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Holland & Knight

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Holland & Knight
Holland & Knight logo.gif
Headquarters Los Angeles (CA)
Number of Offices 24 U.S., 3 international"U.S.,3international" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 24.
Number of attorneys 1,220
Practice Areas Full service law firm
Holland & Knight Pay Scale
(all numbers in thousands of dollars)


Holland & Knight LLP is an international law firm with more than 1,200 lawyers and other professionals in 27 offices throughout the world. Its international offices are located in Bogota, Colombia, London, England and Mexico City, Mexico. Holland & Knight provides representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law.

U.S. and international office locations

Holland & Knight has U.S. offices in Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Northern Virginia (Tyson's Corner), Orlando, Portland, San Francisco, Stamford, Tallahassee, Tampa, Washington, D.C., and West Palm Beach.

Holland & Knight maintains three international offices: in Bogota, Colombia, London, England and Mexico City, Mexico. 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. The Holland firm was established in Polk County, Florida, then a center of citrus production and phosphate mining. In 1968, two law firms merged to form Holland & Knight.

Senator Spessard Holland

Spessard Holland

A young Spessard Holland declined a contract to pitch for the Philadelphia Athletics and went on to graduate from Emory University in 1912. He was a top student in the University of Florida Law School class of 1916[1] and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross after an aerial mission behind enemy lines during World War I. Mr. Holland served as county judge eight years after the war, then established a law practice in 1929 with W.F. Bevis in Bartow. In his political career, he served as Florida's governor 1941–1945 during World War II 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, and was elected mayor in 1886 shortly before his 21st birthday. Following service in the Florida Legislature, 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 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[2]—22 years before the names of Holland and Knight would be linked in one of Florida's largest law firms.

Chesterfield Smith

Chesterfield Smith 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 (ABA) in 1973-74. Mr. Smith served also as Chairman of the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission.[3] 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.[4] Often called "America's Lawyer"[5] 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

  • 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 by acquiring Haight Gardner Poor & Havens[6]
  • 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
  • 2012 Opened office in Bogota, Colombia[7]
  • 2013 Opened office in Dallas, TX[8]
  • 2014 Opened office in Anchorage, AK[9]
  • 2014 Opened office in Austin, TX[10]
  • 2015 Opened office in Houston, TX [11]
  • 2016 Opened office in Stamford, CT [12]
  • 2016 Opened office in London, England [13]

Community commitment

Political contributions

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Holland & Knight was one of the top law firms contributing to federal candidates during the 2012 election cycle, donating $1.19 million, 59% to Democrats.[14] By comparison, during that same period Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld donated $2.56, 66% to Democrats,[14] while oil conglomerate ExxonMobil donated $2.66 million, 88% to Republicans.[15] Since 1990, Holland & Knight has contributed $10.47 million to federal campaigns, and spent over $1 million on lobbying since 2001.[16]

Pro bono work

Holland & Knight is known for representing people with legal problems who otherwise would have been denied access to the legal system. Some of their notable pro bono clients include:

  • Wilbert Rideau, 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 in Iraq
  • African-American survivors of Rosewood, a town destroyed in 1923 by white neighbors
  • Prisoners with HIV/AIDS in Alabama facing life-threatening conditions and treatment
  • Death row inmates experiencing deplorable conditions of confinement in Mississippi[17]

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. The foundation underwrites several programs that support education, including the Opening Doors for Children reading program, the Holocaust Remembrance Project[18] national essay contest, Young Native Writers Essay Contest[19] for Native American high school students, and Dream Scholarship Essay Contest designed to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prior winners of the Young Native Writers Essay Contest were featured in Indian Country Today.[20]

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: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, UF President Bernie Machen, Levin College of Law Dean Robert Jerry, then Holland & Knight Managing Partner Howell W. Melton, Jr., and Holland & Knight partner and then chair of the firm's Directors Committee Martha Barnett. Smith graduated from the law school in 1948.


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:

  • Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers named Holland & Knight one of 50 "2012 Best Law Firms for Women" in recognition of the firm's commitment to the retention and advancement of women.[21]
  • The firm earned Gold Standard Certification from The Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) for its achievement in providing women attorneys with opportunities for financial success and positions at the highest level of firm leadership.[22]
  • The firm ranked third in The American Lawyer magazine's 2012 Diversity Scorecard for the number of Hispanic attorneys.[23]
  • 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.[24]

Industry awards

  • Holland & Knight received national first-tier rankings in the 2013 U.S. News – Best Lawyers Best Law Firms guide in 22 practice areas.[25]
  • More than 130 Holland & Knight attorneys were named in the Chambers USA 2013 guide.[26]
  • Corporate Counsel magazine named Holland & Knight a "2012 Go-To Law Firm" for the top 500 U.S. companies. The firm was selected for its work in the areas of Corporate Transactions/Mergers & Acquisitions, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Litigation and Securities.[27]
  • Holland & Knight ranks among the top-performing law firms that provide superior client service, according to 2013 BTI Consulting Group's annual survey of corporate counsel and C-level executives.[28]
  • Holland & Knight was named one of the world's top trademark law firms in the World Trademark Review 1000 – The Definitive Guide to Trademark Legal Services.[29]
  • Directors & Boards magazine ranked Holland & Knight the nation's top law firm for dealing with director liability issues.[30]
  • Holland & Knight has been named the Law Firm of the Year in the Washington, D.C., area by the Greater Washington Commercial Association of Realtors three times in the past five years.[31]
  • Former Congressman Gerry Sikorski, Richard Gold, and Kathryn Hazeem Lehman were recognized by The Hill as Washington, D.C.'s Top Lobbyists.

Legal practice areas

Holland & Knight's legal capabilities span a range of practices, including:


  • Alcohol beverage
  • Aviation
  • Antitrust
  • Appellate
  • Banking and finance
  • Bankruptcy and creditors rights
  • Class action litigation
  • Construction
  • Corporate
  • Data Privacy
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Financial services
  • Government contracts
  • Government representation
  • Healthcare and 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
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Non-profit and tax exempt organizations
  • Patent Prosecution & Due Diligence
  • Private wealth services
  • Product liability
  • Public finance
  • Public policy & regulation
  • Real estate
  • Structured finance and securitization
  • Syndication
  • Taxation
  • Technology and emerging companies
  • Transportation



  1. University of Florida College of Law, Spessard L. Holland Law Center profile
  2. Holland & Knight Firm History
  4. The Greatest Generation, Tom Brokaw, 1998
  5. Remembrances: My Life with Chesterfield Smith: America's Lawyer, Second Edition, 2005
  14. 14.0 14.1 Lawyers & Lobbyists: Top Contributors to Federal Candidates, Parties, and Outside Groups,
  15. Energy/Natural Resources: Top Contributors to Federal Candidates, Parties, and Outside Groups,
  16. Organizations: Holland & Knight,
  17. ACLU,
  21. Working Mother Magazine, November 2012,
  24. The Florida Bar,
  26. Chambers USA, May 2013
  27. Corporate Counsel’s In-House Law Departments at the Top 500 Companies, November 2011
  28. The BTI Consulting Group, 2012
  30. Directors & Boards magazine, July 2012
  31., April 2012

External links