Michelle F. Tanzer - Attorney at Law

Mizner Park Office Tower
225 N.E. Mizner Blvd.
Suite 500
Boca Raton, Florida 33432

P 561-368-3808
F 561-368-4008
D 561-866-5700

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Biography

Michelle is chair of the Residential, Resort & Club Section, co-chair of the Hospitality industry group and a shareholder in GrayRobinson’s Boca Raton office. Recognized for her extensive experience in real estate development and club and community association law, she advises her developer, hotel operator, club and community association clients with projects in the U.S. as well as the Caribbean, The Bahamas, Latin America and Asia. Her primary focus is negotiating, structuring and amending the governance documents, consumer agreements and licensing, marketing and management agreements necessary for residential and resort communities, mixed-use projects, residence club and timeshare developments, and golf, marina, spa, fitness, tennis, and dining clubs. These documents include master and condominium declarations, management, marketing and licensing agreements, rental program documents, club membership plans, reciprocal easement agreements and the numerous ancillary contracts. 

Michelle uses her global hospitality industry experience to guide her clients through complex substantive issues in the current legal and economic environment, as well as operational, business and financial issues to be addressed through the life of the project.  When working on development projects overseas, she achieves integration of western business and legal objectives within foreign jurisdictional frameworks by implementing innovative and creative solutions.

As a Florida Supreme Court qualified arbitrator, a certified circuit civil mediator and one of four professionals selected by the American Arbitration Association for the National Golf Industry Panel, Michelle serves as arbitrator or mediator to resolve a wide range of disputes.   When assisting clients, she utilizes her dispute resolution experience to provide counsel with a view toward dispute avoidance.  Michelle has written and lectured extensively on the issues concerning residential, resort and golf projects and authored the book The Club Litigation Book – Keeping Clubs out of Court.   

Michelle is committed to community service and was recognized by The Florida Bar for establishing “Assisting Students with Disabilities,” a pro bono program serving disabled students throughout the state of Florida. She served on the board of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce and, as chair of the International Trade Committee, is credited with creating iConnect, a forum designed to expand international business opportunities in south Florida.  Michelle sits on the board of the National Club Association, sat on the board of the Golf Course Builders Association of America and served as a founding member of the National Golf Industry Advisory Committee of the American Arbitration Association.  

Additional Information About Michelle F. Tanzer

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Background

Michelle was born on Long Island, New York, but has called Florida home since 1987.  Prior to moving to Florida, she earned her undergraduate degree at Emory University, Phi Beta Kappa, and was awarded a merit based scholarship to attend Emory University School of Law.

