Holland & Knight LLP at a Glance


  • “Challenging assignments”
  • “Cooperative atmosphere”
  • “Commitment to pro bono”


  • “Salary and bonus determination is a black box”
  • “No help when low on work”
  • “Stress about billables”

The Buzz

  • “Excellent in Florida”
  • “Friendly”
  • “Secretly enormous”

About Holland & Knight LLP

A veritable global conglomerate, Holland & Knight complements its fleet of offices in the United States with locations in the UK and Latin America, including England, Colombia, and Mexico. With a political pedigree and strong Capitol Hill ties, the firm covers dozens of practice areas, from industry-specific teams to litigation, corporate law, intellectual property and tax.

A Prime Pedigree

One of the nation's largest law firms, today's Holland & Knight hardly resembles the startup opened in 1968. The firm was a combination of the two firms built by Florida practitioners Peter O. Knight and Spessard Holland, with roots dating back to 1889 and 1929, respectively.

Holland's life could have gone in a very different direction. As a young man with a strong pitching arm, he was recruited by the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team; he turned down the offer and went to Emory University, instead. From there, he went to the University of Florida Law School. World War I then interfered with his career. After completing overseas service, Holland returned to Florida and became a county judge, then opened a small firm with his partner W.F. Bevis. He ascended quickly through Florida's political ranks, becoming the state's governor in the early 1940s and then serving 24 years in the U.S. Senate.

Likewise, Peter Knight's career combined law and politics. A Valparaiso Law grad, Knight became the mayor of Fort Myers, Florida at the tender age of 20. In 1889, he was elected to the Florida legislature and began practicing in Tampa-then a fledgling municipality. He was one of the city's most prominent men, establishing a bank and an electric utility. As his law practice grew, Knight turned away from politics, declining President Warren G. Harding's invitation to the U.S. Supreme Court bench.

Smith's Vision

Present-day Holland & Knight owes much of its success to the late Chesterfield Smith, who oversaw the combination of Holland and Knight's practices and was the new firm's first managing partner. Before the tie-up, Smith had served as president of the Florida Bar Association; a decade later he became president of the American Bar Association. It was Smith, speaking on behalf of the ABA, who made one of the earliest public calls for an investigation of President Richard Nixon's role in the Watergate scandal.

Besides keeping an eye on Washington power players, Smith worked to transform Holland & Knight from a regional practice to a global firm. One of his key ideas was decentralization: boundaries between local offices would be fluid, and lawyers would be matched to clients on the basis of skill and compatibility, not geography. Smith remained in charge until 1983.

From Palm Trees to Politicians

In the 1990s, Holland & Knight experienced a significant expansion, opening new offices across the U.S. and making its way overseas. While the firm still has eight offices in Florida, it now boasts 19 offices outside of the Sunshine state, from San Francisco to Bogota. On the east coast, the firm's Washington, DC office has continued to gain strength and is the center of the firm's lobbying activities. In fact, Holland & Knight is known as one of the top lobby shops inside the Beltway, having helped clients secure billions of dollars in funding for infrastructure, development and research projects.


May 2016
Three New Offices in Three Months

In May, Holland & Knight opened an office in London to expand its transportation finance practice. The office includes six attorneys, all of whom previously practiced at Clark Ricketts, a well-established London law firm whose practice is devoted to transportation law. Earlier in the year, the firm expanded its presence in the financial services industry by adding an office in Charlotte, N.C., and opened an office in Stamford, Conn., with a group of corporate and M&A lawyers.

April 2016
How Appealing

In a high-profile case, Holland & Knight attorneys represented former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell before the U.S. Supreme Court in the appeal of his bribery conviction. Gov. McDonnell was convicted of corruption by a jury in September 2014 for accepting gifts to promote a diet supplement, a conviction that was subsequently upheld by a federal appeals court. A decision by the Supreme Court is pending.

Airfinance Award

A team of Holland & Knight attorneys advised BBAM Aircraft Management in connection with a $1.2 billion deal involving the leasing of 49 aircraft to 37 airlines is 25 countries. BBAM is a global leader in aircraft lease management, and the deal was the largest in its history. The transaction was named "North American Deal of the Year" by Airfinance Journal, the industry's foremost trade publication.

March 2016
Bienvenidos a Cuba

Holland & Knight assisted Starwood Hotels in obtaining a license to operate hotels in Cuba from the U.S. Treasury Department. Starwood subsequently signed an agreement to manage three major hotels in Havana, Hotel Inglaterra, Hotel Quinta Avenida, and Hotel Santa Isabel, becoming the first U.S. hotelier to operate in Cuba since the communist revolution. 

November 2015
Tops in Maritime, Native American Law

Holland & Knight was named "Law Firm of the Year" in Admiralty & Maritime law and Native American law by U.S. News-Best Lawyers in its annual ranking of law firms and their practice areas. The rigorous evaluation process included the collection of client and lawyer feedback and peer reviews from leading attorneys in the field. Only the firm with the most impressive overall performance was chosen for this honor.

September 2015
Lone Star Expansion

On Sept. 8, Holland & Knight opened an office in Houston, its third in Texas. The firm added offices in Dallas and Austin in 2013 and 2014, respectively. In making the announcement, Holland & Knight noted that Houston was critical to the firm's strategic expansion efforts in North and South America and cited its importance as one of the primary gateways to Latin America for U.S. businesses.   

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Holland & Knight LLP

701 Brickell Avenue
Suite 3000
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: (305) 374-8500


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Steven Sonberg
  • Firmwide Professional Growth & Development Partner: Deborah Barnard
  • Total No. Attorneys 2016: 1,220

  • Base Salary

    Major Markets
    (Boston, Chicago, Dallas, DC, LA, Tyson’s Corner, NY, San Francisco, Stamford)
    1st year: $160,000
    Summer associate: $3,200/week

    Starting salaries vary by market. Salaries after the first year are merit-based. 

  • Summer Associate Offers
    37 out of 39 (2Ls) (2015)

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Holland & Knight provides representation in more than 150 practice areas through four main practice sections:
    Real Estate

Major Office Locations

  • Anchorage, AK
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chicago, IL
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Houston, TX
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Lakeland, FL
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • New York, NY
  • Orlando, FL
  • Portland, OR
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Stamford, CT
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Tampa, FL
  • Tyson’s Corner, VA
  • Washington, DC
  • West Palm Beach, FL
  • Bogota
  • London
  • Mexico City
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