• You are now in...

Holland & Knight LLP

Miami

Holland & Knight LLP - Miami
  • 701 Brickell Avenue
  • Suite 3000
  • Miami
  • Florida
  • USA
  • FL 33131
  • Tel:+1 305 374 8500
  • Fax:+1 305 789 7799
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • Managing Partner: Steven Sonberg
  • The firm also has offices in: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Jacksonville, FL; Lakeland, FL; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Orlando, FL; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; Tallahassee, FL; Tampa, FL; Tysons Corner, VA; Washington, DC; West Palm Beach, FL
  • INTERNATIONAL OFFICES Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Bogotá and Mexico City

Firm Overview:
Founded in 1889, Holland & Knight has grown into one of the largest law firms in the United States. With more than 1,000 lawyers and legal colleagues in 40 countries, the firm has a reputation for understanding clients’ business issues and staying abreast of the knowledge and trends that shape their industries. Interdisciplinary practice groups and industry-based teams provide clients with access to attorneys throughout the firm, regardless of location.
Diversity: Holland & Knight believes that clients receive the highest quality service when their legal teams reflect the marketplace in which they do business. This fundamental belief remains a core part of the firm’s identity. Holland & Knight is consistently ranked as one of the top law firms nationally for the total number of minority partners as well as Hispanic attorneys.

Main Areas of Practice:
Banking & Financial Services:
Almost 140 lawyers comprise Holland & Knight’s Banking and Finance Practice, which is as diverse as the needs of the industry it serves. From asset finance for clients operating in the global transportation industry to sophisticated real estate financings, and from multibillion- dollar tribal financings for Native Americans to the defense of financial institutions in fiduciary disputes, the firmoperates at the forefront of the banking and financing industry. The banking and finance group regularly counsels domestic and foreign banks, financial institutions and institutional investors as well.

Construction:
Holland & Knight has extensive experience in all matters related to construction industry claims and litigation, and practices in state and federal courts as well as boards of contract appeals throughout the United States. The firm also counsels clients on construction operations, corporate compliance, structuring and negotiating industry agreements, public-private partnerships, project administration, risk management, government contracts and procurement law, and international construction.

Corporate, M&A & Securities:
More than 150 lawyers regularly advise public and private companies in a broad range of domestic and international corporate transactions, corporate financings and securities law matters.

Intellectual Property:
Attorneys in the IP Practice have significant experience handling the issues surrounding complex patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and unfair competition issues. The team is experienced in a wide array of technical disciplines, and many of Holland & Knight’s attorneys and professionals hold degrees in areas such as computer and software engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.

Labor, Employment & Benefits:
Holland & Knight exclusively represents management in matters involving current and former employees. The firm advises clients in all areas of labor and employment, including civil rights, discrimination and retaliation; labor and employment class actions; labor relations for management; non-competition, trade secrets and defecting employees; OSHA, workplace safety and whistleblower claims; ERISA/employee benefits and executive compensation; and immigration, nationality and consular law.

Leisure & Hospitality:
Holland & Knight represents owners, operators, lenders, investors and brands in development, structuring, governance, acquisition, financing, restructuring, management and dispute resolution throughout the world, for projects ranging from hotels, resorts and mixed-use projects to timeshare, fractional, branded residential, golf and marina properties.

Litigation:
With almost 450 lawyers,Holland & Knight has one of the largest litigation practices in the country. Former federal prosecutors and regulatory officials form a key part of the group, which handles multi-million-dollar class actions, securities litigation,product liability, mass tort cases and white-collar criminal defense.

Public Policy & Regulation:
Holland & Knight’s Public Policy and Regulation Practice Group consists of more than 100 lawyers and other professionals engaged in federal, state and local government affairs, regulatory counseling and related disciplines.

Real Estate & Land Use:
With more than 200 lawyers, Holland & Knight’s Real Estate Practice is among the largest of any US law firm. Nearly all of the firm’s offices are staffed to provide clients with superior local, national and international service when handling the wide variety of issues related to real estate transactions, regulations and litigation.

Tax:
Holland & Knight has almost 100 lawyers directly involved in all types of taxation matters – international, federal, state and local, employee benefits and executive compensation. The firm’s services are both preventive and remedial. Clients range from Fortune 100 companies to individuals protecting their personal and business assets.

Transportation:
Holland & Knight lawyers serve public and private sector clients operating in the many facets of the transportation industry. The firm’s Transportation Team is a recognized international leader and has extensive experience in the areas of aviation, freight rail, infrastructure,maritime and shipping, mass transit and public transportation, and trucking and logistics.

Wealth Management:
Holland & Knight’s estate planning group is the largest and most sophisticated of any law firm in the United States. Holland & Knight’s approach and platform is different from all other law firms because its lawyers focus almost exclusively on the needs of high-net-worth estates. They are nationally recognized in fields as diverse as estate and generation-skipping transfer tax planning, sophisticated charitable giving, probate litigation, IRS litigation, life insurance planning, business succession planning, asset protection, international taxation, charitable organizations and private foundations.

Clients:
Holland & Knight represents a diverse client base.Public and privately held businesses involved in transactions and complex dispute resolution proceedings consider Holland & Knight their strongest legal advocate. The firm partners with clients who have interests spread throughout the United States and abroad, including start-up entrepreneurial enterprises, middle market companies, Fortune 100 corporations and major, internationally headquartered businesses.

Branches

Litigation - California

THE FIRM This firm has a nine-partner California litigation group and is well regarded by clients and involved in several significant cases. It practices in a number of commercial litigation areas, including toxic tort and product liability. It recently acted for Twin Anchors Marine on a case concerning an boating incident which resulted in death and personal injury.

Sources say: "They stand out in my mind as one of the best at keeping their clients informed."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Matthew Vafidis is the head of the California litigation group. He is based in the firm's San Francisco office.

Real Estate - California

THE FIRM This firm is best known for its prowess in zoning and land use. Its large and experienced team has expertise across the full spectrum of land use issues. The firm's land use group stands out for its integration with the environment practice, and clients benefit from the team's knowledge of the full range of environmental issues, from CEQA and NEPA regulation to wetlands and endangered species. The team currently advises AT&T on permitting for wireline and wireless installations statewide.

