Robert Friedman is a partner in Holland & Knight's Miami office and practices in the area of ERISA, employee benefits and executive compensation. Since 1996, he has been the head of the firm's national Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and ERISA Practice Group. Mr. Friedman is also co-chair of the ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plans) Practice Group. His clients include private, non-profit and governmental employers.

He is a frequent speaker on employee benefits, ERISA fiduciary matters and pension and tax planning. Mr. Friedman’s practice frequently involves working on matters with Holland & Knight lawyers in other specialty areas, including securities, investment funds, mergers and acquisitions, labor, employment and bankruptcy. 

Mr. Friedman has extensive experience with all aspects of benefits work, including the design, qualification and drafting of pension, 401(k), profit sharing and other qualified plans, corporate mergers and acquisitions and plan transfers, mergers and terminations, fiduciary matters, executive compensation, nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements and ERISA related litigation. Mr. Friedman’s practice includes representation of clients in matters with the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and other governmental agencies.

Mr. Friedman also has been actively involved with welfare benefit plans, flexible benefit plans and the rules relating to COBRA continuation coverage under such plans. He has experience with the design, implementation, operation and communication of welfare benefit plans, and has been involved with such benefit plans in connection with mergers and acquisitions, reductions in force and other employee terminations and layoffs. 

In the area of stock option plans, ESOP’s and other forms of employee ownership, Mr. Friedman’s practice includes developing strategies to achieve employee ownership, creating individually designed plans, and complying with the applicable tax and other statutory and regulatory requirements. His clients in these matters include privately and publicly owned companies. 

Prior to joining Holland & Knight as a partner in November 1988, he practiced law in New York and Miami.

Representative Experience


  • Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D.
  • New York University, LL.M., Taxation
  • Trinity College, B.A., Economics
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Florida
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • The ESOP Association
  • Best Buddies International, Inc., Board Member, Executive Board Member, Secretary
  • Miami-Dade EmployAbility Network, Board Member, Immediate Past President
  • Trinity College Alumni Club of South Florida
  • Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 1995-2024; Tax Law, 2013-2024; Employment Law - Individuals, 2016-2024
  • The Legal 500 USA, Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans: Transactional, 2020-2022
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020, 2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Miami Employment Law Lawyer of the Year, 2018, 2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Miami Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law Lawyer of the Year, 2015, 2019, 2020
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Tax: Employee Benefits, 2009-2024
  • Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service All-Star, 2014
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated


Speaking Engagements