D.C. Practice

  • Holland & Knight's D.C. Practice Team has 25 years of experience in working closely with the D.C. government on our clients' behalf.
  • We bring strong relationships and well-honed skills to guide clients through the local regulatory and policy issues unique to D.C., including those related to real estate, D.C. government relations (executive and legislative branches), bankruptcy, government contracts, leasing, finance, construction, taxes, environmental, workforce development, alcohol beverage control and municipal law matters.
  • Buying and selling property within the District requires specialized knowledge and experience, and our team is adept at handling complex real estate development and construction transactions in the nation’s capital.

Unlike many national law firms with offices in Washington, D.C., Holland & Knight’s D.C. Practice Team focuses on District of Columbia municipal issues. We bring a coordinated approach to problem solving with more than 200 lawyers and professionals in our D.C. office and more than 1,250 lawyers and professionals with multiple skills sets located nationwide. For 25 years, we have served public and private sector clients, providing legislative and regulatory representation on all manner of matters pending before the government of the District of Columbia.

Our objective is to satisfy all of the legal needs that arise concerning your business in the District. The complex details necessary to conduct business in the District of Columbia require dedicated legal counsel, something that few firms can offer.

Experience is First

Our attorneys have represented clients before most major administrative agencies in the District of Columbia, and we actively participate in a wide range of legislative, regulatory, tax, land use, construction, contractual, labor, litigation, public finance and municipal law proceedings and engagements affecting the business community. That work has given us a keen understanding of the intricacies and inner workings of the District government, and we have built valuable professional relationships that help us to advocate on your behalf. This kind of focus and region-specific approach means you will be well-represented in D.C.

The following are a few of the areas in which the D.C. Practice Team provides services to our clients:

  • acquisition and sale of commercial properties
  • affordable housing
  • alcoholic beverage licensing and regulation
  • bankruptcy
  • building construction
  • commercial finance
  • commercial real estate financing
  • condominium creation
  • construction law
  • development of commercial projects
  • economic development
  • eminent domain/condemnation
  • environmental regulation
  • fair housing
  • foreclosure, receiverships, deeds in lieu
  • healthcare
  • housing and community development practice
  • insurance matters
  • loan workouts
  • mortgage lending
  • procurement issues
  • property tax appeals
  • public-private partnerships
  • retail and office leasing
  • retail business licensing activities
  • structuring of transactions
  • tax credit transactions
  • tax issues
  • tax-exempt bond finance
  • telecommunications
  • zoning, land use, historic preservation and comprehensive planning

The following are a few of our prominent services:

Legislative and Executive Representation

We understand that in the proper framework, the executive and legislative branches of the D.C. government provide significant opportunities for Holland & Knight clients to protect or enhance their public and corporate interests.

Our attorneys represent clients with interests before the D.C. City Council on a variety of substantive regulatory and policy issues, and we regularly appear before executive departments and offices to represent clients in matters involving rule-makings, licensing, permit and certificate of authority issuances, administrative hearings and adjudicatory proceedings, and government policy resolution.

We have also engaged with public officials on behalf of clients in negotiating public-private partnerships and have developed and maintain working relationships with many policy-making officials through professional interaction and local community activities. Team members represent clients before the most significant D.C. agencies, offices and departments. Our team has had recent and substantial involvement with agencies ranging from the Department of Employment Services and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to the Department of Health, the Department of Transportation, the Department of the Environment, the Department of Insurance, Securities & Banking, and the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, among many others.

Alcoholic Beverage Control

The D.C. Practice Team is highly experienced navigating Alcoholic Beverage Control matters in the District on our clients’ behalf. Our work for varied clients includes regulatory proceedings and fact-finding reviews, applications for new liquor licenses, transfers of licenses, changes of ownership, expansion of business practices, and revocation and suspension of liquor licenses.

D.C. Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs)

Our D.C. Practice Team has developed wide-ranging experience on certified growing enterprise issues, working with clients throughout the District to attain and maintain critical CBE status. We assist in the creation of CBE enterprises, help create CBE joint venture enterprises, handle CBE reporting requirements, and assist with CBE regulatory oversight, including audits.

Workforce Development

Workforce development and First Source Employment compliance issues have risen to the forefront of concerns for businesses operating in the District of Columbia. The Holland & Knight D.C. Practice Team stands ready to assist our clients with these matters, from achieving and maintaining compliance to preparation for audits.


Our D.C. Practice Team draws on deep firm-wide resources in our work to represent healthcare clients in the District. Holland & Knight’s Healthcare & Life Sciences Team has more than 100 years of combined experience in healthcare and related businesses, and we leverage that experience – together with strong legislative and executive relationships in the District – on our clients’ behalf.