Sources say: "They're fantastic: very helpful, thoughtful, detail-oriented and thorough."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The impressive Jennifer Hernandez is known for her extensive land use expertise and has recently advised Lewis Operating Corporation on permitting matters for a series of high-profile projects across California. "She is second to none: a superior talent with a great client base, and very versatile," say market commentators.

The highly regarded Susan Booth heads the firm's West Coast real estate practice. She is a capital markets specialist with a background in finance, and clients benefit from her in-depth business knowledge.

Observers highlight the "fantastic" land use specialist Tamsen Plume as "very responsive, focused, smart and a great deal maker." She currently acts for such major names as Target Corporation and Regent Properties.

Construction - District of Columbia

THE FIRM This major team combines a strong workload of pure construction matters with significant government contracts expertise. Notably, it advised major contractor Barton Malow on a claim against a municipal government relating to owner abandonment, cardinal changes and default abandonment. Noncontentious highlights for the team include advising on construction law concerning the renovation of the South African Embassy in Washington, DC. The team also acts for such major names as Royal Caribbean Cruises, New York Transportation Authority, Mass Electric Construction and Monument Realty.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Andrew Stephenson is a hugely respected construction practitioner and has a top reputation for his work. He acts for owners, contractors and architect-engineers on a range of high-profile matters.

"Outstanding attorney" and "seasoned litigator" Stephen Brett Shapiro handles both transactional and contentious construction work. Sources praise "his speaking and writing abilities, and his astute knowledge of construction law issues." 

Environment - District of Columbia

THE FIRM This firm has a strong local presence and nationwide reach, and advises on a range of environmental matters. The environmental team is integrated with the firm's zoning and land use group, enabling it to provide comprehensive advice on wetlands, endangered species, brownfields redevelopment and hazardous waste. It advised on the environmental issues for the Stonebridge Carras-Constitution Square brownfields redevelopment site, which is being transformed into a 2.6 million sq ft mixed-use development.

Sources say: "Top-notch staff and very responsive to client needs."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Amy Edwards has considerable experience acting for clients including developers, local governments, lenders and corporations. She is singled out for her expertise in brownfields redevelopment.

Lawrence Liebesman wins praise from clients for his "focused and well-researched analysis, and articulate and succinctly written reports."

Bonni Kaufman acts as environmental counsel for developer Picerne Military Housing, advising on deals and financing, lead-based paint and mold abatement, asbestos and insurance recovery.

Media & Entertainment - District of Columbia

THE FIRM This well-rounded media team continues to demonstrate particular strengths in defamation and 'access to information' cases. A recent highlight includes successfully intervening and opening up court files regarding a murder trial, acting on behalf of a consortium of leading television stations, networks and newspapers. It counts Fox Television, Associated Press and The New York Times among its distinguished client roster.

Sources say: "The lawyers are incredibly responsive, provide both perspective and practical advice, and are efficient and proactive."

KEY INDIVIDUALS National media team head Charles Tobin has extensive experience in freedom of information and libel disputes and elicits particular praise from commentators for his "very effective courtroom manner."

Real Estate - District of Columbia

THE FIRM The substantial team at Holland & Knight covers the full spectrum of real estate and zoning work, and has particular strength in large-scale mixed-use developments and work in the hospitality and retail sectors. The team is acting for Roadside Development on the landmark $300 million redevelopment of the O Street Market, which involves retail space, condominiums, apartments and a hotel. Standout matters for the firm's land use group include acting for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC on the construction of a new embassy building.

KEY INDIVIDUALS "One of the preeminent land use lawyers," Norman Glasgow wins high praise from clients and peers alike for being "very good and very practical." He is currently advising on zoning issues for the high-profile redevelopment of the Watergate Hotel.

Sources hail Whayne Quin as the "dean of land use law." He brings decades of experience to his role at the firm, and notably advised McMillan on a mixed-use planned development on a reservoir site in Washington, DC.

Experienced land use attorney David Briggs "knows the ins and outs of DC in a way that very few people do," say interviewees. "The level of detail to which he explores issues and manages outcomes is quite exceptional," sources add.

David Kahn is a highly regarded real estate practitioner applauded for his skills as a negotiator. He recently acted for a life insurance company on the drafting and negotiation of a 450,000 sq ft lease.

Janis Boyarsky Schiff has a broad commercial real estate practice, acting for owners, investors and property managers. "She's very savvy and knows how to do a good job for her client," say sources.

David Silver advises owners, developers, large corporations and pension funds on a variety of real estate matters. According to peers, he "is very smart and extremely experienced, knows the issues and knows what's important."

Well-regarded real estate expert Christopher Collins recently advised on a major shopping center development. Observers highlight him as "excellent, knowledgeable, reasonable and thorough - a lawyer who does a fine job."

"The most important thing about Chad Tiedemann is the way he looks out for our business. He's thinking ahead about the risks that we're facing and is almost like a part of our business," said one client. Tiedemann regularly acts for major DC developers and investors, including investment advisers, insurance companies, pension funds and high net worth individuals.

Tara Scanlon is a well-respected real estate practitioner. She recently advised on the high-profile O Street Market development, as well as a $192 million apartment purchase.

Antitrust - Florida

THE FIRM This group is highlighted for its expertise in healthcare-related antitrust work, which includes a major long-running hospital case. The firm is also proficient across a broad spectrum of industries and has a substantial presence in Florida, with seven offices statewide.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Jerome Hoffman is a lawyer who "has all the skills," according to commentators. Peers recommend him for his abilities in this field, and highlight his previous experience as lead counsel to the state of Florida in a variety of antitrust cases as a strong asset for the practice.

Banking & Finance - Florida

THE FIRM This dedicated banking and finance group covers a broad range of services in the Florida market across the regulatory, public finance and transactional spectrum. Clients recommend the practice for its depth and wide footprint in the state. Notable strengths include acquisition and real estate finance, bank regulation issues and various other advisory work. It has recently been busy representing banks in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) investigations.    

Sources say: "A firm with all kinds of talent and expertise to call on - impressive depth."

