Gunster, one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service business law firms, is pleased to announce its continued growth with the addition of Thomas R. Sawyer and Timothy Stapleton to its South Florida offices.

Sawyer joins the firm’s Stuart and West Palm Beach offices as an of counsel attorney in the Real Estate Law and Environmental & Land Use Law practices. Prior to joining Gunster, he spent eight years in government service at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) in the Office of the General Counsel as Deputy General Counsel for Public Lands, as well as 25 years of private practice in Stuart, Florida. Sawyer advises clients on all aspects of real property acquisition, development, financing, leasing and environmental permitting, while maintaining a watchful eye over environmental justice issues. Sawyer is certified by the Florida Bar as a Real Estate Specialist and has deep roots within the title insurance business as a title licensed title agent since the mid-1980s.

Gunster consultant Tim Stapleton

Stapleton joins the firm’s Tallahassee and West Palm Beach offices as a consultant in the Government Affairs Law & Lobbying practice. He has over 25 years of experience at the intersection of health care policy, politics and business. As former CEO of the Florida Medical Association (FMA), the third largest state medical organization in the country, Stapleton possesses a unique expertise in advising healthcare industry clients on an array of public policy issues. Prior to serving as CEO, Tim led the FMA’s multi-million-dollar public affairs operation. He is seasoned at spearheading governmental affairs and political operations for large, statewide professional associations, as well as counseling clients in identifying priorities, developing strategic plans and building key relationships to advance their business goals.

“Sawyer and Stapleton are both true experts in their field and immensely passionate about tackling the most complex matters for our clients,” said Bill Perry, managing shareholder of Gunster. “Having individuals with specialized skills in governmental policy across multiple industries is a valuable addition to our firm’s growing talent arsenal, and brings a unique, competitive edge to our firm’s services and capabilities. We look forward to seeing what they accomplish in the new year and beyond.”

Sawyer and Stapleton join the firm after a significant growth year in which the ranks of Gunster attorneys and consultants grew by nearly 20%. This expansion touched most of its 11 offices and included growth of its key practice areas with expansion in some niche areas, as well, including health care, eDiscovery, family office and land use.

# # #

About Gunster

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 11 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With over 220 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at

Jenni Garrison
Director of Business Development & Corporate Communications


Find a Professional

by Name

by Practice/Office