Christopher T. Dawson Attorney At Law


Christopher T. Dawson - Attorney at Law

Shareholder/Government Affairs Advisor

Orlando/Tampa

T 407.843.8880
F 407.244.5690
D 407.244.5682
Orlando 301 East Pine Street Suite 1400 Orlando, Florida 32801

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

Systems-focused government relations lawyer, lobbyist, and engineer collaborating with private and public clients to reimagine the future of Florida. Dedicated to building prosperity and resilience through smart development, adaptability, and innovation.

Chris Dawson is a lawyer and professional lobbyist serving private and public sector clients with government relations needs across Florida. A community-driven and future-focused advocate, he protects client interests at the executive and legislative levels of state government, as well as before political subdivisions of the state. He collaborates with utilities, developers, engineering firms, design professionals, contractors, local governments, and associations to help navigate change, plan for the future, and expand opportunities for sustainable growth.

Chris guides clients through the legislative process with a deep understanding of the regulatory and procedural hurdles that can accompany policymaking, funding, and appropriations, including complex litigation. He holds two degrees in civil engineering and draws on this technical training to provide unique value and insight for clients managing projects in the infrastructure, land use, environmental, social and economic development, transportation, and construction sectors, among others. He also represents several of the largest nonprofit organizations in the state, furthering veterans affairs, child welfare services, and environmental conservation priorities.

A sixth-generation Floridian, Chris is committed to the future of the state and helps clients engineer solutions to today’s most disruptive challenges - from ecosystem restoration and disaster recovery to public infrastructure resilience and sea-level rise. His subject matter expertise and integrated approach help clients develop valuable road maps for new ways of operating by taking the long view. On the local level, he provides impact planning and regulatory advisory services involving new and emerging technologies driving change and innovation in building and construction, water quality and treatment, and transportation and mobility. A natural servant leader and collaborator, he frequently teams with GrayRobinson colleagues across the firm to provide the resources necessary for clients managing long-term, large-scale projects.