KEY INDIVIDUALS José Sirven maintains an impressive reputation in the transactional sphere. He is widely experienced and routinely represents both borrowers and lenders in complex transactional matters. He is also noted for his knowledge of the Latin American market. 

Peers describe Edward Vogel as "an absolutely exceptional attorney and a leader in public finance." He continues to be acknowledged for his bond work.

With a focus on regulatory matters, Charles Stutts has played a lead role in the firm's handling of FDIC investigations, and has represented former directors and officers in such matters.

Sources describe Joe Dewey as "responsive, knowledgeable and reliable." He is particularly valued for his prowess in real estate finance. One client describes him as "a very diplomatic communicator who always manages to deliver the right message in the best way. I never have to question whether he has anything other than our best interests at heart."

Tampa-based Barbara Yadley is well versed in the field of commercial lending. She frequently represents loyal client Jabil Circuit in numerous banking and finance matters, and recently advised it in connection with a credit facility transaction.

Andres Fernandez recently joined the firm from Gunster. He is praised by peers for his experience in money laundering matters and continues to work with clients on a range of regulation compliance issues.  

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Florida

THE FIRM This large national firm has a glowing reputation for handling major financial institution and creditor-side matters. The group recently represented Wells Fargo Bank in a number of significant restructuring matters, and also counts the likes of RAIT Financial Trust and Jabil Circuit as key clients. 

Sources say: "I am extremely impressed with the firm – not only with the partners, but with their paralegals and assistants as well. Everyone is very helpful and willing to go the extra mile."

KEY INDIVIDUALS "Talented and strong litigator" Rod Anderson represents an array of financial institutions and creditors. He continues to represent Jabil Circuit as one of the largest unsecured creditors in the Nortel Networks bankruptcy cases pending in Canada, Delaware and the UK.

Noel Boeke is "extremely responsive and attentive to detail," say sources; "he is also very smart, diplomatic and adept in dealing with the opposition." He is currently representing Bill Maloney as Chapter 11 trustee to Earthfirst Technologies and Electric Machinery Enterprises. 

The "outstanding" Keith Fendrick has a broad-ranging practice and is heralded for his ability to "ensure that the client has a good understanding of the legal process."

Seasoned authority Leonard Gilbert has been undertaking "exceedingly strong work as a mediator." He was recently appointed as a mediator in adversary proceedings relating to the bankruptcy proceedings of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker. Sources note that "people trust and respect him."

Samuel Zusmann has tremendous levels of experience, and all-encompassing knowledge of the bankruptcy and restructuring sector. One peer said: "He's forgotten more law than I'll ever know!"

Construction - Florida

THE FIRM This thriving practice handles a broad range of construction matters, including litigation, dispute resolution and financial issues for contractors, developers and investors alike. The team has a strong reputation for producing extremely high-quality work.

Sources say: "They did an excellent job for us. My advice would be to go nowhere but Holland & Knight in Florida. You need someone who knows substantive law, which they did, and you also need people who have a relationship with the licensing department. I have no hesitation in recommending them. You frankly couldn't find anybody better."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Ben Subin receives high praise across the board. One source enthuses: "I would unqualifiedly recommend him. He's a good sounding board – he's very calm, organized and methodical in his approach to problems. He's very good at calming situations to allow a resolution."

Corporate/M&A - Florida

THE FIRM This firm's strength in corporate and private equity matters is evidenced by its enviable client roster and a collection of high-quality mandates. The team enjoys a substantial volume of business from the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, and assisted PharMerica with its successful defense of a $700 million hostile takeover bid by Omnicare. The corporate specialists at Holland & Knight are commended for their ability to coordinate with other departments in order to provide a holistic service to clients. Further key names in the team's client roster include Auxilium Pharmaceuticals and Highpoint Tower Technology.

Sources say: "They have both the knowledge of the law and the practical counsel to get the deal done." "A significant presence across the state."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "extremely talented and well-regarded" Robert Grammig is lauded as a major player in the Florida market, and an "incredibly business-oriented and pragmatic lawyer." A high-volume workload includes defending PharMerica against a threatened hostile takeover, as well as advising a number of the team's other key clients on acquisitions and dispositions.

Among various highlights, Rodney Bell represented sunscreen manufacturer Sun & Skin Care Research in its sale to a private equity firm. He is a well-known figure in the region, with extensive knowledge of corporate governance issues.

Chester Bacheller is "a highly intelligent and very practical" lawyer, noted for his excellent reputation.

Interviewees laud Tom McAleavey for his attention to detail. Standout matters include advising Jabil Circuit on its $132.2 million acquisition of Telmar Network Technology.

Environment - Florida

THE FIRM This talented environmental team offers a broad range of environmental services, including work relating to permitting issues, administrative litigation and rule challenging. The group offers expertise on climate change and brownfield redevelopment, and has experience in working on behalf of major waste management firms as well as industrial land owners. 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Roger Sims has impressive experience in environmental law. Sources highlight his expertise on the subject of water management districts, noting that "he's a particularly important person in that subject area."

Lawrence Sellers balances his successful environmental practice with involvement in lobbying in this area. Observers say that "he's a practitioner as well as a lobbyist, which keeps him current and knowledgeable about public policy." 

Lawrence Curtin is renowned for his expertise in the powerplant sector. Sources say his strengths lie in "his vast knowledge of the environmental field and his ability to make quick decisions."  

Healthcare - Florida

THE FIRM This team is called upon to provide its tremendous industry expertise on some of the nation's leading M&A deals. It recently acted as healthcare and insurance counsel to the buyer on Express Scripts' purchase of Medco Health Solutions for $29.1 billion. In addition to its strong advisory and transactional work, the team is well equipped to handle a broad range of healthcare disputes.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Maria Currier's clients go to her for transactions, contract and regulatory work, and praise her for being "very knowledgeable, always providing good results and being very cost-effective." Currier was one of the key partners advising Express Scripts on its Medco acquisition.

Shannon Hartsfield Salimone is recommended by peers and clients for her "excellent regulatory advice," which she has honed from her base in the state capital. She is especially well versed in the ins and outs of HIPAA.

