Brian J. Fender Attorney At Law

Brian J. Fender - Attorney at Law

Public Finance Chair

T 813.273.5000
F 813.273.5145
D 813.273.5070
Tampa 101 East Kennedy Blvd. Suite 4000 Tampa, Florida 33602

Brian is a shareholder and director of GrayRobinson and he leads the firm’s Public Finance Team. Brian has represented a variety of clients including aviation authorities, banks and other direct purchasers of municipal debt, bond holders, charter schools, cities, counties, expressway authorities, government financing pools and programs, hospitals and other health care facilities, housing authorities, investment banks, open and closed investment funds, placement agents, port authorities, school boards, special districts, sports authorities, state programs, tax-exempt organizations, trustees, utilities, water support authorities, universities, and various special districts. Over the course of his career, Brian has been involved in more than 800 public finance transactions and has represented clients in the issuance of more than $45 billion of tax-exempt and taxable debt. Brian has been rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell and recognized for his work in public finance by Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America and Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”

  • Background

    Brian is a native of Tampa. Brian received his B.A. from the University of South Florida and his J.D. from the University of Florida. Brian practiced law in Miami and Washington, D.C. prior to returning to Tampa and joining GrayRobinson in early 2005. Brian is licensed to practice law in Florida, Illinois and the District of Columbia and serves as Chair of the firm’s Public Finance practice group.

  • Education
    • University of South Florida, B.A. (1996)
      • Major in philosophy, minor in economics
      • Graduate of USF Honors Program (now Honors College)
    • University of Florida College of Law, J.D. (honors) (1999)
      • Florida Law Review, Senior Editor
      • Judge George C. Carr Memorial Scholarship (three-year full scholarship) Recipient
  • Admissions
    • Florida
    • District of Columbia
    • Illinois
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
    • U.S. District Court , Southern District of Florida
    • U.S. District Court , Middle District of Florida 
  • Professional Associations and Memberships
    • American Bar Association
    • The Florida Bar
    • Hillsborough County Bar Association
    • National Association of Bond Lawyers
  • Civic
    • Leadership Florida, Cornerstone Class XXXVII
    • University of South Florida Honors College Dean’s Council, 2017-Present 
    • Tampa Downtown Partnership, Board of Directors, 2017-2024
    • University of South Florida Office of National Scholarships, 2019 Community Partner of the Year award winner
    • MacDonald Training Center, Inc., Board of Directors, 2014-2017
    • Leadership Tampa, Class 2007
    • 13th Judicial Circuit of Florida, former Attorney Ad Litem
    • Youth Sports Coach
    • USF Honors College, Adjunct Professor
  • Awards and Recognitions
    • AV Preeminent® rated by Martindale-Hubbell
    • Best Lawyers in America, 2024
    • Chambers USA, Public Finance, 2022-2023
    • Florida Trend's "Legal Elite"
    • Super Lawyers, Government Finance, 2020-2023
    • Business Today, "Top 10 Public Finance Lawyer"
  • Presentations
    • “Disclosing Risk Factors in Municipal Securities Offerings,” published July 11, 2023 by the National Association of Bond Lawyers, Co-Author/Member of Ad Hoc Committee
    • "Disclosure Issues in Public Finance," Florida Association of County Attorneys 2022 Annual Seminar, Orlando, Florida, June 30, 2022
    • "Climate Change, Cyber Security, Pandemics and Other Risk Factor Disclosure Considerations," The Florida Bar, Public Finance in Florida 2021 Seminar, April 29, 2021
    • "Public/Private Partnerships (P3) in Higher Education," Treasury Institute for Higher Education's Tax Exempt Bond Compliance Conference 2017, Orlando, Florida, December 2017
    • "Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperative (MCDC) Initiative – Summary of Orders Regarding Underwriting Firms," GR E-lert, July 2015
    • "Securities Law Update: SEC Enforcement Initiatives," The Florida Bar, Public Finance in Florida 2015 Seminar, Orlando, Florida, May 7, 2015
    • "Bond Financing for County Projects," Florida Association of Counties Financial Management Workshop, Tallahassee, Florida, March 27, 2015
    • "Update: SEC Modifies MCDC Initiative and Extends Deadline for Issuer's and Obligor's Only," GR E-lert, August 2014
    • "Navigating the SEC's Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative," GR E-lert, March 2014
    • "The Basics of Bond Financing," Florida Association of Counties Workshop, Tallahassee, Florida, March 26, 2014
    • "EMMA (Electronic Municipal Market Access system)," National Association of Bond Lawyer's Bond Attorneys' Workshop, Chicago, Illinois, September 2013  
    • "SEC Report on the Municipal Market," Public Finance in Florida, St. Augustine, Florida, May 2013 
    • "The Basics of Bond Financing," Florida Association of Counties Financial Management Conference, Tallahassee, Florida, April 2013 
    • "MSRB and Other Regulatory Updates from the Perspective of Underwriter's Counsel,"  National Association of Bond Lawyers' Bond Attorneys' Workshop, Chicago, Illinois, October 2012 
    • "What You Should Know about Bond Finance," Florida Association of Counties Financial Management Conference, Orlando, Florida, June 2012 
    • "Securities Disclosure and Procedures – What policies and procedures should local governments be implementing to facilitate compliance with federal securities law and regulation?" Public Finance in Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida, May 2011  
    • "Municipal Securities Disclosure and Best Practices for Municipal Issuers," Florida Government Finance Officers Association School of Government Finance, St. Petersburg, Florida, November 2009 
    • "The Elephant in the Living Room: SEC Proposed Municipal Securities Disclosure Reform," Public Finance in Florida, Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Resort, Orlando, Florida, May 2009 
    • Underwriters' Counsel Panel at the National Association of Bond Lawyers' 2008 Bond Attorneys' Workshop, Chicago, Illinois, September 2008 
    • "Alternative Public Financing: Public/Private Partnerships," Florida Association of County Attorneys CLE Seminar, Doral, Florida, June 26, 2008 
    • Economic Development Financing in Florida Seminar, Lorman Educational Services, Tampa, Florida, May 30, 2008 
    • Underwriters' Counsel Panel, National Association of Bond Lawyers' 2007 Bond Attorneys' Workshop, Chicago, Illinois, September 2007 
    • "Is Bond Counsel a Gatekeeper," Public Finance in Florida, Daytona Beach, Florida, July 2007  
    • "Traditional and Non-Traditional Methods of Municipal Broadband Finance," Law Seminars International  Conference on Local Broadband Regulation and Deployment, Tampa, Florida, February 2007
  • Media
    • "Top 10 Public Finance Lawyers Dominating Florida’s Legal Scene in 2023," Business Today, November 3, 2023