Our healthcare work in the District includes D.C. regulatory issues, finance issues, tax concerns and Medicaid matters, as well as public policy issues including the placement of treatment facilities, advocacy related to the types of services provided at varied facilities, and the allocation of resources among hospitals for treatment of the uninsured.

Real Estate Development

Holland & Knight’s D.C. Practice Team takes a multidisciplinary approach that enables us to pair our dedicated D.C. team with highly knowledgeable and experienced attorneys and professionals from other practice areas. Whether you are a buyer, seller, institutional investor, developer, lender, architect, contractor, tenant or landlord, we are committed to providing efficient, experienced and quality legal representation. The depth and scope of our real estate practice provides a wealth of resources to draw upon for financing transactions, and we serve as a one-stop shop for clients with complicated real estate concerns.

Our Real Estate and Land Use Practice represents clients in acquisitions, development and financing of commercial, residential, mixed-use and public projects. Among our clients are developers of commercial sites, such as shopping centers, office and warehouse buildings, and hotels and restaurants. We regularly negotiate joint ventures and management agreements with international, national, regional and non-franchise hotel groups. We also represent numerous business clients in connection with the purchase and sale of commercial property.

Commercial Leasing

Our Real Estate Leasing Team has extensive and unique experience in the District of Columbia. Over the past few years, we have represented landlords and tenants in leasing over two million square feet of space in D.C. and the surrounding metropolitan area, ranging from small retail and office tenants to large space consolidations and complex tenant equity participation. As one of the leading transactional real estate firms in the area, Holland & Knight brings a pragmatic business perspective to the lease negotiation process.

We have earned the reputation as the “lawyer’s lawyer” in leasing, having successfully negotiated leases on behalf of several of the area’s most prestigious firms. Our leasing practice is multifaceted, with an emphasis in the following areas:

  • building-wide representation
  • tenant representation
  • the law firm/professional party tenant
  • equity participation leases
  • asset management for lenders
  • retail leasing

GSA Leasing

The dominant force of the Washington, D.C. leasing market, the GSA promises to be remain highly influential in D.C. for the foreseeable future. Holland & Knight’s extensive knowledge and experience in GSA and other government leasing includes the technical government contract aspects of GSA leasing, as well as general transactional experience in structuring, documenting and negotiating leases.

Corporate Finance

We regularly represent financial institutions and other lenders in connection with the negotiation and preparation of documentation for complex secured and unsecured credit transactions. We have undertaken transactional matters for major financial institutions that include construction and permanent real estate lending, derivative rate swaps, cash flow lending, asset-based lending, loan participations and syndications, intercreditor agreements, mortgage warehousing, letter of credit and banker’s acceptance facilities, credit enhancement facilities, commercial lending forms review and many other complex commercial transactions. In this regard, we have developed sophisticated procedures for structuring loan and credit agreements between domestic and international lenders and borrowers.

Real Estate Finance

We have represented real estate lenders in financing of office buildings, nursing home facilities, video stores, manufacturing facilities and other commercial, industrial and multifamily residential properties in D.C. On behalf of lenders, we have experience handling construction financing, purchase money loans, refinancing, foreclosure and resale of all types of non-residential properties in the District. We have also represented investors and developers in structuring mezzanine debt and joint venture financing.

Commercial Finance

Our broad experience is key in the areas of cash flow and asset-based lending. We have handled virtually every facet of commercial lending transactions, including multimillion dollar loans secured by collateral such as inventory and accounts receivable, securities, loan portfolios, aircraft, equipment, machinery, government contracts and other collateral.

Workouts and Recovery

Should it become necessary for a lender to restructure the loan, take possession of collateral used to secure the loan or otherwise enforce collection rights against a borrower, we will use our deep litigation experience and resources to benefit clients in collection proceedings and other matters involving creditors’ rights and bankruptcy. We have extensive experience negotiating and documenting forbearance, restructure and workout agreements, which frequently include payment and accrual differentials, profit participation agreements and alternative collateral agreements for problem loans designed to enhance the potential for full recovery by the lender.

Our experience representing creditors in bankruptcy includes litigation relating to cash collateral, relief from automatic stay, an evaluation of secured claims, estimating contingent claims, approving and modifying post-petition financing arrangements, determining the adequacy of disclosure statements, objecting to confirmation of plans of reorganization, approving asset sales, lender liability and all types of loan-related litigation. We have handled real estate and personal property foreclosures of all types and have coordinated the seizure and liquidation of all types of collateral, including the repossession of commercial aircraft and trucking fleets.