Jones Walker LLP announced the firm has reestablished its Tallahassee, Florida, office effective immediately. The new office expansion is the direct result of a successful and long-standing strategic alliance with Florida’s Dean Mead law firm. A total of nine attorneys and government relations professionals have joined Jones Walker, including partner French Brown and special counsel Dan McGinn in the Tax Practice Group, to maximize a larger client delivery platform while continuing to work closely with Dean Mead attorneys, consistent with the strategic partnership that began in 2019.
French Brown joins Jones Walker after six years at Dean Mead. Over the course of his career as a Florida state and local tax lawyer, and through his work as a lobbyist and government relations advisor before the Florida Legislature, French has been involved in all major tax legislation in the state in recent decades. He offers clients legal advice on the full spectrum of Florida taxes, including sales, corporate income, motor fuels, communications services, property, and documentary stamp taxes. Early in his career, French served as deputy director of the Office of Technical Assistance and Dispute Resolution of the Florida Department of Revenue, where he oversaw more than 50 department attorneys, accountants, and auditors in charge of legal guidance, agency rulemaking, and informal audit protests. He also served as the department’s legislative and cabinet affairs director. In this role, French worked directly with legislators, long-standing legislative staff, the governor, and cabinet offices.
Since returning to private practice, French has been a key contributor to and advocate for significant tax legislation moving through the Florida capitol. As representative for some of the state’s largest trade associations and taxpayers, he has directly worked on and advocated for tax legislation to benefit companies and taxpayers alike. French’s work has contributed to billions of dollars in reduced state and local taxes, including more than a billion dollars in corporate income tax refunds paid in 2020 and 2022. He also was instrumental in promoting Florida’s adoption of remote seller and marketplace facilitator provisions following the US Supreme Court’s 2018 Wayfair decision.
In 2018, French served as counsel to the successful constitutional proposal to permanently preserve the state’s annual 10% cap on commercial property tax increases, which passed with 66.5% of the public vote. In the course of his efforts, he advocated for his clients before the Constitutional Revision Commission to further the development of sound state tax and budget policies. In addition to his legislative work, French assists his clients with Florida tax planning and controversies before the Department of Revenue and local property appraisers.
Dan McGinn returns to Jones Walker after four years at Dean Mead. Dan represents businesses and individuals before Florida’s Department of Revenue and in courts throughout Florida in state and local tax matters. Drawing on his experience and deep knowledge of relevant regulatory frameworks, Dan devises creative solutions for his clients’ concerns and helps them achieve desired outcomes.
He also counsels clients on a broad range of regulatory compliance and legislative advocacy matters, with an emphasis on issues involving Florida’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, which is tasked with the enforcement of numerous laws and regulations — including Prohibition-era codes — that have failed to keep pace with the demands of innovation-focused industries and businesses. In addition, Dan practices before Florida’s Gaming Control Commission, advocating for sensible gaming regulation and fair application of the prohibitions against illegal gambling.
The Tallahassee office is among the firm’s 16 locations in eight states and the District of Columbia.