Press Release
May 7, 2014

Holland & Knight's White Collar Defense Team Expands in Los Angeles

Joel Athey and Nicholas Melzer join firm as partner and senior counsel, respectively

LOS ANGELES (May 7, 2014) - Holland & Knight's Los Angeles office welcomes prominent white collar defense lawyer Joel Athey as a partner in the firm's growing West Coast Litigation Practice Group. Joining the firm with him is Nicholas Melzer, who will be a senior counsel in the West Coast Litigation Practice Group.

"We are extremely pleased to have Joel and Nick join our team," said Vince Farhat, a partner in the firm's West Coast Litigation Group and its Compliance Services Team based in Los Angeles. "Joel brings a wealth of experience in handling sensitive investigations of both individuals and corporations. He has represented a number of clients facing allegations of healthcare fraud, public corruption, securities fraud, financial and accounting fraud, as well as banking matters related to FIRREA and the False Claims Act. "

Mr. Athey also handles civil matters related to internal corporate investigations, securities litigation, SEC enforcement proceedings, financial services litigation, regulatory matters and complex commercial litigation. Mr. Athey has an active practice in the banking and financial services area where he represents officers and directors of failed financial institutions in various criminal and regulatory investigations and related litigation. His representations occur at all phases of criminal and civil proceedings from grand jury investigations through post-arrest hearings, trial and sentencing. He has served as a special prosecutor for the Los Angeles City Attorney's office through the Los Angeles County Bar's Trial Advocacy Program.

"Holland & Knight provides an excellent platform for Nick and me to provide a wide range of services for companies and individuals who are facing investigations or need representation in a complex civil matter," said Mr. Athey. "Our new colleagues are top-notch lawyers, and we are eager to share our skills in all types of investigations with them to provide the best defense for Holland & Knight clients locally and nationally."

Mr. Melzer also has extensive experience in civil litigation and white collar criminal matters before federal and state courts involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, professional negligence, antitrust and intellectual property disputes.

Mr. Athey received a B. S. degree summa cum laude from Rutgers University and a J.D. degree from Columbia Law School. Mr. Melzer received B. A. degree cum laude and a Master's degree from Tufts University, and a J.D. degree from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. Mr. Athey was most recently a partner at Corbin, Athey & Martinez LLP, and Mr. Melzer was of counsel at the firm.

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