Holland & Knight
Holland & Knight is an international law firm
Law firm
A law firm is a business entity formed by one or more lawyers to engage in the practice of law. The primary service rendered by a law firm is to advise clients about their legal rights and responsibilities, and to represent clients in civil or criminal cases, business transactions, and other...

 with more than 1,000 lawyers in 17 U.S. offices. Other offices around the world are located in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, UAE, Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, and Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. Holland & Knight provides representation in litigation, business, real estate
Real estate
In general use, esp. North American, 'real estate' is taken to mean "Property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals, or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this; an item of real property; buildings or...

 and governmental law.

U.S. Office Locations

Holland & Knight has U.S. offices in Atlanta, Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville
Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Florida in terms of both population and land area, and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. It is the county seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968...

, Lakeland
Lakeland, Florida
Lakeland is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States, located approximately midway between Tampa and Orlando along Interstate 4. According to the 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimate, the city had a population of 94,406...

, Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, Miami
Miami, Florida
Miami is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States with a population of 2,500,625...

, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Northern Virginia
Northern Virginia
Northern Virginia consists of several counties and independent cities in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in a widespread region generally radiating southerly and westward from Washington, D.C...

 (Tyson's Corner), Orlando
Orlando, Florida
Orlando is a city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. According to the 2010 US Census, the city had a population of 238,300, making Orlando the 79th largest city in the United States...

, Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, San Francisco, Tallahassee, Tampa
Tâmpa may refer to several villages in Romania:* Tâmpa, a village in Băcia Commune, Hunedoara County* Tâmpa, a village in Miercurea Nirajului, Mureş County* Tâmpa, a mountain in Braşov city...

, Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, and West Palm Beach.

International Practice

Holland & Knight maintains three international offices – in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, UAE, Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, China, and Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, Mexico. The international practice group, a combination of the lawyers and staff in the overseas offices and domestic lawyers and staff, offers combined fluency in 27 languages. The firm also maintains working relationships with many law firms throughout South and Central America; the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Sweden and, Norway; Europe and the U.K.; and within the Pacific Rim.

Predecessor Firms

The Knight firm was founded in the early days of industry and commerce in Tampa
Tampa, Florida
Tampa is a city in the U.S. state of Florida. It serves as the county seat for Hillsborough County. Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida. The population of Tampa in 2010 was 335,709....

. The Holland firm was established in Polk County, Florida
Polk County, Florida
Polk County is located in central Florida between the Tampa Bay and Greater Orlando metropolitan areas. The county was established by the state government in 1861 on the eve of the American Civil War and named after former United States president James K. Polk. The county seat is Bartow and its...

, then a center of citrus production and phosphate mining. In 1968, two law firms merged to form Holland & Knight.

Senator Spessard Holland

A young Spessard Holland
Spessard Holland
Spessard Lindsey Holland was an American lawyer, politician and elected officeholder. He was the 28th Governor of Florida from 1941 until 1945, during World War II. After finishing his term as governor, he was a United States Senator from Florida from 1946 until 1971...

 declined a contract to pitch for the Philadelphia Athletics
Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

 and went on to graduate from Emory University
Emory University
Emory University is a private research university in metropolitan Atlanta, located in the Druid Hills section of unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The university was founded as Emory College in 1836 in Oxford, Georgia by a small group of Methodists and was named in honor of...

 in 1912. He was a top student in the University of Florida Law School class of 1916 and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Cross (United States)
The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Army, for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force. Actions that merit the Distinguished Service Cross must be of such a high degree...

 after an aerial mission behind enemy lines during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Mr. Holland served as county judge eight years after the war, then established a law practice in 1929 with W.F. Bevis in artow, Florida|Bartow. In his political career, he served as Florida's governor 1941–1945 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and 24 years as a U.S. Senator 1946–1971. After leaving the Senate in January 1971, he returned to Holland & Knight to practice law until his death in November 1971.

Peter O. Knight

After graduating from Valparaiso University Law School at age 18, Peter O. Knight moved to Fort Myers, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Fort Myers is the county seat and commercial center of Lee County, Florida, United States. Its population was 62,298 in the 2010 census, a 29.23 percent increase over the 2000 figure....

, and was elected mayor in 1886 shortly before his 21st birthday. Following service in the Florida Legislature
Florida Legislature
The Florida State Legislature is the term often used to refer to the two houses that act as the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida. The Florida Constitution states that "The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a legislature of the State of Florida," composed of a Senate...

