Press Release
March 16, 2003

Holland & Knight Elects Leaders

Melton and Barnett to Lead 1,250-Lawyer Firm

NEW YORK, NY, March 16, 2003 — Holland & Knight LLP announced today that Howell W. Melton, Jr. was elected Managing Partner and Martha Barnett was elected Chair of the firm’s Directors Committee. The elections occurred during the firm’s annual Partner’s Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Mr. Melton, of the firm’s New York City office, will assume leadership of the 1,600-lawyer firm on April 1, 2003. He will serve for a five-year term. He is preceded by Robert R. Feagin III, who has served as managing partner since June 4, 2001. Mr. Feagin had assumed the managing partner role upon Bill McBride’s withdrawal to pursue his Florida gubernatorial campaign. Mr. Melton began his career with the firm in 1975 and has served in several leadership roles for the past two decades, including executive partner of the Orlando office and a member of the firm's Directors Committee. Mr. Melton has focused his practice in the areas of contract and business torts litigation.

“I am deeply humbled to be selected as managing partner of our great law firm. We have prospered under Bob Feagin’s leadership and are extremely grateful for his enormous contributions. I look forward to working with our Board and our dedicated lawyers and staff throughout the United States and the world to take Holland & Knight to an even greater level of success,” said Mr. Melton.

Ms. Barnett, of the firm’s Tallahassee, Florida office, was re-elected to the firm’s Directors Committee and was elected as the new Chair of the Directors Committee. The committee is comprised of 24 partners from Holland & Knight's offices across the country. It is the principal policy-making body of the firm.

“It is a privilege to be a Holland & Knight lawyer and to have the opportunity to serve the firm. Working with my partners, we will build on the great qualities that have always distinguished Holland & Knight — exceptional legal services, excellent lawyers, devotion to the profession, dedication to our communities and service to our clients,” said Ms. Barnett.


Howell W. Melton, Jr.

New York, New York

Mr. Melton joined Holland & Knight following graduation from the University of Florida College of Law in 1975. He has held numerous leadership positions in the firm, including service for 13 years as executive partner of the Orlando office, three terms as a member of the Directors Committee and many other local and firm-wide committees. Mr. Melton currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors for the National Conference for Community and Justice; the Board of Trustees for the University of Florida Law Center; and the Board of Directors of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, where he recently served as chairman of the board.

Mr. Melton’s practice emphasizes big case contract and business torts litigation. He recently relocated to Holland & Knight’s New York City office to better serve national clients of the firm. He has appeared in courtrooms throughout the United States. Mr. Melton is a Fellow of the American Bar Association Foundation, the American Judicature Association, the American Arbitration Association, and several other professional organizations.

Martha Barnett

Tallahassee, Florida

Ms. Barnett was the first female lawyer and partner at Holland & Knight—joining the firm in 1973, upon graduation from the University of Florida College of Law. Ms. Barnett has served the firm in many leadership roles, including executive partner of the Tallahassee office, Chair of the Public Law Department and as a member of the Director’s Committee. She has served the State of Florida in numerous gubernatorial appointments including the Chair of the Florida Commission on Ethics. She was a member of the Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission and the 1998 Florida Constitution Revision Commission.

Ms. Barnett has been an officer in the American Bar Association for more than a decade, culminating in a term as President in 2000 - 2001. Her ABA tenure includes service on the Board of Governors and Chair of the ABA House of Delegates, the association’s 550-person policy-making body. She was the first woman elected to serve as the Chair of the House of Delegates. Ms. Barnett’s practice focuses on public policy law, with special expertise in state and local taxation and governmental/administrative law. Ms. Barnett is a member of The Florida Bar, The District of Columbia Bar and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.

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