Press Release
March 14, 2018

Prominent Attorney Steven Lear Joins Holland & Knight as Head of National Joint Venture Team

R. Stephen Sandiford Will Join as Senior Counsel

MIAMI (March 14, 2018) – Steven D. Lear has joined Holland & Knight’s Miami office as a partner and head of the firm’s National Joint Venture Practice Team. Accompanying him is R. Stephen Sandiford, who joins as senior counsel. Previously, Mr. Lear was a partner and Mr. Sandiford was an associate with Bilzin Sumberg.

“Steve has earned a reputation for handling some of the most sophisticated joint venture transactions in the country,” said David Barkus, co-leader of the firm’s South Florida Corporate Practice. “His considerable experience, especially in real estate investments, will enhance the services we are able to provide our corporate and real estate clients.”

“We are so pleased to have Steve and Stephen join our team,” said Vivian de las Cuevas-Diaz, deputy leader of Holland & Knight’s Real Estate Section. “They will offer a tremendous resource for our corporate and real estate clients in their joint ventures, acquisitions and dispositions and other sophisticated transactions. Their work with homebuilders is particularly notable.”

Mr. Lear assists companies, including many in the real estate industry, with complex mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures. He regularly handles some of the most challenging legal, tax and business issues on behalf of his clients. Mr. Lear formerly served as chief in-house counsel for two major companies, Lykes Bros. and U.S. Sugar Corporation, and represents both public and privately held companies across a variety of industries. For many years, he has advised homebuilder Lennar on many of its largest acquisitions and investments nationwide.

Mr. Lear is recognized as a leading M&A attorney in Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers and is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell.

Mr. Sandiford handles mergers and acquisitions, securities transactions, joint venture agreements and fund formation on behalf of clients in the real estate, healthcare and technology sectors. The companies he has represented span the United States, Europe, Britain, Latin America and the Caribbean.

“I’m excited to enter this new phase of my career with Holland & Knight,” said Mr. Lear. “The firm’s outstanding national platform and excellent resources will provide significant opportunities for Stephen and me to grow our practices and give our clients access to world-class practitioners around the country.”

Holland & Knight’s National Joint Venture Team incorporates practitioners from real estate, corporate and tax backgrounds who advise sponsors, as well as investors, in a variety of industries on complex joint venture transactions.

“Joint ventures remain an extremely popular method of financing real estate developments and other business ventures,” said Mr. Lear. “I look forward to leading a team that includes practitioners from around the country who have pre-eminent experience in real estate, healthcare, technology and other industries.”

Mr. Lear received an LL.M. degree in taxation from the University of Florida, a J.D. degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and a B.S. from the University of Vermont. He is also a certified public accountant. Mr. Sandiford earned an LL.M. degree from Columbia University School of Law, a J.D. degree from Northwestern University and an LL.B. degree from The University of the West Indies.

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