Latin American Investment - Florida

THE FIRM This team's corporate and commercial expertise attracts a broad swath of clients, including major names from the medical, banking and hospitality industries. Recent highlights include advising a noted private equity firm on its investment in Virgin Mobile Latin America, and representing Drummond Company in its negotiations for the development of a coal-loading port facility in Colombia. Miami remains the headquarters of the Latin America practice, but clients can also draw on the talents of Bogotá-based experts since the firm's Colombian office opened in June 2012.

Sources say: "Service is excellent and very commercially oriented."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice founder George Mencio advised InterContinental Hotels on its franchise agreements for the development of two new Holiday Inn hotels in northern Colombia. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Litigation - Florida

THE FIRM This full-service firm handles both commercial and white-collar criminal litigation. It is active in a variety of industries, including healthcare, transport and financial services. Sources appreciate the group's excellent coverage thanks to its eight offices across Florida. Government investigations are a further area of strength for the team thanks to its noteworthy experience in this field. Holland & Knight also excels in securities litigation and is regarded as a go-to firm for such disputes.

Sources say: "The team is very quick at responding. If we need something for the following day, or even the same day, it reacts very quickly." "Helpful and practical. I would recommend the firm for any kind of action."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Litigation section leader and "terrific lawyer" John Hogan is hailed by fellow practitioners as an "acknowledged leader in white-collar criminal litigation." With years of prior work in government positions, he is particularly valued for his "wealth of practical experience" and thoughtful approach to litigation. He represents corporate clients in a broad spectrum of white-collar litigation, internal investigations and compliance issues.

Bill Shepherd draws praise from clients and peers alike for his even-handed approach. One interviewee observes: "First and foremost he has great judgment and a far greater sense of the bigger picture. He is not drawn in to unnecessary conflicts or fights if they do not serve the client." 

Sanford Bohrer is "a gifted lawyer with a highly visible practice." Sources acknowledge that he is establishing an international reputation after acting on several high-profile disputes. One interviewee claims that he "gets cases resolved quickly" and is a "brilliant" practitioner.

Tracy Nichols is described as "extremely talented and very bright. She's a strategic thinker and clients love her." She has a healthy reputation for clearly grasping issues and advising her clients accordingly.

William Wilson "is bright and gifted and does a great job," according to market commentators. His practice focuses largely on commercial litigation.

As "one of the most respected lawyers in Tampa," Joseph Varner continues to impress with his effective courtroom manner. He is particularly noted for his expertise in personal injury and professional negligence matters.

Latour Lafferty recently joined the team from Fowler White Boggs. Former federal prosecutor Lafferty advises a range of clients on investigations, compliance and enforcement matters. Impressed interviewees report that he is "very bright," and "vigorously and fairly represents his clients." Recent work highlights at his prior firm include representing Country Super Buffet in an immigration and human trafficking prosecution.

Real Estate - Florida

THE FIRM This reputable firm's high-quality real estate practice covers financings, transactional work and land use and zoning. The group recently advised Morris Publishing on the Florida real estate aspects of its Chapter 11 reorganization plan. Other clients include Beazer Homes, Liberty Property Trust and IKEA.

Sources say: "The service is absolutely excellent. I am a very satisfied customer."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Commentators describe land use and zoning expert Juan Mayol as "clearly one of the most respects lawyers in this arena." He recently represented Blue Lake in the purchase of land for a retail center development. 

Joseph Goldstein is "entrepreneurial, focused, and a problem solver," say sources. He recently represented Simon Property Group in land use issues affecting shopping centers in Miami-Dade County.

John Halula excels in real estate transactions and financing. Clients rate his "excellent style and work ethic." He recently advised HSBC Realty Credit Corporation on a $226 million loan workout matter.

Richard Eckhard is renowned as a quality transactional real estate lawyer. Notably, he has been working with DeBartolo Development on a major retail development project in Hawaii.

James Seay has cultivated a highly reputable transactional real estate practice. Sources relate that he is "a very skilled lawyer both on the technical side and practical business side."

Barbara Ferrer is an up-and-coming real estate lawyer whom sources describe as "a good person and a good professional." She handles a variety of real estate and banking transactions, with a focus on multifamily housing and complex commercial work.

Christopher Brockman is noted for his talent in leasing agreements. Sources opine that "he has a lot of experience in the industry and is always helpful. He's a skilled attorney and has the right approach."

Ted Brown has recently joined the firm from Baker & Hostetler. He enjoys a great reputation in land use and zoning matters and, according to one interviewee, "is business savvy and knows what is doable and what is not doable."

Tax - Florida

THE FIRM The Florida offices of this well-regarded, full-service national firm undertake a large amount of international tax work, focusing on both inbound and outbound investments, and restructuring matters. The firm also handles a substantial number of domestic tax issues, encompassing a strong transactional practice, as well as estate planning and employee benefits advice.

KEY INDIVIDUALS James Ervin is a stalwart of the state and local tax Bar in Florida. His recent work includes advising clients on corporate income tax matters matters concerning the Florida Department of Revenue. His practice covers the full range of tax advice, from audits to assessment protest, litigation and legislative lobbying.

Tampa-based Bernard Barton is "excellent and super practical," according to sources, who also value his ability to manage high-risk cases. Though best known for advising clients on state and local taxation, he also has a formidable federal tax advice practice.  

Edward Koren chairs the firm's private wealth service group, and is praised by sources for his expertise and ferocious work ethic. Aside from estate planning, he shows expertise in contentious transfer tax work and matters involving the IRS. Sources say: "He is the succession planning maven."

Christopher Boyett is another member of Holland & Knight's estate planning practice. He focuses on succession and tax planning for closely held businesses and high net worth individuals, as part of a broader estate and trust administration offering.

William Sherman is lauded by sources for his international tax practice, including a particular specialism in foreign taxation. He has recently advised a number of international clients on complex cross-border tax structuring matters.

Andrew Weinstein brings over 40 years of Florida tax expertise to bear on tax controversy matters, and is praised by sources for his deep expertise and the quality of his tax advice.

