Holland & Knight Announces New Leadership Team
Steven Sonberg to step down after 16 years as Managing Partner
MIAMI (June 8, 2023) – Holland & Knight is pleased to announce that Robert J. Grammig will become the firm's Chair and Chief Executive Officer, and David C. Whitestone and Tiffani G. Lee will serve as Managing Partner and Deputy Managing Partner, respectively. The new leadership team will succeed Steven Sonberg, who has served as Managing Partner since 2008 and will step down after the end of the first quarter in 2024, concluding a 16-year term.
The leadership change follows a period of transformational growth at Holland & Knight that has included the firm's combinations with Tennessee-based Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis in March 2023, and Texas-based Thompson & Knight in August 2021.
Under Mr. Sonberg's leadership, the firm has added nearly 900 lawyers and 17 offices and, through the end of 2022, had grown its revenue by nearly $1 billion. The firm now has approximately 2,000 lawyers in 34 offices worldwide.
"It has been an honor and a privilege to lead Holland & Knight, and I am extremely grateful for the extraordinary contributions our attorneys and staff have made to our shared success," said Mr. Sonberg. "Bob's sharp business and financial acumen, as well as his even-handed approach, will serve the firm well for many years to come. In addition to Bob, David and Tiffani have been indispensable members of our leadership team for some time and have been key architects behind our growth and dedication to an inclusive and collaborative culture. They will be an exceptional team, and I look forward to working with them through this transition period."
Mr. Grammig is a partner in Holland & Knight's Tampa, Florida, Washington, D.C., and New York offices and is co-leader of the firm's Corporate, M&A and Securities Practice Group. He began his career with the firm in 1982 and built a substantial corporate practice that included representing public and private companies in public offerings, M&A transactions and complex securities and governance matters. Additionally, he has served in numerous firm leadership capacities, including his current role on the firm's Directors Committee and Practice & Operations Committee. He was chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce from 2017-2019 and currently serves as chair of the Florida Chamber's International Business Council. Mr. Grammig earned a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.
"David, Tiffani and I are humbled by the confidence our fellow partners have placed in us to lead this new era for Holland & Knight," said Mr. Grammig. "We thank Steve for his tremendous leadership during which our firm revenue has grown from $546 million to a record $1.54 billion in 2022. Our success with lateral recruitment, as well as our practice, industry and geographical expansion, all flow from Steve's clear vision of the firm's strengths and his discipline in developing and executing an effective strategy."
"Looking ahead, our focus will be on continuing to provide exceptional service to our clients, making the most of opportunities presented by our expansion and providing a collaborative and collegial culture for our firm," Mr. Grammig continued.
Mr. Whitestone is a transportation attorney, executive partner of the firm's Washington, D.C., office and serves on the firms Practice & Operations Committee. Since joining the firm in 1999, he has been elected to several terms on Holland & Knight's Directors Committee, served as the firmwide Lateral Hiring Partner and led the firm's Government Section. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, Congressional Management Foundation and Washington Airports Task Force, where he is chair emeritus. Mr. Whitestone earned a J.D. degree from George Mason University School of Law and a B.A. degree from George Mason University. He also received a Certificate of Advanced Finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
"Holland & Knight's core strength is and always has been its ability to meet the needs and advance the goals of its clients," said Mr. Whitestone. "Our new leadership team shares a commitment to fostering a culture that prioritizes teamwork across practices, industries and offices, and we look forward to continuing the firm's tradition of delivering the excellent results our clients have come to expect of us."
Ms. Lee is a litigation attorney in the Miami office and serves on the firm's Practice & Operations Committee. She began her career with the firm in 1997, spending 18 months working directly with the firm's founder Chesterfield Smith, and has served as the firmwide Diversity Partner since 2008. She is currently a member of the Orange Bowl Committee; Greater Miami Chapter of The Links, Inc.; Eleventh Judicial Circuit Professionalism Panel; and Ad Hoc Committee on Attorney Admissions, Peer Review and Attorney Grievance for the Southern District of Florida. In addition, she serves on the board of directors of the Florida Justice Institute and the University of Miami Law Alumni Association. Ms. Lee earned a J.D. degree from the University of Miami School of Law and a B.S. degree from the University of Florida.
"Holland & Knight has made great strides in a number of key areas under Steve's leadership," said Ms. Lee. "As the industry rapidly evolves, this is a great opportunity to recommit to our goals and push ourselves even further to become a leader across all of our markets."