, he settled in Tampa, Florida in 1889, five years after the city was chartered, to start a law practice. In addition to his work as an attorney, Mr. Knight founded TECO Energy, Tampa's present electric utility, and a major bank. Mr. Knight declined President Warren G. Harding's
Warren G. Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States . A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate , as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio and as a U.S. Senator...

 invitation to become a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. When Mr. Knight died in 1946, U.S. Senator Spessard L. Holland was a pallbearer at his funeral -- 22 years before the names of Holland and Knight would be linked in one of Florida's largest law firms.

Chesterfield Smith

The late Chesterfield Smith
Chesterfield Smith
Chesterfield Smith was an American lawyer. He founded the law firm Holland & Knight and served as president of the American Bar Association in 1973-1974, during the Watergate scandal.-Early life and education:...

 served as managing partner of the combined firm until 1983. He was president of The Florida Bar in 1964-65, and became president of the American Bar Association
American Bar Association
The American Bar Association , founded August 21, 1878, is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. The ABA's most important stated activities are the setting of academic standards for law schools, and the formulation...

 (ABA) in 1973-74. Mr. Smith served also as Chairman of the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission. During his 55-year professional career, Chesterfield Smith gained notoriety as the outspoken president of the ABA who made an early public call to investigate President Richard M. Nixon during the Watergate scandal
Watergate scandal
The Watergate scandal was a political scandal during the 1970s in the United States resulting from the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement...

. Often called "America's Lawyer" and "the conscience of the legal profession," Chesterfield Smith is responsible for the shared values and core beliefs that earned Holland & Knight's reputation as a law firm that balances profits with public duty.

Selected Moments in Holland & Knight History

  • 1889 Peter O. Knight established his practice
  • 1919 Senator Spessard Holland established his practice
  • 1968 Two Florida practices merge to create Holland & Knight LLP
  • 1973-74 The late Chesterfield Smith, Chairman Emeritus, served as ABA President
  • 1982 Opened first office outside of Florida in Washington, D.C.
  • 1994 Established presence in Atlanta, GA
  • 1997 Entered New York and San Francisco markets
  • 1998 Joint venture with a Mexico City law firm and established Boston office
  • 2000 Opened Midwest office in Chicago and second West Coast office in Los Angeles
  • 2001 Pacific Northwest presence with an office in Portland, OR
  • 2004 Expanded overseas into Beijing, China
  • 2008 International growth with Abu Dhabi, UAE office


Holland & Knight has a Diversity Council, mentoring programs, and other diversity-related programs and initiatives. The firm has been recognized by a number of organizations, including:
  • The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans, assigned Holland & Knight a “100,” or “perfect” rating on its 2008 Corporate Equality Index and Best Places to Work Survey.
  • The firm was named a “Best Law Firm for Women” by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC. Profiled in the August/September 2007 issue of Working Mother magazine, Holland & Knight was honored for creating a work environment that is hospitable to and encouraging of the advancement of women. “With innovative programs and policies that help female attorneys achieve balance in their personal and professional lives and thrive as practitioners, Holland & Knight is ensuring that women are the future of private law practice.”
  • The firm was awarded the 2007 CREW Network Impact Award for the category of “Industry Innovator” by Commercial Real Estate Women (“CREW”). This award recognizes an organization that fosters a culture of innovation, dedication to diversity and the equal advancement of women and men in commercial real estate.
  • The Minority Law Journal recently ranked Holland & Knight #2 in the nation for the number of Hispanic attorneys.
  • Multicultural Law Magazine named Holland & Knight to its list of “100 Top Law Firms for Diversity.”
  • The firm received “The Safe Haven Award” at the annual Immigration Equality Annual Benefit and Award Dinner, honoring pro bono attorneys who help win asylum for GLBT people fleeing persecution in foreign countries.
  • The firm was awarded the “Michael K. Reese Quality of Life Award” by The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division in honor of the firm’s demonstrated commitment to supporting personal work-life choices, its pro bono activities, domestic partner benefits, career and professional development practices, favorable leave policies for both men and women, and community service.

Pro Bono Work

Holland & Knight has represented people with legal problems who otherwise would have been denied access to the legal system. Some of their clients include:
  • Delma Banks, who was on death row for 20 years before Holland & Knight obtained a reversal of his death sentence
  • Wilbert Rideau
    Wilbert Rideau
    Wilbert Rideau is a former death row inmate in Louisiana, as well as an author and award-winning prison journalist. Rideau was initially convicted of murder and served time in the Louisiana State Penitentiary...

