Holland & Knight


Holland & Knight

Holland & Knight



Holland & Knight LLP is an international law firm with more than 1,400 lawyers and other professionals in 27 offices in the United States, Europe, and Latin America The firm provides representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law.

Office locations

Holland & Knight has offices in the United States, Colombia, England and Mexico.


Predecessor firms

The Knight firm was founded in 1889 in Tampa, Florida. The Holland firm was established in 1919 in Polk County, Florida . In 1968, the two merged to form Holland & Knight.

Major Principals

Spessard Holland received a law degree from the University of Florida Law School in 1916; in addition to his work as a lawyer, he was Governor of Florida (1941–1945) and U.S. Senator from Florida (1946–1971). He practiced law until his death in November 1971.

Peter O. Knight graduated from Valparaiso University Law School in 1884 In addition to his work as a lawyer, he served in the Florida Legislature, and founded TECO Energy, and a major bank. He died in 1946.

Chesterfield Smith was 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. He served also as Chairman of the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission.

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
  • 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
  • 2013 Opened office in Dallas, Texas
  • 2014 Opened office in Austin, TX
  • 2015 Opened office in Houston, TX
  • 2016 Opened office in Stamford, CT
  • 2016 Opened office in London, England
  • 2018 Opened office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 2021 Opened office in Orange County, California

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. By comparison, during that same period Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld donated $2.56 million, 66% to Democrats, while oil conglomerate ExxonMobil donated $2.66 million, 88% to Republicans. Since 1990, Holland & Knight has contributed $10.47 million to federal campaigns, and spent over $1 million on lobbying since 2001.

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 pro bono clients included:

  • 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

Charitable work

Charitable giving is managed and coordinated by the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation (GuideStar Profile), 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[16] national essay contest, Young Native Writers Essay Contest 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.

Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom

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.


  • Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers named Holland & Knight one of 50 "2012 Best Law Firms for Women".
  • The firm earned Gold Standard Certification from The Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) p.
  • The firm ranked third in The American Lawyer magazine's 2012 Diversity Scorecard for the number of Hispanic attorneys.
  • The firm was awarded the "Michael K. Reese Quality of Life Award" by The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division.

Industry awards

  • The firm received national first-tier rankings in the 2013 U.S. News – Best Lawyers Best Law Firms guide in 22 practice areas.
  • More than 130 Holland & Knight attorneys were named in the Chambers USA 2013 guide.
  • Corporate Counsel magazine named Holland & Knight a "2012 Go-To Law Firm" for the top 500 U.S. companies.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Directors & Boards magazine ranked Holland & Knight the nation's top law firm for dealing with director liability issues.
  • The firm was 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.
  • Former Congressman Gerry Sikorski, Richard Gold, and Kathryn Hazeem Lehman were recognized by The Hill as Washington, D.C.'s Top Lobbyists.

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Alena Potapova

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