  • Notable Work
    • Legal and lobbying representation of Gulf County, Florida.
      • Recovery assistance prior to and during the landfall of Hurricane Michael, including liaising with County leadership, Division of Emergency Management, and the Governor’s Office to pre-position and deploy recovery assets as quickly as possible.
      • On-the-ground aid in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Michael, including engaging with Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and legislators to survey damage and engage with County leadership to expedite recovery efforts and mitigate long-term economic effects.
      • Ongoing support involving all aspects of recovery efforts following Hurricane Michael from a government relations perspective, including securing a critical match waiver from the Governor’s Office and consideration of the County’s top priorities through federal and state recovery programs (FEMA reimbursement and CDBG-Disaster Recovery and Mitigation funds).
    • Assisted Dewberry Engineers in lobbying the state to implement a statewide topographic LiDAR mapping program and a statewide bathymetric coastal mapping program - one of the most comprehensive geospatial efforts in history. In partnership with federal agencies USGS and NOAA, this multi-year, $100M+ effort will yield a full set of geospatial data for the entire landmass of Florida and its entire coastline for use in emergency planning, commerce and trade, and addressing sea level rise and environmental preservation issues.
    • Assisted Clay County Utility Authority in lobbying the Florida Legislature to amend priority legislation from a 5-year implementation window to 10 years for utilities and municipalities statewide to cease the non-beneficial discharge of wastewater across the state.
  • Recognition
    • Best Lawyers in America, Ones to Watch, 2021-2024
      • Administrative / Regulatory Law
      • Construction Law
      • Government Relations
      • Land Use and Zoning Law
    • City & State Florida, Florida Construction Power 100, 2023
    • The News Service of Florida, 40 Under 40: Rising Stars, 2024
    • Orlando Business Journal, 40 Under 40, 2019
  • Insights
    • "FRSA Notches Major Victories in 2024 Legislative Session," Florida Roofing Magazine, April 2024
    • "Roofing Day in Tallahassee," Florida Roofing Magazine, March 2024
    • "Legislative Update," Construction Law Institute 2024 Legal Conference, March 22, 2024
    • "2024 Legislative Priorities Emerge," Florida Roofing Magazine, February 2024
    • "Tallahassee Tidbits," Florida Roofing Magazine, November 2023
    • "Florida 2023 - Building Safety and Property Insurance - Update," ICRI Florida West Coast, October 4, 2023
    • "Special Elections Preview 2024 Campaign Season," Florida Roofing Magazine, October 2, 2023
    • "Special Elections Preview 2024 Campaign Season," Florida Roofing Magazine, August 2023
    • "2023 GrayRobinson Florida Legislation Session Wrap-Up," Clay County Utility Authority, July 18, 2023
    • "2023 GrayRobinson Florida Legislation Session Wrap-Up," ABC Planning Conference, July 14, 2023
    • "GrayRobinson Government Affairs and Lobbying Section: Effects of SB 1718 as Passed by Florida Legislature," GrayRobinson Insight, June 20, 2023
    • "Governor DeSantis Lands Long-Sought Immigration Reform Bill," Florida Roofing Magazine, June 2023
    • "2023 GrayRobinson Florida Legislation Session Wrap-Up," NAIOP Northwest Florida Chapter, June 7, 2023
    • "2023 GrayRobinson Florida Legislation Session Wrap-Up," NAIOP, June 6, 2023
    • "Builders' Breakfast Legislative Session Impacts," Panelist, Associated Builders and Contractors Central Florida, June 6, 2023
    • “2023 GrayRobinson Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up,” Tampa, May 23, 2023
    • “2023 GrayRobinson Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up,” Orlando, May 16, 2023
    • “GrayRobinson Government Affairs and Lobbying and Real Estate and Land Use Sections Insight: What Developers and Local Governments Should Know About New Affordable Housing Law,” GrayRobinson Insight, April 27, 2023 
    • "Introduction to the Legislative Process," 2023 Northwest Florida Days, April 3, 2023
    • "Legislative Update," 2023 Roofing Day in Tallahassee, Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association, March 15, 2023
    • "Legislative Update," 2023 Legislative Conference, Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida, March 8, 2023
    • "Property Insurance Special Session," Florida Roofing Magazine, February 2023
    • "A Look Ahead Into 2023 - January 2023," Florida Roofing Magazine, January 4, 2023
    • "Midterm Election Recap and 2023 Legislative Session Preview," ABC North Florida Chapter - Tallahassee, November 16, 2022
    • "Construction Defect Legislation Overview and 2023 Legislative Session Preview," ABC North Florida Chapter - Pensacola, November 15, 2022
    • "2022 Midterm Election Wrap-up," GrayRobinson Webinar, November 14, 2022
    • "As Florida Reels from Ian, Elections March Forward - November 2022," Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal Contractors Association, Inc., November 7, 2022
    • "As Florida Reels from Ian, Elections March Forward," Florida Roofing Magazine, November 2022
    • "Meet the Candidates 2022," Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce, October 11, 2022
    • "Primary Election Sends Dozens of Legislators to Tallahassee," Florida Roofing Magazine, October 2022
    • "Legislative Update and Election Analysis," Leadership Seminole, September 9, 2022
    • "2022 Session Wrap-Up," Associated Builders and Contractors Florida First Coast Chapter, August 26, 2022
    • “2022 GrayRobinson Special Session Wrap-Up: Property Protection in Florida,” Webinar, June 16, 2022
    • "Happy 100! Gubernatorial Appointments and Special Session," Florida Roofing Magazine, June 2022
    • "2022 Legislative Session Wrap-Up," City of Belle Isle City Council, May 3, 2022
    • "2022 Legislative Session At-A-Glance," Florida Roofing Magazine, May 2022
    • "2022 Legislative Session Wrap-Up," Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association Government Affairs Committee and Board of Directors, April 22, 2022
    • “2022 GrayRobinson Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up,” Orlando, April 20, 2022
    • “2022 GrayRobinson Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up,” Miami, April 14, 2022
    • “2022 GrayRobinson Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up,” Fort Lauderdale, April 13, 2022
    • "Legislature Approves "Tool Time" and Other Sales Tax Holidays," Florida Roofing Magazine, April 2022
    • "Legislative Update," Central Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Association, February 24, 2022
    • Florida Blue Key, Gator Day at the Florida Capitol, February 15, 2022 
    • Florida State University College Republicans General Body Meeting, February 8, 2022
    • Guest Speaker, "Key Issues Legislature is Working to Solve," The Chamber Connection with Todd Thompson, February 7, 2022
    • "2022 Legislative Session: The Top Five Issues," Florida Roofing Magazine, February 2022
