Derek Houston

Partner & CoFounder

Phone: 727.205.7294

Derek is a partner and co-founder of the firm. Derek specializes in complex transactions in the finance, real estate and construction industries.

Derek advises financial institutions, private equity funds/alternative lenders and borrowers on a broad range of complex finance transactions and other general lending matters in the transactional finance industry. Derek’s representation in the financing services industry includes real estate financing, business or asset-based financing, SBA lending and other specialized financing areas (including agricultural, USDA, EB5 and public finance).

Derek’s clients also include owners, operators, REITS, developers, management companies and other entities involved in the real estate industry on all aspects of their real estate investment portfolios and transactions, including acquisition, development, leasing, and disposition of real estate assets. Derek regularly advises clients on joint venture formation, debt financing and other market specific strategies related to his clients’ commercial, retail, multifamily, student housing, senior living and hospitality portfolios and/or projects. Derek’s Building Construction degree and his related industry experience allows Derek to be an effective strategic partner in developing and implementing innovative and practical legal solutions mitigating the risk that is associated with the design and construction of real estate projects.

In the construction industry, Derek advises owners, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers on a wide range of issues, including project formation, implementation and post-project completion of complex construction and development projects. Derek’s Building Construction degree and his experience in construction prior to attending law school provides him with practical knowledge of the construction industry.

Derek currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership.  He also serves on the board of Tampa Bay Watch.

Derek’s representative experience includes the following:

  • Representation of national and community banks in secured lending transactions, including real estate, asset based and SBA lending transactions.
  • Local counsel representation of national REIT on debt structuring and financing for client’s national commercial portfolio.
  • Representation of major franchisee of national fast food restaurant chain in procurement and structuring of guidance line of credit for operation and development of multi-state portfolio.
  • Representation of regional bank on revolving acquisition loans to Fund Borrower for acquisition of multi-state commercial loan portfolio.
  • Representation of national student housing developer in acquisition, development and construction of major student housing project.
  • Representation of general contractor on multi-million-dollar renovation of beach-front resort. 
  • Loyola University New Orleans Law School, J.D., 2004
  • Auburn University, B.S. in Building Construction, 1998
  • Florida