    , a prisoner who spent 44 years in jail until he was freed through a jury verdict
  • Haitian victims of torture, arbitrary detention, extrajudicial killing, and crimes against humanity for whom the firm obtained a $4.3 million federal jury verdict
  • Mohammed Al Rehaief, an American hero who, with his family, helped save POW Jessica Lynch
    Jessica Lynch
    Jessica Dawn Lynch is a former Private First Class in the United States Army Quartermaster Corps. Lynch served in Iraq during the 2003 invasion by U.S. and allied forces. On March 23, 2003 she was injured and captured by Iraqi forces but was recovered on April 1 by U.S...

     in Iraq
  • Dependent and delinquent children who need but are not receiving mental health services
  • African-American survivors of Rosewood, a town destroyed in 1923 by white neighbors
  • Thousands of African-American would-be renters denied housing in a decade-long scheme
  • Low-income pregnant women who were unwitting subjects of medical experimentation
  • Prisoners with HIV/AIDS in Alabama facing life-threatening conditions and treatment
  • Death row inmates experiencing deplorable conditions of confinement in Mississippi

Charitable Work

Charitable giving is managed and coordinated by the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation, which was established as a 501(c)(3) public charity in 1996. Funded through contributions from the firm, Holland & Knight attorneys and staff, as well as external sources, the foundation underwrites several programs that support education.

Opening Doors for Children

Staffed by volunteers, the Opening Doors for Children program serves as a mentoring and tutoring program for thousands of children and schools across America. The firm also supports several essay contests for high school students:
  • The Holocaust Remembrance Project is a national essay contest for high school students to promote the study of the Holocaust. This annual contest culminates with scholarships to winning students and a trip to a major city of distinction to further their understanding of the impact of the Holocaust.
  • The Young Native Writers Essay Contest is a writing contest for Native American high school students and is designed to inspire honest portrayals of the richness of Native American life and history.
  • The Dream Scholarship Essay Contest is a writing contest for high school juniors and seniors enrolled in public schools in Atlanta, Georgia; Miami, Florida; and Washington, D.C. The contest is designed to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom

Founder and chairman emeritus of Holland & Knight, Chesterfield Smith (1917–2003) was one of the country’s most prominent lawyers, and his name remains one of the most revered in national legal circles. He was the chief architect of Florida’s Constitution. The Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom at the University of Florida Levin College of Law was dedicated on Sept. 21, 2006, by a distinguished group of friends and colleagues of the legendary Chesterfield Smith
Chesterfield Smith
Chesterfield Smith was an American lawyer. He founded the law firm Holland & Knight and served as president of the American Bar Association in 1973-1974, during the Watergate scandal.-Early life and education:...

: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton and took the oath of office on August 10, 1993. She is the second female justice and the first Jewish female justice.She is generally viewed as belonging to...

, UF President Bernie Machen
Bernie Machen
James Bernard "Bernie" Machen is an American university professor and administrator. Machen is a native of Mississippi, and earned multiple academic degrees before becoming a university administrator and president...

, Levin College of Law Dean Robert Jerry, then Holland & Knight Managing Partner Howell W. Melton, Jr.
Howell W. Melton Jr.
Howell W. Melton Jr. was the Managing Partner for Holland & Knight, a global law firm with more than 1,150 lawyers in 17 U.S. offices. Melton was born in St. Augustine, Florida. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree and Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida.His father, Howell W...

, and Holland & Knight partner and then chair of the firm's Directors Committee Martha Barnett
Martha Barnett
Martha Walters Barnett was the President of the American Bar Association from 2000 to 2001. At present she is a partner at the Holland & Knight Law firm. Martha Barnett attended Tulane University for her Bachelors degree, and she received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida...

. Smith graduated from the law school in 1948.

Rankings and Awards

National Recognition
  • Holland & Knight is highly ranked among 30 top performing law firms in the area of client service, according to the BTI Consulting Group annual survey of nearly 300 corporate counsel and C-level executives. The firm received high scores in the areas of Understands the Client's Business and Deals with Unexpected Changes, among others.
  • Corporate Counsel magazine named Holland & Knight a "2011 Go-To Law Firm" for the top 500 U.S. companies. Ten companies selected the firm for its work in the areas of Corporate Transactions/Mergers & Acquisitions and Securities, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment and Litigation.
  • More than 120 Holland & Knight attorneys were named in the Chambers USA 2011 guide.
  • Holland & Knight received national first-tier rankings in the 2010 U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" guide in five practice areas - Admiralty & Maritime Law; Construction Law; Equipment Finance Law; Native American Law; and Private Equity Law.

