Allison McCarthy

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Allison McCarthy is a real estate and hospitality lawyer in Florida based in Holland & Knight's Fort Lauderdale office. As a member of the firm's Hospitality, Resort and Timeshare Group, Ms. McCarthy's practice focuses on commercial real estate and commercial lending, with a strong emphasis in hotel and resort development, and hospitality law. This includes hotel acquisitions and dispositions; development and finance; mixed-use development projects; hotel management agreements; branded residential projects; restaurant and spa agreements; and general hotel operation matters throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean. Ms. McCarthy has a thorough understanding of the legal intricacies that affect the hospitality industry, and represents owners, developers and international hotel companies in sophisticated and complex hospitality transactions.

In addition to the negotiation of hotel management and franchise agreements, as well as assistance in a wide range of operational matters for hotel clients, Ms. McCarthy's hospitality law practice includes the acquisition and disposition of projects ranging from full-service hotels to expansive resorts, as well as the development and structuring of hotel, resort and mixed-use hospitality projects. She has also worked on behalf of hotel companies to structure joint venture relationships with developers and investors to accomplish various goals, including to expand the footprint of an emerging brand in the limited service sector.

During the U.S.'s 2008-2010 economic downturn, Ms. McCarthy dedicated a substantial portion of her practice to assisting owners, operators and lenders in resolving issues faced by distressed hotel and resort projects, including the representation of lenders who became first-time hotel owners as a result of a deed-in-lieu or foreclosure transaction. 

She is a graduate of the Rising Star Program, an intensive year-long leadership program sponsored by Holland & Knight's Women's Initiative program. Ms. McCarthy also regularly speaks and writes about hospitality industry issues.

Honors & Awards

  • Top Lawyer, South Florida Legal Guide, 2017-2019 
  • The Legal 500 USA, Real Estate & Construction: Real Estate, 2016
  • Top Dealmaker of the Year Finalist, Hotel, Daily Business Review, 2016
  • Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers, Legal Media Group's Expert Guides, Rising Star, 2015
  • South Florida Legal Guide, Up and Comer, 2015
  • Rising Star, Daily Business Review, 2014
  • 40 Under 40, South Florida Business Journal, 2014
  • Rising Star, Florida Super Lawyers magazine, 2013-2015
  • University of Florida's Outstanding Young Alumni Award, 2013


  • Commercial Real Estate Women, Fort Lauderdale/Boca Raton Chapter, Immediate Past President
  • Boys and Girls Club of America, Women on the Verge