Nathan "Nate" A. Adams IV is a partner practicing in complex commercial and appellate litigation and regulatory compliance. His litigation experience includes class action defense and arbitration in a wide variety of industries, some of which are featured below. He has argued in federal courts nationwide and is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court, several federal appellate and district courts, The Florida Bar, Colorado Bar Association and The District of Columbia Bar.

In addition, Dr. Adams provides regulatory counsel and consults with management on strategic initiatives. He is active on Holland & Knight's Florida Government Advocacy Team. Before joining Holland & Knight, Dr. Adams worked for the Florida Executive Office of the Governor and supervised several state agency legal departments. Dr. Adams serves, at the Florida governor's appointment, as a member of the First District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission.

Representative Experience

Dr. Adams is a member of the Private Equity and Representations and Warranties Insurance teams. His practice includes:

  • Counseling private equity and hedge funds on Florida law and rule changes
  • Assisting with Florida economic incentive programs
  • Lobbying state agencies about rulemaking and rule interpretation for private equity
  • Counseling transactional parties, underwriters and insurers on the regulated education and healthcare industries
  • Defending insurance and indemnity coverage disputes and commercial litigation such as fiduciary duty, fraud and coverage claims and reinsurance disputes
  • Defending trade secrets and restrictive covenants

Dr. Adams is a member of Holland & Knight's Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry Sector GroupHis practice includes:

  • Representing hospitals and defending healthcare institutions against antitrust, deceptive and unfair trade practices act (DUTPA), breach of contract and non-competition claims
  • Defending adverse licensure decisions against healthcare, pharmaceutical and drug companies
  • Defending healthcare institutions against constitutional claims, taxation assessments and Medicaid overpayments
  • Counseling regarding False Claims Act (FCA) exposure relating to leasing and physician compensation under the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law
  • Assisting with due diligence pertaining to refinancing, mergers and acquisitions of healthcare institutions, including academic medical centers
  • Counseling regarding arbitration in the long-term care industry

Dr. Adams is a member of Holland & Knight's Education Team. He is the chair of The Florida Bar Education Law Committee and one of only 43 Florida Bar Board Certified Education Lawyers. Dr. Adams previously served as counsel for the Florida Board of Governors and Division of Florida Colleges. He represents public and private schools, colleges and universities. His practice includes:

  • Structuring, licensing and accrediting postsecondary institutions and support organizations such as research and development foundations, as well as defending adverse licensure and accreditation actions
  • Advising educational institutions and direct support organizations, including academic medical centers, on compliance with Title IV, VI, VII and IX and sovereign immunity, and conducting related investigations and litigation
  • Assisting with due diligence pertaining to refinancing, mergers and acquisitions of educational institutions and related nonprofit organizations
  • Advising on cyber breach prevention, reporting, litigation and crisis management
  • Consulting and litigating with respect to online education, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) compliance, public records and ethics, records management and Florida Sunshine Law cases
  • Litigating and appealing class action student, adequacy and uniformity, and educational governance lawsuits
  • Assisting with mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, affiliations, closures and spin-outs in K-20 education

Dr. Adams is a member of Holland & Knight's Real Estate & Hospitality Industry Sector Group. He is a co-leader of the Holland & Knight Food and Beverage Litigation Team and editor of the firm's Bar Bites: A Food & Beverage Law Blog. He has served as outside national labor and employment counsel for a hospitality brand. His practice includes:

  • Defending deceptive labeling and deceptive practices claims
  • Defending restaurants and hotels concerning Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other employment discrimination, retaliation and class action litigation
  • Defending publicly traded hospitality companies in securities class action litigation
  • Defending Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) pattern and practice directed investigations
  • Challenging state sales and other tax assessments
  • Assisting publicly traded companies with reductions in force and executive transitions

Dr. Adams leads Holland & Knight's Religious Institutions Team, is a member of its Nonprofit & Tax-Exempt Organizations Team, and edits its Religious Institutions Law Update. He is a Church Law & Tax Advisor at Large. His practice includes:

  • Defending First Amendment, Equal Protection, ministerial exception, church autonomy, land use and zoning, employment, Blaine amendment, defamation, privacy, and property and taxation disputes
  • Structuring mergers, acquisitions and sales of domestic and international ministries and faith-based public contracts and grants
  • Bringing and defending probate litigation including cy pres and deviation lawsuits in connection with donations to nonprofit institutions
  • Assisting organizations with tax-exempt structuring, applications, reclassifications and support organizations
  • Counseling on avoiding private inurement and excess benefit transactions
  • Assisting with legal audits and policies pertaining to public accommodations, codes of conduct, alternative dispute resolution, volunteers, safety and counseling
  • Consulting on tax-exempt bond and tax credit financing besides other kinds of public funding, contracts and grants
  • Assisting with governance and board issues, including church property disputes and modifications to bylaws and articles of incorporation
  • Representing ministries in litigation, appeals and religious conciliation proceedings

  • Drafting legislation
  • Lobbying state agencies regarding rulemaking and interpretation
  • Appearing before Florida licensing agencies
  • Representing state constitutional officers such as clerks of court


  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Florida, Ph.D., International Political Economy, with high honors
  • Wheaton College, B.A., Political Science, magna cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
Court Admissions
  • All State Courts in Florida
  • All Courts in the District of Columbia
  • All State Courts in Colorado
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • Judicial Nominating Commission, Florida First District Court of Appeal, Vice Chair, 2023-Present
  • Florida Bar, Education Law Committee, Chair, 2019-2023; Vice Chair, 2023-Present
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend, Board of Directors
  • Advocates International, Board of Directors, Treasurer
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
  • Florida Education Foundation, Past Treasurer
  • Emergency Care and Help Organization (ECHO), Past President
  • Federalist Society, Tallahassee Steering Committee
  • Leadership Florida, Class XXIX
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Commercial Litigation, Education Law, Healthcare Care Law, 2022, 2023
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2017-2021


Speaking Engagements