D.C. Business

  • Holland & Knight's D.C. Business Team brings together lawyers and policy advisers who know the inner workings of Washington's municipal government. Together, they provide clients with a coordinated, multidisciplinary problem-solving approach focused on the local regulatory and policy needs of businesses in the District of Columbia.
  • Our D.C. Business Team helps companies and individuals navigate complex legal and political relationships in matters involving the District's executive and legislative branches, real estate and land use, bankruptcy, government contracts, leasing, finance, construction, taxes, environmental, workforce development, alcoholic beverage control and municipal law.
  • Buying and selling property in Washington requires specific knowledge and experience, and our team is adept at handling complex real estate development and construction transactions in the nation's capital.

The District of Columbia is an international political center and the heart of one of the country's largest and most dynamic metropolitan areas. As the nation's capital, the District of Columbia's complex legal and political relationships with the federal government and Congress present unique challenges but also provide invaluable opportunities to companies and individuals doing business in and with the District.

Our D.C. Business Team brings together attorneys and policy advisers from a variety of specialized backgrounds – government relations, real estate, land use and zoning, administrative and regulatory areas, environmental, corporate, tax, government contracts and trial lawyers – to provide clients with a coordinated, multidisciplinary problem-solving approach focused on the legal and policy needs of businesses in the District.

Holland & Knight is strongly positioned to help companies and individuals successfully address varied challenges and capitalize on opportunities. We can close your deals, advance your relationships, advocate your policy concerns and, when needed, represent you in disputes and litigation.

Experience, Involvement and Leadership

For more than 25 years, we have represented clients before the mayor's office, the Council of the District of Columbia, major regulatory and administrative agencies, local courts and administrative tribunals. Our team members actively participate and hold leadership positions in many of the organizations affecting the city's business, charitable and civic communities.

Our well-connected team includes a former deputy chief of staff and director of the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs for the Executive Office of the Mayor, with extensive experience handling local, regional and federal relationships for the mayor, as well as lobbying the D.C. Council and Congress. Our lawyers have served or currently serve with some of the most influential business organizations, such as the District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce, the District of Columbia Building Industry Association and the Greater Washington Board of Trade, as well as other key civic and nonprofit organizations. One of our team members is the former chief lobbyist for the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, responsible for crafting and executing legislative strategies and negotiating with the executive and legislative branches of government within the District.

Our experience and involvement give us a keen understanding of the intricacies and inner workings of the D.C. government and of the city's key players. We have built valuable professional relationships that help us serve your needs and have demonstrated success in the issues that matter to Washington businesses, such as the repeal of unfavorable local tax laws.

Legislative and Executive Representation

We regularly represent clients before the D.C. Council and before the District's executive departments and offices in matters involving rulemaking, licensing and permits, administrative hearings and adjudicatory proceedings, and government policy resolution. We have substantial ongoing involvement with D.C.'s Department of Employment Services, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Department of Health, Department of Housing and Community Development, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy & Environment, Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking, and Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.

Alcoholic Beverage Control

Holland & Knight's D.C. Business Team is highly experienced in navigating alcoholic beverage control matters for our clients, including 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

The District's Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) Program, one of the most extensive and comprehensive in the nation, affects a wide range of government contracts, real estate developments and other projects in the city. Our D.C. Business Team has in-depth knowledge and years of experience working with clients to create certified enterprises and joint ventures, helping to attain and maintain critical CBE certification, negotiating CBE agreements, handling CBE reporting requirements and assisting with regulatory oversight and compliance, including audits.

First Source Employment Program and Workforce Development

The First Source Employment Program requires that District residents be given priority for new jobs created by municipal financing and development programs, as well as by parties receiving assistance from the D.C. government, including retail and commercial tenants. Not surprisingly, compliance and other issues concerning the First Source Employment Program and other workforce development programs are at the forefront of concerns for businesses operating in the District. Holland & Knight's D.C. Business Team routinely assists clients with these matters, from achieving and maintaining compliance to preparing for audits.

Healthcare Representation and Advocacy

Our healthcare work in the District includes D.C. regulatory issues, finance matters, tax concerns and Medicaid matters. We also counsel clients on 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, Land Use and Environment

Holland & Knight attorneys are adept at handling complex real estate development, zoning and land use matters in the nation's capital. We represent clients in the acquisition, disposition, development, leasing and financing of commercial, residential, mixed-use and public projects. We have experience with the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) as it affects the sale of multifamily property, negotiations for redevelopment in the District and public-private partnerships that include funding from or other involvement by D.C. agencies. Additionally, we are well-versed in the complexities of real estate owned or developed by foreign countries, embassies or international agencies, as well as projects requiring review by the National Capital Planning Commission. Our team members also have in-depth knowledge of the District's new stormwater management regulations, stormwater retention credit trading program, and other local environmental and "green" building requirements.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Our lawyers regularly appear before all local and federal courts and administrative forums in the District. We represent clients in bid protests, administrative agency litigation, real estate disputes, corporate governance litigation, land use, zoning, permitting, condemnation, development, property-management disputes and matters involving distressed real estate.