Nathan A. Adams IV

  • T 850.425.5640

Nathan "Nate" A. Adams IV is a partner practicing in complex commercial and appellate litigation with a special emphasis on hospitality, healthcare, educational, nonprofit and religious organizations. Dr. Adams conducts employment, healthcare, educational and nonprofit regulatory and constitutional litigation. He has argued appeals in federal courts nationwide, litigated in state courts in Florida, Colorado, and the District of Columbia, and appeared before administrative courts and arbitral panels. In addition, Dr. Adams has served as outside general counsel for several organizations.

Mr. Adams is a Florida Bar Board Certified Education Lawyer. Before joining Holland & Knight, Dr. Adams worked for the Florida Executive Office of the Governor and the Florida Department of Education, including the Division of Florida Colleges and Board of Governors. His extensive experience includes the following:


  • Assisting publicly-traded companies with reductions in force and executive transitions
  • Defending restaurants and hotels concerning Title VII, ADEA, ADA and other employment discrimination and class action litigation
  • Defending EEOC pattern and practice directed investigations
  • Advising hospitality institutions about legal compliance with federal and state law
  • Defending general litigation against restaurants and hotels
  • Challenging state sales and other tax assessments


  • Assisting with formation of captive insurance company
  • Defending healthcare institutions against antitrust and deceptive trade practices claims
  • Licensing and defending adverse licensure actions against healthcare, pharmaceutical and drug companies
  • Defending healthcare institutions against constitutional claims, taxation assessments and Medicaid overpayments
  • Assisting with investigations and legal opinions relating to acquisitions, sales and mergers of healthcare institutions


  • Structuring, licensing and accrediting post-secondary institutions and defending adverse licensure actions against them
  • Advising educational institutions on compliance with Titles IV, VI, VII and IX, including diversity in admissions and hiring and false claims act exposure
  • Assisting with financing public-private projects, including research, student housing and other facilities
  • Consulting on procurement laws and litigating procurement matters
  • Representing secondary and post-secondary institutions with respect to investigations and at all levels of litigation in state and federal courts against false claim and deceptive trade practice allegations
  • Assisting educational institutions with hiring, advancement, adverse employment decisions and academic freedom questions
  • Consulting on distance learning licensure, accreditation and state and federal regulatory issues
  • Consulting on FERPA compliance, public records and ethics, records management and Sunshine law
  • Advising on campus security plans and emergency protocols
  • Lobbying the executive and legislative branch for public educational reform
  • Preparing state and federal appeals and amicus briefs on diverse educational matters

Religious Institutions

  • Defending religious institutions in First Amendment, Equal Protection, ministerial exception, church autonomy, land use and zoning, employment, Blaine amendment and property and taxation disputes
  • Structuring domestic and international ministries and faith-based public contracts and grants 
  • Counseling on avoiding private inurement and excess benefit transactions
  • Structuring mergers, acquisitions and sales of nonprofit institutions
  • Assisting with legal audits and policies, including employee, alternative dispute resolution, volunteer, safety and counseling policies, protocols and investigations
  • Consulting on tax-exempt bond financing and preparing related opinions
  • Assisting with governance and board issues, including church property disputes and modifications to bylaws and articles of incorporation
  • Protecting and assigning intellectual property rights
  • Representing ministries in AAA international arbitration and religious conciliation proceedings
  • Writing a monthly update on religious institutions


  • Florida Bar, Education Law Committee, Past Chair
  • Florida Education Foundation, Treasurer
  • Emergency Care and Help Organization (ECHO), Past President
  • Federalist Society, Tallahassee Steering Committee
  • Leadership Florida, Class XXIX
  • Florida Tax Watch, Inc., Center for Smart Justice, Advisory Board Member
  • The Journal of College and University Law, Editorial Board