Kelly Fernandez

Kelly M. Fernandez joined the firm in 2009 and is Board Certified in City, County and Local Government Law. She practices primarily in the areas of local government and land use law and has experience litigating cases in state and administrative courts. In addition to advising private clients on land use, code enforcement, and other local government matters, she serves as the City Attorney for the City of Venice and General Counsel to Tampa Bay Water, the West Coast Inland Navigation District, and the Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department. In 2013 she was selected by Manatee County as a hearing officer for land use matters. She also represents the City of Sarasota’s Nuisance Abatement Board and serves as special counsel to cities and counties. Prior to joining the firm, Kelly was a Senior Assistant General Counsel at the Florida Department of Community Affairs (now the Florida Department of Commerce) where she advised the Division of Community Planning and Florida Communities Trust program. She also helped advise the Division of Emergency Management during States of Emergency. From 2009-2014, she was Board Certified in State & Federal Government and Administrative Practice.

Kelly was awarded the Judy Florence Memorial Outstanding Service Award in 2006 by the Environmental and Land Use Law Section of the Florida Bar. She is active in the community and is a member of the Junior League of Sarasota and Impact100 SRQ. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters as well as traveling and outdoor activities.

The Florida Bar - Board Certified


  • University of Florida, B.S., 2000
  • University of Florida College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2003


  • Florida Bar, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 2009


  • Florida Bar City, County, and Local Government Section, 2009-present
  • Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Law Section, 2003-2018
    • Executive Council, member, 2006-2012
    • Land Use Committee, Chair, 2008-2012
    • Public Interest Committee, Chair, 2004-2006
    • Public Interest Committee, Vice-Chair, 2003-2004
  • Sarasota County Bar Association, 2009-present
  • Florida Planning & Zoning Association, Gulf Coast Chapter, 2016-present
  • Leadership Sarasota Class of 2018


  • Junior League of Sarasota County, 2009-present
    • Board of Directors, 2016-2019
    • Executive Vice-President, 2018-2019
  • Impact100 SRQ, 2020-present