Legal Profession

We Understand Your Business

A full appreciation of the law governing lawyers is essential to the survival and success of modern lawyers and law firms. Holland & Knight's Legal Profession Team exists to help lawyers and their firms succeed by protecting and advancing their interests while they protect and advance the interests of their clients.

  • We provide the full range of services that lawyers, law firms, and corporate and governmental legal departments need to assure ethical and effective representation of their clients. As seasoned attorneys in our field, we are ready to respond, either in a preventative, risk management mode or when particular issues require immediate attention.
  • Our team knows from experience that the best guidance stems from a blend of the theoretical with a practical, common-sense approach gleaned from our background as practicing lawyers. We also know that the advice our attorneys give is made stronger by the geographic reach and wide range of practices at Holland & Knight, which allows us to draw on the broad and deep skill sets of our many highly experienced colleagues.
  • Even the most sophisticated in-house counsel sometimes has questions on which they would like assistance. We provide it, whether the situation involves cutting-edge crisis management or allows for greater deliberation. Where appropriate, we can also provide the basis for an "advice of counsel" defense so that our clients, as lawyers, can focus on the risks facing their clients rather than any risks to themselves.

Are you positioned to succeed?


We Can Help

Holland & Knight's Legal Profession Team serves the needs of lawyers and law firm clients across a range of disciplines and industries, placing a strong emphasis on the regulations, culture and economics that govern lawyers. Built on the experience of recognized thought leaders in legal ethics, the firm's Legal Profession Team provides lawyers, law firms, in-house counsel and legal departments with the full suite of services addressing matters from broad-based transactions to complex litigation. Our practice focus includes the following:

Services

Lawyer Ethics, Risk Management and Regulation: With a focus on advising lawyers and law firms to operate effectively, our team is seasoned at guiding clients to improve their firm, departments and hiring practices. Our legal ethics and risk management attorneys are among the most respected in the country. We help lawyers understand and navigate the situations involving their professional responsibilities in a practical, results-oriented approach. Our risk management assessment services help clients identify, review and circumvent unfavorable conditions before problems even begin. We are particularly proud that our many years of work in this field allow us to provide real-time answers and solutions to the full range of individual lawyer, law firm and legal department questions from the most simple to the extremely complex.

Bar Discipline: The lawyer's license to practice law is our most guarded asset. When allegations of misconduct are referred to the state bar or other disciplinary authority, our skill, understanding, network and depth of bench can assist with this highly sensitive matter.

Legal Malpractice: Unfortunately, claims against law firms are an unavoidable part of doing business, but our team guides lawyers and firms in both the identification and handling of potential claims and the defense of existing ones. Our team of attorneys has played a pivotal role authoring in the leading treatise on legal malpractice as authors and thus advise clients in cases ranging from proactive defense to high-profile, bet-the-company matters.

White Collar Defense and Investigations for Lawyers: Holland & Knight's white collar criminal defense attorneys are a highly experienced and diverse group. On the Legal Profession Team we have leveraged that experience to provide the highest level of focused white collar defense and internal investigation legal service for the lawyer and law firm client. When a lawyer is in need of criminal defense counsel, we are optimally suited to be that lawyer's lawyer.

Expert Witnesses: Our team's depth of experience makes us particularly well-suited to fulfill the role of expert witness in disputes involving lawyer conduct. Our nationally recognized leaders in the fields of legal ethics, lawyer mobility, legal fees and fiduciary duty bring you the knowledge you need to set your case apart.

Lawyer Fee Disputes: Law firm fee disputes – whether relating to clients or other law firms – can prove risky but are a necessary business consideration when running a law practice. Holland & Knight's extensive commercial litigation skills and long-term experience with the rules that govern fee structures position our firm to provide first-rate advice on how to consider collections strategies and how best to litigate such disputes when they arise.

Lateral Hiring, Lawyer Mobility and Partnership Disputes: When a partner moves to a new firm, it can lead to a number of legal questions and, in some cases, multi-firm litigation centering on lateral partners. Our team has proven experience in advising lawyers and firms on the legal implications and ethics of lateral hiring and partner departures, firm dissolution and partnership matters, and we are well-equipped to assist with dispute issues ranging from breach of fiduciary duty to accounting concerns.

Law Firm Employment Law: With our in-depth knowledge of employment law, Holland & Knight's Legal Profession Team recognizes and proactively addresses the specific employment obligations faced by lawyers and their firms. Employment issues for law firms require special attention to the legal ethics and risk management considerations of the firm's lawyers. Employee misconduct in a law firm setting can lead lawyers to unfortunate consequences such as liability and ethical discipline.

Law Firm Organization: Our business lawyers and legal ethics professionals provide merger and acquisition counsel, aid in entity selection and formation, create organizational documents such as partnership agreements, operating agreements, bylaws and shareholder agreements, non-equity and of counsel agreements, buy and sell agreements.  We draft compensation models and give seasoned organization structuring advice to law firms of every size. We have an in-depth knowledge of the professional conduct rules governing law firms as business organizations and savvy from years of experience along with best practices for law firms to confront marketplace challenges and opportunities.

Law Firm Data Privacy and Security: The vulnerability of American law firms to data breaches is a growing concern to clients and law enforcement agencies because the firms are a rich repository of corporate secrets, business strategies and intellectual property. Our full-service practice provides the services businesses need to succeed in today's world, including data breach response, information governance, privacy and security training, and public policy advocacy to tech-based website and mobile app audits. In addition to helping firms stay out of the news, our team can assist law firms that find themselves subject to a regulatory inquiry or investigation or named in a class action lawsuit. In addition, we help law firms respond to and defend actions against state attorneys general and other regulatory bodies.

Law Firm Bankruptcy: As one element of our team's multipronged approach to serving the legal industry, we defend law firms against claims to recover unfinished business, fraudulent conveyances under state and federal law, and damages for breach of contract and torts. In addition, we advise individual partners faced with liability after their firms file bankruptcy. Beyond representing firms, our team has also advised individual attorneys on potential claw-back liability arising out of the bankruptcy of an attorney's former law firm.

Insurance: Effective law firm risk management reduces loss and liability exposure, thereby enhancing insurability. Even the most "insurable" firm, however, must invest heavily in transferring its unavoidable errors and omissions risks to the insurance market. The resulting coverage is an asset that can and should be maximized. Our national Insurance Team has assisted numerous professional organizations, including law firms, to maximize the insurance protections available to them and has assisted clients to develop and implement insurance solutions that expand protections and mine cost efficiencies, even across diverse state borders. When claims arise, our team provides professional firm clients with representation that maximizes the insurance benefits available to them.

Guidance You Can Trust

Holland & Knight's Legal Profession Team has the thorough knowledge, extensive experience and sincere commitment to first-rate service that lawyers and law firms alike deserve to handle their specific needs throughout the legal industry.

Our attorneys are also prolific authors and lecturers who have co-authored seminal texts in this niche area, including The Law of Lawyering, and contribute to Robert Hillman's treatise, Lawyer Mobility, and Ron Mallen's treatise, Legal Malpractice, 2014 and 2015 editions. As seasoned attorneys in the legal professional responsibility and ethics fields, we have an in-depth understanding of the best practices to uphold ethical and professional standards as well as how to effectively respond when disputes arise.

Members of our team have been recognized among the top legal professionals in the country by prominent publications and organizations:

  • Several of our attorneys are ranked as leading lawyers in ethics and professional responsibility law, including top-tier rankings in The Best Lawyers in America guide from 2010-2015.
  • Our team includes recognized industry leaders, including the past president of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) and past chairs or members of state bar legal ethics committees.

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