Litigation Rankings

Holland & Knight has approximately 400 lawyers in its Litigation Section. The firm is engaged in a broad range of civil and white collar litigation in federal and state courts throughout the United States.
  • The following Litigation practice areas received a No. 1 ranking in the Chambers USA 2011 guide: Construction (D.C.) and Transportation: Shipping: Litigation (outside NY). Holland & Knight's team of construction lawyers was nominated to the shortlist of Chambers USA Awards for Excellence in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
  • The firm received a first tier ranking in the area of Real Estate & Construction: Construction Litigation in "The Legal 500 United States" 2011 guide, which also recommended the firm in the area of Product Liability & Mass Tort Defense – Aerospace/Aviation.
  • Holland & Knight was named one of the world's top trademark law firms in the inaugural edition of the "World Trademark Review 1000 – The Definitive Guide to Trademark Legal Services."

Business Honors

The Business Section has more than 300 lawyers in three major areas: Corporate Transactional, Financial Services and Private Wealth Services, and advises clients on a broad range of business matters and business transactions.
  • Directors & Boards magazine ranked Holland & Knight one of the nation's top 10 law firms for dealing with director liability issues and board level mergers & acquisition issues.
  • The Best Lawyers in America selected 66 Holland & Knight Business lawyers for inclusion in the 2011 guide. Holland & Knight had more lawyers recognized for Trusts and Estates than any other law firm.
  • The 2010 Chambers Global Guide named Holland & Knight among the world's leading law firms earning notable rankings in the areas of Shipping and Asset Finance.
  • The Legal 500 United States 2010 edition recommended the firm's Finance: Asset Finance and Leasing practice.

Real Estate Distinctions

With approximately 200 lawyers, Holland & Knight’s Real Estate practice is one of the largest of any U.S. law firm.
  • The Best Lawyers in America selected 40 Holland & Knight Real Estate lawyers for inclusion in the 2011 guide and had the most lawyers recognized for Land Use and Zoning Law.
  • 26 Real Estate attorneys from eight different markets were listed in the Chambers USA 2011 guide; with a No. 1 ranking in Real Estate (D.C.) and Real Estate: Zoning and Land Use (CA).
  • Holland & Knight was ranked as one of the Top 30 Midwest Real Estate Law Firms by Midwest Real Estate News.
  • The Legal 500 United States recommended the firm's Real Estate: East Coast practice in its 2010 edition.

Government Accolades

Holland & Knight’s Government Section has more than 100 attorneys and legislative professionals engaged in federal, state, local and tribal government affairs, regulatory counseling and related disciplines.
  • Roll Call and National Journal ranked Holland & Knight one of the "top ten lobbying firms/shops" in 2010.
  • Former Congressman Gerry Sikorski
    Gerry Sikorski
    Gerald Edward Sikorski is a Minnesota politician and lawyer. He was a U.S. Representative representing Minnesota's 6th congressional district as a DFL member from January 3, 1983 to January 3, 1993 in the 98th, 99th, 100th, 101st, and 102nd Congresses. He served as Whip-at-Large and as a member of...

    and Public Policy and Regulation Practice Group Leader Rich Gold were recognized by The Hill newspaper as two of Washington, D.C.’s top lobbyists in 2009.
  • Influence magazine ranked Holland & Knight 6th in “The Influence 50” list of lobby shops and law firms for 2010.
  • Authors of the four-volume Indian Gaming Handbook, a leading reference work in the field and now in its 6th edition.

Practice Areas

Holland & Knight's legal capabilities span an extensive range of practices and industries, including:

  • Alcohol Beverage
  • Aviation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Antitrust, Trade Regulation and Competition
  • Appellate
  • Banking & Finance
  • Bankruptcy and Creditors Rights
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Construction
  • Corporate Services
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • ERISA/Employee Benefits and Compensation
  • Financial Services
  • Government Contracts
  • Government Representation
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Hospitality, Resorts and Timeshare
  • Immigration, Nationality and Consular Law

  • Indian Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • International and Cross Border Transactions
  • Investment Management
  • Labor, Employment and Benefits
  • Land Use
  • Litigation
  • Maritime
  • Media, Communications and Entertainment
  • Non-Profit and Tax Exempt Organizations
  • Private Wealth Services
  • Product Liability
  • Public Finance
  • Public Policy & Regulation
  • Real Estate
  • Structured Finance and Securitization
  • Syndication
  • Taxation
  • Technology and Emerging Companies
  • Transportation

External links

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