Andrew W. Balthazor
Andrew W. Balthazor is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Miami office practicing in the firm's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Section. Mr. Balthazor's practice focuses on solving problems born of digital-era innovations such as distributed ledger technologies and cryptocurrencies and other high-stakes complex commercial litigation.
Digital Assets and Blockchain: Mr. Balthazor uses his background in computer science and as a military intelligence officer to provide creative solutions to the novel problems arising from the technologies underpinning digital assets and distributed ledgers. In June 2022, Mr. Balthazor proposed and secured the world's first court approval for serving legal papers on an anonymous blockchain defendant via non-fungible token (NFT).
Mr. Balthazor's representations address the rippling consequences of the crypto winter initiated by the collapse of blockchain projects and institutions in early 2022, including representing foreign liquidators in the two most significant liquidation proceedings of the crypto industry. Mr. Balthazor has both plaintiff and defense side experience with crypto scams, Ponzi schemes and pump-and-dump frauds. His work encompasses individual and class actions.
Mr. Balthazor's earliest blockchain-related work involved tracing stolen or misappropriated digital assets and cryptocurrencies. He works with third parties around the world – including law enforcement and cryptocurrency exchanges – to investigate, freeze and recover assets. He has also developed first-of-their-kind cryptocurrency claim and distribution systems for victims of virtual Ponzi schemes and initial coin offering (ICO) securities frauds. In 2018, Mr. Balthazor worked on a case using blockchain and financial records to locate and freeze $1 million in stolen cryptocurrency held in Hong Kong.
Complex Commercial Litigation: Mr. Balthazor has a particular focus in disputes involving multiple jurisdictions, inscrutable business entities and obscure financial transactions or evidentiary trails. His experience includes claims for fraud, breach of contract, promissory estoppel, statutory violations, commercial torts, product liability, breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference, as well as mergers and acquisitions (M&A) disputes.
Mr. Balthazor served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Cecilia Altonaga of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. During law school, Mr. Balthazor worked as a judicial intern for the Honorable Adalberto Jordan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, as well as the Honorable Jose Martinez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Prior to law school, Mr. Balthazor served as a military intelligence officer with the U.S. Army from 1999 to 2004 and was deployed to Baghdad during the initial year of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is an active participant in the firm's Veterans Group.
Mr. Balthazor also contributes his time to pro bono efforts. He successfully coordinated a multifirm effort to certify a class of offenders sentenced to life – with a possibility of parole – for crimes committed while they were juveniles, helping to ensure they receive a meaningful opportunity for release based on maturity and rehabilitation. He also volunteers as a mentor to pre-law and law students and works with high school students as part of the Federal Bar Association’s (FBA) Teen Discourse and Decisions program.
- Florida International University College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
- United States Military Academy, West Point, B.S., Computer Science
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- West Point Society of Miami, Vice President, 2020–Present
- West Point Association of Graduates
- American Bar Association, Litigation Section
- American Bar Association, International Litigation & Dispute Resolution Committee
- American Bar Association, Business Law Section
- American Bar Association, Cyberspace Law Committee
- The Florida Bar, Business Law Section
- The Florida Bar, International Law Section
- Federal Bar Association, Florida International University Chapter President, 2018–2019
- Dade County Bar Association
- Innovators, Florida Legal Awards, Daily Business Review, 2023
- Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2021
- CALI Excellence for the Future Award, Federal Civil Procedure, Florida International University College of Law
- CALI Excellence for the Future Award, Legal Skills and Values (LSV I, LSV II, LSV III), Florida International University College of Law
- Dean's List, United States Military Academy, West Point, 1998-1999