Kevin Packman is an up-and-coming lawyer who has expertise in estate planning, tax controversy and creditor protection planning. He has recently acted on behalf of clients engaged in voluntary disclosure to the IRS.

Miami-based Robert Friedman is noted by sources for his employee benefit work. As well as advising clients on executive compensation, he is singled out by peers for his ERISA expertise.

Litigation - Georgia

THE FIRM This compact team punches above its weight when it comes to litigation matters. The group handles a broad range of cases, inclusive of appellate, RICO and product liability matters. In a recent work highlight, the team defended Atlanta Independent School System in a class action suit that challenged its school's use of taxes for economic development. The team acts as counsel to a diverse client list that includes Bondurant, Embraco and Toyota Financial Savings Bank.

Sources say: "I've worked with a number of individuals at the firm; I've seen how they operate and I've been impressed."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Harold Daniel focuses his established practice on litigation involving antitrust, business torts and general commercial matters. Sources commend him as a trial lawyer who has "vast experience with juries and complex business disputes."

Laurie Webb Daniel is described by observers as someone who has "both the respect and the ear of the appellate courts." Recently, she formed part of the team acting for Terrabrook Vista Lakes, defending a putative class action brought against it regarding a real estate development in the vicinity of a bomb range dating from the Second World War.

Allen Maines recently joined the firm from Paul Hastings. He is noted for his "ability to make deals happen." "I would say that he's the brightest and best attorney that I've worked with," one source reported.

Healthcare - Illinois

THE FIRM Sophisticated regulatory and transactional matters are at the core of Holland & Knight's healthcare practice. The group also specializes in advising academic medical centers and other providers on health reform. In a recent highlight it represented the Union Associated Physicians Clinic in its restructuring of a new healthcare system designed to service West Central Indiana.

Sources say: "I have never been disappointed with the quality of the work completed or dissatisfied with the cost."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Elias Matsakis heads the Chicago Healthcare and Life Sciences team.

Labor & Employment - Illinois

THE FIRM This team handles employment law and labor relations for clients such as Ameren Services, Boston Market Corporation, CVS Caremark and Exelon. The group represented Exelon Nuclear Security in a labor arbitration brought against it by a former employee claiming wrongful dismissal.  

Sources say: "The firm is very knowledgeable, very professional and gives outstanding customer service and results."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Vyverberg is "always willing to roll up his sleeves and help with whatever needs to be done," say sources. Observers go on to comment that he is "low ego and high integrity, a great mix of intellect and practicality."

Mark Shapiro focuses on contract administration and collective bargaining. He is very experienced in litigating proceedings before the NLRB and is described as "extremely thoughtful and detail-oriented."

Media & Entertainment - Illinois

THE FIRM The entertainment team at Holland & Knight is renowned for its work within film production, and also continues to expand its work in television, music, finance and celebrity branding. It has represented celebrity chefs Anthony Mantuano and Sarah Grueneberg in a variety of matters, and is also acting as production counsel for TinRes Entertainment on an upcoming film.

Sources say: “Fantastic! Very responsive and proactive. They really care and their advice is always to the point and really good.”

KEY INDIVIDUALS "Major film lawyer" Robert Labate elicits much praise for his range of experience and depth of knowledge. "He is very helpful, his advice is always terrific and you always get the sense he cares about clients," reports one enthusiastic interviewee. 

Real Estate - Illinois

THE FIRM Holland & Knight wins praise from clients for its work in land use, zoning and government-related real estate work. Additionally, members of the team specialize in representing REITs, investment advisers, and landlords and tenants, on leasing matters. The firm recently represented the Governor of the State of Illinois in a matter involving the development of a third airport in south Chicago. Representative clients also include CVS Realty, Washington Properties, New Trier Partners Development and Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Centers.

Sources say: "What makes them stand out is their ability to get matters completed, and their connections to government and business players in the community." "Highly professional and well researched."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of the firm's land use and government practice group, and leader of the firm's Chicago office, Steven Elrod specializes in land use for private and public clients. Sources comment that he is "incredibly responsive and accessible – Steve has a unique perspective when representing private clients." 

Victor Filippini has expertise in municipal law, zoning and land use and is well thought-of by clients and peers alike, many of whom particularly appreciate the thought he puts into matters.

Head of real estate Peter Friedman concentrates on representing private equity firms, state and local governments and private sector developers on all matters related to real estate, land use and zoning. Sources comment that his "work is always very detailed and thorough, with well thought-out recommendations." 

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Massachusetts

THE FIRM Midmarket companies facing financial distress form the key client base for the Boston branch of this firm, which uses its expertise in asset disposition and in-house counseling to great effect. The team maintains a strong hold over local filings as well as an impressive caseload for international borrowers. This year the group has successfully represented Silver Sun Partners as trial counsel in a contested confirmation hearing, as well as handling the more general aspects of the Chapter 11 proceedings.

KEY INDIVIDUALS National practice group leader John Monaghan remains a leading figure of the state and federal bankruptcy Bar. His practice has a strong international dimension, particularly in the maritime and hospitality industries. He has recently secured a substantial victory for client Haymarket Capital in relation to its loans to Planet Fitness.

Healthcare - Massachusetts

Labor & Employment - Massachusetts

THE FIRM The expertise of this Boston team is far reaching, and includes civil rights claims, OSHA, whistle-blower cases and noncompete cases. Its attorneys handle labor-related matters and litigation in employment with equal aplomb. The firm has particular expertise in representing clients drawn from the healthcare, technology and education sectors, while still maintaining a broader client base. 

Sources say: "They take the time to really get to know our business. Regardless of how big or small the issue may be, they ask the right questions and get the right results."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Miriam McKendall focuses her practice on the education sector. She has recently worked on cases involving allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment and violations of the Family Medical Leave Act. Sources state that she is "responsive, an excellent problem solver, and a partner throughout the process."

Real Estate - Massachusetts

THE FIRM This team is held in high esteem for its strength in financing, representing lenders in syndication and lease work, as well as for its growing practice in development work. The group also has experience in multifamily and mixed-use projects.