Representative Experience
  • Representing prestigious country club and community association in various community association and club matters, including amending and restating all community governance documents (Martin County, Florida)
  • Representing international hotel brand in hotel management agreements in complex mixed-use hotel, condominium and residential project (Miami, Florida)
  • Representing top tier international hotel brand in hotel and residential project including all licensing, development and management agreements, rental program and customer agreements (The Maldives)
  • Representing hotel brand licensor in structuring and documents branded residential involving creative solutions to local law management, branding and customer contract limitations to enable client to utilize preferred business model to brand and operate the project, and production of association documentation, customer agreements and licensing and management agreements (Southeast Asia) 
  • Representing resort owner in restructuring and documenting mixed use resort, including termination of golf and yacht club programs, cost sharing and reciprocal easement agreements (The Bahamas)
  • Representing timeshare resort owner in termination of timeshare plan and repositioning of resort to whole unit condominiums (South Florida)
  • Representing international luxury hotel brand in restructuring residential project to mixed-use, office, retail and residential project including all licensing, development, association documents and customer agreements (Malaysia)
  • Representing resort owner in structuring and documenting condo hotel project, including all governing documents and cost sharing arrangements as well as all related rental program agreements and operating arrangements (The Bahamas)
  • Representing international luxury hotel brand in structuring and documenting hotel and branded residential components of mixed-use project, including licensing, marketing and management agreements, rental program and consumer agreements and association documents (Miami, Florida)
  • Representing hotel owner of iconic property in connection with amenities, membership and loyalties programming (South Florida)
  • Representing trade association in the private club industry on document production and membership issues (Nationwide)
  • Representing high-end private equity club in negotiated buy-out of developer’s interest to allow members to control and operate club (Treasure Coast, Florida)
  • Representing international luxury hotel brands in structuring and documenting branded residential component of mixed-use resort projects, including licensing and management agreements, consumer agreements, association governance documents, and rental program documents (Bali, Indonesia, Bangkok, Thailand and multiple other locations throughout the region)
  • Representing top tier luxury hotel brand in structuring and documenting branded residential component, including utilities infrastructure documentation, licensing, marketing and management agreements and rental program agreements (Puerto Rico)
  • Representing private yacht and country club in amending and restating all membership governance documentation to meet current market conditions (South Florida)
  • Representing hotel brand in connection with new hotel and condominium hotel project, including land use issues, licensing, marketing and management agreements (Pinellas County, Florida)
  • Representing resort owner in restructuring and re-documenting master planned resort community with branded residential, unbranded residential, branded hotel, condo hotel, golf club and yacht club components, including all master governing documents, all club documents, reciprocal easement and cost sharing arrangements as well as related acquisition, management and consulting arrangements (The Bahamas)
  • Representing developer of large mixed-use project in connection with membership program and community governance documents (Dominican Republic)
  • Representing hotel operator in structuring and documenting large scale mixed-use project involving the creation of multi-layered, long term leasehold structure for branded "condominium" units, association documentation, all customer agreements, as well as community licensing and management agreements (Bangkok, Thailand) 
Education
  • Emory University, B.A., psychology
    • Phi Betta Kappa
  • Emory University School of Law, J.D.
    • Merit Scholarship 
Admissions
  • Florida  
Professional Associations & Memberships
  • The Florida Bar
  • National Club Association, Board, 2015-2018
  • National Golf Foundation
  • American Arbitration Association
    • National Golf Industry
      • Advisory Committee, 2012-2014
      • Panel Arbitrator, 2012-present
  • Golf Course Builders Association of America, Board of Directors, 2010-2011
  • Florida Real Estate Sales 
  • Club Tax Network
  • Club Spa and Fitness Association
    • National Advisory Committee, 2016
Awards & Recognitions
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2015-2018
  • Daily Business Review, Most Effective Lawyer Finalist, Pro Bono, 2012
  • The Florida Bar, Presidential Award Nominee,  2011
Civic
  • Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce
    • International Trade Committee, Chair, 2012
    • Board of Governors, 2011, 2012
  • Assisting Students With Disabilities, Creator
  • Autism Speaks  
Articles & Publications
  • Spa and Fitness Waivers: How to Maximize Your Protection,” BoardRoom Magazine, March/April 2017
  • "Solving the Refund and Redemption Liability Dilemma," BoardRoom Magazine, July/August 2016
  • "Member Misconduct: What's A Board To Do?" BoardRoom Magazine, March/April 2016
  • "What's an HOA to Do When the Golf Club is Failing?" Club Director, April 2016
  • "Supreme Court’s Decision on Same Sex Marriage – Blurred Lines or Clarity For Clubs," BoardRoom Magazine, November/December 2015
