Leila Marie Jackson Batties

Leila Batties


Leila Batties is a land use and zoning attorney in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., office. Ms. Batties also is a regional co-chair of the firm's national Land Use and Government Team.

Clients rely on Ms. Batties in all aspects of the District of Columbia's real estate development approval process, including zoning, permitting, subdivisions and public space approvals. She handles proceedings before the Zoning Commission, Board of Zoning Adjustment and City Council, and regularly works with district government agencies, including the Office of Planning, the District Department of Transportation and the Department of Buildings. She also works with Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) and other community stakeholders in connection with the development approval process. Ms. Batties conducts zoning research and due diligence, negotiates and drafts agreements, easements and covenants. She has extensive experience securing approvals for rezonings, planned unit developments, further processing of campus plans and design review.

Ms. Batties has represented a broad range of developers, business owners, and public and private institutions. Representative engagements include:

  • Represents Howard University and numerous of its development partners on several projects that have been critical to the revitalization of this area of the District of Columbia, including residential, commercial and mixed-use developments; most recently, she obtained the zoning approval for the National Research Center for Health Disparities, which will consist of more than 400,000 square feet of floor area aimed to attract pharmaceutical companies and biomedical research organizations
  • Secured a comprehensive set of amendments to the Zoning Regulations and rezoning to facilitate the construction of Children's National Research and Innovation Campus at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center; the center, situated on 12 acres and will total approximately 1 million square feet of floor area, includes a research incubator facility, outpatient pediatric care center, and conference center
  • Counsel for several mixed-use planned unit developments (PUD), including mixed use project consisting of approximately 1,000 residential units, retail, and significant public space improvements; a three-acre development east of Navy Yard with access to the Anacostia River, Boathouse Row and the Anacostia Bike Trail; and a 500-unit mixed-use development across from The Wharf
  • Handled PUD and related Zoning Map amendment for a public-private development in the West End involving the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), District of Columbia Public Library, and the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department; the project includes 290,000 square feet of residential use and a 20,000-square-foot public library with a street-level café; the construction of a fire station with a recreational facility and 52 affordable units
  • Handled zoning and public space approvals for multi-phased, 590-unit residential development along Rhode Island Avenue
  • Counsel for the redevelopment of the D.C. Housing Authority's Kenilworth Courts, which consists of 14 acres to be developed in multiple phases and up to 530 residential units, including public housing replacement units, tax credit rental units and for-sale and rental market rate units; the development approvals include City Council approval of the dedication of land for street purposes and the closure of a public alley
In addition to practicing law, Ms. Batties is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University in the Urban and Regional Planning Program. She is the co-hiring partner for the firm's Washington, D.C., office and the co-chair of the firm's Black Affinity Group. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the D.C. Policy Center and the Walter Reed Community Advisory Committee.



  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • University of Miami, M.A., Communications
  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A., Mass Communications
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Executive Committee of the D.C. Policy Center
  • Walter Reed Army Medical Center Reuse Community Advisory Committee
  • Ward 7 Economic Development Advisory Committee
  • MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Board of Directors, 2015-2016 
  • District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency Board of Directors, 2010-2015; Vice Chair, 2014-2015
  • Leadership Greater Washington, Class of 2012
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Real Estate Law, 2024
  • University of Miami School of Law’s Law Alumni Association Achievement Award, 2019
  • Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers magazine, 2014-2016
  • Lambda Alpha International, George Washington Chapter


Speaking Engagements