Clay Townsend was born in Jackson, MS, July 12, 1955. He was raised in Orlando, Florida and graduated from Boone High School in 1973. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1978, cum laude, and from the University of Florida Law School, cum laude, in 1982 where he was a member of Florida Blue Key and the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. Clay also studied English common law at St. Edmonds Hall, Oxford University, England in 1979. Clay founded Townsend’s Fish House and Tavern, a restaurant and night club, which he owned and operated from 1980 – 2000. He also developed the historic Townsend’s Plantation in Apopka, Florida, the site of numerous outdoor music festivals featuring national acts.
Clay formed the law firm of Griffin, Morgan, Linder and Townsend, P.A. in 1985 with John Morgan. Clay has represented clients in personal injury claims, as well as commercial, entertainment, and intellectual property litigation in multiple jurisdictions – state and federal – resulting in numerous million-dollar plus verdicts, judgments and settlements. Clay has handled such high profile cases, including suit against Britney Spears by her former manager, suit by the Backstreet Boys against their former manager, suit by Harlem Globetrotters legends like Curly Neal and Meadowlark Lemon against The Harlem Globetrotters, intellectual property cases for Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and suit against Steven Spielberg regarding the iconic “Rear Window” to name a few. Clay’s recent verdicts include a $17.5 million judgment in October 2014 after an almost 3-week long trial in Orange County, Florida (Good Gateway, LLC and SEG Gateway, LLC v. Orlando Gateway Partners, LLC, et al) and a $900,000.00 verdict in June 2015 after a one-week trial (Blackwell v. Simmons) in West Palm Beach County, Florida.
Orlando attorney Clay M. Townsend has a long history of successfully guiding clients through commercial and personal injury litigation. Protecting his clients’ business rights forms the backbone of his litigation practice. His clients fill a broad range of roles in the business community. Clay has considerable bench strength in all requisite practice areas including strategic communications, trial and employment law, intellectual property, real estate and public law. He also represents personal injury clients.
Clay is active in a variety of community activities, including the Boone High School Athletic Board, President of the Gator Football Parents Association, being a founding member of The Orlando Shakespeare Festival, SunTrust Advisory Board, social chairman of The Orange County Bar Association and host/sponsor for 28 years of Central Florida’s Largest educational living history event – The Battle of Townsend’s Plantation – a Civil War re-enactment. Clay has also managed artists, written and produced a play, “Your Humble Servant, Samuel Johnson,” and composed the original music.
- $17.5 million judgment after verdicts in July 2014 in Orange County after an almost 3-week trial in a real estate development action (Good Gateway, LLC/ SEG Gateway, LLC v. Orlando Gateway Partners, LLC, et al.)
- $900,000 verdict in June 2015 in West Palm Beach County after a week-long trial in a personal injury action (Blackwell v. Simmons).
- Commercial suit against Conor Dwyer (Olympic Swimmer) in business court in Florida by his former manager (Wright Entertainment & Sports Productions, LLC v. Dwyer) (confidential settlement in July 2015)
- Derivative suit against a multi-member limited liability company in business court in Florida involving multi-millions in damages where the members received an amicable settlement (First Oriental Market, LLC v. Wai K. Pang) (confidential settlement in May 2015)
- Commercial suit against Ryan Lochte (Olympic Swimmer) by his former manager in business court in Florida (Wright Entertainment & Sports Productions, LLC v. Lochte) (confidential settlement in December 2013)
- Copyright infringement suit in federal court in Virginia on behalf of a renowned international composer regarding musical arrangements, choreography, and other intellectual property elements performed at Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Nemo Studios v. Sea World, et al.) (confidential settlement in October 2013)
- Members of the Backstreet Boys sue Pearlman in a Breach of Fiduciary Duty & Constructive Fraud case for $4M in claims that were litigated and settled in federal court in 2015
- Curly Neal sues Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. and FUBU Clothing Company in a Right of Publicity case. Clients were six former Harlem Globetrotter players (Fred “Curly” Neal, Meadowlark Lemon, Larry Gator Rivers, Bobby Hall, James “Twiggy” Sanders, Marques Haynes, and Dallas Thornton) and the case resulted in a confidential 7 figure settlement after 2 days of trial.