Steven Lear is a Miami-based attorney, the leader of Holland & Knight's international Joint Venture Group and a co-leader of the firm's Residential Real Estate Team. Mr. Lear has more than 35 years of legal, tax and business experience representing top national companies in the areas of joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Mr. Lear assists companies in successfully navigating through some of the most complex legal, tax and business matters. With a certified public accountant (CPA) background and a master's degree in taxation, Mr. Lear adds significant value to his representation of clients.

Mr. Lear also handles workouts, acquisitions of pools of debt and real estate, land banking transactions, build-to-rent transactions, debt and equity financing and investing, including private equity and general corporate transactions.

In addition, he serves on the firm's Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) Team and advises clients on compliance with the CTA. Mr. Lear also has experience with corporate governance and most other facets of corporate, partnership and limited liability company (LLC) commercial transactions. Mr. Lear represents public and privately held companies in a variety of industries, including homebuilding and real estate development.

Previously, Mr. Lear served as chief in-house counsel for two major multifaceted companies. He often draws on this experience and his range of skills when structuring, negotiating, documenting and closing sophisticated transactions.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Lear handled complex corporate matters for a Miami-based law firm.

Representative Experience

  • Representation of Lennar Corp. in the formation of Lennar Multifamily Venture (LMV), an equity fund/joint venture sponsored and managed by Lennar Multifamily Communities with global sovereign and institutional investors, with aggregate equity commitments of $2.2 billion to develop and own Class A multifamily communities in 25 target markets throughout the U.S.
  • Representation of a public company in multiple joint ventures and related financing transactions valued in the billions of dollars in connection with the restructuring and redeveloping of Candlestick Park and neighboring Hunters Point in San Francisco
  • Represented public companies Lennar Corporation and LNR Property Corporation in the LandSource joint venture with an affiliate of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), valued at approximately $2 billion, to acquire and develop land into residential home sites in Los Angeles County, California, Arizona, Florida, New Jersey and Texas, including The Newhall Land and Farming Co.'s holdings of 15,000 acres in the Santa Clarita Valley 30 miles north of L.A., which included 700 acres of commercial land as well as 23,000 home sites
  • Represented Lennar Corporation in the reorganization of the LandSource Communities joint venture into Newhall Land Development LLC, a joint venture among Lennar and several large institutional investors and funds, including the formation and representation of California land developer Five Point Communities Development LLC, now a publicly-held company
  • Represented a real estate developer in the formation of a joint venture with a global institutional alternative investment firm and the acquisition of membership interest in a mixed-use master-planned community joint venture with a purchase price in excess of $100 million
  • Represented a private asset management group regarding the formation of a joint venture with a private equity firm for the purpose of acquiring land for residential development in the southeastern United States, including Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida
  • Represented a joint venture between homebuilder and private investment firm created to acquire and develop sites across the country into multifamily housing communities
  • Represented a client in the creation of a joint venture to own and develop land with proposed retail and parking containing 180,000 square feet of leasable retail space in Doral, Fla.
  • Represented title insurance company subsidiary of Fortune 500 homebuilder in the acquisitions of eight title insurance companies throughout the United States
  • Represented a large institutional real estate fund based in New York regarding the formation of four joint ventures to acquire and develop golf communities in Florida
  • Represented an investor/developer/broker in formation of 12 separate joint ventures to acquire or develop apartment buildings, hotels, office buildings, storage facilities and shopping centers throughout the United States

  • Represented Lennar Corporation, a Fortune 500 publicly held homebuilding company, in several dozen acquisitions of homebuilders throughout the United States
  • Representation of Toll Brothers Inc., a Fortune 500 and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)-listed homebuilding company, as lead counsel in the acquisition of substantially all of the assets and operations of Thrive Residential, a homebuilder specializing in urban in-fill neighborhoods in Atlanta, Georgia, and Nashville, Tennessee
  • Representation of Toll Brothers as lead counsel in the acquisition of substantially all of the assets and operations of Sharp Residential, one the largest homebuilders in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Representation of Toll Brothers as lead counsel in the acquisition of substantially all of the assets and operations of Sabal Homes, which expands Toll's homebuilding operations into the Charleston, Greenville and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina markets; Sabal is one of the top homebuilders in South Carolina
  • Representation of Toll Brothers as lead counsel in the acquisition of substantially all of the assets and operations of Coleman Homes, one the largest homebuilders in Boise, Idaho
  • Represented a large real estate fund in preferred equity investment in Texas apartment development joint venture
  • Represented a development management company in negotiation and preparation of membership interest purchase agreement to acquire interests in a master-planned community and mixed-use development from a private equity fund subsidiary in Irvine, Calif.
  • Represented YOU Technology Brand Services Inc., a leading digital coupon technology provider, in the sale of its assets to a subsidiary of Kroger Co., the country's largest supermarket chain
  • Represented Rialto Capital Management in a joint venture with Tate/Rok Group, RCI Marine to acquire and redevelop the iconic Bahia Mar Resort and Marina, a 39-acre waterfront property in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with a Doubletree hotel, a 245-slip marina, and office and retail space
  • Represented real estate fund in a $1 billon joint venture with publicly held major developer to acquire and redevelop several blocks of prestigious Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta in mixed-use projects
  • Represented several billion dollar real estate funds in multiple acquisitions and sales of portfolios of loans aggregating several billions of dollars in unpaid principal balance and real property to and from multiple financial institutions
  • Represented a Fortune 500 company in the multimillion-dollar strategic acquisition of all stock of a special servicer of commercial and residential mortgage loans
  • Represented a publicly held company in a half-dozen investments in startup technology companies
  • Represented a real estate settlement service provider in the acquisitions of more than a half-dozen title insurance companies throughout the United States structured as asset and stock acquisitions
  • Represented a publicly held utility company in three separate acquisitions of natural gas companies throughout the United States
  • Represented the owner of a national chain of graphic art stores in its asset sale to an publicly held institutional investor
  • Represented a Florida-based insurer in the acquisition of a captive insurance company
  • Represented a major cement company in three separate cement company acquisitions

  • Represented three major publicly held homebuilders in multiple build-to-rent transactions, including preparing model documents for one homebuilder (NYSE) used companywide
  • Represented a publicly held company (NYSE) in adoption of stockholders' rights (poison pill) plan and related U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings
  • Represented publicly held homebuilder in land banking transaction to finance the acquisition of land in California


  • University of Florida Levin College of Law, LL.M., Taxation
  • University of Florida Levin College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude
  • The University of Vermont, B.S., cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Florida
  • American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants
  • American Bar Association
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Florida
  • American Academy of Attorney-CPAs
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, Board of Directors, 2014-2017
  • Dade County Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar
  • The Florida Bar Business Law Section, Chapter 608 Florida Limited Liability Company Act Drafting Committee, Recording Secretary, 2009-2014; Executive Committee, 2013-2014; Chapter 605 Florida Corporation Act Drafting Committee 2017-Present
  • University of Florida Law Review, Senior Managing Editor, 1985-1986
Honors & Awards
  • The Legal 500 USA, M&A/Corporate and Commercial – M&A: Middle-Market (sub $500M), 2022
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, 2011-2024
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Lawyers for Business guide, Corporate/M&A & Private Equity, 2010-2023
  • Florida Super Lawyers, 2013-Present
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2021
  • Daily Business Review, Most Effective Lawyers: Corporate Securities, Winner, 2005, 2016
  • Daily Business Review, Top Dealmakers of the Year, Finalist, 2007, 2010
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated