Florida Construction News special feature
With offices in Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tallahassee, and South Florida, Cotney Construction Law, LLP formerly Trent Cotney P.A, has developed into an industry leader in Florida, participating in the construction industry on a policy and educational side, sharing information through events and resources, and uniquely representing the industry as a legal and business partner.
Florida Bar board certified construction lawyer, Trent Cotney, president, established the firm in 2012. Growing up with a family who worked in construction and personal experience in the industry as he made his way through school, Cotney says his focus was on creating a business whose sole purpose was properly serving the customer, and specifically representing the industry side.
To ensure a unique and relevant understanding of the industry, most of the 19 attorneys the firm now employs, along with key staff, come from construction backgrounds. “When I sit across the table from someone at another firm who does construction law, I know they’re smart, but I also know that there are very few who have had their hands dirty so to speak, actually working in the field.”
Cotney specifically hires people with backgrounds in construction because they know the industry from a business side and can better relate to clients about the nuances of their business and legal matters. “Construction is in all of our roots. An ethic of hard work, an understanding of the people and of the work, it is part of who we are and will always be the basis under which we operate.”
The firm advocates for the industry and works as general counsel for Florida associations including the Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal Contractors Association (FRSA), Florida Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Contractors Association (FRACCA) and the Florida Irrigation Society (FIS). Last year the firm donated more than $120,000 in pro bono time for industry-related work and has donated tens of thousands personally to construction associations.
Other support for the industry includes assisting with the formation of the National Women in Roofing organization that launched early in 2016 and whose members now number in the hundreds, and two scholarships established to support young people pursuing careers in the industry. “We try to give back to the industry personally and professionally, through time, talent and treasure,” says Cotney.
Cotney has developed and shares his expertise in OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) defense, and has published an Amazon best-selling book titled OSHA Defense for the Construction Industry. The firm was also named Lawyer Monthly’s OSHA Defense Law Firm of the Year (2015-2017).
The team represents clients ranging from small, family-owned operations, to publicly-traded companies. Cotney speaks at various state and national construction association events on topics such as construction contracts, employment and immigration issues, contractor licensing and collecting payments on projects
The firm is a full service construction law firm and handles all aspects of construction law, immigration and employment issues, business planning and formation, and creditor’s rights and bankruptcy. “We are fortunate enough to have been recognized by our peers and the industry for our service and professionalism,” says Cotney, referencing the lengthy list of honors and awards both he and the firm have won including the Gold Circle Award for service from the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA 2014), Lawyer Monthly’s OSHA Defense Law Firm of the Year USA (2015-2017), and Florida Super Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers (2016, 2017).
For more information, visit www.cotneycl.com.