    • "Session Update," Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association Government Affairs Committee, January 26, 2022
    • "2022 Florida Legislative Session Overview," Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida Legislative Conference, January 18, 2022
    • "Governor DeSantis' Session Priorities," Florida Roofing Magazine, January 2022
    • "2022 Florida Legislative Session Update," FRSA Self Insurers Fund Board of Directors, December 4, 2021
    • "Legislative Update," Florida Surety Association Quarterly Meeting, November 18, 2021
    • "Popcorn and Politics," Leadership Seminole Government Day, September 10, 2021
    • GrayRobinson Construction E-lert: Environmental Constitutional Amendments Proposed as 2022 Ballot Initiatives, September 1, 2021
    • "Florida Legislative Session: 2021 Recap and 2022 Preview," Clay County Utility Authority Board of Directors Meeting, August 17, 2021
    • "Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up," Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida Legislative Planning Conference, July 23, 2021
    • "Impact Fee Reform Legislation Signed Into Law," Florida Roofing Magazine, July 2021
    • "SB76 Changes," Central Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Association Member Meeting, June 23, 2021
    • "Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up," City of Belle Isle City Council Meeting, June 1, 2021
    • "Florida Legislative Session by the Numbers," Florida Roofing Magazine, June 2021
    • "Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up," Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association, Inc. Webinar, May 26, 2021
    • "2021 GrayRobinson Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up," Webinar, May 18, 2021
    • "2021 GrayRobinson Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up," Pensacola Chamber of Commerce Webinar, May 18, 2021
    • "2021 Session Update: First Bills Across the Finish Line," Florida Roofing Magazine, May 2021
    • "GrayRobinson Florida Legislative Session Weekly Roundup," April 16, 2021
    • "Construction Defects Reform Legislation Takes Shape," Florida Roofing Magazine, March 2021
    • "Session Preview," Greater Orlando Young Republicans, February 16, 2021
    • "2021 Legislative Preview," Greater Pensacola Chamber, February 11, 2021
    • "Session 2021 Preview: COVID-19 Liability Protections, Rioting and Public Safety Reforms," Florida Roofing Magazine, February 2021
    • "2021 Legislative Update," ABC of Florida Legislator of the Year Program, January 14, 2021
    • "Session is Coming! 2021 Construction Policy Proposals Take Shape," Florida Roofing Magazine, January 2021
    • "2020 Election Recap," Florida Roofing Magazine, December 2020
    • "The Winners Circle: Covering Florida’s Election Results," November 4, 2020
    • "Goodbye, Election! What Comes Next in the Florida Legislative Process," Florida Roofing Magazine, November 2020
    • Moderator, "Purple State Politics: Discussing Florida's Unique Geographical and Political Diversity," October 8, 2020
    • "Upset Alert! Incumbent Losses During the 2020 Primary Election," Florida Roofing Magazine, October 2020
    • "Legislative Update," Florida Surety Association Quarterly Meeting, September 1, 2020
    • "Where Are They Now? Tracked Bills of the 2020 Session," Florida Roofing Magazine, September 2020
    • "Who's in and Who's Out?" Post-Election Pop-Up Forum, August 19, 2020
    • Moderator, "Current State of the Construction Industry," GrayRobinson Virtual Community Leader Forum, August 13, 2020
    • Emcee, Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Seminole Hob Nob, July 31, 2020
    • "2020 Florida Election Overview," Greater Pensacola Chamber, July 28, 2020
    • "From Curves to Cones: Hurricane Season in the COVID-19 World," Florida Roofing Magazine, June 2020
    • "Keeping Roofing ‘Essential’," Florida Roofing Magazine, May 2020
    • "Update on Federal COVID-19 Employment and Business Programs," Seminole County Chamber and the Apopka Area Chamber, April 15, 2020
    • "2020 Virtual Legislative Wrap-Up," Greater Pensacola Chamber, April 14, 2020
    • "2020 Virtual Legislative Session Wrap-Up," Oviedo Winter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce, April 9, 2020
    • Greater Orlando Builders Association webinar, April 6, 2020
    • Northwest Florida Days Business Leader’s Breakfast, February 25, 2020
    • "Local Government Contracting Bills on the Move!" Florida Roofing Magazine, February 2020
    • Moderator, Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce Legislative Preview Breakfast, January 9, 2020
    • Keynote Speaker, "2020 Legislative Session and Elections Update," Southwest Florida Roofing Contractors Association Annual Meeting, January 8, 2020
    • "Legislative Session Preview," Florida Roofing Magazine, January 2020
    • "Tricks and Treats in Tallahassee," Florida Roofing Magazine, November 2019
    • Host, UF Community Speaker Series, Orlando, FL, October 1, 2019
    • Florida Surety Association 3rd Quarter Meeting, Tampa, FL, August 15, 2019
    • Moderator, Lake County 2019 Post Session Town Hall Meeting, Tavares, FL, August 13, 2019
    • "Session 2019: A Mixed (Plastic!) Bag for Florida Environmental Policy," GrayRobinson Government Relations and Lobbying Insight, July 12, 2019
    • Moderator, Oviedo Winter Springs Chamber Monthly Luncheon, Winter Springs, FL, July 11, 2019
    • Public Risk Management of Florida 2019 Educational Conference, Naples, FL, June 19-21, 2019
    • Pensacola Chamber of Commerce's Gopher Club Meeting, June 2, 2019
    • “2019 GrayRobinson Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up,” Fort Lauderdale, May 22, 2019
    • “2019 GrayRobinson Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up,” Orlando, May 15, 2019
    • Moderator, "Legislative Preview Panel," Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce, January 14, 2019
    • North Florida Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, October 2, 2018
    • "State Economic and Customer Building Trends," 2018 Florida Natural Gas Association Operations and Marketing Conference and Tradeshow, September 19, 2018
  • Media
  • Affiliations
    • Alabama State Bar
      • Executive Council, Non-Resident Lawyers Section 
    • Associated Industries of Florida
      • Association Advisory Group
      • Environmental Sustainability & Agriculture Council
      • Workers’ Comp Coalition
    • Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists 
    • The Florida Bar, Governmental and Public Policy Advocacy Committee 
    • Florida Board of Professional Engineers, Licensed Engineer in Training (EIT) 
    • Florida Chamber Political Institute 
    • Florida House on Capitol Hill, Young Ambassadors Council 
    • University of Alabama Farrah Law Alumni Society
  • Credentials
    • J.D./M.S. Eng., University of Alabama School of Law, 2013, magna cum laude
    • B.S., University of Florida, 2010
    • Designated Professional Lobbyist
  • Admissions
    • Alabama
    • Florida
    • U.S. District for the Middle and Northern Districts of Florida