Sara Bernard is a real estate attorney in the Orlando office of Holland & Knight. She handles a wide range of commercial real estate matters as counsel for developers, builders, institutional investors, and public and private entities.

Ms. Bernard has extensive experience in handling all aspects of real estate acquisition and disposition, development, leasing, management and financing. She is well-versed in advising on master-planned, mixed-use communities that include a wide range of asset classifications. She has advised on office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, hospitals, residential communities (including single-family, multifamily and senior housing), industrial parks, medical and technology clusters, sports and entertainment clusters, and other investment-grade properties in single asset and multistate, multi-property portfolio transactions.

Ms. Bernard's representative matters include:

  • advising the master developer and its affiliates in all aspects of a 7,000-acre mixed-use development of regional impact, including the development of a 650-acre health and life sciences park as a landmark for Orlando and a premier location for medical care, research and education
  • advising a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the acquisition of a senior housing portfolio comprised of multiple, nationwide assisted-living facilities valued at more than $245 million
  • advising on a cancer center owned by a public university that will house cancer researchers, clinical trials and treatments for patients, located next to a university teaching hospital
  • advising on an adventure-based water sports park featuring the first solar-powered water ski and wakeboard cable park in the world; the park also will include Central Florida's first inflatable aqua park, a 60-foot climbing tower with a ropes course and climbing walls, pro shop featuring equipment rentals and sales and an upscale café
  • advising on the redevelopment of a hotel and marina, located along 22 waterfront acres, featuring 30,000 square feet of event space, five onsite restaurants and a world-class, 127-slip deep-water marina to include the addition of residential units spread across two 11-story towers and more than 30,000 square feet of retail and office development


  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • University of Central Florida, B.S.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Florida
  • The Florida Bar, Real Property and Probate Law Section, 2004-Present; City, County and Local Government Law Section, 2004-Present; Environmental and Land Use Law Section, 2004-Present
  • University of Central Florida Foundation, Board of Directors, 2016-2021
  • University of Central Florida Foundation, Executive Committee, Secretary, 2016-2018
  • University of Central Florida Alumni Board, Chair, 2016-2018, Executive Committee Member, 2014-2018
  • The Brain Foundation of Florida, Board of Directors, 2013-2014
  • Leadership Orlando, Class 86, 2013
Honors & Awards
  • Honorable Knight Awards, University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Business, 2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Real Estate Law, 2014-2024
  • Women Who Mean Business Award, Orlando Business Journal, 2021
  • IFLR1000, The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms, Highly Regarded, Banking, Real Estate Finance, 2020, 2023
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer-Review Rated
  • Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Real Estate, 2021-2024
  • 40 Under 40, Orlando Business Journal, 2014

Speaking Engagements