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honored by Naples Illustrated

FORT MYERS, Fla. (August 1, 2023) – Pavese Law is pleased to announce that attorneys Steve Hartsell, Neale Montgomery, Katherine English, Christopher Pope, and Michael Lehnert have been named 2023 Top Lawyers by Naples Illustrated magazine.  Mr. Hartsell and Ms. Montgomery were named in the field of Land Use and Zoning Law, Ms. English was named in the field of Environmental Law, Christopher Pope was named in the field of Construction Law, and Mr. Lehnert was named in the field of Real Estate Law.  Naples Illustrated partnered with Professional Research Services and asked licensed Collier and Lee County attorneys who they would recommend in the area.

Steve Hartsell is Florida Bar Board Certified in Condominium and Planned Development Law. He concentrates his practice in zoning, land use and development law as well as local government administrative law matters, representing clients in land use and administrative matters before city and county commissions, councils, and boards throughout Southwest Florida. Mr. Hartsell joined Pavese Law Firm in 1986 and became a partner in 1990.

Mr. Hartsell was honored by Florida Super Lawyers (2022-2023), and by Best Lawyers in America® (2020-2023). Mr. Hartsell was recognized as the 2022 Fort Myers Land Use and Zoning Law “Lawyer of the Year.”  Only a single lawyer in each practice area and community is honored with a “Lawyer of the Year” award.  He holds an AV® Preeminent™ rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

Neale Montgomery has left an indelible mark on Southwest Florida through her zoning, land use and administrative law work. The landscape is dotted with numerous developments where Ms. Montgomery had the privilege of being the land use attorney on the entitlement team. She joined Pavese Law Firm in 1986 and became a partner in 1991. She has represented numerous prestigious home builders and developers throughout Southwest Florida for decades. Her practice continues to focus on zoning, land use as well as local government administrative law matters, representing clients in administrative matters related to all aspect of the entitlement process and development of land before city and county commissions, councils, and boards throughout Southwest Florida.

Montgomery has been honored numerous times over the years by Florida Super Lawyers (2017-2023), Best Lawyers in America® (2013-2023), and Florida Trend’s Legal Elite (2013, 2015 and 2018).  She holds an AV® Preeminent™ rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

Katherine English is an attorney with Pavese Law Firm and an advocate for agriculture. Licensed in Florida, her law practice focuses on supporting legacy agricultural businesses in obtaining and protecting entitlements for their properties, maintaining the properties’ value, productivity, and flexibility.  Her family has farmed in Florida for more than 200 years. She believes that agriculture and the people who practice it are the foundation of civilization and an essential component of a democratic society.  

Ms. English serves on a number of committees supporting agriculture, agricultural education and environmental policy.  She has twice testified before Congress on behalf of the American Farm Bureau detailing the challenges farmers and ranchers face when attempting to comply with the ever-changing requirements of the Clean Water Act.

Ms. English holds Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida and law degree from Walter F. George College of Law at Mercer University.  She is a member of Class IV of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute, the University of Florida’s premier leadership training program for agriculture.

Ms. English was honored by Best Lawyers in America® (2021, 2023).

Christopher Pope joined the Pavese Law Firm in 2012 and became a partner in the Firm in 2018. Mr. Pope is recognized by the Florida Bar as a Board Certified Specialist in three practice areas, Condominium and Planned Development Law; Real Estate Law; and Construction Law (Board certification is the highest level of recognition by the Florida Bar for the competency and experience of a lawyer practicing in a specialty area, as less than 7% of Florida lawyers are board certified). He is one of only two attorneys in the State of Florida to be recognized with all three certifications. Mr. Pope primarily focuses his practice in the areas of condominium and homeowners’ association law, construction law, and real estate law.

Michael Lehnert joined the firm in 2021 and become a partner in 2022. Mr. Lehnert concentrates his practice area in real estate law, including assisting property owners, lenders, and developers with commercial and residential development, acquisition, financing, title, and leasing.

Mr. Lehnert has been named a “Top Lawyer” by Naples Illustrated (2021-2023), and a “Rising Star” by Florida Super Lawyers (2020-2023).

About Pavese Law Firm

Pavese Law Firm has grown into one of the largest legal practices in Southwest Florida with offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and West Palm Beach. The firm provides a broad range of legal services for individuals, families, small businesses, and large corporations. Practice areas include agricultural, banking and finance, business and corporate, civil litigation, condominium and homeowners’ association law, construction, environmental and water, estate planning, probate and trusts, marital and family, land use and government, and real estate law. Established in 1949 as a one-person general practice firm, Pavese Law Firm has played a significant role in the growth of local businesses, communities and major development projects. For more information, visit

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