Stephen J. Dietrich is a business attorney located in the Denver office and practice group leader for the firm's Corporate Central/West group. Mr. Dietrich advises clients on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), debt and equity financing, and restructuring transactions. He represents a variety of clients in all aspects of day-to-day operations, including commercial real estate development, finance, corporate governance and various third-party relationships. He also handles the structuring and implementation of acquisition and disposition programs that enable corporations, family offices and private individuals to purchase operating businesses through asset and stock purchase transactions.

In 1998, Mr. Dietrich handled his first buy-sell transaction in automotive retail. Since that time, he has emerged as a go-to legal adviser for clients buying, selling or otherwise transacting within the automotive retail, heavy truck, construction equipment, power sports and agricultural equipment dealership sectors. Outside of transactions, he counsels dealership retail clients on manufacturer/OEM matters, real estate, financing and dealer licensing. His clients include dealer operators, family offices, financial investors and dealer groups ranging from two rooftops to several hundred.

Presently, Mr. Dietrich leads a nationwide practice of multidisciplinary attorneys focused on automotive dealership M&A who have closed approximately 60 transactions since 2021 with an aggregate value in excess of $3 billion. Throughout his career, Mr. Dietrich has been involved in more than 300 transactions. In 2023, he led a team in the highest value automotive retail transaction in nearly two years, advising one of the largest privately held dealerships in the United States, Jim Koons Automotive Companies, in its $1.2 billion sale to Asbury Automotive Group. The transaction included 29 franchises, six collision centers and 20 dealerships in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, along with one of the highest-volume Toyota dealerships in the U.S.

Mr. Dietrich's significant knowledge has led him to be called upon to testify as an expert witness on legal malpractice issues.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Dietrich worked for a global law firm in its Denver office, handling corporate and transactional matters for clients on a national basis.

Representative Experience

  • Counseled a Colorado-based automotive dealership on the sale of its eight franchises to one of the country's largest automotive retail and service companies
  • Represented a family-owned auto dealership group and an investment firm in the acquisition of a Connecticut-based luxury brand auto dealer
  • Counseled an auto dealership group regarding the structuring and implementation of an acquisition and consolidation plan on a nationwide basis
  • Worked with a large auto dealership group owned by a family office to structure and implement an acquisition and consolidation plan on a nationwide basis
  • Advised a growing dealership group on restructuring of operations and large multitiered loan facility to fund acquisition activities
  • Advised several large dealer groups on multipoint and multijurisdictional acquisitions of operations and real estate
  • Advised several private equity groups and family offices on internal structure and process in purchase transaction of multiple dealership groups

  • Advised a large private real estate holding company on various components of real estate business, including retail acquisition and disposition, leasing, development and property management 
  • Assisted several startup technology companies regarding corporate governance and capital raising 
  • Restructured a large private dealership group, with operations in four states, in connection with an ownership transition, including manufacturer negotiation relating to ownership and ongoing control matters 
  • Advised several clients on large-scale platform financing for dealership groups with operations in several states and multiple flooring sources


  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.
  • University of Minnesota, B.A., Political Science, summa cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Colorado
  • American Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Colorado Academy, Volunteer
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, Volunteer
  • Families First Colorado, Volunteer
Honors & Awards
  • Stand-out Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, 2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Corporate Law, 2019-2024
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Corporate Law/M&A, 2010-2024
  • The Legal 500 USA, M&A/Corporate and Commercial – M&A: Middle-Market (sub $500M), 2023, 2024
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020, 2021
  • Rising Star, Colorado Super Lawyers magazine, 2009-2010


Speaking Engagements