Sources say: "The team has creativity combined with attention to detail and knowledge of how the client likes to work."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Philip Notopoulos offers expert guidance in acquisition and easement work, and recently worked on a significant rail expansion project. One impressed source said: "Phil has always been right on top of very complex zoning, permitting and financing processes - I always feel I'm getting the best advice from him."

Philip Lapatin is a well-regarded commercial leasing expert, representing both landlords and tenants. Client praise for him is high: "He has done a superb job; we couldn't have asked for better." 

Banking & Finance - Nationwide

THE FIRM Holland & Knight is a highly esteemed practice in the equipment finance and leasing market. The group is a leading authority in the aviation finance space, where it is particularly experienced in representing airlines and lessors in complex transactions. Among its recent highlights is its counsel to GE Capital Aviation Services in connection with the public issuance of $1.7 billion bonds secured by 137 aircraft on lease to US airlines. The practice also has stellar expertise in the shipping finance arena, drawing on strong capabilities across the field of maritime law. Other strengths include railcar and equipment leasing and finance work.

Sources say: "They offer industry knowledge, attention to detail and close communication with their clients."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Nancy Hengen is a notable figure in the shipping finance space. She recently advised Nordea Bank Finland, as agent and lender, on modification to a $1.4 billion credit facility made to shipping company, Excel Maritime Carriers. 

San Francisco-based William Piels is described as "very collaborative, thoughtful, thorough and responsive." He is widely respected as one of the best aviation finance lawyers in the market and is regularly seen representing airlines, lender and lessors in complex transactions.

John Pritchard is viewed as someone who "knows the industry and deal matter so well." Sources say "he is great at negotiating deals, very reasonable and highly knowledgeable."

"Smart, analytical lawyer" Fred Bass recently advised GE Capital Rail Services in the acquisition of railcars and the sale of several portfolios of leased locomotives and railcars. He is also experienced in aviation finance transactions.

Construction - Nationwide

THE FIRM Holland & Knight's full-service construction group is truly international in scope, handling significant projects in the Middle East and South America, as well as across the USA. The group serves clients in all corners of the industry, with a particular concentration on major contractor and owner representations. The team recently advised the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative in connection with a $70 million fiber-optic cable deployment project. Other notable clients include BCI Construction, Embassy of Sweden and New York Transportation Authority.

Sources say: "Excellent lawyers." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS The DC-based Stephen Shapiro is the firm's construction practice group leader. He has broad expertise, including litigation, dispute resolution and procurement, and represents a varied client base.

Environment - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm's environmental practice offers clients a holistic service in matters related to wetlands, hazardous waste, endangered species and brownfield redevelopment by working seamlessly with the firm's land use and zoning practice. The team recently represented the National Association of Clean Water Agencies in CWA amendments relating to federal government stormwater pollution cleanup payments. The firm also acts for Invesco Advisers, CEMEX and American Road & Transportation Builders Association.

Sources say: "Very good in legal and personal skills and in the ability to manage and work with us on cases."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Amy Edwards is cochair of the firm's nationwide environmental team. She is an expert in brownfield development, and routinely counsels corporations, developers and financial institutions on environmental issues.

Food & Beverages - Nationwide

THE FIRM This San Francisco-based group focuses on alcohol regulatory issues. While the firm is known for its work in the California wine industry, it also provides advice to clients all over the country. A flourishing area of activity for the firm is advising on issues surrounding online alcohol distribution and marketing. Its clients include 5th Rock, Francis Coppola Winery, MGM Resorts International and Pernod Ricard.

Client Service "They are really responsive and don't waste time. They work with a sense of urgency that nobody else does."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Newman recently advised Fidelity National Financial on the alcohol regulatory components of its purchase of O'Charley's Restaurant Chain. "He understands where regulators are coming from and understands what his clients want and does a very good job of balancing those interests," say interviewees.

Government - Nationwide

THE FIRM This group maintains its focus on bid protests, and is defending Raytheon's Missile Systems Division against a protest in relation to a multimillion-dollar weapons contract awarded by the US Marine Corps. The team has also enjoyed success in suspension and debarment proceedings, and is positioning itself well in the growing field of state government contracting. Holland & Knight's additional proficiency in the areas of white-collar crime and compliance further strengthen its ability to counsel contractor clients operating within this sphere.

Commercial Awareness "They helped us position ourselves during a time-consuming, complex renegotiation of a contract. We've relied greatly on these attorneys."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The past year has seen David Black represent Blackstone Consulting in protests before the GAO, in addition to providing general counseling services in relation to contract compliance and administration. Black is equally adept at responding to government investigations and audits, as well as assisting clients with issues arising out of terminations. Sources are enthusiastic about his skills: "David understands business. I'll shoot off a quick query and he doesn't filter the work down or accrue unnecessary hours - he'll give a quick response."

Government - Nationwide

THE FIRM The public policy and regulation group at Holland & Knight supports clients including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, Dow Chemical, FirstEnergy and Thomson Reuters Legal. The group has grown over the past year, and has a deep bench of lawyers accompanied by a large number of nonlegal professionals able to expertly advise in policy matters. The federal healthcare policy team recently achieved significant success assisting a number of clients across a range of sectors optimize opportunities arising out of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. 

Sources say: "I am pleased with the firm's performance. The team that works with us is professional in every way, and their attention to detail is impressive."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Gold's impressive practice covers a broad range of fields, including transportation, food safety, energy and environment.

David Whitestone is chair of the firm's transportation industry practice, which sees him counseling a vast number of rail, aviation and maritime clients in relation to their regulatory and public policy work. Sources admire Whitestone, saying that "he's extremely well liked, smart and a good strategist."

Leisure & Hospitality - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm has a broad-based hospitality practice which encompasses the hotel and timeshare sector and includes work such as management agreements, financing, acquisitions and related litigation. The team focuses on representing hotel brands, exemplified by its work for Intercontinental Hotel Group on two franchise agreements with the developers of two new Holiday Inn hotels in Colombia.

Sources say: "They have very strong experience in the hospitality arena and they understand and know our company and its objectives."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Lynn Cadwalader is an experienced leisure and hospitality lawyer who regularly handles both hotel and mixed-use work. She recently represented the Ritz-Carlton Hotel company in connection with the management and licensing of a branded condominium project under development in Hawaii.

