H. French Brown, IVOf Counsel
French Brown offers clients 10 years of experience practicing in state and local taxation. Prior to joining Dean Mead, he practiced at Hopping, Green & Sams. He began his legal career at the Florida Department of Revenue, where he quickly rose to the position of Deputy Director of Technical Assistance and Dispute Resolution. There he oversaw more than 50 department attorneys, accountants and auditors in charge of legal guidance, agency rulemaking, and informal audit protests. Mr. Brown assists businesses with Florida tax planning and controversies.
Professional and Civic Activities
- The Florida Bar Association
- Tax Section (2007 – Present)
- Institute for Professionals in Taxation
- Member (2013 – present)
- Leadership Florida Connect, Class 7
- Leadership Tallahassee, Class 30
- FICPA State Tax Conference (2014 – Present)
- Rotary District 6940
- Assistant District Governor (2015 – 2018)
- Tallahassee Sunrise Rotary
- President (2013 – 2014)
- Juris Doctor: Florida Coastal School of Law, Jacksonville, Florida, 2007
- Certificate, Environmental Law, 2007
- Bachelor of Science, General Chemistry: Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 2003
- Florida, 2007
- S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, 2016
- S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 2014
- S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 2014
Prior Legal Experience
- Represents clients on state and local tax issues before the Florida Department of Revenue, in the Florida courts, before the Division of Administrative Hearings and the Florida Legislature.
- Represents businesses before the Florida Legislature by monitoring and reporting on legislation, preparing amendments, testifying before legislative committees, developing coalitions and advocating clients’ positions to legislators and legislative staff.
- Served as Deputy Director of the Florida Department of Revenue, Technical Assistance and Dispute Resolution, and counseled the agency on a variety of state and local tax issues, including Florida’s communications services, corporate income, documentary stamps, and sales and use taxes.
- Counsels and represents corporate clients with Florida sales tax problems, including commercial rental transactions, real estate development, manufacturing operations, retail operations, construction, publishing, electric and telecommunications utilities, financial services, entertainment and hospitality industries.
- Advised study commissions and task forces on state and local tax policy, including the Communications Services Tax Working Group (2012).
Recognition & Awards
- Recognized by Chambers USA- America’s Leading Business Lawyers, 2017
- Honored as a “Rising Star” in Florida Super Lawyers Magazine, 2016-2017
- Lowering the Cost of Doing Business in Florida – Targeted Tax Reform, Florida Chamber of Commerce, January 2018
- Amendment 4 and Solar Development in the Sunshine State, Environmental and Land Use Law Section of The Florida Bar, May 2017
- Southeast & Federal Tax Legislative Update, FICPA MEGA Conference, 2016 (co-presenter)
- Transfer Taxes – Minimizing the Property Taxes Paid at Closing, IPT Property Tax Symposium, 2014 (panelist)
- Tax Issues Facing the Department and the Effect on Taxpayers, Florida Bar and FICPA State Tax Conference, May 2011 (panelist)
- Florida State and Local Tax Update, Florida State University Fall Accounting Conference, November 2010 (panelist)
- Rule Updates, FICPA Florida State Tax/ Florida Department of Revenue Liaison Meeting, November 2010 and November 2011
- Sales Tax Issues for Not-for-Profits, FICPA Florida State University Spring Accounting Conference, May 2009
- The 2016 Amendments to the APA: Say Goodbye to United Wisconsin – and More, Florida Bar Journal, Volume 90, Number 9, September – October 2016 (co-author)
- Sales Tax Building for Real Property Contractors, Florida CPA Today, May – June 2009
- Rebirth of CERCLA Section 107 Contribution Actions: New Life PRPs that Conduct Voluntary Cleanups After Aviall, 14 Buffalo Environmental Law Journal, 211 (2007)
- A Brave New World: The Taxation of Online and Mail Order Sales in a Post-Wayfair Florida
- FINDING YOUR ZONE – Florida’s Opportunity Zones Confirmed
- French Brown Quoted in Florida Politics on Amendment 2
- Florida Department of Revenue Publishes Tax Refund Forms for Farms, Nursing Homes, and Assisted Living Facilities Impacted by Hurricane Irma
- Florida Department of Revenue to Study Impacts of Federal Tax Reform – Seeking Taxpayer Input
- 2018 Florida Legislature Enacts Numerous State and Local Tax Changes
- Legislative Update: The Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the Risk for Florida Corporate Taxpayers