’t quit. Read, listen and do what your mentors suggest. The practice of law is a process and sometimes it takes a long time to gain your footing. If you don’t enjoy the work, find another path.

How do you define success?
My success is defined by how successful our clients become and how the team grows from those client opportunities. If we reach the goals our clients need us to achieve for them, and if, as a firm leader, I provide a platform for other lawyers to succeed and provide valuable counsel to their clients, then we’ve all done our jobs.

“The combination of Broad and Cassel with Nelson Mullins gives our lawyers a national platform and broader and deeper resources to meet the future challenges for our clients.”

Nelson Mullins