Joseph Guay is a real estate and finance lawyer with a proven track record in the hospitality sector. Sources say: "He is extremely responsive and technically proficient, and has a terrific bedside manner. He is always positive and upbeat."

Native American Law - Nationwide

THE FIRM This large national practice maintains offices in DC, New York and California, and acts for tribal governments, as well as companies seeking to do business with Indian nations. The firm's key strengths include expertise in federal, state and tribal tax issues, as well as government relations matters. Recent work highlights have included a notable victory for the Blue Lake Rancheria tribe in a significant tax refund case.  

KEY INDIVIDUALS Jerome Levine heads the practice from the firm's Los Angeles office. He is described by one commentator as "the dean of Native American gaming counsel."  

Philip Baker-Shenk is renowned for his federal relations advocacy skills on behalf of tribal governments and organizations, as well as companies conducting business with Indian tribal entities.

Products Liability - Nationwide

THE FIRM Transport is the key forte of this practice, with key clients from the sector including Bridgestone, Continental Tire and Enterprise Leasing Company of Florida. The practice drew on its considerable toxic tort expertise in litigation on behalf of Chr. Hansen concerning exposure to diacetyl, a constituent of butter flavoring in popcorn, which plaintiffs allege caused them lung injuries. 

Client Service "They are very proactive in partnering with the client."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Colin Smith is "completely dedicated and focused, and knows the product and design better than the engineers. He's the guy I would want to be in the trenches for me." Recent highlights include his continuing defense of Bridgestone in several significant cases.

Real Estate - Nationwide

THE FIRM This international firm's real estate group offers broad geographic coverage, with 200 lawyers working out of offices across the country. It has significant experience across the full spectrum of real estate matters, including land use and finance, and stands out for its work in the hospitality sector. The group has been advising Starwood Capital Group and Tribeca Associates on the $500 million development of the Manhattan-based, five star flagship Baccarat Hotel and Residences. Other clients include Extell Development, Stark Properties and New York Life Insurance.

Client Service "They have been absolutely excellent – they're responsive and prompt, and understand what the client needs. They are a pleasure to work with."

Commercial Awareness "A professional firm with high standards and high integrity, that understands practical and business concerns."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Joe Guay is head of the real estate group, and the main contact for the firm.

Retail - Nationwide

THE FIRM This renowned firm is a prominent feature in the retail industry. Its core strength in commercial real estate and leasing makes it a significant player in the sector, and its tremendous expertise across various industries and practice areas makes it a go-to firm for major retail clients. It also has a strong restaurant practice within the retail department, with a group of lawyers dedicated to advising key clients such as McDonald's, Nando's Restaurant Group and Wagamama. It also currently represents Pie-Face Holdings, a successful Australian bakery/café chain, in its expansion into the USA.

Sources say: "The team is consistent and no matter who you get, they all do a good job."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Deborah De Luca and Tara Scanlon cochair the retail developments practice.

Tax - Nationwide

{Replace this text with your editorial}

Transportation - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm has built a respected profile for advising on high-profile matters for airlines, both foreign and domestic. The team is adept at handling all aspects of aviation finance including acquisition, financing and leasing transactions.

Sources say: "They really know the legal underpinnings that relate specifically to aircraft."

KEY INDIVIDUALS William Piels is one of the firm's best-known partners for aviation finance. He attracts considerable market acclaim for his financing practice, with sources noting that he is "very strong in operating lease matters."

John Pritchard is a much sought-after aviation finance specialist. Sources have "nothing but good things to say about him," and report that he is "great at managing deals, and in negotiation he is very reasonable and extremely knowledgeable."

Those seeking a "very smart analytical lawyer" with a keen eye for detail would do well to consider retaining the services of Fred Bass, according to sources. Aircraft finance and leasing are the cornerstones of his practice.

MJ Spelliscy is a partner in the firm's structured finance practice and is known for her prowess in asset-based transactional work. "She is extremely responsive, and really good at helping us talk through our provisions and what is reasonable," report admiring sources.

Phillip Durham's recent promotion to partnership confirms his status as one of the rising stars of aviation finance. Sources praise his commercial awareness and widely tip him for a big future. 

Transportation - Nationwide

THE FIRM This national firm's aviation practice continues to be recognized for its solid showing in the market. Recent matters include the representation of Air France-KLM in litigation stemming from the June 2009 Flight 447 crash in the Atlantic Ocean. Clients include AerCap, JetBlue Airways and Turkish Airlines.

Sources say: "Every one of them is an excellent lawyer in complex cases with good practical sense in simpler cases."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Randal Craft chairs the aviation group. Sources agree that he is "a very thorough and diligent attorney, with a lot of experience with aviation accidents." He advised Turkish Airlines on litigation surrounding the February 2009 crash in Amsterdam.

Christopher Kelly leads the firm's New York litigation practice. He acted on the Air France-KLM Flight 447 matter, and has also led for JetBlue in contentious work. He ascends the rankings after receiving strong feedback from the market.

Alan Reitzfeld also played a lead role on the Air France-KLM Flight 447 matter. Sources describe him as "a very smart guy" and "a good brief writer."

Transportation - Nationwide

THE FIRM This firm wins notable market respect for its airline representation. It recently advised Qatar Airways on regulatory provisions relating to its joint venture with FlexJet. Other key clients include Air Canada and Turkish Airlines.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Anita Mosner is highly praised by market sources. Sources speak of her as a committed client advocate, noting that "she looks out for her clients better than anyone." She represents airlines and airports, and is noted for her knowledge of the startup process for nascent air carriers.

Transportation - Nationwide

THE FIRM This national firm is recognized for its regulatory and litigation capabilities in the road transportation arena, and is particularly noted for its experience pertaining to the trucking industry. The team recently represented transportation and logistics company Landstar on a federal lawsuit concerning accounting, contract and tort claims exceeding $1 million. Other clients include CXS Transportation and Pacer International.

Commercial Awareness "It is a market leader in knowing the industry and shaping legal issues."

