Sara Wellens Bernard serves as Co-Chairperson of the Firm’s Real Estate Practice Group.
Bernard has handled a wide range of transactions as counsel for developers, builders, institutional lenders, and public and private entities. She has extensive experience in negotiating, drafting and successfully closing complex commercial and residential purchase/sale transactions, and has handled all aspects of the development (including infrastructure development and the formation of community development districts), management and operation of, all types of real estate including retail shopping centers, office buildings, industrial parks, medical and technology clusters, senior-living centers, hospitals, golf courses, large scale mixed-use developments, residential subdivisions, apartments, and condominiums.
Examples of Bernard’s experience include:
- Representation of the master developer and its affiliates in all aspects of a 7,000 acre mixed-use development of regional impact (DRI). Bernard’s representation included the development of a 650-acre health and life sciences park as a landmark for Orlando and a premier location for medical care, research and education.
- Representation of a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the acquisition of a senior housing portfolio comprised of multiple, nation-wide assisted living facilities valued over $245 million.
- Representation of a public agency with respect to the planning, acquisition and development of several major roadway projects in Central Florida. These projects included the negotiation and acquisition of hundreds of parcels valued at more than $100 million.
Bernard is an AV Preeminent®-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, achieving the rating agency’s highest marks for both competency and ethics. She has been recognized by Woodward and White’s top legal guide “The Best Lawyers in America” in the 2014-2017 editions and “Chambers USA: A Guide to America’s Leading Business Lawyers” for Real Estate in 2014 and 2015.
She was named to Orlando Business Journal’s 2014 “40 Under 40” list, honoring Central Florida’s brightest young business people.
Bernard is Chairperson for the University of Central Florida Alumni Association.