  • "Packaged Wine Sales for Off-Premises Consumption," BoardRoom magazine, March/April, 2015
  • Co-Author, "Why Some Mixed-Use Projects Thrive...and Others Fail," Community Investor, January 2015
  • "Golf Cart Liability: Keeping the Wheels on the Cart," The BoardRoom magazine, November/December 2014
  • "Unraveling The Mysteries Of Mixed-Use Project Dynamics," Law360, September 18, 2014
  • DEP, EPA, MSMA, FIRFA and CERCLA – Alphabet Soup or Federal Suit?" The BoardRoom magazine, May/June 2014
  • "Avoiding the Litigation Time Bomb, Exposure Points for Clubs – Part II," The BoardRoom magazine, January/February 2014
  • "Avoiding the Litigation Time Bomb, Winning Strategies for Clubs – Part I," The BoardRoom magazine, November/December 2013
  • “When is a Private Club Not a Private Club?" The BoardRoom magazine, September/October 2013
  • "Inappropriate Member Behavior," The Private Club Advisor, October 2013
  • Guest Blog: Club Reserve Accounts – Pay Now or Pay Later? Hospitality Resources International, August 26, 2013
  • "Stop Litigation Before it Begins," Co-Author, GolfBizWiki, December 12, 2012
  • "Avoiding the Litigation Time Bomb," Co-Author, GolfBizWiki.com, January 2012
  • "Mediation of Golf Industry Disputes: Use a Different Sort of Club to Beat Your Opponent, Hospitality Alert, January 31, 2012
  • "The New Caribbean: Fending Off the Pirate," Hospitality Alert, July 20, 2010
  • "Finding Opportunities in The New Caribbean," Lodging Hospitality, July 7, 2010
  • "Resort Development in Asia: Managing Risks From Across the Ocean," Hospitality Alert, May 1, 2009
  • "Keeping Clubs Out Of Court - Club Litigation Book," Club Litigation Book, December 1, 2008
  • "Club Membership Structures: Tougher to Get Right Than a 30-Foot Putt," Hospitality Newsletter, 3rd Quarter 2008
  • "What Do You Mean Securities Registration? It’s Just a Golf Club Membership," Hospitality Alert, September 8, 2008
  • "Club Membership Structures: Tougher to Get Right Than a 30-Foot Putt," Hospitality Alert, August 1, 2007 
Presentations & Seminars
  • “Sticky Situations and Simple Solutions,” Professional Club Marketing Association’s 2017 Club Membership & Marketing Symposium, June 5, 2017
  • “Legal Issues Confronting Clubs and Practical Solutions,” Club Digital Learning Day, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), September 21, 2016
  • “Legal Issues Confronting Private Clubs,” 2016 Club Conference, National Club Association (NCA), May 19-21, 2016
  • “Setting the Best Practices to Avoid Legal Consequences,” Mid-Season Re-Charge Program, The Club Spa & Fitness Association, February 9, 2016
  • "Setting Best Wellness Practices to Avoid Legal Consequences," Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) Summer Conference, Orlando, Florida, August 4, 2015
  • "Legal and Liability Issues for Private Clubs," Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals' Club & Hotel Controllers Conference, June 15-17, 2015
  • "Legislative, Regulatory and Legal Issues for Clubs," 2015 National Club Conference, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2015
  • "Highlights from the Club Litigation Book-Keeping Clubs Out of Court", Club Tax Network Annual Conference, January 5, 2015
  • "Arbitration Theory and Practice," Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Nova Southeastern University, June 5, 2014
  • "Conflict Resolution for the Club Industry,” Council of Country Club Presidents, Boca West Country Club, April 29, 2014
  • "Leave the Punch Shots, Knock-Downs and Shanks on the Green: Conflict Management Systems in Golf and Country Clubs," American Arbitration Association webinar, February 27, 2014
  • "The Club Manager's Ultimate Guide to Alternative Dispute Resolution," Club Managers Association of America World Conference, February 4, 2014
  • “How to Become a Sports Arbitrator: Developing a Pathway to Opportunities Panel Discussion,” National Bar Association's 88th Annual Convention and Exhibits, July 28, 2013
  • “Structuring a Hotel Development Team Workshop,” NABHOOD's 17th Annual International African American Hotel Ownership & Investment Summit & Trade Show, July 26, 2013
  • “The Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution for the Golf Industry,” Midwest Golf Course Owners Association Annual Conference, October 30, 2012
  • “Dispute Resolution, Own it, Don’t Delegate it,” GCBAA Summer Meeting, August 17, 2012
  • “Avoiding the Litigation Time Bomb: Successful Strategies for the Golf Industry,” PGA Education Conference, January 26, 2012
  • Golf 2011 – Show Me The Money,” Golf Industry Show, Orlando, FL, February 9, 2011
  • “Golf Clubs in China: Keys to Successful Relations with Members,” Keynote Speaker, 2010 International Golf Forum, November 16-20, 2010
  • “Helping Local Private Club Facilities Thrive in Difficult Times,” National Golf Foundation Consulting, September 2009
  • “Hotel Development and Investment Opportunities Around the World,” The Lodging Conference, September 2009
  • “Destination Clubs and Private Residence Club Symposium,” May 29, 2008
  • “Mixed-Use Resorts – Combining Typical Resorts with Destination and Private Residence Clubs,” IMN's Destination Club & Private Residence Club Industry Symposium, May 2008
  • “Distressed Condominiums – Solutions,” American Conference Institute's National Forum on Distressed Condominium Projects Turnover and Workout Strategies, June 2007
  • “Mandatory Memberships in Master Planned Communities,” CLE International Golf and Resort Development Conference, March 2005
  • “Practical Solutions for Real World Problems in Community Associations,” CLE International Golf and Resort Development Conference, 2004
  • “Memberships in Master Planned Communities,” CLE International Golf and Resort Development Conference, April 2004 
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