KEY INDIVIDUALS William Byrne handles litigation, contractual and regulatory matters for clients such as CSX and Landstar. Sources report: "He has vast experience in rail, truck and maritime law, and he works very well with internal clients and other outside law firms."

Larry Hamilton played a lead role in the Landstar matter. He receives warm praise from the market, with one interviewee noting both his tremendous trial skills and the fact that "he brings a common-sense approach to the cost-to-benefit ratio at every stage of the case, which is very helpful." 

Transportation - Nationwide

THE FIRM Clients report long and productive relationships with this firm's respected ship finance team. The group is noted for its representation of US and foreign banks in ship finance transactions, and is increasingly active in handling shipping group restructurings. The group recently advised Citigroup Global Markets as underwriter on $269 million of ship financing bonds.

Sources say: "Holland & Knight provides a full-service transport desk."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Nancy Hengen is "a smart lawyer," according to sources, one praising her "correct and good advice" in particular. She recently advised DNB and Nordea on financing related to the acquisition of 30 vessel-owning single-purpose corporations. 

The "knowledgeable and reliable" Jovi Tenev handles all aspects of shipping finance for financial institutions and other industry players. He was a lead lawyer on the for Citigroup Global Markets matter. 

Transportation - Nationwide

THE FIRM This national firm continues to impress in the maritime litigation arena. The team recently acted for a consortium of insurers on enforcing a multijurisdictional judgment of more than $80 million, following a 1988 chemical explosion aboard the M/V Aconcagua. An impressive client roster also includes Hanjin Shipping and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, in addition to a host of P&I clubs.

KEY INDIVIDUALS William Honan calls on "a world of experience," and is "very solid and careful," according to sources. He represents clients in all aspects of maritime litigation and arbitration. He recently represented Conoco Phillips and Phillips 66 in connection with an estimated $48 million of damages to a jetty.

James Hohenstein focuses on charter party disputes, cargo claims and maritime bankruptcy matters. He played a lead role for DNB concerning an insolvency related to a $685 million ship financing to the BLT Group. Sources report: "He is a real advocate for clients. He is a gentleman, and is fair."

Michael Frevola is described as "very cooperative," but also "aggressive and smart" in his pursuit of client interests. He led for Gunvor in a bankruptcy preference dispute.

James Power played a lead role on the M/V Aconcagua incident. Sources remark that he is "very good – aggressive and knowledgeable." 

Transportation - Nationwide

THE FIRM Market observers have a high opinion of this national firm's capabilities in the maritime litigation arena. The team routinely represents clients in shipping accidents, arrests of vessels and allegations of environmental law infractions. The team recently represented Wilh. Wilhelmsen on an appeal in connection with a 2002 collision in the English Channel.

Sources say: "Holland & Knight has the maritime background and breadth."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "very knowledgeable" Chester Hooper played a lead role on the Wilh. Wilhelmsen matter. Sources praise his extensive experience and note that he is "very knowledgeable."

Matthew Vafidis leads the firm's West Coast litigation group. His practice includes representing domestic and foreign clients in high-stakes marine pollution, attachment and cargo matters.

Wealth Management - Nationwide

THE FIRM This impressive group continues to advise high net worth estates from across the firm's national network of offices. It also fields a litigation team focusing predominantly on fiduciary duties and probate disputes. It has recently handled an increasing quantity of international estate planning matters.

Client Service "I find them available and responsive. What I really like about them is that they work very much as a team, and that's a great help."

Commercial Awareness "They understand where practical implementation cuts through the theoretical, and can communicate practical options to clients, who can then make informed decisions."

KEY INDIVIDUALS With over four decades of experience, Bruce Ross is one of the most well-respected trust and estates litigators in the country. He cochairs the national trust and estates disputes practice from the Los Angeles office.

Tampa-based Edward Koren heads the wealth management practice and is a well-known market player. "There is no question as to the level of sophistication of his work and his knowledge on current tax changes - he is very knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with," say clients.

John Dadakis leads the New York practice and specializes in advising private equity and hedge fund principals, entrepreneurs and executives on their wealth planning needs.

Construction - New York

THE FIRM This firm's New York construction practice regularly handles both transactional and litigation matters, for contractors, owners and construction managers. A recent highlight saw the group acting for a New York State public authority on a $200 million infrastructure improvement project. The impressive client list also includes Gotham Construction, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and En-Tech.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources describe Frederick Rohn as an "amazing lawyer," and particularly appreciate his "good practical mentality." He recently represented the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in design and construction dispute matters relating to the East Side Access project.

Corporate/M&A - Northern Virginia

THE FIRM This group's broad corporate practice covers venture capital finance, middle and upper-market M&A deals and due diligence. It has a strong focus on government contracts, with additional expertise in other industries including healthcare, retail, green tech and life sciences. The firm recently represented management consulting firm Whitney Bradley & Brown (WBB) in its sale to Netstar-1 Government Consulting.

Sources say: "I would use them again and again - they were simply outstanding."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Government contracts specialist William Mutryn is recommended for his "professional, understated and calm" approach to his work. One client said: "He is a superstar."

Eric Wechselblatt is "a go-to guy" for emerging growth work. "Working with Eric was a fantastic experience," said one client, adding: "He is compassionate and strong, he understood me, and made sure I understood everything."

The up-and-coming Adam August is praised for his "intelligence, responsiveness and focus on delivering good value." He represents both public and private company clients in merger, acquisition and disposition transactions. One client comments: "He did a great job in getting us to the finish line."

Real Estate - Northern Virginia

THE FIRM This firm advises on complex real estate transactions and zoning and related litigation. It recently represented Arlington County Board in a ground lease transaction for the development of an affordable housing complex. Other clients include Washington Properties, Habitat for Humanity Northern Virginia, ING Realty Partners and Burger King.

Sources say: "The quality of the work at this firm is excellent."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Michelle Rosati is "truly a standout - she is clear and concise in her work and has a knack for looking at problems from every possible angle. She has a deep breadth of knowledge regarding all aspects of real estate and a gift for resolving adversarial situations."

The "thorough and professional" Stuart Mendelsohn is commended for his "strong knowledge of the market place" and described as a "strategic thinker."