Mayanne Downs Attorney At Law


Mayanne Downs - Attorney at Law

General Counsel and Shareholder

T 407.843.8880
F 407.244.5690
D 407.244.5647
M 407.810.5560
Orlando 301 East Pine Street Suite 1400 Orlando, Florida 32801

Indispensable first-call counselor leading corporate and individual clients through high-stakes, often life-changing litigation matters with authority and aplomb. Exceptional business leader and the first woman to serve as managing director of GrayRobinson and as city attorney for the City of Orlando.

Mayanne Downs is an indomitable force for clients facing high-stakes litigation. She is highly attuned to the complexity and vulnerability that can accompany these difficult moments and works to create a secure environment where client voices are heard and understood and where challenging, oftentimes emotional issues may be discussed openly and honestly to find a path forward. Active listening, swift interpretation, thoughtful inquiry, and strategy development are key aspects of her skillset, and she is consistently recognized as one of the formidable lawyers in Florida handling commercial litigation, appellate law, and high-profile, high-conflict domestic and business matters.

With razor sharp wit, intellectual curiosity, and decades of experience, Mayanne manages high-value legal crises with a focus on identifying the contours of a case early-on to minimize reputational damage and operational risk. Known for her tenacity as a no-nonsense negotiator, her experience includes eminent domain litigation and trials, personal injury cases, shareholder and business disputes, statutory shareholder valuation matters, non-compete litigation, legal malpractice defense, state and federal appellate matters, and numerous family and domestic matters involving high-net-worth or high-profile individuals. Included in these matters are class actions, representation of lawyers and law firms, jury and non-jury trials, appeals involving matters of first impression, and one of the largest divorce settlements on record (over $200 million). She collaborates frequently with GrayRobinson colleagues in the corporate, alcohol beverage, private client, government affairs and lobbying, and real estate areas, bringing the necessary complement of firm resources to bear on every matter. 

A high-profile business leader and groundbreaker herself, Mayanne’s leadership and notable influence extends well outside the courtroom. She is the first woman to hold the position of city attorney of the City of Orlando, where she oversees a loyal cadre of lawyers providing counsel to the Mayor and City Commission. She also served as the first woman managing director of GrayRobinson, as president of the Orange County Bar Association, the Legal Aid Society, the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers, and The Florida Bar. She serves on the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the constitutionally-established arm of the Florida Supreme Court that investigates and disciplines Florida judges.

  • Areas of Emphasis
    • Bet-the-Company Litigation
    • Business Entity and Valuation Disputes 
    • High-Stakes Family Law
  • Recognition
    • Best Lawyers in America, 2007-2023
      • Bet-the-Company Litigation
        • Lawyer of the Year, 2020
      • Commercial Litigation
      • Family Law
        • Lawyer of the Year, 2017
    • Florida Super Lawyers
      • Top 50 in Orlando, 2018-2021
      • Top 50 Women in Florida, 2012-2018
    • Florida Trend
      • Florida 500: Florida’s Most Influential Business Leaders, 2019-2020
      • Legal Elite, 2005-2006, 2009, 2011-2021
      • Legal Elite Hall of Fame, 2017-2021
      • People to Know, 2019
    • Orange Appeal, Women of the Year, 2017
    • Orlando Business Journal
      • CEO of the Year, 2019
      • Top 100 Influencers Law List, 2019
    • Orlando Magazine
      • Orlando Magazine, Best Lawyers, 2007-2021
      • 50 Most Powerful People, 2012-2020
  • Insights
    • Co-author with Jason Zimmerman, “M.D. Fla. Formatting Checklists,” Practical Law Litigation, 2020
    • Mass Shooting Protocol publication, participant and editor
  • Affiliations
    • University of Florida, Hall of Fame & Florida Blue Key
    • University of Florida Law Review, Senior Editor & Senior Management Editor
    • Order of the Coif (at least top 10% of law school graduating class)
    • Central Florida Partnership, Board of Directors, 2013-2016
    • The Florida Bar
      • Board of Governors, 2002-2011
        • Council of Sections Liasion, 2005-2011
        • Executive Committee, 2005-2011
        • Budget Chair, 2009-2010
        • Search Committee, Executive Director of The Florida Bar, 2017
    • The Florida Bar Foundation, Board of Directors, 2018
    • Florida Secretary of Agriculture Inauguration Leadership Committee, 2018
    • Florida Supreme Court Task Force on IOTA Distribution, Chair, 2019-present
    • Judicial Qualification Commission, 2014-present
    • Orange County Bar Association, President, 1997-1998
    • Orlando Economic Partnership, Board Member, 2015-2016
    • OneOrlando General Counsel ($31+ million fund as a result of Pulse shooting)
    • Orlando Magic Youth Foundation, Board of Directors, 2016-present
    • University of Florida Alumni Association, At-Large Director, 2017-2018
    • University of Florida Law Center Association, Board of Trustees, 2012-2017
    • Advisor to Parkland School Board and Uvalde County Attorney on mass shootings
  • Credentials
    • J.D., University of Florida College of Law, 1987, with Highest Honors
    • B.A., University of Florida, 1979
    • Emory University, 1974-1976 
  • Admissions
    • Florida
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida
    • U.S. Supreme Court