Katherine O'Donniley



Attorney at Law


Katherine O’Donniley is a Florida attorney focusing her practice in the areas of real estate, land use, alcohol beverage regulations and government advocacy. Katherine represents clients before various local governmental bodies on issues relating to zoning, land use, local government comprehensive planning and code enforcement. Her practice includes frequent interaction with local, regional and state government entities in Florida. She has experience in the area of public finance, including public debt offerings, bond counsel and disclosure counsel for various localities and issuers. Credentialed by the U.S. Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED® AP), Katherine also advises clients regarding green building practices and the LEED building certification process.

Katherine’s transactional real estate practice focuses on office and retail real estate development and leasing, representing national and regional landlords and tenants in connection with acquisitions, dispositions, development and leasing of office buildings, shopping centers and mixed–use properties.

Prior to law school, Katherine served in a financial oversight role for Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 Presidential Campaign. She was one of two staff members who oversaw the campaign’s finances for the state of Florida, including the intake of all contributions, the management of all expenditures and the filing of all FEC reports. Katherine continues her election and campaign-related experience as an attorney, representing candidates in recounts, advising on campaign finance issues, volunteering with the local voter protection program in every election, and, in 2018, serving as lead counsel for the Hillsborough County Democratic Party’s Voter Protection Program and its representative in four recount races.


J.D., cum laude, University of Florida Levin College of Law, 2007
— Member, Florida Journal of International Law
— Book Award in Criminal Law

B.A., Honors Program, Florida State University – Majors in Literature and Anthropology, 2004
— President, Chi Omega (Panhellenic President of the Year)
— Director, Women’s Center

Honors and Distinctions

— Listed in The Best Lawyers In America®, 2022
— Florida Super Lawyers, Rising Star 2018, 2019
— AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
— Tampa Bay’s 40 Under 40, Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2014
— Florida Legal Elite “Up & Comer,” Florida Trend Magazine, 2014
— FSU Alumni Association’s Thirty Under 30, 2012

Super LawyerFlorida Legal Elite

Community & Professional Involvement

—Florida Voter Protection Staff, Biden Campaign (2020)
—Lead Counsel, Hillsborough County Democratic Party (2018 election/ recount)
— Board Member, Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Advisory Board
— Member, Downtown Tampa CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) Community Advisory Committee
— Tampa Channel District CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) Community Advisory Committee
         – Chair, 2017
         – Member, 2015-2016
— Member, Advisory Committee, Florida Center for Community Design and Research at the University of South Florida
— Tampa Bay Public Leadership Institute Alumni
— Tampa Connection Alumni
— ACLU Legal Panel, Greater Tampa Area

Representative Matters

Land Use, Zoning and Government Advocacy

  • Successfully achieved entitlement for a new USAA facility in Hillsborough County through the addition of 400,000 square feet of office entitlements and 50,000 square feet or retail entitlements to the two-phase 199 acre Development of Regional Impact (DRI).
  • Successfully amended a 476 acre Development of Regional Impact (DRI) through a Notice of Proposed Change (NOPC) to incorporate additional multi-family and medical office entitlements with companion rezoning applications.
  • 14 screen movie theater development approvals for a national movie theater chain.
  • Amendment of a comprehensive plan future land use (FLU) designation to accommodate development of a student housing facility in Hillsborough County.
  • Successful representation of corporate client in securing relocation–related economic development incentives.
  • Drafting and approval of a privately initiated text amendment to the Tampa Land Development Code to accommodate mini-warehouse use in a special zoning category.
  • Representation at the City of Clearwater regarding redevelopment of a vacant grocery store as mini-warehouse use.
  • Assisting with the entitlement and handling the alcohol related approvals for redevelopment of a historically designated site in Tampa to accommodate over 100,000 square feet of community use.
  • Representation of a one of the largest medical marijuana dispensaries in the country monitoring local and state regulations affecting potential medical marijuana site selection.
  • Representation in connection with entitlement and development of big-box retail in the Tampa Bay region.

Land Use Litigation

  • Litigation representation in a matter protesting a local government’s decision to permit certain gambling facilities tied to a special use permit approval.
  • Litigation representation concerning lawsuit against a local government for denial of a client’s request to serve liquor on premises.
  • Representation defending developer as co-defendant with local government regarding a privately initiated zoning code text amendment.

News & Publications

Katherine O’Donniley Discusses Florida’s 2018 Election Recount

Katherine O’Donniley Discusses Regulatory Pitfalls Tampa Craft Breweries Could Face in Tampa Bay Business Journal

Land Use Differences Between Tampa and St. Pete

Katherine O’Donniley Named to the Florida Center at USF

Katherine O’Donniley’s Practice Spotlighted by the Tampa Bay Business Journal

Koontz, The U.S. Supreme Court’s Latest Take on Takings,” Hillsborough County Bar Association Lawyer Magazine, March-April 2013, Vol 23, No. 5.

“Lender Environmental Liability Concerns,” Textbook Chapter appearing in Lender Liability Law and Litigation (LexisNexis Matthew Bender), 2010 Edition, September 2010.


Please fill out the information below and Katherine will be in touch with you shortly.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.